Why Couple Has 'Nightmare' Cruise

By ,   May 3, 2017 ,   Cruise Industry

A Nottingham couple experienced a cruise from hell after one of their suitcases was placed on the wrong ship.

58-year-old Steve Webb and 56-year-old Carole Cookson booked a week-long cruise around France, Spain and Guernsey but their holiday turned into a nightmare when Carole was forced to survive without her belongings.

They travelled down to Southampton on April 16 and dropped off their car and suitcases with Alternative Cruise Parking, who were responsible for loading their cases onto MS Azura ship. They were told to catch a bus to the ship and when they got off the bus, their suitcases were taken to another part of the ship to be loaded elsewhere.

They were told by the company that their suitcases would be in their room when they arrived but when they opened their cabin door it was empty. Steve, who works at the Post Office, said:

"When we got to our room neither of our cases were there so I went down to reception and my case was there but there was no sign of Carole's. We were told to wait so we did and it never turned up.

"It took over 24 hours to actually find out that her case had been put on a different ship. At this point it was too late and she was left in the clothes she travelled down with and a jumper."

Eventually they found out that their suitcase was actually on a 2-week Mediterranean cruise and there was no chance of getting it back. It was at this point that P&O Cruises offered the couple GBP 125 in onboard credit.

Steve and Carole, from Stockhill, spent the week feeling separated from the other guests and had a miserable time. He said:

"The main event of the week is the captain's ball which was on the Monday night but we couldn't go because it was a black tie event and she had no clothes so we felt very ostracised.

"All week we just ran into problems, for instance we tried to go for a drink at a place called the Planet Bar on the ship but we were refused a drink as we weren't dressed smartly enough. Eventually we were allowed one but it was all hassle."

The cruise ship stopped off at La Rochelle, Bilbao, La Coruna and St Peter Port but at each sunny location Steve and Carole were frantically trying to find shops to buy the items she desperately needed, thus missing out on the scenery and tourist activities.

Carole, a part-time café assistant, said:

"I had one pair of flip-flops all week and the clothes that I had travelled in.

"The clothes on the ship weren't to my taste and I just didn't feel nice all week so I was unhappy and didn't want photographs taken."

A spokesperson for P&O Cruises said:

"We sympathise with Mr Webb and Ms Cookson as it appears there was an incorrect transfer of a piece of luggage by their car parking provider at the terminal.

"Once P&O Cruises was made aware, we made every effort to trace and return the bag, but unfortunately due to customs issues it was agreed that P&O Cruises would return the bag to the guests' home free of charge. P&O Cruises arranged for the guests to be provided with on board credit to purchase new items of clothing and essentials, pending a claim on their travel insurance."