Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) and All Leisure Holidays were forced to cancel the inaugural sailing of their newest acquisition Discovery last Friday, following the formal detainment of the vessel by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in Portland.
Discovery had just completed an extensive dry dock and was originally scheduled to sail on a 15-night voyage to Norway and the Land of the Northern Lights out of Avonmouth but inclement weather and tidal restrictions meant that the vessel was re-routed to Portland where passengers embarked on Thursday.
The line blamed technical problems and a spokesperson for CMV said that, “further works will have to be undertaken to ensure all issues are fully resolved.”
Social media forums have been inundated with reports from passengers of dirty cabins, retail outlets in need of stock, shabby workmanship and old linen.
“Cruise and Maritime have got to seriously win our confidence back,” passenger Ann Brown wrote on CMV’s Facebook page.
“The fact is you lied to us the passengers, your customers!”
Passengers have been offered a full refund in addition to compensation of GBP £250 per person and a 40 percent discount on a future cruise if booked by 30 April 2013.
CMV is yet to officially confirm whether the ship will be ready for its next scheduled departure from Avonmouth on 15 March.
This story was brought to my attention by Cruise In Review’s Facebook fan Ronnie Simpson who was aboard the Discovery. Here is an excerpt of what he shared with us:
“We got a refund and £250 which might just about cover flights and post cruise accommodation, but couldn’t go near the costs of inconvenience keeping my daughter up to 1.30 am trying to book new flights and disappointment that on 11th year cycle of Northern Lights ship was not refurbished and not ready for inaugural cruise from Avonmouth and the company must have known it would not sail.
They kept us on board for 2 days -no internet facilities and now too late to seek any alternative for the 2 weeks which I booked off work.
Have to compliment all staff on board – in hindsight – as they were probably also in the dark and put up with 48 hours of constant complaints on state of vessel, no water, dirty water, smells in showers and a dirty ship.
We even heard requests for drinks at bar refused as a lot of stores and alcohol had not been loaded and corridors were blocked at midnight with stores being brought aboard.
One passenger near the loading area said noise from loading continued to after 3.00am before he eventially got to sleep. Really really disapointed.
We were “thanked for our patience” regularly, from Thursday afternoon until 8.00pm on friday – when the captain was eventually heard on board and only then did we hear the word ‘apologise’.”
This is one situation where I don’t think the compensation is fair. Why would the passengers want to sail on this particular ship again and, if they did, why give them such a short booking deadline?
The issues that were onboard went above and beyond “technical problems” according to the reports that what should have been a newly refurbished ship was in what can only be described as a state of disrepair.
There is no excuse for poor workmanship or dirtiness in my books, especially aboard a ship.
What compensation do you think the passengers should have received?