Monday, March 30, 2009
Angry passengers on a £200m cruise ship threatened to revolt, claiming they were "imprisoned" on the liner after stops at ports were cancelled to make up time spent on repairs. More than 600 holidaymakers on P&O's Aurora formed a protest committee and demanded to see the captain after they visited two ports in 22 days. The 76,000-tonne ship has experienced a series of mishaps since its launch in 2000 when the champagne bottle swung by Princess Anne failed to break - considered a bad omen. The Aurora's latest problems started when it was stuck in port in Auckland, New Zealand, for five days while repairs to the engines were carried out. The delay meant the vessel had to miss stops in Wellington, Napier and the Bay of Islands, Moorea in French Polynesia and Papeete in Tahiti, to keep to schedule.
P&O AuroraJennifer Dunthorne, a protest committee member, told Hampshire's Southern Daily Echo: "So many people worked hard for so many years to afford this cruise. It is truly unforgivable." Passengers on the ship, which is part way through a round the world cruise, will have paid at least £8,599 for the three-month trip. The Aurora, which had reached Huatulco in Mexico yesterday and was heading for the Panama Canal. A P&O Cruises spokeswoman said: "We very much regret the disruption to Aurora's world cruise. In recognition of this we have since offered a compensation package which we believe to be a fair reflection of the disruption to the cruise, the actual amount of which will vary depending upon the fare paid."