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Murphy’s Law

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The Norwegian Dawn, fresh from its electrical misadventure off Puerto Rico last week, departed this evening on a nine-day Southern Caribbean sailing.

As was widely reported, the Dawn suffered a complete power failure last Friday when she was about 95 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico. Propulsion, lights, air conditioning – all were off. Partial power was restored overnight and the ship was moved to San Juan for repairs. NCL gave the passengers a 75% refund (although the power failure occurred on the 7th day of a nine-day cruise) and a credit equivalent to 50% of what they paid for this cruise to be used toward a future sailing in 2010.

Amidst the flurry of breathless reports and numerous interviews with unhappy passengers, little attention has been paid to the truly impressive job NCL did in arranging air transportation back to Miami and hotel rooms for close to 2000 passengers over Thanksgiving weekend.

Things can go wrong. Mechanical systems breakdown. In fact, we have Mr. Murphy’s assurance that it is inevitable. Every company, no matter what industry it is in, faces situations out of its control, situations that can negatively impact its customers’ experiences. The response is what is important. A company proves its mettle by its response to the unexpected. NCL acquitted themselves well last week.

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