As we reported last week, Princess called off the ship's last sailing due to a technical problem with its port propulsion motor. More than 2,000 passengers were turned away at Southampton following the last-minute cancellation.
(May 14) -- More than 2,000 cruise passengers were sent away from Southampton this weekend following a last-minute cancellation. Princess' Sea Princess was scheduled to depart on a 14-night Mediterranean cruise, but the voyage was canceled due to a technical problem with one of the ship's propulsion motors.
Some passengers had already spent a night onboard the ship expecting to depart the next day, according to media reports, and awoke to find a letter in the cabin notifying them of the change in plans. Cruise Critic member happyscot posted a thread on our Princess forum entitled Review of Sea Princess 12 - 14 May 2007: "1. Got on boat. 2. Boat broke. 3. Got off boat ... Anyone want to buy 26 rolls of film?" (He cleverly signs off, UnhappyScot.)
According to media reports, passengers will receive a full refund as well as a 25 percent credit toward a future cruise; a spokeswoman for the line tells us that Princess will also compensate passengers for "reasonable out-of-pocket expenses." (For such a last-minute cancellation, we think the compensation could have been more generous; for example, when Celebrity was forced to cancel a Millennium sailing last winter passengers were offered a full refund as well as a free cruise -- and that announcement was made nearly a month out.)
Princess' customer service and air department teams are currently aboard to assist passengers with their homeward travel arrangements. The line is covering flight change fees for all passengers regardless of booking method.
It will take several days to repair the port propulsion motor. Sea Princess is expected to resume normal service on May 26; we'll keep you posted.
--by Melissa Baldwin, Senior Editor