P&O responds to criticism

Cruise ship is the destination in itself so no refund will be made for horror cruise, says a P&O Cruises spokesperson.

A couple who says they endured six days of rough swell, overflowing toilets, no air-conditioning, missed visits to Dunedin and Milford Sound, and subsequent missed flights when Pacific Sun’s engine failed recently, were told by P&O Cruises that they would not be receiving any compensation for the cruise itself.

“A cruise ship is a holiday destination in itself,” a P&O Cruises spokesperson is quoted as saying on the Fraser Coast news website.

Mark and Leonie Tipping, from Urraween in Queensland, were on a 14-night ‘White Cloud Wonders’ cruise to New Zealand when the ship’s engine broke down at Akaroa.

The couple says passengers were refused the option of disembarking in New Zealand to take a flight home and, while stranded at Akaroa, 1,500 passengers gathered on the deck to protest about the conditions, to no avail.

According to media reports, when the couple asked the cruise line about compensation, the response was that the holiday was satisfactory – everyone was provided with food and a bed – and that $100 onboard credit was sufficient reimbursement for the missed call at Dunedin, seeing as the ship was going to skip Milford Sound anyway, due to rough seas.

P&O Cruises has since said it would pay for the couple’s missed flights but that the option of flying home was not an option because of strict disembarkation regulations.

Poor form by the cruise line or whining passengers? What do you think?