VICTORIA—The noise of pounding jackhammers and the smell of fumes are the unwanted memories of a spring-break cruise through the Panama Canal for a woman and her family from the Victoria area.
Cecilia Jenkins said a major construction project began moments after the Norwegian Cruise Line vessel left a dock in Miami, and noise, fumes and dust from the work lasted the entire voyage on the Norwegian Sun.
“Grinding, jackhammering,” she said Tuesday. “Lots of noise. Lots of dust.”
The voyage ended on Saturday in Los Angeles.
A Facebook group called Panama Canal Sun was launched four days before the ship docked. By Tuesday, it had 330 members and some of them had posted pictures and video of renovations taking place on the ship. Several others say the cruise line didn’t disclose the renovations beforehand.
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Jenkins said the cruise line company provided a letter date March 27 apologizing to the passengers.
“We understand that some of these enhancements have affected your experience with us, and we apologize for the inconvenience,” says the letter.
In a statement on Tuesday, Norwegian Cruise Line said it is making a “significant investment” in its ships, including the Norwegian Sun.
“At Norwegian Cruise Line, we continuously aim to offer the best vacation experience for all our guests,” it says.
“While we do our utmost to minimize any impact on the guest experience when these enhancements are taking place, we recognize that in this situation our guests have experienced some inconvenience.”
Jenkins said repairs on several of the vessel’s decks and running track started almost immediately.
“I don’t think you should be doing any of this on a vacation, especially without telling us,” she said, adding she felt most comfortable when she left the vessel to explore stops in Central America and Mexico.
Jenkins said her teenage daughter and husband were with her on the cruise, which cost an estimated $ 10,000. Her father-in-law and his friend also took the voyage.