The Playbook For The Modern Man

Bizarre Cruise Ship Rebellion Sparks Luxury Travel Entitlement Debate

“Water, water, everywhere – nor any drop to drink.”

While Coleridge’s Rime Of The Ancient Mariner was not specifically directed at the cruise ship connoisseurs of 2019, a recent rebellion of passengers aboard the luxurious Norwegian Spirit (which recently underwent – what customers are calling – a similar nightmare life-in-death experience) proves this cautionary tale is still worth its weight in daiquiris.

As The BBC reports, “Passengers have told of angry scenes after their luxury cruise ship missed key stops and was left ‘floating around’ at sea for days during a tour of northern Europe.”

While they may not have arrogantly shot an Albatross to incur the Northern Atlantic’s wrath, they were certainly quite insolent in response to their trip being disrupted by Hurricane Lorenzo.

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As News.com.au reports, “Hundreds of passengers have staged a demonstration on-board a cruise liner, with one saying ‘all hell broke loose’ on the luxurious ship.”

It was supposed to be a two-week dream cruise for thousands of passengers on-board the luxurious Norwegian Spirit. But the voyage turned into an arduous journey, with many passengers demanding their money back.

Setting sail on September the 27th, the lavish cruise liner left Southampton, England for a dazzling adventure, bouncing ‘tween France, Amsterdam, Norway and Iceland.

But instead, “all hell [reportedly] broke loose” within moments of boarding the vessel, with management changing the itinerary before the cruise departed the first port.

“The first port was supposed to be Amsterdam,” a passenger told Cruise Radio. “But they cancelled it before we boarded and switched it to Le Havre.”

Passengers then got even angrier when high winds on their sailing route prevented the ship from docking at other ports, including the new destination of Le Havre.

“It really was bad,” a passenger told Cruise Radio.

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“Then, after stops in Bergen and Flam, they announced they were not going to make it to (our next port of call in) Iceland because they felt they might catch Hurricane Lorenzo on the way back to Ireland.”

According to some passengers, “the ship eventually docked at a ‘deserted’ Norwegian town that was closed to tourists before moving on to Greenock near Glasgow because Iceland was also stripped from the itinerary,” (News.com.au).

“But again, the ship was denied access and moved on from Greenock to Belfast, resulting in three days at sea for the angry passengers.”

Passengers then took to Twitter to vent, claiming toilets stopped flushing and everyone was given three-day-old food to eat on-board.

They also posted such sardonic jams as: “Where else can you pay full price and get 40%,” which – to be fair – is a good point.

We’re also loathe to criticise people banding together and standing up for themselves. However, in this case, the angst appears misguided, as the cruise company appears to have had safety in mind when making the changes.

Not to mention: the whole point of going on a cruise is to loll in luxury without doing anything cultural (otherwise you would have strapped on a backpack and headed for Rome). And – even if you are stuck at sea – you can still do pretty much whatever you had in mind for your trip, including making use of the cruise ship’s bars and lounges, spa, aqua parks, casino, gym, shops and deck.

Other Twitter users were quick to point this out, picking up on the hypocrisy of the rioting passengers.

That said, it’s understandable customers are doing their best to nab a refund, with reports indicating passengers paid up to $10,000 for the two-week cruise and, instead of refunds, were offered a 25 per cent voucher towards a future cruise.

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The videos posted to Twitter, however, which show passengers chanting “shame on you”, “we want refunds” and “get us off this ship” does seem quite dramatic.

As for the cruise company: a spokesperson for Norwegian Cruise Line said the ship was forced to cancel the docking at Greenock due to weather conditions “as well as a delay caused by a departing navy vessel that experienced a technical malfunction.”

Instead, the near-mutiny meant the ship docked in Belfast, with many returning to London on their own rather than boarding again.

Petulant, or understandable? You be the judge.

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  • NCL

    NCL management has a poor history of dealing with these types of changes in the itinerary. Only a few years ago the NCL Star lost both of their propulsion azipods off the coast of Australia. They had previously cancelled 5/10 ports and repeatedly assured the passengers that everything was safe. The Captain refused to address the passengers and the management sent a representative who inconveniently scheduled meetings on one of the few remaining port days. NCL just doesn’t seem to care.

  • Marla Caro

    Hurricane Lorenzo was heading to Ireland and was only a tropical storm when it made landfall. We were told that Hurricane Lorenzo was the reason that we were not going to Iceland, which was the main reason why people took this cruise. Most of our time at sea we were in Gale forced winds. The two extra towns that were added in Norway were very close to the other ports. The two ports that NCL added in Norway were also closed down for the Season so there was nothing to do when we arrived in those two ports. The Navy ship was also not broken down. We were told by our outside tour company in Scotland that the Navy ship did not want to venture out into the Gale winds that we were cruising in. We were advised by the tour company in the Morning that we were not going to dock in Greenock. I then phoned guest services and our conciege that we were not docking and they insisted that we were. It was only 40 minutes later we were told that we were not docking in Greenock. People were all dressed and ready to disembark in Greenock and that is when all hell broke out on the ship. People were extremely frustrated over the lack of communication and honesty from the management. We were told to call Miami and when we did they told us to discuss with ship management. Crickets……

    There was also major problems with the ventilation system and the plumbing on the ship. Is it normal for a ship to only be traveling at 10-15 knots in gale forced winds? I wish I would have been given an option cancel this cruise as NCL was very aware of the bad weather and had informed us that they would not be going to Iceland.

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