Passengers complain of construction, uncomfortable conditions aboard Norwegian cruise

MIAMI (WSVN) - A popular cruise line is apologizing after, vacationers say, crews performed dangerous construction work on the ship in the middle of their sea voyage.

Casey Bennem took a two-week trip aboard the Norwegian Sun from Miami to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal last month. She told 7News the cruise was the opposite of the relaxing getaway she was promised.

“You couldn’t walk across the deck without covering your eyes and really your whole face with a towel or something to try to avoid breathing in the dust or getting it in your eyes,” said Bennem.

She said widespread construction work being done on the ship while it was at sea came with welding, jackhammering, flying metal and dust particles raining down on passengers.

“Disaster, construction zone. It was awful, it was just awful,” said Bennem.

Photos and videos she took while on board the ship show the uncomfortable conditions.

“These guys are welding right now,” she can be heard saying in one video.

Another video shows a cloud of dust in the air. “All dust that we’re all breathing in, and it’s getting into our eyes and our mouths, everything. Disgusting,” she can be heard saying in the video.

Bennem said several passengers needed medical attention for problems caused by the dusty debris.

“No matter where you were, you couldn’t not breathe this in,” said Bennem. “I mean, I still have a migraine from when I was on that ship. I still have a cold from when I was on that ship.”

Bennem, who lives in New York, said she took her mother, who has a degenerative illness, and her mother’s health aid on the trip with her — a total cost of about $9,000.

Norwegian Cruise Line issued a statement that read in part, “While we do our utmost to minimize any impact to our guests when these enhancements are being implemented, we do recognize that during a recent sailing, we did not meet the expectations of our guests, nor our own standards, for which we truly apologize.”

A group of passengers from the ship are still sharing their frustrations on Facebook.

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