The Norwegian Epic sustained power loss yesterday during its current cruise to the Caribbean, requiring the NCL cruise ship to divert to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Epic left Port Canaveral, Florida on February 9th heading toward Tortola, British Virgin Islands where it was scheduled to arrive this morning around 8:00 a.m. It was then scheduled to call on St Thomas, US Virgin Islands tomorrow (February 13th) and Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas on February 15th before returning to Port Canaveral on February 16th.

The cruise ship reportedly sustained power loss to one or two engines (reports via social media vary) which reduced its speed to around 11 knots. It has slowly sailed a couple hundred miles toward San Juan for the last 24 hours. It is now approaching San Juan after NCL cancelled the ports of call on Tortola and St. Thomas yesterday.

I have received several emails from passengers on the ship as well as cruise guests’ family members asking for what options they have after the aborted cruise in question.

It is anticipated that NCL will refer the guests to its terms and conditions which permit it to “cancel, advance, postpone or substitute any scheduled sailing or itinerary without prior notice” due to “mechanical difficulties or any other reason whatsoever.” It is largely a matter of whether NCL executives wish to extend good will to their customers.

Travelling with Bruce’s up-and-coming YouTube page (video bottom) was one of the first to report on the power failure. Cruise guests also left comments on Twitter.

Cruise guests Mr. Wozniak posted a humorous observation on Twitter yesterday, stating that he was on a “. . . broken cruise ship where everyone is freaking out. The people watching is amazing right now. You would think we were on the Titanic with the way some people are acting.”

This is not the first time in recent history that NCL has modified or cancelled cruises due to mechanical problems.

NCL cancelled a cruise on the Norwegian Jade due to an unspecified “mechanical issue” last November which left thousands of passengers in San Juan. NCL arranged for charter flights for many of its guests to fly back to Miami, and reimbursed those passengers who made their own flight arrangements. NCL also refunded the cruise fares and extended a future cruise credit based on the cruise fare paid.

Over one year ago, NCL had to suspend a cruise on the Norwegian Gem due to mechanical issues related to the ship’s azipod system. The cruise was suspended in Barbados. NCL flew the passengers back to New York and later offered a 25% discount on a future cruise.

The Norwegian Star underwent a series of azipod problems in December of 2016 and in January/February of 2017 during Asian and Australian itineraries, which resulted in cancellation of the cruises and refunds and cruise credits to the guests following widespread protests on the ship (photo above left).

Update: Norwegian Epic Crashes Into Dock in San Juan – some may say a fitting end to a disappointing cruise.

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  • IAmGem13

    Give credit where credit is due. When these things happen NCL has historically taken care of its guests after issues such as these – which are quite normal in the cruise industry.

  • Divemedic

    100% cruise credit offered. Other than some really grumpy passengers and missing the ports it was a great cruise. Lots of booze and food. Have to negotiate rescheduled flights as we didn’t get into port until about 3pm. Probably half stayed the extra overnight on the 8th night to save on hotel costs. Lots of booze and food left. It was a scramble on the cruise as many of the 4000 passengers tried to reschedule flights at sea with limited free internet (only 60mins) and one working phone. This was poorly organized. Many lineups to accomplish nothing. As a final note we weren’t sinking even after taking out a pier. Had power, toilets , drink… enough said. Could have been a Carnival Triumph disaster but wasn’t even close.