MIAMI - When they first boarded the Norwegian Escape a week ago, passengers knew exactly where they were going. But now they have no idea.

After making two stops in Honduras and Belize, the Norwegian Cruise Lines ship skipped ports of call in Mexico and returned to Miami on Thursday, two days early.

That allowed hundreds of passengers to disembark - including Floridians who were anxious to secure their homes before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, which is expected to hit Florida on Sunday.

Thousands of others, however, decided to accept an invitation to stay aboard. Now they are floating at sea on a "cruise to nowhere."

Ship officials have told passengers that where they go and when they return will be largely up to Irma - which path she decides to take and how long she will linger.