MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Passengers headed to PortMiami on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship say they were rerouted and left stranded in New Orleans without food, water or medicine because of Hurricane Dorian.
“Like an animal,” said passenger Daniel Weiss.
What was supposed to be a relaxing cruise ended in near-confinement behind a locked gate.
“They’re keeping us in this cargo terminal and we can’t get out and no one can get in,” said passenger Sarah Alonso.
More than 150 of these weary travelers were passengers on the Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Ship until Hurricane Dorian changed the vessel’s itinerary, forcing the ship to dock in New Orleans.
The problem was trying to fly back to the original port in Miami.
“Everyone was starving. No one knows what’s been going on. Basically Norwegian Breakaway just dumped us here and said, ‘See you later,’” Alonso said.
Alonso traveled with her family, including her young daughter.
She and other passengers described how they were held on board charter buses for hours without food or water until they begged to get off.
Staff brought in sandwiches, but passengers were told they could not leave the fenced area.
“I mean everyone’s losing it a little it right now ‘cause we’ve been here for hours,” Alonso said. “It’s hot, we’ve called our families countless times with different travel arrangements, different plans.”
Others have a treacherous road ahead.
“We still have to get to Miami we still have to drive through Dorian to get back to Orlando,” Weiss said.
The Norwegian Breakaway Cruise Ship departed from Miami and was supposed to return Sunday. But Alonso and other travelers believe a series of decisions made by staff, both on board and while docked, left them without transportation, food, water and even medicine in some cases.
Now, they want answers from the cruise line.
“No one knows this area. No one knows how to get home. Some people don’t speak English. Some people thought we were here for the day and that we were getting back on the ship to sail back to Miami,” Alonso explained. “The communication were extremely poor.”
“Other cruise lines had cut similar itineraries short to get their passengers back home. Those decisions cost everybody their time, their money,” Weiss said.
Hours after the group was supposed to have landed in Miami, the group finally boarded the charter plane and took off.
“It’s really sad after a vacation now we have all this stress after we go back to our normal lives,” Alonso said.
CBS4 News reached out to Norwegian and a representative said they would get back to us.