Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Blooper of Epic Proportion

A regular visitor to Nassau,
Norwegian Epic was denied 

berth due to a port error.
When cruise ships have to cancel a port call at the last minute the cause is usually weather related; however, in the case of Norwegian Epic’s recent aborted call at Nassau it was a simple case of oops. It seems that someone responsible for assigning berths in the Bahamian port made a costly mistake. The port scheduled too many cruise calls on February 23rd and had to cancel a ship—in this case Norwegian Epic, its largest regular visitor during the winter Caribbean season with 4,100 passengers on board.

While passengers were surely unhappy about missing a port, local businesses were even more outraged. A local newspaper The Tribune reported that Atlantis Resort, which expected several hundred Norwegian Epic passengers to spend the day there on an excursion, lost an estimated $100,000 due to the error. Business owners downtown were steamed as well. One vendor told the newspaper, “This is one of the biggest cruise ships in the world. How can they just allow it to be turned away? Whatever boat replaced it could not have been as big and could not have brought as many tourists to town. How do you overbook a cruise ship anyway?” Good question. But it’s one to which officials in charge will only say, “it won’t happen again.”

Entertainment staff and crewmembers aboard Norwegian Epic were probably just as upset as the merchants in Nassau. As the ship spent the day at sea instead of in port, many of them had to scramble to plan activities for passengers and continue to work on board instead of spending a day off ashore.

Image Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

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