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I wrote on Monday about the cancellation by P&O of calls at Argentine ports during Arcadia’s and Adonia’s world voyages in the New Year. There was some uncertainty as to whether those passengers going on these voyages who wanted to cancel in view of the changes would be entitled to a full refund; I mentioned in the previous post that at least one passenger was told that they would be.

I’ve now learned how P&O are treating these cases:-

  • passengers who were due to join the cruise at Buenos Aires, which was a port of embarkation, and who wish to cancel will be able to do so and will get a full refund. This is because P&O have decided that the change to what was these passengers’ embarkation port counts as a ‘significant alteration’. Because the change has been prior to embarkation the provisions in clauses 40 and 41 of the P&O contract relating to significant changes apply;
  • passengers who were not due to join at Buenos Aires because they are doing the whole cruise, or a significant part of it, or indeed other sectors altogether, are not entitled to a refund. For these passengers it’s regarded as a non-significant change of itinerary.

Clauses 40 and 41 cover ‘Alteration and Cancellation by P&O prior to departure’.

  • Clause 40 allows P&O to alter ‘the package’ (i.e. the cruise) ‘where this reasonably becomes necessary on operational, commercial or other grounds‘. Then it says ‘if P&O makes a significant change to the package then…[various things]‘ (my emphasis), but there’s no definition of what constitutes a significant change. I suppose P&O make the decision as to whether a change is significant or not; and if you don’t like their decision, then you either have to accept it or reach for your lawyer. But clause 40 clearly says that in the case of a deemed ‘significant change’, passengers can accept the change, rebook on a different cruise, or get a full refund.
  • Clause 41 give passengers cancelling under the provisions of clause 40 some compensation! – between 5% and 20% of the price paid by full-fare passengers, depending on the gap between the date the change was announced, and the commencement of the affected passengers’ cruise. Since in this case the ‘significant change’ only applies to passengers embarking at Buenos Aires, the key date is that one: and it’s 22 January for Arcadia and 13 February for Adonia. I think the announcement of the change was made by P&O on 16 December, so that’s a gap of 37 days for Arcadia passengers and 59 days for Adonia passengers. According to clause 41, Adonia passengers should get compensation of 5% of what they paid, and 10% for Arcadia passengers. That’s in addition to the full refund, of course.

I’ll try to find out if any affected passengers have been offered compensation.

 

One Response to “P&O action re. Argentina port cancellation”

  1. maddy says:

    Hi, would be interested if you found anything about cancellation rights for the Arcadia J301 Argentina. I have read on another forum that at least 1 passenger travelling Sydney to Southampton got a full refund, as did 1 who was booked on the full cruise.

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