For many, a cruise is a dream trip – something they save for years to be able to do. For others, it is almost a way of life. And of course, there is everything in between!
A cruise through the Panama Canal is the trip of a lifetime – a bucket list kind of trip! You picture luxury, recreation, and relaxation aboard a beautiful ship. Sunny skies, drinks on the top deck, a dip in the pool, a walk around the promenade deck.
There may be little things that are not perfect along the way, but the good usually far outweighs the bad, and a very fantastic vacation is had.
This is what you expect – and this is what cruise lines sell. But what if your cruise turns into a constructions zone? While our cruise experience was extreme, it is not uncommon for cruise ship companies to start renovations on a ship full of paying passengers.
We sailed on Norwegian Cruise Lines through the Panama Canal March 16 – 31, 2018. The media dubbed this a “Construction Cruise” as that’s pretty well what it was.
We experienced 15 days of nose, dust, particulate, and toxic fumes – in varying degrees. When upset passengers had a meeting with the captain (it is estimated that between 300 – 400 passengers were in attendance), we were told that it was a corporate decision and that was pretty much that. Watch the video
Things didn’t improve. Many passengers experienced varying respiratory symptoms and more. NCL’s response? A 25% fare credit towards a future cruise.
Two more passenger meetings took place, e-mail addresses were exchanged, and a Facebook group was formed to share information. The media got involved and attention was brought to the issue.
Finally, Norwegian Cruise Line responded with a 100% fare credit (that’s a portion of the total cost of a cruise).
I don’t think this is the end of the story. Stay tuned!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton