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It has been a while since I last did a blog entry. Frankly, the weather here rather took my attention. The Meteoroligical Office is already suggesting that this December will be the coldest since 1890. I can’t remember such a sustained period of low temperatures. But they did rise above freezing for a few days and our heavy snowfall thawed, so now we are just dealing with ice instead of snow.

In all this it is difficult to think of cruises or cruising. You can’t even envy those jetting off to the Caribbean, since a lot of them are actually just still sitting in the terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick. P&O are posting regular updates on their website advising passengers when (or if) their transatlantic flights will happen. It must be very stressful and disheartening trying to get away for a holiday at the moment. In many ways I’m glad we’re just digging-in for Christmas. About the only trip we’ve got to make is into Sheffield on Christmas Eve to meet our younger daughter off a train from London.

There are a couple of cruise stories that caught my eye however. The first was another piece in the ongoing ‘low price’ story. Apparently passengers disembarking one of the P&O ships after their transatlantic cruise to the Caribbean were offered the chance to stay on the ship for the next cruise (14 nights from Barbados back to Barbados) for just £800. That’s less than half the brochure price.

Finally, I read about a Royal Caribbean ship that ran into heavy weather off Alexandria in the first week or so of the month. Caught in some very strong winds, she heeled over a long way, and suffered significant amounts of cosmetic damage. In addition, several dozen passengers suffered injuries, ranging from minor to broken bones. What surprised me was Royal Caribbean’s response. After initially offering a credit of $200 per person for the inconvenience and alarm, they later increased this to a refund of the cruise price for all passengers. I was surprised by that.  Obviously those passengers who were injured deserve compensation but I’m not sure about all the others. Following the incident the cruise continued, it wasn’t cancelled. The call at Alexandria was missed, but that decision had already been taken before the incident – I gather that the port was effectively closed to arrivals on the day in question. Some on-board facilities we closed for the remainder of the cruise, because their furniture and fittings had been damaged, but that was it. I’m sure it was a briefly alarming incident for passengers, but the ship was never at risk. This was a cruise in December, when you might expect bad weather, or at least not be surprised if it occurs, and I really can’t see why it justified a full refund.

Or am I just being ungenerous?

One Response to “It's December, people….”

  1. It was a genuine case of mistaken identity Tom. Royal Caribbean thought their ship was the Carnival Splendor.

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