Princess Cruises has assured Cruise Passenger that staff worked as quickly as they could to help once the cancellation was confirmed.
But some passengers booked to sail on the ship contacted Cruise Passenger with claims the line abandoned them, leaving them to source emergency accommodation and flights on their own.
A malfunction with the vessel’s switchboard limited power, forcing the cruise line to cancel the sailing and spoiling holiday plans for some 2,000 cruisers booked to board the recently refurbished cruise ship.
One reader said the cruise company refused to provide phone, fax or internet access to assist them find alternative arrangements and stressed that the lack of customer care was “beyond belief”.
Another, Mike Ryan, questioned whether the ship’s refurbishment had been completed, claiming deck lighting bollards were still being installed, gym equipment unpacked and flat screen TVs unloaded.
A third said they spent hours trying to get in contact with Princess Cruises, only to be told to keep trying in their search for accommodation and flights.
The same reader said they were forced to spend thousands of dollars to arrange alternative accommodation and flights, and was advised the refund on their cancelled trip and expenses could take “four to six weeks” to complete.
However, a Princess Cruises spokesperson has assured Cruise Passenger the company’s team in Singapore “worked as quick as possible to support Sun Princess passengers” and was still working as quickly as possible to process expense claims.
“Our team in Singapore worked as quickly as possible to support Sun Princess passengers following the sudden unavoidable cruise cancellation. This included sourcing accommodation in Singapore and onboard the ship alongside at Marina Bay Cruise Terminal.
“The recovery process continues. Refunds have been processed in line with the package that involved a full refund of the cruise fare paid, a 100 per cent future cruise credit and reimbursement of travel expenses. Claims submitted for travel expenses are being processed as quickly as possible.
“We have had some complaints from passengers who were accommodated temporarily on Sun Princess along with praise from many others who appreciated the efforts of crew to make them as comfortable as possible in the circumstances.
“Finally, nearly half the passengers for the cancelled cruise had previously cruised with Princess Cruises and nearly ten per cent had cruised with us five or more times. As such we are confident that passengers fully understand the cancellation was out of character with their typical experience of Princess as a consummate cruise host. As evidence of this, a number of passengers have already rebooked using their 100 per cent cruise credit (effectively a free cruise in addition to a full refund of their cruise fare paid).”