A group of passengers from a cruise ship are filing a class action after their cruise went very wrong.
In March this year, 2,000 passengers, mainly from Melbourne, Australia and Hobart, Tasmania boarded the Carnival Spirit cruise ship for an eight day tropical cruise from Sydney, Australia to New Caledonia. They all wanted to get away from the cold and enjoy visiting tropical islands and lying on sunny beaches.
However, only three hours into the cruise, the ship turned around and diverted to Melbourne and Hobart where the weather was freezing. The captain said the reason for the diversion was Tropical Cyclone Pam, but the passengers are saying that the cruise leadership should have known that the cyclone was there and that they were deliberately deceived and misled.
The passengers say that none of them were prepared for freezing weather and so many had to wear bath robes on board on top of their clothes as it was cold, and much too cold to sit on deck. Others purchased thick jackets. When she ship called in at Melbourne, around 400 passengers who had flown from Melbourne to Sydney to board the cruise, disembarked and left the ship not wanting to carry on cruising to freezing locations.
Carnival Cruise Lines refused to offer any refund but did offer a $150 on board credit and a discount of 50% of their purchases on board to be credited against future purchases.
The class actions claims that the company should have known about the weather prior to departure as the strong monsoon winds developed in late February and Cyclone Pam actually formed four days before the cruise ship was due to leave. The action states that passengers should have been offered the option of cancelling with a full refund.
In their contract, the cruise company states that in the event of bad weather they would offer a revised itinerary which is as close as possible to the original. But the passengers state that changing a tropical paradise cruise for an area known as the Gateway to the Antarctica have no similarity at all.