Tweet (9:10 a.m. EDT) -- Earlier today, P&O Cruises Australia announced that Pacific Jewel's next two sailings have been cancelled due to the propulsion problems the ship experienced last week.
In a note posted to its Facebook account, the cruise line stated, "Unfortunately, the Jewel's engine fault is extremely uncommon – so rare the experts say it's in a piece of equipment normally expected to last a lifetime. Despite our technical team's around the clock work, there's no easy solution."
One of the cruise line's most popular sailings -- the October 30, Melbourne Cup Cruise -- is included in the cancellations.
P&O has confirmed that staff will be present at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday, November 2, to distribute tickets to passengers that were booked on the cruise, which included admission to the prestigious horse race.
Additionally, the ship's November 13, cruise to Fiji has been cancelled.
The cruise line has already begun notifiying booked passengers of the cancellations, and has confirmed that passengers will receive full refunds and credits toward a future cruise.
"Once the full repair is complete, Pacific Jewel will return to normal service to again deliver great cruise holiday memories to thousands of passengers. We couldn't be sorrier about cancelling cruises but at P&O Cruises your safety and security must always come first," said the note.
At this time, the cruise line anticipates that the repairs will be completed in time for the ship to sail as scheduled for the November 27, New Zealand cruise.
Cruise Critic member rugbypopsie said, "I thought it pretty responsible for the CEO herself to go online and give the explanation...so much more personal than a bland media release."
--by Shayne Rodriguez Thompson, Web Content Producer
Propulsion Problems Cause 2 More Pacific Jewel Cancellations
October 27, 2010