High winds reportedly struck the Norwegian Escape last night, causing injuries to passengers as “chairs, tables, glass, people went flying to one side of the ship:”

This morning (around 11 hours later), Norwegian Cruise Line tweeted that on Sunday, March 3rd, just before midnight, the Norwegian Escape encountered a “sudden, extreme gust of wind, estimated at 100 knots, which resulted in the ship heeling to the port side …”  NCL tweeted that several passengers and crew members were injured and received medical treatment.

NCL denied that there was damage to the cruise ship which continues on toward Port Canaveral for an anticipated early arrival on March 5th.

The Escape left the New York area on the afternoon of March 3 heading for Port Canaveral, Florida for a scheduled 1:00 PM arrival on  March 5. It is scheduled to arrive in Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas on March 6 and Nassau, Bahamas on March 7, returning to the New York area on March 10.

NCL says that the current itinerary and the next sailing are not expected to be impacted.

NCL says that the “gust of wind” was “sudden” and “unexpected.” It remains to be seen whether there were up to date weather conditions and forecasts available to the navigational officers on the NCL cruise ship. I am not a meteorologist, but it was well known that rough weather and high winds were moving east across the U.S. as a series of deadly tornadoes struck several states before moving offshore yesterday. (See weather map below).

 

NCL is facing litigation arising out of its decision to sail into a huge storm called a “bomb cyclone” which formed off the eastern coast of the U.S. at the beginning of January 2018. The NCL cruise executives claimed that the weather was unpredictable. Read: NCL CEO Del Rio on the Norwegian Breakaway Bomb Cyclone Fiasco: “Weather Can Be Unpredictable . . . (It’s) All Good.”

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March 5, 2019 Update: A passenger posted a video (via Facebook) shortly after the cruise ship heeled.

Posted by Tony Ciaramello on Monday, March 4, 2019

WFTV covered the arrival of the Norwegian Escape at Port Canaveral today, with several ambulances shown arriving at the port to pick up people injured on the cruise ship.

Photo credit: Norwegian Escape – Arno Redenius, CC BY-SA 4.0, commons/ wikimedia; maps – national weather services, MarineTraffic. Video credit – Tony Ciaromello amd WFTV.

Nowegian EsccapeYesterday, the Jamaican police reportedly seized a pound of cocaine and arrested a man at the cruise port in Falmouth, Jamaica, according to the Jamaican Observer newspaper

The Observer reported that around 4:30 on Monday, January 15, 2018, "security checks were being conducted on passengers and crew returning to a cruise ship that was docked at the pier when the man was searched and illicit drugs allegedly found in his possession." The newspaper did not mention the man’s name nor specify whether he is a cruise passenger or a crew member. It identified him only as a a "St Lucian."

Falmouth is one of the ports in the Caribbean where several passengers and crew members have been caught trying to smuggle cocaine into Florida on cruise ships which called on Falmouth and oth ports Jamaica. In the last several years, drugs busts occurred involving crew members on the Allure of the Seas and passengers from the Freedom of the Seas.  In several incidents the newspaper in Jamaica did not identify the cruise ship or disclose whether the person arrested for smuggling was a cruise passenger or crew member. 

The Observer also did not identify the name of the cruise line or cruise ship. According to several sources, the only cruise ship in port in Falmouth on Monday was NCL’s Norwegian Escape. Last summer, three NCL crew members on the Escape were arrested in Belize for smuggling cocaine.

A number of NCL crew members have been arrested for smuggling cocaine on cruise ships which have returned to ports in Florida from the Caribbean.  In just the last three years, over twenty NCL crew members have been arrested on charges of drug smuggling, including NCL crew members involved in a Roatan, Honduras to Florida cocaine smuggling ring.   

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Photo credit: Arno Redenius – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia. 

Norwegian Escape7 News Belize reports that three NCL crew members were arrested in Belize for possession of two kilos of cocaine which was picked up in Roatan and taken on an unidentified NCL cruise ship to the private destination of Harvest Caye, apparently with the intention of being smuggled into the U.S.  The news stations says that:

The police have not released any official information, but 7News has learned that 3 employees of Norwegian Cruise Lines were charged with drug trafficking for allegedly being in possession of two kilos of cocaine on a cruise ship. Our information is that the 3 men are now arrested and charged, and they are at the Belize Central Prison.

Reports are that the men, 2 nationals of St. Lucia and 1 from St. Vincent, arrived on last Tuesday, on an NCL ship which made a port of call at the Harvest Caye Island getaway. The men worked on the Ship. Reports say that the two kilos may have been picked up in Roatan.

The men were arrested, and charged, and they were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court. They are now at the Belize Central Prison.

Smuggling cocaine is big business on the high seas. Two years ago, five NCL crew members on the Norwegian Sun were arrested in Tampa when the cruise ship returned from Roatan where the crew members picked up the drugs. The Tampa Bay Times reported that they worked for NCL as utility workers in the Norwegian Sun’s galley.

A few months later, a NCL crew member employed aboard the Norwegian Dawn cruise ship was arrested when he attempted to smuggle cocaine aboard the ship when it was docked in Roatan.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has busted a cocaine smuggling operation where NCL crew members smuggled cocaine from Honduras to New Orleans aboard NCL’s Norwegian Dawn cruise ship.

The article did not identify the NCL cruise ship involved in this latest smuggling caper, although it is believed to be the Norwegian Escape.

Costa and Princess crew members were recently arrested in cocaine smuggling schemes using cruise ships.

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June 21, 2017 Update: The newspaper in Belize identified the NCL crew members: Derson Frank, from St. Vincent; Renaldo Roberts, also from St. Vincent; and Jamal Celise of St. Lucia.

Photo credit: Arno Redenius – CC BY-SA 4.0, commons / wikimedia.

AIS Norwegian Escape OverboardThis morning, a crew member aboard the Norwegian Escape notified me that a person went overboard from the NCL cruise ship early this morning.  

Automatic information tracking systems (AIS) showed as of shortly before 7:00 A.M., the Celebrity Summit & Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas joining the Norwegian Escape in the waters south of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to search for the overboard person. 

I posted images from the Marine Traffic AIS tracking program of these ships, as of around 6:45 A.M. this morning, on our Facebook page

The crew of the Norwegian Escape located the man’s body shortly after 7:00 A.M. today.

The crew member indicated that the person overboard was a passenger who went overboard from the fourteen deck of the ship around 3:00 A.M.

There have been 292 people reported going overboard since 2000 according to the data maintained by cruise expert Dr. Ross Klein.

In January, a 22 year-old reportedly jumped from he 17th deck of the Norwegian Escape and landed on the 7th deck. He died from the injuries he sustained in the fall.   

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Image credit: Marine Traffic

Norwegian Cruise Line announced that Miami remix rap artist "Pitbull" (Armando Christian Pérez) will become the Godfather of the company’s newest cruise ship next month at the Port of Miami.

NCL cruise executives CEO Frank Del Rio and President Andy Stuart will attend the naming ceremony of the Norwegian Escape on November 9th. 

Pitbull will perform at the christening ceremony.  He has performed on NCL ships in the past

I have not been invited.  

https://youtube.com/watch?v=zr4_F-QIxqI%3Frel%3D0