(3:21 p.m. EDT) -- Removing Peter Pan's play area and the Outer Space teen chill-out room is apparently proving to be tougher than initially expected for British line P&O Cruises.
The line has told Cruise Critic that a scheduled November 2011 dry-dock for Oriana will be extended by more than a week, causing three cruises to be cancelled. As we reported last year, the 69,000-ton, 1,818-passenger Oriana will undergo work to become the third adult-only ship in P&O's fleet, joining Adonia and Arcadia.
"The associated work to make these changes is significant and is going to take longer than we originally expected," a line spokeswoman said in an e-mail.
The cancelled cruises were slated to depart from Southampton on December 9, December 12 and December 17. The line has offered a number of alternatives to affected passengers.
Passengers booked on the three-night cruise departing December 9 are being offered a similar three-nighter on Arcadia departing on the same date.
Passengers booked on the five-night cruise departing December 12 are being offered the choice of transferring to a comparable cruise of their choice or a full refund, plus £100 onboard credit for use on their selected cruise.
Passengers booked on the two-night cruise departing December 17 are being offered a three-night cruise on Arcadia departing December 2011 at no extra cost or £50 onboard credit if they rebook on a different cruise.
For those who'd rather just throw in the towel and not transfer to an alternative cruise, P&O is offering a full refund.
Oriana's refit will see 27 new cabins; a refurbishment of the spa area, restaurants and show lounge; the removal of the children's area; and an alteration to the aft deck to make it more suitable for adults. According to P&O's Web site, the first cruise scheduled for the ship after its dry dock is a 17-night Western Mediterranean cruise leaving Southampton on December 19.
--by Jamey Bergman, U.K. Web Content Manager