The top executive at Norwegian Cruise Line late Thursday apologized for the company’s handling of a cruise scheduled to depart this week from storm-ravaged New York and said it would reverse course on a decision not to allow refunds to customers who wanted to cancel the voyage.

The Monday departure of the 2,394-passenger Norwegian Gem has been repeatedly pushed back due to the closure of the Port of New York in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and now is expected to begin today — four days behind schedule. The ship will operate an abbreviated five-day sailing to Bermuda instead of the originally planned nine-night sailing to the Caribbean.

Photo Credit: Sister-ship Norwegian Dawn docked in the Hudson River. Tomas Fano / Flickr.com