Instead of a beach vacation to Bermuda, 2,000 cruise ship passengers got to tour Canada and Maine this week thanks to Hurricane Florence.
The Norwegian Dawn departed from Boston last Friday, and has made stops in Halifax and Sydney Nova Scotia, St. John New Brunswick, and Bar Harbor, Maine.
"It's not like we expected," said Russell Magowen, a cruise ship passenger from Mendon, Massachusetts, who was wearing a hat that said "Bermuda" as he toured downtown Bar Harbor Thursday. "That's where we were supposed to be."
His travel companion, Vicki McKinnon, is less than impressed with how the cruise line handled the whole ordeal.
"Because of the ports we had to go to, there was nothing to do," she said. "Today is the first day we're actually enjoying ourselves. In Halifax, we spent five hours in a bar watching the Patriots game. There was nothing to do."
Her friend Debi Gosler, from Worcester, Massachusetts, was upset to find out about the change in schedule at the last minute. She had packed her swimsuit and sandals — not sweatshirts.
"It was cold [in Canada]," she said. "And this was our first cruise, and we were so excited."
They said they had hoped Norwegian Cruise Lines would offer them a refund or the chance to re-book their Bermuda trip — and they're disappointed with how everything has been handled.
"I would have preferred if they said 'come see us in the spring,' not 'you have to go now,'" said Magowen.
Other passengers are going with the flow and making the most out of their unexpected destinations.
"I have no complaints," said Tracie Price, of Weymouth, Massachusetts. "It was a chance to see something different." Her husband Larry thinks they'll book a cruise to Bermuda in May.
Most passengers seemed to agree that this trip was better than a cruise headed toward a hurricane.
"It would have been a nightmare on that ship," said Price. "It would have been rocking and rolling, and there would have been a lot of sick people."
According to Bar Harbor Harbormaster Charlie Phippen, a change in cruise ship schedules is normal during hurricane season.
"Expect the unexpected," he said. "Be safe, do the smart thing. For some of these ships, that means re-route."
Phippen said at least one cruise ship has had to cancel a trip to Maine due to Hurricane Florence. The Grandeur of the Seas was supposed to bring 2,000 passengers to Portland this Sunday, with a stop in Bar Harbor on Monday. The ship is currently waiting in Florida for Florence to pass and has canceled the stops in Maine.
The Norwegian Dawn is scheduled to return to Boston Friday.