Yes this is typical. They have pulled these stunts a lot this past year. We were on the Spirit repo cruise from NOLA to NYC and they waited until after final payment to announce itinerary changes. The itineraries after ours really got hosed up more than ours and I really felt bad for the people affected. NCL knew they had issues with these engines long before then and now they are still screwing this stuff up.
I had also booked a transatlantic on the Jade for November of this year which they cancelled and stuck me with international airfare for four people and a host of other non-refundable expenses. Fortunately RCCL had a Transatlantic leaving from Barcelona a day earlier and we opted to book that instead of incurring more expense changing our plans to the alternate cruises offerred by NCL and rewarding them further for screwing up our travel plans. It's more than just these issues that really frustrated me. We had so many issues with just booking the Jade in the first place, because of more of NCL's problems. It was ridiculous. It's like they really don't know how to make a plan and stick with it. There are all of these last minute changes and adjustments.
I have cruise enough to know that unexpected issues arise, but they have no regard for the expense and inconvenience they cause their so-called "valued customers" to incur everytime they pull one of these stunts.
The Spirit has had known engine issues since Decenber if memory serves me correctly, as soon as they knew they were not fixing it until the next drydock, which I think was to be this coming November, they should have then notified passengers as soon as possible of itinerary changes and stuck to it. So people could have made decisions as soon as possible, rather than trying to "trap" them, by waiting until they have invested so much money in it, they can't change.
On a brighter note, I have to say the crew of the Spirit are wonderful people. We were fortunate to cruise with twice, the last time was for two wonderful weeks this spring and we have never been treated better. I throughly enjoyed the cruise.
It is kind of a love/hate relationship with NCL. I like their ships, I love most of their crew, I like the variety of dining venues, I like the ports, I hate the corporate and land-based side of the company though.
Currently I have 3 cruises booked and none are on NCL. I think I need a break from them for a while.