These cruise ship passengers are sailing away from Irma

A cruise through the Caribbean just turned into an escape mission. Norwegian Cruise Line cut the trip short and docked the boat in Miami. Passengers couldn't leave the city, so now they're back on the boat sailing away from storm.

Jake Zwerdlinger, a born-and-raised Coloradan, is a passenger on the ship. His family runs a plumbing business in Denver. He and his friends planned the vacation, looking to tropical climates, but that weather took a turn.

"I'm used to blizzards, not hurricanes. I can shovel snow. I can't get out of the way of a hurricane," Zwerdlinger said.

But that's exactly what the cruise liner is going to do: get out of the way.

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The boat docked in Miami, and any passengers that had travel plans to leave the city were allowed to leave the ship and be on their way. For many, Zwerdlinger included, there was no way out of Miami, so they stayed on the boat.

The cruise ship left the port Thursday, getting out of the way of Hurricane Irma.

"The concern [is] where are we going? How do we get home and when are we getting home?" Zwerdlinger said. "Everybody was trying to get a hold of their bosses. So it was kind of a stressful situation because we don't have Wi-Fi or internet on the ship."

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The ship provides 15 free minutes of Wi-Fi, then passengers have to pay. Zwerdlinger says he spent $125 on Wednesday night to contact his family over the internet.

Zwerdlinger and the other passengers don't know where they are headed.

Norwegian Cruise Line sent a letter to passengers that said: "We will set sail from Miami on Thursday evening on a course away from the storm. While we are unable to confirm at this time when and where the ship will return to port, we welcome all guests to remain onboard."

"One second we're all kind of happy, we're here on this ship," Zwerdlinger said. "And then we realized, we're going to be stuck on this ship for a time we don't know. So overall... it's kind of out of our control. Either we can sit and be upset about it or we can enjoy what we have."

The cruise line also provided passengers with a refund of the missed days of the cruise as well as a 25 percent discount on the next time they purchase a cruise.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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