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P and O Australia - Australia Day Cruise Disappointment

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So, this is the first I've heard any of this. We are booked on this cruise out of Brisbane as a b2b2b. Did people find out through email or on the grapevine (CC)? We've had no notification from P&O. We thought this would be a great opportunity to spend Australia day in Sydney & see the evening festivities whilst on board. First thing tomorrow morning I'll be on the phone to P&O.

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So, this is the first I've heard any of this. We are booked on this cruise out of Brisbane as a b2b2b. Did people find out through email or on the grapevine (CC)? We've had no notification from P&O. We thought this would be a great opportunity to spend Australia day in Sydney & see the evening festivities whilst on board. First thing tomorrow morning I'll be on the phone to P&O.

The OP said she received an email from P&O. My son did also.

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The OP said she received an email from P&O. My son did also.

 

We were wait listed on this cruise & were lucky enough to be offered a cabin about 5 days ago, which we accepted, but we have not received any email advising any changes.:(

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We were wait listed on this cruise & were lucky enough to be offered a cabin about 5 days ago, which we accepted, but we have not received any email advising any changes.:(

When you booked, the itinerary probably showed that the ship would be anchored in the harbour for the fireworks. It is worth phoning P&O to see if you can also receive the $100 pp on-board credit. Doesn't hurt to ask.:) I suggest that you mention a "friend" got the OBC (if you need to mention this at all), not Cruise Critic. :D

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When you booked, the itinerary probably showed that the ship would be anchored in the harbour for the fireworks. It is worth phoning P&O to see if you can also receive the $100 pp on-board credit. Doesn't hurt to ask.:) I suggest that you mention a "friend" got the OBC (if you need to mention this at all), not Cruise Critic. :D

 

Thanks Aus Traveller(y), we did believe we would be in the harbour for the evening festivities, that's why we were so excited when we secured a cabin. I will contact P&O tomorrow to discus & will let them know about my "friend" who received OBC. As you said, can't hurt to ask. I imagine they have been inundated with many disappointed passengers & rightly so.

Thanks to datone for sharing this information. I am so grateful I am part of the CC community. So much helpful & important information shared. :cool:

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Thanks Aus Traveller(y), we did believe we would be in the harbour for the evening festivities, that's why we were so excited when we secured a cabin. I will contact P&O tomorrow to discus & will let them know about my "friend" who received OBC. As you said, can't hurt to ask. I imagine they have been inundated with many disappointed passengers & rightly so.

Thanks to datone for sharing this information. I am so grateful I am part of the CC community. So much helpful & important information shared. :cool:

I have just spoken to my son. He phoned P&O on Friday and expressed disappointment but didn't hint that they might cancel. He was referred 'up the line' to more senior people but no offer of OBC. He was told someone would phone him back next week.

 

I note that the OP (Datone) didn't get the offer of $100 OBC on the first phone call. Someone from P&O had to phone her back. I really think that P&O are getting off lightly if they pay some passengers $100 OBC. That is probably only $25 or so out of P&Os pocket if people spend more than they would otherwise. All the best with this. :)

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Yes we are booked on this cruise and we were sooo looking forward to being in Sydney Harbour for the fireworks and just sailing around. We were very disappointed as we have a large group going and this was the reason we picked this cruise. There are now 18 very unhappy people wishing they had chosen a different cruise and maybe a different cruise line.

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Yes we are booked on this cruise and we were sooo looking forward to being in Sydney Harbour for the fireworks and just sailing around. We were very disappointed as we have a large group going and this was the reason we picked this cruise. There are now 18 very unhappy people wishing they had chosen a different cruise and maybe a different cruise line.

Welcome to Cruise critic, it is a shame for you and your group.

 

I believe they are offering full refunds if you cancel.

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Seems like some people did pull out of the cruise and I wonder if they got their full refund.

 

A greedy agent would charge a cancellation fee.:evilsmile:

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A greedy agent would charge a cancellation fee.:evilsmile:

If so you would spread the word and not use them again.

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I have just spoken to my son. He phoned P&O on Friday and expressed disappointment but didn't hint that they might cancel. He was referred 'up the line' to more senior people but no offer of OBC. He was told someone would phone him back next week.

 

I note that the OP (Datone) didn't get the offer of $100 OBC on the first phone call. Someone from P&O had to phone her back. I really think that P&O are getting off lightly if they pay some passengers $100 OBC. That is probably only $25 or so out of P&Os pocket if people spend more than they would otherwise. All the best with this. :)

 

I contacted P&O this morning relating my disappointment.The lady I spoke with said she would pass my concerns to Customer Relations & someone would ring me within 7 days. Mmmm I thought.:rolleyes:

 

To my surprise a gentleman contacted me about 1.30pm. He explained the reasons behind the early departure for all P&O ships on Australia day. The Australia Day Council & Sydney Port Authority pulled the plug saying it would be too dangerous to have 3 cruise ships moored during the festivities. I spoke a bit about the reasons for picking this cruise & the dismay we felt. He offered a sincere apology for the change of arrangements. We had a sensible, calm conversation & I was pleasantly surprised when he offered $100 OBC each to compensate for the inconvenience. He also said they were offering full refunds to some passengers.

 

As loyal Princess/P&O customers I was very pleased with the outcome & the professional manner with which this matter was handled by the P&O representative. So I can only suggest passengers contact P&O direct about this matter.

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I contacted P&O this morning relating my disappointment.The lady I spoke with said she would pass my concerns to Customer Relations & someone would ring me within 7 days. Mmmm I thought.:rolleyes:

 

To my surprise a gentleman contacted me about 1.30pm. He explained the reasons behind the early departure for all P&O ships on Australia day. The Australia Day Council & Sydney Port Authority pulled the plug saying it would be too dangerous to have 3 cruise ships moored during the festivities. I spoke a bit about the reasons for picking this cruise & the dismay we felt. He offered a sincere apology for the change of arrangements. We had a sensible, calm conversation & I was pleasantly surprised when he offered $100 OBC each to compensate for the inconvenience. He also said they were offering full refunds to some passengers.

 

As loyal Princess/P&O customers I was very pleased with the outcome & the professional manner with which this matter was handled by the P&O representative. So I can only suggest passengers contact P&O direct about this matter.

Good result.

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A greedy agent would charge a cancellation fee.:evilsmile:

 

If so you would spread the word and not use them again.

Definitely would be the case.

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I just phoned my son at work. He P&O rang him late this morning and offered $200 per booking. He is happy with that. :)

Edited by Aus Traveller

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I contacted P&O this morning relating my disappointment.The lady I spoke with said she would pass my concerns to Customer Relations & someone would ring me within 7 days. Mmmm I thought.:rolleyes:

 

To my surprise a gentleman contacted me about 1.30pm. He explained the reasons behind the early departure for all P&O ships on Australia day. The Australia Day Council & Sydney Port Authority pulled the plug saying it would be too dangerous to have 3 cruise ships moored during the festivities. I spoke a bit about the reasons for picking this cruise & the dismay we felt. He offered a sincere apology for the change of arrangements. We had a sensible, calm conversation & I was pleasantly surprised when he offered $100 OBC each to compensate for the inconvenience. He also said they were offering full refunds to some passengers.

 

As loyal Princess/P&O customers I was very pleased with the outcome & the professional manner with which this matter was handled by the P&O representative. So I can only suggest passengers contact P&O direct about this matter.

 

So it is" too dangerous" this year but not too dangerous last year, (we were were on one of the three P&O ships they had in the harbour last Australia Day) Sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. The Australia Day Council, you would think, would not make a safety call about cruise ships and the Sydney Port Authority would have been aware of any "danger" and not given permission in the first place.

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So it is" too dangerous" this year but not too dangerous last year, (we were were on one of the three P&O ships they had in the harbour last Australia Day) Sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. The Australia Day Council, you would think, would not make a safety call about cruise ships and the Sydney Port Authority would have been aware of any "danger" and not given permission in the first place.

 

Yes, have to agree, major cop out. Someone, somewhere stuffed up big time.:eek:

Maybe us folk up north are a dangerous lot.:evilsmile:

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I just phoned my son at work. He P&O rang him late this morning and offered $200 per booking. He is happy with that. :)

 

Good outcome all around

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So it is" too dangerous" this year but not too dangerous last year, (we were were on one of the three P&O ships they had in the harbour last Australia Day) Sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. The Australia Day Council, you would think, would not make a safety call about cruise ships and the Sydney Port Authority would have been aware of any "danger" and not given permission in the first place.
Sounds very much like something changed late in the process this year which had them scrambling.

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Sounds very much like something changed late in the process this year which had them scrambling.

I agree with you. There is no way that P&O would choose to have their ships leave before the fireworks and have unhappy customers. They will lose money by refunding some passengers and giving OBC to some others.

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So it is" too dangerous" this year but not too dangerous last year, (we were were on one of the three P&O ships they had in the harbour last Australia Day) Sounds like a bit of a cop out to me. The Australia Day Council, you would think, would not make a safety call about cruise ships and the Sydney Port Authority would have been aware of any "danger" and not given permission in the first place.

 

Was thinking the same thing.

 

Plus even if that were true, how about 2 cruise ships then instead.

 

Doesn't pass the sniff test.

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In my view, fireworks are overrated & I just don't get this "it's not a celebration (of anything) if there's not fireworks" fixation.

 

 

They’re are pretty impressive out of Sydney actually. I’m lucky as they can be seen from where my daughter lives. The Harbour will be full of dinner cruises, etc. and all the Harbour front restaurants will be full. In the park near where my daughter lives people will get there extremely early often camping out the night before, (although I think they may have banned that) to get a good viewpoint. It would be disappointing to miss out after booking the cruise believing you would see them. A cruise ship would be a great viewing spot.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Agree about the ship being a great place to view the fireworks, however, the majority of the Australia day events are held during the day, so they may have been missed by being at White Bay anyway.

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Agree about the ship being a great place to view the fireworks, however, the majority of the Australia day events are held during the day, so they may have been missed by being at White Bay anyway.

The original itinerary for the Pacific Aria had the ship leaving White Bay at 5.30 pm, then anchor in the Harbour until 9.30 when they would depart.

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We are flying down on Australia Day as we board the Ovation on Saturday.

They have moved the fireworks from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay this year, apparently all the action is at Circular Quay, this may be why the ships cannot be in that area as it will be too congested. They state there will be no fireworks on the bridge or Darling Harbour.

Info here

https://www.australiaday.com.au/events/whats-on/

showcasing 3 P&O ships as part of the attractions

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The original itinerary for the Pacific Aria had the ship leaving White Bay at 5.30 pm, then anchor in the Harbour until 9.30 when they would depart.

Exactly, you would have had to be on the ship by 4pm and as such would have missed most of the circular quay afternoon activities.

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We are flying down on Australia Day as we board the Ovation on Saturday.

They have moved the fireworks from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay this year, apparently all the action is at Circular Quay, this may be why the ships cannot be in that area as it will be too congested. They state there will be no fireworks on the bridge or Darling Harbour.

Info here

https://www.australiaday.com.au/events/whats-on/

showcasing 3 P&O ships as part of the attractions

Cheers, that explains a lot.

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Exactly, you would have had to be on the ship by 4pm and as such would have missed most of the circular quay afternoon activities.

Sydney is not the start of the cruise, just a port stop on a Brisbane-Brisbane itinerary. Therefore, the deadline for passengers is 30 minutes before sailing - 5pm, not 4pm. :) The ship is still sailing at 5.30, but continuing on and out of the harbour.

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Sydney is not the start of the cruise, just a port stop on a Brisbane-Brisbane itinerary. Therefore, the deadline for passengers is 30 minutes before sailing - 5pm, not 4pm. :) The ship is still sailing at 5.30, but continuing on and out of the harbour.

I suppose that gives them a bit more time around the quay before having to get to White Bay then.:D

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From the article -

The P&O spokesperson told us: “As these circumstances are largely operational in nature, based on our desire to give guests the best possible Australia Day experience, we don’t believe a general approach to compensation or refunds applies in this case but, as always, we have dealt with individual situations on a case by case basis.”

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From the article -

The P&O spokesperson told us: “As these circumstances are largely operational in nature, based on our desire to give guests the best possible Australia Day experience, we don’t believe a general approach to compensation or refunds applies in this case but, as always, we have dealt with individual situations on a case by case basis.”

 

Just like Princess with compo for cruises that should have had the Ocean Medallion. They have given compo in form of obc to the North Americans, but decline to give it to Aussies. Speaking from experience.:evilsmile: But what's new? Our Royal Princess cruise in June was supposed to an 'Ocean Medallion Cruise.' The Americans got compo, mine was declined by Princess Australia. I might have to withdraw from the Automatic Wage Subsidy Fund.

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From the article -

The P&O spokesperson told us: “As these circumstances are largely operational in nature, based on our desire to give guests the best possible Australia Day experience, we don’t believe a general approach to compensation or refunds applies in this case but, as always, we have dealt with individual situations on a case by case basis.”

 

In other words if you complain loud enough we will throw you $100 obc. :loudcry:

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No 'specials' available on this cruise. I have it on very good authority that the ship is fully booked. Maybe very few people heard that P&O were offering a full refund. Thanks to datone, :) we heard about that and also the possibility of an OBC.

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I heard from P&o today and while they aren't offering OBC, they are offering us a full refund.

 

Unfortunately cancelling isn't an option, as flights have already been booked and we have been counting down the days since early last year. ;)

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I heard from P&o today and while they aren't offering OBC, they are offering us a full refund.

 

Unfortunately cancelling isn't an option, as flights have already been booked and we have been counting down the days since early last year. ;)

Several other passengers have received $100 OBC. They didn't get that offer from the first person they spoke to. The matter had to be referred up the line. Whether you get the OBC or not, I am sure you will enjoy your cruise.

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Thank you! We are looking forward to the cruise.

 

I replied back to the email sent by the Guest service manager earlier, just waiting for a response.

 

Would you suggest giving P&o a call and asking to speak to a manager?

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Thank you! We are looking forward to the cruise.

 

I replied back to the email sent by the Guest service manager earlier, just waiting for a response.

 

Would you suggest giving P&o a call and asking to speak to a manager?

Definitely phone them. I don't believe you will get anywhere by email. Explain how disappointed you are, but that with flights etc. booked, you don't want to cancel. Ask if they can provide something as a goodwill gesture for the change of plans. As I mentioned, be prepared that someone more senior will have to phone you back. Best of luck.

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Thanks for that. I gave P&O a call yesterday and someone from the head office will get in touch today or Monday! :)

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