P&O Cancels Oriana Cruise in January 2018

Oriana P&O Cruises Senior Vice President Paul Ludlowon posted a comment on the P&O Facebook page announcing the cancellation of a cruise aboard the Oriana (voyage X801). P&O says that the Oriana will "undergo three week technical maintenance from January 6 2018."

Mr. Ludlowon writes that "as a result we will be canceling this cruise . . .  and we are extremely sorry for the late notice and disruption."

215 comments about the cancellation of the 50-night itinerary were posted on the P&O website as of this morning. P&O intended to visit 13 different countries during the "Caribbean & Amazon Adventure" cruise.

P&O offered just a 5% future cruise credit. Many disappointed customers complained about P&O's meager compensation offer. One person wrote that the offer "is hardly generous given the inconvenience this is causing passengers like us." P&O response to this comment was typical to P&O's non-negotiable response to the problem - "We are sorry you are disappointed by this however this will be our only offer in terms of compensation."

P&O did not offer any explanation of the details of the so-called "technical maintenance." Many cruise lines use this euphemism to refer to engine, propeller or other propulsion-related problems. P&O referred to a "technical issue" in a statement when the Oriana's arrival in Southampton was delayed seven weeks ago due to a boiler problem. 

The Oriana underwent a cosmetic refit one year ago. 

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Photo credit: Antonio from Trieste, Italy, CC BY 2.0, commons / wikimedia.

Excursion Bus Crash in Dominica Kills Cruise Passenger

Dominica Bus CrashA Dominican newspaper reports that an excursion bus carrying ten passengers from the P&O Azura was involved in a serious accident yesterday in the country of Dominica. One passenger died and nine others were injured.

The Azura previously sailed from Southampton about two weeks ago.

The newspaper reports that the bus was coming from Antrim, where the cruise passengers were enjoying the Emerald Pool tourist attraction, when the accident took place.

P&O Cruises released a statement:  “A bus operated by a shore excursion provider was involved in a collision in Dominica on Wednesday lunchtime. The bus was carrying 12 passengers, including 10 guests from Azura. The cause of the accident is not yet known.”

Excursion accidents like this are not uncommon. Earlier this year, an excursion bus taking passengers from a MSC cruise ship to a tourist attraction crashed in Dominica, killing an infant. 

Cruise passengers from the Celebrity Summit cruise ship were seriously injured in an excursion vehicle mishap in Dominica. In 2009, a dozen passengers from the Summit were seriously injured when an open air excursion vehicle ran off the road. We represented passengers against the cruise line and the excursion company in that accident. You can read information about the Dominica excursion accident in an article "Injured Visitors to Dominica Airlifted to Miami."

A passenger from the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas was killed in an excursion bus accident near Falmouth, Jamaica and numerous other passengers were injured in January of this year.  

There have been several other excursion bus accidents in the last several years involving cruise passengers.  

Many of these incidents involved substandard and poorly maintained vehicles, reckless driving and/or buses not equipped with seat belts.

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Photo Credit: Dominica News Online

Norovirus Breaks Out On P&O Cruises' Oriana

Oriana Cruise ShipThe British press is reporting that the Oriana cruise ship has returned to port in Southampton with "dozens" of passengers sick with norovirus.

The 19 year-old P&O cruise ship ended its cruise around the Canary Islands early because of propeller problems. The Daily Echo newspaper in the U.K. is calling the ship "cursed" because of the norovirus outbreak.

The Daily Echo says that the ship returned to port on Wednesday due to propeller issues and passengers were permitted to stay on board and using the facility until Saturday. However, 57 passengers on board were then struck down with the highly contagious norovirus.

P&O Cruises offered refunds and credits to passengers, but some passengers said they might sue. 

The cruise line said that it started "enhanced sanitation" protocols.

P&O Cruises also released the familiar PR statement: "the safety and comfort of passengers and crew is always our number one priority.”

 

Photo Credit:  Wikipedia / Pjotr Mahhonin

Yet Another Carnival Cruise Ship Flounders - P&O Ventura Suffers Propulsion Problems

On the heels of power and propulsion difficulties facing Carnival Cruise Line cruise ships Triumph, Dream, Legend and Elation, it is now being reported that another cruise ship operated by a Carnival Corporation brand, P&O Cruises, is suffering propulsion problems.

Passengers are reporting that the P&O Ventura has broken down several times over the past three days and is having major problems with one of its two propulsion units.  The situation sounds similar to the problems which the Carnival Legend as it limps back from a Caribbean cruise to Tampa with only one of its propulsion system working. (Its has been pointed out to us that the Legend has two Azipod systems, whereas the Ventura has conventional diesel engines).  

I first heard of the Ventura's problems in an article by U.K. cruise blogger John Honeywell (Captain Carnival P&O Ventura Cruise ShipGreybeard) who writes:

"P&O's Ventura continues to make its way across the Atlantic at reduced speed thanks to a fault with the power to its starboard propeller, is expected to reach Southampton on schedule next Saturday, after missing a visit to Madeira scheduled for Tuesday.."   

Several people are leaving comments on the popular Cruise Critic forum:

The Ventura is ". . . broken down and just drifting!"

".  .  . they are now moving again but have been given no explanation."

P&O commented ". . .  We are currently working with the manufacturers and shore support to identify and rectify an issue with the starboard propulsion motor on Ventura. We can assure everyone that power and services on the ship are unaffected."

" . . .  looks like still having problems, the person on board has now said that as they were floating around so long and now cant seem to get over 18kts they now cant go to Madeira but will be diverting to Ponta delgada." 

The media is in a frenzy reporting on all of Carnival's problems. But, so far, no one is reporting on the problems facing Carnival Corporation's P&O Ventura.  

Carnival Corporation is the world's largest cruise owner and operator in the world. It operates: Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn in North America; P&O Cruises (UK), and Cunard in the United Kingdom; AIDA Cruises in Germany; Costa Cruises in Southern Europe; Iberocruceros in Spain; and P&O Cruises (Australia) in Australia.

The Ventura was built in Italy and is owned by Carnival Corporation. It is flagged in Bermuda and was launched in 2007.

Photo credit: Telegraph

CruiseMates "Most Ridiculous Cruise Ship Lawsuits" Article Forgets P&O Cruises History of Exploitation of Women

PO Cruises Sexual Harassment Lawsuit CruiseMates recently ran an article by its editor Paul Motter entitled "Most Ridiculous Cruise Ship Lawsuits." One of the lawsuits was filed by a 50 year old lady passenger aboard a P&O cruise ship who attended a talent show dressed in a leopard skin dress who sang a Tina Turner song River Deep Mountain High.

One of the P&O judges, entertainer Rory Healey, allegedly told her he could see her underwear through her dress, commented on her breasts and suggested she could "cougar" him any time.

Her husband said that Mr. Healey then touched the screen showing her image, fondling and kissing the screen image of her breasts. Read more here.

CruiseMates editor Motter mocked the woman and labeled her lawsuit as "ridiculous." 

One CruiseMates reader commented: "Wonder what Jim Walker would say about this?" Mr. Motter responded: "Something tells me Jim Walker has already commented on it - probably in the woman's favor."

Well, I haven't commented on this sorry state of affairs yet, but here are my thoughts:  

This happened on a P&O cruise ship. When it comes to sexual harassment and crimes against women, P&O Cruises has a nasty history.

Dianne Brimble -Cruise Ship Crime - Sexual Assault When I started this blog several years ago, one of the first articles I wrote was about a P&O cruise passenger, Dianne Brimble.  A gang of eight slipped her a date rape drug. Ms. Brimble ended up raped and dead, naked on the floor of a cabin occupied by the men who joked afterwards that she had the breath of a dog and they thought about throwing her overboard.  

P&O responded to the horrific incident in a manner that i would describe as somewhere between callous and outrageous. Eventually P&O promised to mend its way and clean up its over-the-top fraternity party attitude where women and booze are just part of the cruise fun.

But did it really clean up its act?

P&O quickly pimped out their female passengers, with a sexist "Seamen Wanted" promotional postcard, depicting a deck full of women wearing bikinis, accompanied by a tag line "More girls, more sun, more fun. There's nothing else a guy needs to know."

No wonder that P&O Cruises experienced sexual assaults in the years following this disastrous ad campaign.

So when I read about Mr. Motter giggling about women's underwear and the foolish P&O crew PO Cruises Sexual Harassment member's not-so-funny comments about "cougar" women, I can't help to think what a sad state of affairs remains on the P&O cruise ships for this nonsense to be going on. A P&O crew member groping and kissing an image of a cruise passenger's breasts?

Mr. Healey needs to be sacked ASAP.  He needs to be made an example of sexism run wild.   

And that goes for CruiseMates' editor, Mr.Motter.  He needs to be canned too.   

Dianne Brimble's family deserves nothing less. 

Update: 

After posting this article, I received a number of emails blasting me for wriiting about this cruise employee.  It seems there is a facebook page called "Save Rory" trying to keep him employed.  I could not find the facebook page but ran across this photo of Rory on facebook.

Seems like he posted a photo of himself, a cardboard cut-out of Jennister Anniston in the urinals. Funny? I don't think so, but let's see what P&O thinks.  The cruise line defense lawyers may want to instruct Rory to take his facebook page down during the pendency of the lawsuit . . .      

PO Cruises Sexual Harassment Lawsuit 

Carnival Fires 150 Crew Members from India for Protesting Low Cruise Ship Wages

In May we reported on exploitative labor practices by Carnival subsidiary P&O Cruises.

In Profits Over People: Carnival's Exploitation of Crew Members is Standard Industry Practice, we explained how P&O  decided to pay its crewmembers a basic salary of 75 pence an hour (approximately $1.20 an hour / $400 a month). The company phased out cash-tips-directly-to-the-crew and replaced the tips with "automatic gratuities" billed to the passengers' accounts.  But rather than forward the gratuities to the crew, the cruise line threatened to withhold the money if it is not satisfied with a crewmember's work performances. 

Arcadia - Cruise Ship Wage - Tips Dispute - Waiters TerminatedToday the Guardian newspaper in London published an article which brings us to date regarding the pay dispute. In P&O Cruise Ship Arcadia Hits Troubled Waters Over Ousting of Indian Crew, reporter Gwyn Topham reports that 150 waiters from India decided to make a little protest over the low wages and withholding of tips.

While the Arcadia was in port in Seattle a month ago, for about 90 minutes the waiters engaged in a "good-humoured" demonstration dockside about the low wages. The cruise ship's British captain communicated with the cruise lines' head office in Southampton and relayed the crew's concerns. The waiters returned to the ship, worked late into the night, and were assured there would be no reprisals by management.  

But as the Guardian explains, P&O's parent company, Carnival, did not find any humor in the situation: "This protest could not, directors decided, be tolerated – no matter what assurances the captain had given the crew."

Carnival sent letters to the restaurant staff who participated in the 90 minutes protest, admonishing them for their "industrial action" and stating "this behaviour is not something Carnival UK is prepared to tolerate."  Not only did Carnival prohibit them from returning to work on the Arcadia but banished them from working on any Carnival cruise ship world-wide.

In addition, Carnival instructed the hiring agency, Fleet Maritime Service International, which is registered in Bermuda to avoid taxes and labor regulations, to prohibit the waiters from ever working for Fleet Marine as well. The Guardian explains that "the Fleet payroll office is in the tax haven of Guernsey. Yet the letter is signed by an Edward Jones, the chief financial officer of Carnival UK."

Indian Crew Members - Arcadia - Low Wages and No TipsFleet Maritime is the largest employer of cruise ship personnel in India, and Carnival runs half of the world cruise market.  So Carnival essentially "black balled" 150 cruise waiters from one-half of the world's cruise ships.

Indian cruise ship employees, like virtually all crew members, are not members of a union and work entirely at the mercy of the cruise company. Carnival has an eye out for any type of collective protests by the crew.  This is union-busting circa early 1900's.  As this case illustrates, Carnival will not hesitate to retaliate against their employees for speaking out about unfair labor practices.  According to the cruise executives, If Carnival doesn't punish these upstarts, other crew members may protest too.  

Lots of Indian men and women go to sea believing that if they work hard on cruise ships, they can make a good living for their family back home.  But the truth is something less than those dreams. It's really long hours, hard work, low pay and no benefits.  The newspaper quotes a spokesperson for a British seafarer's union: "It's a shabby, unacceptable practice to exploit cheap foreign labour  . . . "

Passenger With Meningococcal Disease Rescued From P&O Cruises' Pacific Sun Cruise Ship

A "Careflight Rescue" helicopter winched a 48 year-old passenger with a suspected case of the potentially fatal meningococcal disease from a cruise ship off the south-east  coast of Australia. 

P&O Cruises Pacific Sun Cruise ShipSeveral news have reported the incident; however, no one disclosed the name of the cruise ship or cruise line.  The passenger was taken to a hospital in Australia.

ABC News in Australia has finally identified that the passenger was rescued from the Pacific Sun cruise ship (web cam photo left).  The news station reports that the ship is traveling from Sydney to New Caledonia. 

The Pacifc Sun is operated by P&O Cruises in Australia.  Information about P&O Cruises and the Pacific Sun can be read here.

It is not uncommon for the press to try and avoid publishing the name of the cruise line or cruise ship in cases like this.
 

Photograph Credit:  P&O Cruises Pacific Sun webcam