Norwegian Cruise Ship Cancels Port Due to Mechanical Issue

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Due to an undisclosed mechanical issue, Norwegian Dawn will no longer be calling on Costa Maya as planned but instead will head directly back to Tampa, Florida after its port of call in Roatan, Honduras. Guests have been notified of the itinerary change, which should not affect the ship’s return to its homeport.

Port of Call Canceled

According to an announcement made onboard and a letter delivered to guests on March 31, Norwegian Dawn is experiencing a mechanical issue and missed its planned visit to Costa Maya on April 1, 2022.

Instead, the ship remained overnight in Roatan, Honduras, where it had visited on March 31, and is now making its way directly back to Tampa.

The letter, signed by the ship’s master, Captain Ronnie Borg, explained, “As you may have heard during our announcement earlier, Norwegian Dawn is experiencing a mechanical issue. While this issue does not affect the safety of the ship, it will prevent us from sailing our scheduled itinerary.”

“We do not expect any delays to our scheduled arrival to Tampa, but will ensure to provide any additional updates if applicable. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment this unexpected situation may cause,” the letter continued.

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Ship
Norwegian Dawn (Photo Credit: Wangkun Jia / Shutterstock)

Norwegian Dawn is currently sailing a 7-night Caribbean itinerary which departed Tampa on Sunday, March 27. The ship has already visited Cozumel, Mexico and Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line’s private island in Belize, as well as the now overnight port of call in Roatan.

Shore Tours Refunded

The letter goes on to explain that guests who booked shore tours through Norwegian Cruise Line will have those costs automatically refunded to their shipboard accounts.

For guests who booked independent tour arrangements, telephone access and laptops with limited internet access are being made available so passengers can contact tour operators to cancel.

Whether or not passengers can get refunds from canceled independent tours will be up to the individual tour operators and their cancelation policies.

What’s the Problem?

The nature of Norwegian Dawn‘s mechanical issue was not disclosed, and it could be several possibilities. If the ship developed engine difficulties that have affected its cruising speed, it may not be able to complete the planned itinerary without significant delays, and thus is it best to return directly to Tampa.

Norwegian Dawn Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Artem Yampolcev / Shutterstock

While Roatan, Honduras is further from Tampa than Costa Maya on the Mexican mainland, the ship may not be able to spend time docked in port and still return to Tampa on schedule if its cruising speed is significantly reduced. A lengthy delay in the ship’s return would impact not only all passengers’ debarkations and travel home, but also embarkation and departure for the ship’s next voyage.

No announcement has been made about whether there will be any itinerary changes or other alterations to the ship’s next sailing, an identical 7-day sailing to the current voyage.

Another issue that could cause such a port cancelation is if there were difficulty with the gangways or docking mechanisms on the ship, which could make stopping at Costa Maya more difficult. Returning to Tampa would put the ship at a more thoroughly equipped port if extra equipment is necessary to dock properly.

Norwegian Dawn is the namesake vessel of the cruise line’s Dawn class. The 92,250-gross-ton vessel only resumed service from December 8, 2021, the tenth ship in Norwegian Cruise Line’s fleet to restart passenger operations after the pandemic shutdown.

She can accommodate 2,340 guests at double occupancy, and up to 2,800 guests when fully booked. The ship’s last major refurbishment was in 2016.

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