Diverted cruise ship passengers react to unexpected stop in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO -- The biggest cruise ship San Diego has ever seen departed from the Port of San Diego Wednesday evening.

Due to Hurricane Willa and a tropical storm, the Norwegian Bliss was rerouted and docked at the Embarcadero for the day. FOX 5 caught up with passengers that got off the boat and found some were happy with their unexpected stop in San Diego, but others were not.

Guests said they did not know they would be making a stop in San Francisco and then in San Diego until after they had already boarded the massive ship.

“We got on the ship Saturday in Los Angeles. We were at dinner when we got the announcement that the storm down in Mexico was diverting us,” Greg Komiskey, from New Jersey, said.

“Super excited to go Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo,” Brenda Vega said.

Vega, who is from San Diego, said when she learned the ship was sailing to her hometown she was not thrilled. She also said she was unhappy that the cruise line waited to tell them about the change of plans after everyone had already gotten on.

“I only get one week off a year and I’m 22, with school debt, all these things. I booked it. I was so excited. Here’s all my money and now it’s like disappointment 100 percent,” Vega said.

Others embraced the change.

“We’re on board with about a thousand travel agents on our conference and we have meetings when we are at sea so when we’re in port we’re going to find some fun no matter where we are,” Komiskey said. “Today was great. We went to Old Town, then we went out to Coronado and then finished up in the Gaslamp District."

Happy or upset about the diversion, passengers FOX 5 spoke with agreed on one thing.

“I’m glad we went the opposite direction of the hurricane. I didn’t want to be in rough seas,” Komiskey said.

The ship's next stop is Ensenada, Mexico.

When FOX 5 asked the Norwegian Cruise Line if passengers would get reimbursed or get any future discounts, a spokesperson sent the following statement:

“As is common in the travel and tourism industry, we have developed cancellation policies that address weather-related and other situations. These policies are communicated to our guests when they reserve their cruise and can be found on our website here: https://www.ncl.com/sites/default/files/Guest_Ticket_Contract_04-2017_2.pdf.

As a convenience to our guests, we offer a travel protection plan at the time of booking, as well as during several follow up communications. Determinations to cancel ports of call are not made lightly. Weather is uncertain so we make the best possible decisions we can to help ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew. Guests were notified of the change as soon as our operations team was able to confirm the modified itinerary. Please know that itineraries are established and published up to two years in advance of sailing. Making changes to an itinerary, especially in areas impacted by weather, requires coordination with and approval from alternate ports and authorities.”

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