Agent praises NCL’s passenger care after quarantined ship finally allowed to dock

By Lisa James
Home » Agent praises NCL’s passenger care after quarantined ship finally allowed to dock

An agent whose clients have been waiting to board a quarantined Norwegian Cruise Line ship in Mauritius has credited the company with providing ‘generous, clear and swift’ care.

NCL’s ship Norwegian Dawn was allowed to dock at Port Louis yesterday afternoon after being quarantined off the Mauritius coast for two days while authorities awaited the results of tests after some passengers fell ill.

It was feared there was a cholera outbreak, but results on Monday afternoon showed passengers had been suffering from gastroenteritis. Mauritius Ministry of Health Director Dr Bhooshun Ori said the passengers have now ‘fully recovered’.

About 2,000 passengers, who were due to disembark on Sunday, had to stay on board and another 2,000-plus passengers who had been due to join the cruise were put up in accommodation on Mauritius.

Wirral-based The Cruise Room owner and Director Robbie O’Grady told Travel Gossip two clients had flown out from Newcastle on Friday 23 February to join Norwegian Dawn’s cruise two days later.

Robbie said: “Our guests said the hotel is ‘fabulous’. They have been put up on a half-board basis and have also been advised guests can keep receipts and are being given a $75 per person per day allowance for meals, which they can claim back through a web link.

“We have received updates from the cruise line also which details what communication the guests have had. While these are always worrying situations for guests, with us constantly in touch to answer any questions as well as NCL’s communications, they are being well supported.

“It’s obviously a sudden and difficult situation for NCL with over 2,000 guests to look after on land and similar on board who are all now delayed getting home.”

Robbie said guests are being transferred between 11am and 3pm local time today (Tuesday 27 February) and he understands a call at Madagascar has been dropped but most of the itinerary remains in place including Richards Bay, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town.

He said guests have been told they will receive a pro-rata refund for lost cruise days as well as $100pp onboard credit and a Future Cruise Credit equivalent to 20% of their cruise.

He added: “It’s very generous, very clear and very swift. There will be some additional precautions onboard ship and we’ll have to see exactly what they are.

“Communication has been good in difficult circumstances, guests have been well looked after, they will be well compensated for the inconvenience and disappointment and hopefully, they will finally step onboard and it will be plain sailing from here.”

In an email to guests waiting to board, NCL said: “Despite previous reports and speculations, there were no confirmed cases nor any evidence of cholera on board the vessel.

“Although only six guests were being monitored due to mild symptoms of a stomach-related illness, the government of Mauritius required testing in an overabundance of caution, thereby delaying the ship’s original disembarkation.

“Now that the ship has been cleared ahead of what we previously communicated, we are happy to advise that you will be able to board the ship earlier than originally thought.”

A spokesperson for NCL said: “We are committed to prioritising the guest experience at every step of the cruise journey, even in unexpected and difficult situations such as this. Both our shoreside and shipboard teams have maintained ongoing communication with guests currently on board, providing updates as available throughout this fluid situation. 

“Given the delayed disembarkation, our NCL Air Team has rearranged travel arrangements, at no additional cost, for all guests who originally booked their air through us, with over 400 flights rescheduled within 24 hours.  We have further provided all guests with free wifi and phone service, so even those who purchased air on their own could rearrange their return flights. 

“We have been keeping guests informed with regular updates. We quickly mobilised additional staff on the ground over the last few days, flying in our dedicated NCL Care Team from our offices in Miami and England, to provide more support and to ensure a smooth disembarkation and embarkation process on 27 February.”

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