With severe weather forecast for Bermuda over the weekend, Norwegian Cruise Line is being proactive to keep ships safe and passengers comfortable by changing the current sailing for Norwegian Gem. The ship will still visit Bermuda, but will be leaving earlier than anticipated to avoid the poor weather.
Norwegian Gem Itinerary Change
The Jewel-class Norwegian Gem is currently homeported from New York, offering sailings to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda. The ship is now on a 5-night Bermuda itinerary that was originally scheduled to spend more than 30 hours docked at the Royal Naval Dockyard in Bermuda, but due to expected poor weather, the overnight stay has been shortened to just a typical port of call visit of 6 hours, 45 minutes.
“Although our dedicated team is committed to delivering unforgettable vacation experiences at every step of the cruise journey, at times there are elements that are out of our control,” the letter delivered to guests at embarkation said. “Unfortunately, as a result of expected inclement weather conditions, our itinerary has been revised.”
Now, instead of remaining docked from 9 a.m. on Friday, January 13, through 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, January 14, the ship will only remain in port from 9 a.m. on Friday until 3:45 p.m. that same day, losing a full 24 hours of in-port time.
“We share your disappointment and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” the letter continued.
There are no other changes to Norwegian Gem‘s itinerary, and the ship is expected to arrive back in New York on schedule at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 16, 2023. The 93,530-gross-ton ship has a capacity of 2,394 guests, with 1,070 crew members aboard as well.
No alternative port of call is being substituted for the loss of the full day in Bermuda, and because of that, the cruise line is offering compensation to all guests onboard.
Every stateroom will receive $100 (USD) of non-refundable onboard credit, with $50 applied for the first and second guests in the stateroom. The credit can be used for any onboard expenses, such as drinks, spa treatments, photos, souvenirs, or specialty dining.
Any shore excursions booked for Bermuda will be adjusted as necessary to accommodate the ship’s new time in port. If the tours are unable to be run, including those planned for Saturday, January 14, they will be cancelled automatically and the full refund returned to guests’ onboard accounts.
Severe Weather Predicted
All cruise vacations are at the mercy of the weather, and poor conditions can not only make an oceangoing getaway less enjoyable, high winds and tall swells can make cruise conditions dangerous. Even if a ship is docked, bad weather can make a gangway dangerous or may make the ship unsafe adjacent to the dock structure.
Cruise lines take every precaution to avoid poor weather and the safety of the ship, guests, and crew is always the primary concern.
On Saturday, January 14, Bermuda is expected to have severe thunderstorms with steady winds predicted as high as 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour), while wind gusts may occasionally reach 60 mph (96 kph). A total of 1-2 inches of rain is expected.
In comparison, while the ship is in port on Friday, the chance of rain is less than 5% and while it will be breezy, the winds will only likely reach 20-30 mph (32-48 kph). The wind direction is also slightly different, which can impact docking conditions. Overnight on Friday, the weather is expected to worsen with higher wind gusts, late thunderstorms, and a much higher chance of rain.
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Norwegian Gem is the only cruise ship scheduled to visit Bermuda early this weekend, but poor weather can impact any cruise port worldwide. Guests should always stay alert to weather forecasts and stay in touch with their cruise line for updates on schedule adjustments or itinerary changes.