Norwegian Breakaway Stuck in NY Harbor: Handling a Glitch on Your Cruise

Norwegian Breakaway docked in Manhattan
Norwegian Breakaway docked in Manhattan

After hearing about the Norwegian Breakaway‘s troubles getting into port in New York yesterday, I was wondering if I would have even noticed. What would I have been doing at 7 am on the last day of my cruise?  In case you didn’t hear about what happened, here’s the story from NBC4 in New York. 

I was surprised to hear the media reporting that “all” of the cruise passengers had been lined up to get off the “boat well before 7 in the morning.” If you can get past the fact that the reporter calls the ship a “boat,” I wonder how many people who have never been on a cruise actually believed that all of the passengers were waiting in line at 7 am to get off the ship.

Certainly there are some passengers who will be up bright and early with their bags to get off the ship in what is called “self disembarkation.”  These passengers agree to haul off their own luggage and by doing so, have the opportunity to get off the ship first.  While a good number of people do this, it will never be the entire ship full of passengers as most people tend to bring lots of luggage, which is picked up the night before arrival into the port.  The crew then unloads the luggage by tag number where passengers can pick them up inside the cruise terminal when their number is called. The earlier your flight home, then you’ll most likely receive an earlier departure tag number.  If not, you can always go to Guest Services to obtain one.  

Admittedly, I would have probably been rolling out of bed around 7 am to start the process of getting a cup of coffee and packing up what remained in my cabin.  Now if I heard that we would have to spend a few extra hours on board the ship while they figured out the problem, I would have seen this as great news.  One might even call it a gift for the end of my vacation — a few extra hours on a cruise ship.  Of course, the media searches out the few disgruntled passengers that were on the ship, but I’m fairly certain most people were probably not that upset, but for those catching early flights out.  Hopefully, the cruise line accommodated those passengers with early flights and helped them with their travel plans, but most likely if they didn’t book the flights with the cruise line, they were on their own to rebook their flights.

Glitches happen whether at home or on vacation and it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference.  Is it worth getting completely stressed out over? Absolutely not!  It won’t get you off the ship any faster so why not sit back, enjoy a cappuccino and breakfast, and take in the view? Why ruin the memory of a great vacation because the last few hours didn’t end exactly as you predicted?  If the first seven days of your cruise were great, then a few hours extra at the cruise line’s expense should be fantastic.  

Only about 20% of Americans have cruised and while the media makes it seem like the cruise industry is constantly having problems, the majority of cruises sail without any issues whatsoever.  Go ahead and book that cruise and when you get on it, enjoy it even if a glitch occurs.  If you have a hard time trying to relax, just remember that about 80% of Americans haven’t been on a cruise and haven’t discovered how great cruises are.  Enjoy every minute of your cruise vacation and remember how lucky you are to have taken a cruise.  Perspective is everything.