Itinerary Change for Norwegian Cruise Line Ship

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Guests aboard Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Getaway were advised of a very slight itinerary change when they embarked on Saturday, October 22, 2022. One port of call has changed, but it is a minor adjustment only, and guests’ shore experiences will not be dramatically impacted.

Port Change for Norwegian Getaway

The Breakaway-class Norwegian Getaway is currently sailing a 7-night roundtrip Caribbean itinerary from Port Canaveral. The ship departed on Saturday, October 22, with ports of call scheduled in Great Stirrup Cay, the cruise line’s private island destination in The Bahamas, as well as St. Thomas, San Juan, and Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic.

When guests boarded the vessel, however, they received letters advising them of an itinerary change.

“We are committed to delivering exceptional vacation experiences around the world. As such, it is always our intention to maintain original itineraries,” the letter read. “However, at times, unforeseen circumstances require us to make modifications.”

It is the last port of call that is being changed on the ship’s itinerary, and now Norwegian Getaway will visit Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, rather than Puerto Plata. The time and date of the visit will not change, however, and the ship will be in Amber Cove from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 27.

Amber Cove

“Thank you for your understanding. As always, we are at your service,” the letter, signed by the ship’s captain, Konstantinos Gkokas, concluded.

No other ports of call or visit times are changed on the ship’s itinerary.

Why Change?

No explanation is offered about why the port of call needed to be changed, but there could be several reasons. While Norwegian Getaway is the only ship scheduled to visit Puerto Plata on October 27, construction or repairs in the port area or to docking facilities can require port changes at the last minute.

Other marine traffic, such as cargo ships or private charters, could also have an impact on cruise ship schedules.

Another possible reason for this port change could be expected water levels and tide conditions at Puerto Plata. In mid-March, Norwegian Escape ran aground while departing Puerto Plata, in part because of low water combined with windy conditions that pushed the ship slightly.

Norwegian Escape in Puerto Plata
Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt / Shutterstock

That incident, while there were no injuries, did result in significant damage to the ship and required a total of five cruises to be canceled for the vessel.

Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Getaway are sister ships, both in the Breakaway class. While Norwegian Escape is slightly larger as a “Breakaway-plus” subclass vessel, the same considerations for operating in a tricky area would apply to both ships.

Norwegian Getaway weighs in at 145,655 gross tons (compared to 164,600 gross tons for Norwegian Escape), and can welcome 3,963 guests when booked at double occupancy. This is only slightly less than the capacity of Norwegian Escape, which is 4,266 at double occupancy.

Comparing Puerto Plata and Amber Cove

While the itinerary change may be unexpected for guests who were planning to visit Puerto Plata, there is little difference between the two ports of call. In fact, Puerto Plata and Amber Cove are only about five miles (8 kilometers) apart, both on the island’s northern coast.

While arriving or departing from either port, cruise guests can actually see large ships docked at the other cruise port, especially on clear, sunny days.

Norwegian Escape in Puerto Plata; seen from Amber Cove. Photo Credit: Melissa Mayntz

For Norwegian Getaway guests, the cruise line is adjusting all pre-booked shore excursions as necessary for the change to Amber Cove, and guests do not need to take any action to confirm those tours.

Any guests who may have made independent arrangements, however, may want to contact tour operators to advise them of the change, or investigate using taxi services or shuttles to reach their original meeting point if possible.

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