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Norwegian Star


Here we go- the Saga of the Norwegian Star as we lived it or received it second hand from reliable sources..........

Prior to our 21 day voyage from Hong Kong to Sydney we knew 2 ports had been cancelled (Saigon and Bangkok). That was livable but only in light of the other 9 stops and possibly some other compensation. We were offered $200 onboard credit for the inconvenience.

For those of you not familiar with the "cruise world" this ship is constantly on the go. Some people on the ship were on the ship all the way south and then back to Venice (100+ days). Apparently the Norwegian Star (2000+ passengers and 1100 Crew members) had difficulties with their Azipod propulsion systems back in November. Kathy looked up their itinerary to see if they had planned any major maintenance breaks and it didn't appear there were any.

Life on the ship was great especially if you bought the "specialty restaurant" package and "unlimited drink" package. We booked a 330 sq. ft. mini suite with a large balcony to sit four if so desired. We met folks from all over the world often sharing a table at dinner by choice. You might also hear a conversation and jump in.... The entertainment was very good with two shows every night at 7:30 and 9:00 pm. The Star entertainers were excellent with four production shows. Individual bars or the Grand Atrium had entertainment ranging from three brothers from the Philipines doing rock and roll (move over Elvis and Roy O.), R & B group from Atlanta (good sound), or a classic violinist and accompanying cellist. The staff and crew were always accommodating and more than pleasant. Most of them were aware the ship was having difficulties.

After departing Singapore our Captain Mattias from Sweden announced the problem with the Azipod had been repaired. One of the maintenance crew had to crawl down into a very tight space to make this happen. We arrived Bali for the day and shortly after leaving we received a letter of apology from Captain Mattias stating due to new propulsion problems the ship could not navigate into the Komodo dragon port nor Airlie Beach (gateway to Great Barrier Reef) and Brisbane. They offered some onboard credit and future discounts on cruises. At this point it meant we would only dock or tender in 6 of the 11 planned ports. At that point we were looking for answers.....

A fellow from Michigan was seen and heard in the Grand Atrium trying to organize a protest. He was shouting "money back" and had many joining the chant. At one point over 800 cabins had signed up to a list of persons willing to initiate a petition (we added our names). This continued for a couple of days and included communications with the captain. The issues were growing and the next letter advised two senior Norwegian staff members would join the ship in Darwin. The timing of the planned town hall meeting bounced around and unfortunately we missed it. Feedback indicated the VP present suggested his reunion with his family and 50th wedding anniversary was ruined. Within a few hours of that meeting we received a letter from the CEO and an offer of considerable compensation. (Between us and Norwegian)

The fellow from Michigan was still not happy and was seen again in the Grand Atrium talking with many people. Some of the stories especially coming out of the British Isles folks were sad where couples had saved up for the "trip of a lifetime" or their kids had pooled their money to send Mom and Dad (listen up girls). Unfortunately this fellow carried on with a small group of followers demanding much extra compensation. He was asked to leave the ship at Cairns (under escort based on a Maritime law).

Our remaining trip was uneventful and not worth repeating from our earlier entries. What got us into communicating further is--- we have new friends who were continuing on to other ports in Australia and New Zealand. We heard from other passengers the ship was stranded south of Melboune (30 - 70 km.) depending on the report. All ship propulsion was not available; however all power and other utilities were in place. Bottom line.....the ship was adrift with major tugs heading to it for a tow back to Melbourne.

We have heard since the tow was successful and the ship plans on sailing after a five day repair. Obviously the repair is not in dry dock as the passengers can stay on board. The future of the cruise is limited with just a trip to Auckland and supposedly back into the circuit. Not sure if Corporate are making these decisions but the outcome to date has to be damaging.....



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