P&O Cruises has been forced to apologise to passengers after some claimed their Christmas Day was “ruined” by issues on the operator’s newest ship.
The operator blamed long queues and lost dinner reservations on “IT and connectivity issues” aboard the Arvia vessel.
Some tickets for the Arvia’s maiden voyage – a two-week cruise from Southampton to Spain, Portugal and the Canary Islands – had cost upwards of £2,500.
Passengers still onboard Arvia reported that the captain had been forced to apologise over the ship’s speaker system after some guests stood waiting in long queues or were told their Christmas dinner reservations did not exist.
Debbie Laughton told The Independent that passengers had swapped stories of loud groaning noises coming from balconies, “huge long queues” at the ship’s reception, and “bad internet costing nearly £250 per person each”, which she says “does not work at sea”.
She echoed Mr Jones’ sentiment that the ship was not customer ready. “Cabins are breaking as we are using them. A few passengers have had the outside key pad fall off so they aren’t able to get into their room!”
“I went to ‘midnight mass’ onboard at 1:15am on Christmas morning, [and] the queue had approximately 50 people still in it,” she added.
Ms Laughton took to Twitter to complain about show rehearsals being conducted by the main pool as guests tried to enjoy Boxing Day.
“P&O have forgotten who their customers are! Yesterday was Boxing Day on board Arvia, at the Sky Dome Pool & Bar there was a 4 hour rehearsal for a show, over and over again. Boxing Day at sea should have a band playing, party atmosphere, drinks flowing! But no!! Not on the Arvia,” she wrote.
“We’ve cruised over 35 cruises [and] I’ve never seen chaos like this, and expecting people to pay full price. Disgraceful!” she told The Independent.
Meanwhile passenger Lynne Wheatley, on the maiden cruise with her husband Richard, told The Times their Christmas Day had been marred by queues.
“We waited two and a half hours and the food was awful,” she said.
“We were in a restaurant with no tablecloths — it was more like your kitchen table. I spoke to one couple who got sat down at 11pm.”
“Don’t get me wrong, the ship is beautiful,” added Ms Wheatley. “It’s a shame because it’s ruined Christmas for a lot of…