Cruise ship hell: Couple left stranded after tiny itinerary change

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A couple on a luxury cruise of America and the Caribbean were left stranded in Cuba after a tiny itinerary change.

American man Kevin Rohrer and his girlfriend were aboard the ship Norwegian Sky and had stopped in Havana, Cuba for a day trip.

The pair had been advised prior to boarding that the ship would depart Havana at 5pm, so they arrived at 3.30pm.

But when they returned to the dock, Mr Rohrer and his partner were horrified to find the cruise had left without them.

‘It was a frightening situation. We were devastated,’ Rohrer told consumer affairs website Elliot Advocacy.

Elliot Advocacy
(Credit: Elliot Advocacy)

Unbeknownst to the couple, the cruise line had made a slight adjustment to the departure time that day, changing it from 5pm to 1.30pm.

Stranded in Cuba, they were forced to take a taxi to the airport and spend AUD$646 on a flight home and were refused a refund.

Mr Rohrer then contacted Elliot Advocacy, who investigated the seemingly premature departure.

The original cruise itinerary indeed had 5pm as the scheduled departure time.

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Elliot Advocacy
(Credit: Elliot Advocacy)

But a second document, supplied to Mr Rohrer and his girlfriend on the day of their Havana tour, indicated that passengers should be ‘all aboard’ at 1.30pm.

The couple had not noticed the itinerary change, as they did not have a chance to read the newsletter.

In response, Norwegian said the time change was announced repeatedly and was in their e-documents.

Their contract of carriage also makes it clear that there is never a guarantee a cruise itinerary will stay the same.  

‘Norwegian Cruise Line shall not be responsible for failure to adhere to published arrival and departure times for any of its ports of call,’ the terms and conditions read. 

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