Norwegian Cruise Line welcoming party on the Norwegian Sun. One example of NCLs approach to customer service. This is day 1 after passengers were informed that they would not be going to 2 of the 3 ports. Visit mybadcruise.com for details
NCL Norwegian Sun Atrium, deck 5 at the "customer service" counter. Nearly 300 passengers have gathered at a meeting organized by word of mouth only during the afternoon by passengers disappointed and confused. A few NCL officers can be seen, but none would speak to the passengers.
The welcoming committee. There are at least 3 more out of view to the left. The passengers are listening to one of several other passengers that are proposing to represent their issues.
Larry (last name?) tries to calm and quiet the crowd to elicit complaints and get some feedback on what the passengers would feel is adequate compensation for the missed ports of call.
NCL Norwegian Sun eastern Caribbean cruise Dec 4-11 Atrium Decks 5&6 where passengers had gathered to protest the ships response to the canceled ports of call. The entire second half of the cruise was marred by the disappointment and complaining that pervaded every discussion.
Like this fellow, a number of passengers that had mobility impairments were stuck on the ship after Nassau. The stops at Samana, Dominican Republic required we be ferried to the shore on lifeboats, and NCL ferries from their "private island" (a 300 yard stretch of littered beach) eliminated options for these folks.
Almost 400 passengers filled the ships lounge for a second meeting after a second day of silence from the Captain of the NCL Norwegian Sun. Free drinks had been offered poolside one afternoon, but many did not aware of the "event." A free glass of wine had been offered with dinner, but many (i.e. those who don't drink or don't drink wine) did not get any benefit from those "perks."
Many passengers offered opinions regarding adequate compensation during the meeting, and extreme frustration at the lack of response by the ship's Captain. The fellow in the brightly colored shirt near photo-middle was particularly vocal (name?).
On stage is Larry (name?), reporting back to the passengers after having met with the captain, and one of the other more visible leaders in the effort to organize passenger complaints. We learned later from the fellow on the left (name?) that the organizers had been threatened with confinement and arrest on returning to port if they were seen assembling with other passengers again.
I counted the passengers - more of which can't be seen out of view, and quit at 400. Many offered the stories behind their disappointment - many of which can be found on mybadcruise.com.
One of the leaders tries to get consensus on what demands the crowd would like to be conveyed to the Captain. The Captain had agreed to meet individually with any passenger that requisted a meeting. My request was denied on Friday morning, even though we were at anchor for eight hours. I submitted a handwritten letter with my contact information that same day, 10 Dec 2010, but still have not received any correspondence from NCL (as of 8Jan11).
One of the passengers takes his turn at offering up his particular disappointment and expectations for compensation. We heard dozens of sad stories, one of the worst being a couple that was to be married on St. Thomas - and their families were there waiting for them to arrive. For more stories go to mybadcruise.com and surf "updates" and "stories".
Bob (the photographer) & Helen Hinds - two of the many disappointed passengers from the NCL Norwegian Sun cruise that left Port Canaveral for the eastern Caribbean, Dec 4-11, 2010. You might have noticed the tall and beautiful Helen strolling the decks for exercise. I was the tall funny looking guy getting his butt kicked shooting hoops with her several afternoons.
This is the party zone on NCL's private island, a.k.a., "Grand Stirrup Cay." Access to anything beyond the one real building - which was still under construction - was barricaded off due to construction of a road and the dredging of a bay just over the hill and out of site. This substituted in lieu of a day in port at St. Maarten.
This is the extent of access to the island and the "hiking trail," very rough footing. it's about 300 yards of beach front. Access beyond is cut off by the tide, access over the hill is barricaded off due to construction.
Great Stirrup Cay - The full length of the beach was strewn with litter. Most of these pictures were taken within 100 yards of the "party zone."
More photos of the beach at Great Stirrup Cay - The full length of the beach was strewn with litter. Most of these pictures were taken within 100 yards of the "party zone."
There are no residents living on the limited stretch of land accessible to crew or passengers due to heavy construction. This litter has to come from NCL's accommodations in the party zone.
This was the "shopping" available on the private island. Not quite up to what we expected on St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Nothing but standard Bahama souvenir stuff boated over daily. Flea market quality stuff.
the beach on Grand Stirrup Cay.
Contrary to the initial offered relayed to the passengers through a passenger spokesperson, the Captain refused to meet with me even though we were at anchor for 8 hours. This is page 1 of 2 expressing our dissatisfaction with NCLs response to the alleged "propulsion problems."
There was a demonstration in progress in the streets of Samana, Dominican Republic, the port substituted for St. Thomas.
It was a little scary not knowing what the protest was about, with Haiti just over the mountain.
Lowering the lifeboats from the Norwegian Sun into the water to ferry passengers to the pier at Samana.
Inside the lifeboats, being ferried to the dock at Samana
Corner market in Samana, Dominican Republic
A shiny new row of shops with a very limited selection near the waterfront in Samana. Many were not open, some not occupied.
Behind the facade - the 8-10 foot high walls high 3rd world conditions so poor I didn't have the heart to take pictures beyond.
Samana - unfinished business
There were a few nice views of the hillside facing the harbor, Samana, Dominican Republic.
Just off the harbor, across from the fisherman's pier, Samana.
Progress, interrupted, Samana.