NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Mother Nature conspired to keep cruise ship Norwegian Dawn from her scheduled appointment with the Donald, a newspaper said Wednesday.
Donald Trump told the New York Post that the ship -- slammed by a 70-foot "freak wave" during the storm -- was slated to be shot in New York early Sunday morning for an episode of his hit show "The Apprentice."
The newspaper reported that Norwegian Cruise Line said that, a week before departure, the ship's return was moved up by five hours, to 5 a.m. Sunday from 10 a.m. The line attributed the change to "operational reasons" and refused to elaborate, the newspaper said.
But a source close to the show told the Post that Norwegian paid Trump's producers a seven-figure sum for the ship to appear in the show, implying that the captain had been under pressure to return to port rather than steer away from the storm.
"In the event of a storm, it's normal for a cruise ship to sail away from it, even if that means they'll be delayed in coming back," a New York travel agent with clients on the cruise told the newspaper. "It's not uncommon to alter course in severe weather."
But Norwegian spokeswoman Susan Robison denied the captain was under pressure to hurry back, and refused to comment on "The Apprentice" or the $1 million fee, the Post reported.
"There was no place to steer around," Robison told the newspaper. "The captain acted completely appropriately, with his No. 1 interest being the safety of the passengers and crew. We were not rushing anywhere."
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