Passengers say temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the dining room and casino aboard the Norwegian Star
Passengers sleep on deck when cruise ship air conditioning breaks down
December 3, 1997
Web posted at: 2:43 p.m. EST (1943 GMT)
HOUSTON (CNN) -- A Thanksgiving cruise turned into a very unwelcome vacation last week, according to passengers who say hundreds of people had to sleep on the open deck after the ship's air conditioning failed.
Temperatures topped 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) in the dining room and casino, said passengers aboard the 800-passenger Norwegian Star, which takes weekly 7-day cruises out of Houston for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). NCL offered the passengers a 50 percent discount for future trips and a letter of apology -- but many of the passengers said that conditions on board the ship warranted much more.
"Fifty percent is fine if you have the other 50 percent," passenger Crystal Lejeune told the Houston Chronicle. "But why should I give them more money after they screwed up this time?"
Passengers were packed like sardines on the deck of the ship trying to find a cool place to sleep
Passengers complained that the air conditioning went on the blink the day after the ship left the port and continued for the entire week -- and some said that wasn't all. Lejeune said she had plumbing problems and sewage backed up in her shower. She also said the elevators didn't work and the ceilings were leaking.
NCL public relations director Fran Sevcik denied there were any problems other than the air conditioning and told the Chronicle last week's trip was "not indicative" of NCL cruises.
But Howard Moody and his wife Jackie, who said they saved $3,000 to take the trip, were unimpressed with the staff aboard the cruise. One officer in particular, Jackie Moody said, "was absolutely, totally obnoxious ... He wouldn't give us any information. He didn't know when it was going to be fixed and he could care less how I felt or how any of the passengers felt."
Betty Lloyd said the whole experience was "depressing."
"Nothing went right," she said. "Nothing was easy. Every thing was a struggle and we tried ... to make it a good time."
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