Passengers on a Norwegian cruise ship were stuck at sea this week after the cruise line decided to cancel the cruise mid-flight due to COVID-19 concerns.
Amy Focaracchio, who took a 10-day cruise on the Norwegian Jewel from New York, told USA Today she was notified Thursday that the cruise was canceled due to issues with COVID-19, but was not provided with an early return date.
“We will arrive according to schedule on the 19th in the morning,” the cruise ship staff reportedly said, according to a Focaraccio recording provided by the news agency.
After the ship made a stop at St. Martin on Friday, Focaraccio explained, it will not stop at any other ports or islands.
“I really can’t imagine four more free days in a row without me doing so much,” she told USA Today.
It added that earlier on Friday the ship had made the decision to abandon calls to ports in Grand Turk, St Thomas and Tortola before arriving in St Maarten and before the decision was made to cancel the rest of the stops.
Kristin Da Silva, vice president of branding and communications for Norwegian Cruise Line, told USA Today that the Norwegian gem is set to return to New York “soon,” without providing a specific date.
“As we continue to navigate the changing public health environment, with a focus on providing a safe experience for everyone on board, today we made the difficult decision to cancel Norwegian Gem’s current Caribbean sailing, due to COVID-related circumstances,” Da Silva reportedly said.
Although the cruise line confirmed that “COVID-related conditions” were the reason for the sailing cancellation, Focaraccio told USA Today it was not aware of coronavirus cases on the ship.
All passengers on the Norwegian Jewel have reportedly earned a full refund or cruise credit and an additional cruise credit equal to 50% of the current cruise fare to be applied to a future cruise by May 2023.