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Mauritius clears NCL ship after no trace of cholera found

Norwegian Dawn is now scheduled to turn around in Port Louis on Tuesday
Norwegian Dawn was cleared to turn around at Port Louis, Mauritius, on Tuesday after government tests found no trace of cholera, squelching widely reported rumors.

When the Norwegian Cruise Line ship arrived at Port Louis on Sunday, a small number of passengers were experiencing what the company called 'mild symptoms of a stomach-related illness.'

Norwegian Dawn was turned away. Only six people were being monitored but the government of Mauritius required testing in what NCL called an 'overabundance of caution,' delaying the scheduled Feb. 25 disembarkation.

Unfounded speculation

Despite widespread media reports and speculation, there were no confirmed cases nor any evidence of cholera on board.

With the government confirming no trace of cholera from their testing, Norwegian Dawn was cleared to enter Port Louis and passengers are scheduled to begin disembarking early Tuesday.  

AIS data late Monday showed the ship once again heading to port.

Flights rebooked, hotels arranged

'Both our shoreside and shipboard teams have maintained ongoing communication with guests currently on board, providing updates as available throughout this fluid situation,' NCL said in a statement.

'Given the delayed disembarkation, our NCL Air Team has rearranged travel arrangements, at no additional cost, for all guests who originally booked their air through us, with over 400 flights rescheduled within 24 hours. We have further provided all guests with free Wi-Fi and phone service, so even those who purchased air on their own could rearrange their return flights. We will also be reimbursing guests for reasonably incurred expenses as a result of their flight changes.'

Further, NCL arranged complimentary hotel accommodations for passengers who have a return flight scheduled for Feb. 28.

And, to compensate for this unexpected two-day delay, passengers were provided a future cruise credit.

Embarking passengers

Travelers who were expecting to embark Feb. 25 will now do so Tuesday afternoon.

NCL arranged nearly 1,200 hotel rooms for these more than 2,000 passengers. They also received a per diem to cover meals and other ancillary expenses, and will get complimentary transfers to the port on Feb. 27. 

Additionally, due to the shortened cruise — set to end March 8 in Cape Town — passengers receive a prorated refund, an on-board credit and a future cruise credit.

NCL said it has been keeping embarking passengers informed with regular updates through multiple communication channels, including text message and email. 

Care Team mobilized

As well, NCL Care Team members from Miami and England were dispatched to provide more support and ensure a smooth turn around on Tuesday.

President David Herrera thanks guests and team

NCL President David Herrera expressed appreciation for 'our guests’ patience' in this fluid situation.

He added: 'We greatly value our on-board leadership team and crew, as well as our global shoreside team for going above and beyond to ensure the comfort of our guests during this unanticipated event. We believe in doing the right thing and doing everything available to deliver the best vacation experience possible for our guests.'