While Hurricane Lane has now weakened to Tropical Storm strength, it did play havoc with one departure of Pride of America, Norwegian Cruise Line’s American-flagged vessel, which sails year-round itineraries in Hawaii.
But late last week, guests and agents were notified that the ship's Saturday, August 25 departure would not depart on that day, given the hurricane.
Norwegian opted to delay that cruise departure until Monday, August 27. In late Sunday's update, Norwegian told Travel Agent that “Pride of America is now alongside in Honolulu.”
So boarding began Sunday and was open until about midnight. The ship overnighted at Honolulu. If agents have clients who haven't yet boarded, though, there's still time.
Norwegian said boarding will continue Monday -- opening at 10 a.m. -- and continue throughout the morning and afternoon. “The ship will sail at 6 p.m. local time,” Norwegian said in its statement.
The statement continued: “We understand the disappointment and inconvenience travelers are experiencing as a result of the weather conditions in Hawaii. Our team is working diligently to assist our guests. We encourage guests to continue to monitor NCL.com for updates.”
Clearly the delay, caused by dangerous weather and safety concerns, was totally beyond the line's control. Still, Travel Agent asked Norwegian if – as a courtesy -- it was doing anything for guests (such as an onboard credit, other perk or discount) as the voyage was shortened by two days.
“We are working with guests on a case-by-case basis,” a spokesman responded.
One small-ship line that also offers a robust schedule of Hawaii cruises is the American-flagged UnCruise Adventures, but its schedule of voyages is spread between November and April.
Big ship lines that are non-American flagged also don't typically have a series voyages in and out of Hawaii on a weekly basis, given the Jones Act’s requirement of an international port call.
Princess Cruises, for example, said it will not have any ships in Hawaii until Emerald Princess departs Vancouver for Hawaii on October 4.
In a brief statement, the line said: “Our thoughts are with those in Hawaii who may be impacted by Hurricane Lane…We are closely monitoring the situation and will assess conditions in affected destinations. Should the need arise to make changes to any of our published itineraries, we will advise guests and our travel agent partners.”