A Norwegian Cruise Line ship had to be pulled to Pier 88 in Midtown Sunday morning, resulting in a three hour delay, authorities said.
The ship reported a minor issue with its steering and propulsion system at about 7:45 a.m., said Coast Guard Spokesman Frank Iannazzo-Simmons. The system was intact, said Iannazzo-Simmons, but they decided to wait it out due to a strong current.
A civilian-contracted tug boat pulled the Norwegian Breakaway to Pier 88 in Midtown at about 10 a.m., he said. The Coast Guard oversaw the operation.
The ship was returning from a 7-day cruise to the Bahamas and Florida and was originally scheduled to dock at 7 a.m., said AnneMarie Mathews, a spokeswoman for Norwegian.
Sunday afternoon, the pier was a hectic scene of passengers coming and going as large vehicles zig-zagged through the crowd, carrying supplies and luggage. Across the street, the line for taxis stretched almost a block long.
By noon, passengers were still streaming off the ship. Sheila Mills-Kennedy, a 56-year-old travel agent from Philadelphia, missed her 10:40 a.m. bus home. She was still waiting in line for a cab at 11:45.
“Now we have to hope we get another bus,” said Mills-Kennedy, who added she had to pay an extra $5 for the privilege. “There were a lot of people who were frustrated.”
North Haven, Conn., daycare provider Cindy Petrillo was waiting for a taxi to Grand Central to catch a MetroNorth train home. Petrillo, 55, said the ship was crowded and confusing.
“There were a couple of announcements, but I feel there could have been more,” she said. “People were getting nasty towards the end.”
Her husband Richard, 56, said people were “elbow to elbow,” made worse by the many suitcases.
“It was definitely getting a little dangerous,” he said. “A fire hazard.”