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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Utah Cruise Passengers Stranded, Hurry to Rejoin Their Ship

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ATLANTA ​— Just a month after eight passengers of Norwegian Cruise Line were left stranded in Africa due to their late return, ⁢a similar incident occurred involving ⁤an elderly couple from⁢ Utah. ⁣The ​couple, aged 84 and 81, were left ⁤behind by the cruise line in Spain.

Richard and Claudene Gordon, a couple from Salt Lake City, were on a Mediterranean⁤ cruise aboard the Norwegian Viva. They were accompanied by ⁢family and⁤ friends, and were excitedly anticipating Richard Gordon’s 85th birthday celebration later in the week.

While the ship was docked in⁣ Motril, Spain, on Monday, the‌ couple decided ​to explore the historic city of Granada ⁢on their own, a tour not organized by‌ the cruise line. ‌Unfortunately, their return was delayed by an hour due to a rain storm,⁢ Richard Gordon explained to CNN over the phone.

“I am a seasoned traveler and have‍ probably embarked ⁣on around 30 cruises during my lifetime,” Gordon said. “We have never missed catching a ship on time at a port before. We are not ones to take advantage⁢ of the system.”

The couple missed the ‌ship’s⁤ all-aboard time of ‍5:30 p.m. local time, with the ship set to sail at approximately 6 p.m. Gordon mentioned‍ that around ⁤5:45 p.m., he spoke to a relative on board who alerted the‌ crew that they were nearby and running late. However, the relative ⁢was informed by⁢ Norwegian Cruise ⁣Line staff that the ship needed to sail on time and nothing could be done.

According to the‌ Gordons, they reached ⁣the dock by taxi at 6:10 p.m., just as the ship was sailing away. Left behind were Claudene Gordon’s medication, Richard Gordon’s eyeglasses, and both their spare⁢ hearing aid batteries ‌and phone chargers.

“Our cruise began in Lisbon and we ⁢departed from Lisbon about one and a half ‍hours after the scheduled departure at 4:00 p.m.,” Richard Gordon told ⁤CNN.‌ “Then the ⁢next night or⁢ two, we left the dock at least a half-hour late, so it’s clear that they do not always leave ⁤at the exact scheduled time.”

“They looked‌ around​ and no one was there,” Marilee Barker, the couple’s⁤ daughter based in Utah,​ told CNN by phone. They took a ⁢taxi to the⁢ police station ‌where “the policeman helped them ​call ⁣back‍ to the‌ dock. And they were told, ‘There’s nothing we can do.'”

The couple claims they received no further assistance from ⁤Norwegian Cruise Line at that point, neither from the ship nor on land.

No⁢ medication, no hearing aid batteries

“Luckily my dad is a seasoned traveler, but he’s still 85,” Barker said. ‌As the Norwegian Viva wouldn’t be docking again until​ Tuesday on the island of Ibiza, “They took a bus up to Granada and found a quaint, affordable B&B.”

Meanwhile, Barker and ‌her husband were up ‌until 3 a.m. arranging flights ‍and a ⁣hotel, eventually getting them on a plane to Palma de Mallorca, where their ship would be⁢ docking at 8 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Late Tuesday afternoon Spanish time, Claudene Gordon texted her daughter to inform her that Norwegian Cruise Line had made contact ‌with them for the first time‍ since the incident. They had offered them a⁣ taxi ‍from their Palma hotel in the morning to⁣ reunite them with their ship.

“We were treated like royalty today,” Claudene Gordon told CNN after being reunited with the ship​ on Wednesday ⁤morning, two days after they disembarked at Montril.

“They ⁢picked us up at⁢ the hotel in a luxurious black ​BMW limousine to take us ⁤to ⁤the ship. There we⁤ were met by the head of ship services ⁢who escorted us inside the ship to meet ‍the general manager, then they escorted us to breakfast,⁣ and finally⁢ to our cabin,” she said.

“We simply told them that we were abandoned at the dock with no one ⁢to meet us or guide us, and they said they have ​already complained about⁣ the harbor master who was ‍supposed to handle things ‌for them. But of course, the ⁤ship had not contacted us directly for ‍two days, which doesn’t reflect well on them,” Claudene Gordon said.

Norwegian Cruise Line disputed the time of the couple’s arrival ‍at the pier. “The two guests who went ashore independently arrived at the pier approximately an hour late and missed the‍ all-aboard ‌time of ‌5:30 p.m. local time, for a sail away at approximately 6:00‍ p.m.,” a spokesperson said via email.

“A ⁤cruise ship follows a set itinerary with designated arrival and departure times. Itineraries are meticulously coordinated and planned out well in advance of each voyage to ensure that all of our⁣ guests ‌have the experience they are expecting,” the ⁤spokesperson said. While there is a small window of time where⁢ late guests can be accommodated, the spokesperson added, ​the Gordons arrived‌ outside of this.

“After several attempts to contact ‍these guests ⁣with the phone numbers provided, as well ⁣as trying to phone their emergency contact, we were unable ⁤to speak to them directly. However, we worked closely with the⁤ local port agents to make arrangements for​ the guests to rejoin the vessel.”

The spokesperson said that, prior to the hotel pickup on⁢ Wednesday morning, the cruise line had​ coordinated an airport pick-up for‍ the⁢ Gordons‍ at Palma de Mallorca the evening‍ before but were still unable to contact the couple​ by phone.

In a similar incident last month, eight passengers were late getting back to their ​Norwegian Cruise Line ship on the African island nation of ⁤São Tomé ​on March 27.‌ They ⁤then struggled for ‍days to catch up with their ship as it made its way up the western coast of Africa.

In that case, Norwegian Cruise Line emphasized that the delayed guests were on a private tour that was not organized by the cruise line.

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Truth Media Network
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2 COMMENTS

  1. Bad punctuation and grammar, disagree – They should have been more responsible and not risked missing their ship.

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