Nelson couple’s holiday turns to nightmare

‘Their disregard for passenger safety was unconscionable’

A Nelson couple’s cruise of a lifetime turned into a hellish holiday as construction crews created havoc on the ship for their entire 15-day journey.

“Their disregard for passenger health and safety was unconscionable,” sad Anne Cavicchi, who along with husband, Doug, are relieved to be back home after the journey.

The couple, among 2,000 people on the Norwegian Sun that left Miami on March 16, said they were told before leaving that work was going to be done on the ship. But the Cavicchis didn’t believe it would ruin their vacation.

“We weren’t going to let that bother us,” said Cavicchi, adding, “we were sure there would still be so much to enjoy.”

Shortly into the trip, it became clear the work being done was not minor.

“It soon became apparent that their ‘enhancements’ meant some venues were closed for the entire cruise,” said Cavicchi, adding that large portions and decks on the ship were closed off and “in the open areas, it was often so noisy from grinders, sanders and other equipment that you couldn’t be there.

“There was also dust, particulate, fumes, and who knows what else circulating in the air.”

Cavicchi said the issue worsened a few days later as the ship became “a full-on construction zone.”

“Health issues were occurring as a result of fumes and chemicals on the ship! I never dreamed I would spend so much of our trip with varying degrees of symptoms including sore, itchy, red, puffy, and runny eyes as well as a runny nose and hoarse throat as a result of their ongoing renovations,” said Cavicchi, adding that shore stops did offer some relief.

Once back on the ship, however, the symptoms returned.

“There was not much escaping it, and you never knew where it would be the worst. Many times, I found myself running back to the cabin to lay down with a cold cloth over my eyes,” said Cavicchi. ”Have you ever been near tear gas? That’s what it felt like at times — the same symptoms and severity for me. The construction workers were in masks and protective suits — the products they were using were toxic and dangerous.”

When the cruise mercifully ended on March 31 in Los Angeles, the couple was offered a 25 per cent discount on a future cruise with Norwegian Sun.

Cavicchi responded “not likely” when asked if they will consider the offer.

Since arriving home, Cavicchi said she did go to the doctor to get checked while her husband is feeling OK.

“I’m hoping for no long-term issues,” she said.

Norwegian Sun management stated in a March 16 letter to all passengers, “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are doing everything we can to minimize any impact. We appreciate your understanding as we work to enhance the onboard experience.”

Norwegian Sun sent a second letter to passengers on March 27, offering the 25 per cent discount and apologizing “for the inconvenience.”

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