Cruise ship that ran aground near Bermuda during 7-day roundtrip from Boston returns to port

BOSTON – Passengers on a cruise ship that ran aground on a reef near Bermuda during a seven-day vacation shrugged their shoulders and said the mishap was no big deal as they disembarked Friday.

The Norwegian Dawn, carrying nearly 3,500 passengers and crew, returned to the Black Falcon Terminal in Boston. Everyone had a story to tell — and a discount on their next cruise.

“I was afraid I was going to spill my drink,” said Bill Hagelberg, of Ashburnham. “It was really nothing … and we got another day in Bermuda. Perfect.”

Some passengers described an initial moment of confusion and panic that quickly went away.

“It was a different experience. I mean, it was initially a little crazy, a little scary with the mayday and that sort of thing,” said Christina Kokinda, of Norwood.

Fran Kinsall, of New London, Connecticut, was calmed by her husband’s Navy experience.

“I heard something and I said, ‘This doesn’t sound good,'” she said. “And my husband, being an old submariner, knew exactly what went on so I wasn’t concerned.”

The ship hit the reef late Tuesday and was stuck for more than six hours before a rising tide helped push it into deeper water.

Norwegian Cruise Line says a temporary malfunction in the steering system forced the ship off course near Bermuda, where it had spent three days in port.

The company says a team of experts inspected the ship and found it to be safe.

The ship’s 2,443 passengers will receive a 15 per cent credit for a future cruise that Kinsall said she intends to take advantage of. “We’ll go again with Norwegian Cruise Line,” she said.