We recently heard from a holidaymaker a problem they encountered on a cruise ship. The client went on a family holiday, which included teenage girls in their party. The cruise initially delivered everything that a client would want; fine dining, great destinations and luxurious living. It was for them a holiday of a life-time.
One evening, one girl decided that she wanted to retire to her cabin early. The family saw nothing wrong in that desire, believing that they were in the safe environment of a responsible cruise company. After a time, the family were approached by a crew member, who advised that the teenage girl wanted to see them urgently as she was very upset.
When they got to the cabin, they discovered that she was in a distressed state, and suddenly found herself surrounded by family and several crew members. It appears that when the young girl returned to her cabin, she received an inappropriate call from a crew member. It was clear that this crew member had been observing the two girls for several days, and was able to relate their movements on board the ship. He wanted personal details, which obviously raised serious questions as to this crew member’s fitness to operate on board a passenger liner.
Understandably, the family were deeply disturbed by this turn of events and it is no exaggeration to say that the rest of their holiday provided no enjoyment and was effectively ruined. The family paid a considerable amount of money for this holiday, and have received an offer of half their holiday cost. It seems that this offer reflects what most travel companies do whenever there is a problem; adopting the ‘buy them off quick’ solution!
This may make commercial sense to a travel company to do so, however, this can and does have the opposite effect with most consumers, who often believe that this is not about money. This family continue to receive our advices on this matter, but they are still seeking answers to how this could have happened, imagining the potential for a greater horror if the young girl in question had not acted to protect her own safety.
This we suspect is just one of many incidents to come, we should take heed of the ICV experience, and be concerned with the rapid growth of cruise ship relocation to British shores!
This article first appeared in the Travel-Zine of HolidayTravelWatch; Get'Away - Your Route to Travel Rights - Issue 6 - May 2008
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