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Withdrawal of accessible staterooms.


hollyjess
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I read somewhere that passengers who had booked accessible cabins have now been told they will no longer be available due to needing them for isolation of any passenger testing covid  positive. Where does this leave the disabled passengers who wish to cruise? Do they get full refund with compensation for the inconvenience?

 

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I've read of only one case, but I have no idea how many cases there actually are.  If it's more general than that, there may be legal issues for cruise companies, but I'm sure they'll have thought that through before acting and it's very unlikely that they'd breach the law.

 

Full refunds will be due, but compensation's another matter.  Morally it's due, but the T&Cs doubtless exclude it, and you'd have to show that the T&Cs were unfair to be able successfully to claim it - unless they're prepared to make a goodwill gesture or settle the matter with a non-disclosure agreement.

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7 hours ago, hollyjess said:

I read somewhere that passengers who had booked accessible cabins have now been told they will no longer be available due to needing them for isolation of any passenger testing covid  positive. Where does this leave the disabled passengers who wish to cruise? Do they get full refund with compensation for the inconvenience?

 


Whilst P&O seem to have a tendency to hit the ‘self destruct’ button at times when it comes to PR (they seem to be able to make bad situations worse by handling them terribly), I doubt that even the decision makers at P&O would come up with that policy! I have read that TerrierJohn has experienced this, which is appalling, but I’m hoping that was a one-off. There are enough reasons why cruising doesn’t appeal to us in the current climate without removing the only cabins from sale that my wheelchair bound wife can use!

 

Thinking about it, an accessible cabin is of no more use to an able bodied passenger in quarantine than a standard one, but I guess they need one or two kept vacant on each cruise should any passengers in the occupied accessible cabins need to be quarantined. 

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46 minutes ago, Selbourne said:


Whilst P&O seem to have a tendency to hit the ‘self destruct’ button at times when it comes to PR (they seem to be able to make bad situations worse by handling them terribly), I doubt that even the decision makers at P&O would come up with that policy! I have read that TerrierJohn has experienced this, which is appalling, but I’m hoping that was a one-off. There are enough reasons why cruising doesn’t appeal to us in the current climate without removing the only cabins from sale that my wheelchair bound wife can use!

 

Thinking about it, an accessible cabin is of no more use to an able bodied passenger in quarantine than a standard one, but I guess they need one or two kept vacant on each cruise should any passengers in the occupied accessible cabins need to be quarantined. 

Selbourne, that last point seems to be the most likely reason, however on the forum we are not allowed to mention,  3 accessible cabin holders had their cruise cancelled, so it looks like D deck both sides were taken out of action, which would mean 4 cabins taken out of action in total, which is a high proportion of the total number available, and seems to be an over reaction to the likelihood of accessible passengers needing isolating.

But P&O do have a tendency to use the scatter gun approach to resolving problems.

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52 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

Selbourne, that last point seems to be the most likely reason, however on the forum we are not allowed to mention,  3 accessible cabin holders had their cruise cancelled, so it looks like D deck both sides were taken out of action, which would mean 4 cabins taken out of action in total, which is a high proportion of the total number available, and seems to be an over reaction to the likelihood of accessible passengers needing isolating.

But P&O do have a tendency to use the scatter gun approach to resolving problems.


They do indeed John and I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. Hopefully this was just one of many cruises that you have booked and that it wasn’t a special one for you and your wife. 

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As I understand it, there is no specific policy to withdraw accessible staterooms, or move people however, a real world issue has arisen which has had to be dealt with.

 

You will be aware that parts of certain accommodation decks are closed to enable isolation of Covid/suspect Covid cases and crew quarantine. This has worked well until a disabled passenger needed isolation because of a suspected Covid case (I don't know if they were positive or not). At this point it became apparently that the areas chosen did not include any accessible cabins. People chose accessible cabins for good reasons and just because they need to isolate does not remove the need for this type of cabin.

 

Whether this was an oversight or a desire to have as many accessible cabins in service or not, in practice it needed resolving. Because of the logistics of the isolation and quarantine zones, the need to have a specific entrances/exit separate to the man deck, there is not a fantastic number of locations that are ideal. You will notice that whole zones are being taken out of use (i.e. between two sets of fire doors).

 

This has led to a number of people being moved so that these areas can be relocated. It has also meant a reduction in accessible cabin capacity as this was the one type of cabin that was fully available and fully booked on each cruise.

 

I think the preference on Britannia was previously zone 5 (i.e. D5xx). If you're talking about 4 cabins now out of use, I'm assuming they've gone zone 3 (i.e. D3xx) and forward.

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1 hour ago, molecrochip said:

As I understand it, there is no specific policy to withdraw accessible staterooms, or move people however, a real world issue has arisen which has had to be dealt with.

 

You will be aware that parts of certain accommodation decks are closed to enable isolation of Covid/suspect Covid cases and crew quarantine. This has worked well until a disabled passenger needed isolation because of a suspected Covid case (I don't know if they were positive or not). At this point it became apparently that the areas chosen did not include any accessible cabins. People chose accessible cabins for good reasons and just because they need to isolate does not remove the need for this type of cabin.

 

Whether this was an oversight or a desire to have as many accessible cabins in service or not, in practice it needed resolving. Because of the logistics of the isolation and quarantine zones, the need to have a specific entrances/exit separate to the man deck, there is not a fantastic number of locations that are ideal. You will notice that whole zones are being taken out of use (i.e. between two sets of fire doors).

 

This has led to a number of people being moved so that these areas can be relocated. It has also meant a reduction in accessible cabin capacity as this was the one type of cabin that was fully available and fully booked on each cruise.

 

I think the preference on Britannia was previously zone 5 (i.e. D5xx). If you're talking about 4 cabins now out of use, I'm assuming they've gone zone 3 (i.e. D3xx) and forward.

Well they have certainly gone for that zone because our cabin was D304, and if that whole fire zone has been taken out it will  be a loss of 8 accessible cabins, 4 balcony and 4 inside, that is if they have taken both port and starboard out of commission to avoid anyone else using D Deck fwd lift foyer? 

On checking D5xx, that zone does not appear to have any accessible cabins.

One final comment,  after having to pay the balance 90 days in advance, my TA says that P&O have 60 days to provide my refund!🤔

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41 minutes ago, Peanut006 said:

I have an accessible cabin booked on D deck on Britannia in Feb 22, which cabins are I zone 3? Sorry but I didn’t understand D3xx and forward

Michelle

According to the deck plans D3XX cabins run from the forward lift lobby aft to the fire door half way to the midship lift lobby. D301 to D343. there are 8 accessible cabins in that zone, 4 balconies by the forward lift lobby and 4 insides further aft. It appears from the plan that isolating the balconies would block off access all the way forward but i suppose they could just block one side in which case D254 or D255 would have a long walk to the lifts.

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Sorry John. Truly frustrating for you.

 

May only be one side.

 

Direct bookings are 14 days by law. You should check your contract with your TA. Not sure if they have 14 days to refund or if it’s 14 days once they receive. There are no easements in place.

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20 minutes ago, molecrochip said:

No sure it actually is deck D Zone 3 as I can still request cabins there.

 

P&O have a horrible habit of cancelling those who booked last and then moving others. I hope this is not the case for John.

I doubt it, we booked this during the launch window in October 2019, I would like to know for certain if D304 is part of the zone that is being closed off, if not I will be seeking clarification from P&O as to the criteria they used to select us for cancellation.

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2 hours ago, davecttr said:

According to the deck plans D3XX cabins run from the forward lift lobby aft to the fire door half way to the midship lift lobby. D301 to D343. there are 8 accessible cabins in that zone, 4 balconies by the forward lift lobby and 4 insides further aft. It appears from the plan that isolating the balconies would block off access all the way forward but i suppose they could just block one side in which case D254 or D255 would have a long walk to the lifts.

Thank you for clarification. I have just checked my booking and realised I am in B709 which is a different deck but who knows which cabins will be used?

Michelle

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From discussions elsewhere passengers have had cancellations in at least 3 different zones, D3xx, D7xx, and F7xx. I assume that only one zone is actually being closed off which would only result in a maximum of 2 balcony and 2 inside cabins being closed off, whereas at least 4 cabins have been affected, and I would think it unlikely that all accessible cabin users are active on social media,  which leads me to suspect that accessible bookings are being deliberately cancelled to reduce the number of disabled passengers on board.

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18 minutes ago, terrierjohn said:

From discussions elsewhere passengers have had cancellations in at least 3 different zones, D3xx, D7xx, and F7xx. I assume that only one zone is actually being closed off which would only result in a maximum of 2 balcony and 2 inside cabins being closed off, whereas at least 4 cabins have been affected, and I would think it unlikely that all accessible cabin users are active on social media,  which leads me to suspect that accessible bookings are being deliberately cancelled to reduce the number of disabled passengers on board.


You certainly deserve to get answers to this John but, knowing P&O, I wouldn’t put money on the explanation that they offer being the truth. 

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1 hour ago, terrierjohn said:

From discussions elsewhere passengers have had cancellations in at least 3 different zones, D3xx, D7xx, and F7xx. I assume that only one zone is actually being closed off which would only result in a maximum of 2 balcony and 2 inside cabins being closed off, whereas at least 4 cabins have been affected, and I would think it unlikely that all accessible cabin users are active on social media,  which leads me to suspect that accessible bookings are being deliberately cancelled to reduce the number of disabled passengers on board.

Hi John,

 

Not a piece of information I I have direct access to - the response I got when I asked was what I posted. I’ve asked some additional questions and hope to get you an answer.

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1 hour ago, molecrochip said:

Hi John,

 

Not a piece of information I I have direct access to - the response I got when I asked was what I posted. I’ve asked some additional questions and hope to get you an answer.

Moley it is now at least 6 bookings over 4 different zones, and that's just from people on social media, and I can't believe that all accessible cabin passengers are social media users.

Am I right in assuming that only 1 zone would be needed, and probably only one side of the ship, if so only 4 accessible cabins would be affected.

We need P&O to come clean and provide full information of just how many bookings have been affected  and why, otherwise we will begin to suspect discrimination.

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1 hour ago, terrierjohn said:

Moley it is now at least 6 bookings over 4 different zones, and that's just from people on social media, and I can't believe that all accessible cabin passengers are social media users.

Am I right in assuming that only 1 zone would be needed, and probably only one side of the ship, if so only 4 accessible cabins would be affected.

We need P&O to come clean and provide full information of just how many bookings have been affected  and why, otherwise we will begin to suspect discrimination.

It just sounds awful. I understand with Covid they need to have some quarantine cabins and some must be accessible to cover everyone.
 

How to they decide who to “bump”? An awful decision to make for anyone I imagine.

 

So sorry to hear about your predicament especially as you booked so early. I hope they compensate you well. Like you say would be interesting to know what criteria they use.

 

Take care and stay safe

Michelle

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2 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

Moley it is now at least 6 bookings over 4 different zones, and that's just from people on social media, and I can't believe that all accessible cabin passengers are social media users.

Am I right in assuming that only 1 zone would be needed, and probably only one side of the ship, if so only 4 accessible cabins would be affected.

We need P&O to come clean and provide full information of just how many bookings have been affected  and why, otherwise we will begin to suspect discrimination.

Hi John, I really do get the issue here. I have asked people who have a better understanding of the specifics than me. As soon as I have something I will let you know. I would really hope that P&O aren't doing anything discriminatory - they should know better.

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I think what makes it worse is that those who are not disabled are simply being moved cabin. Someone in an adapted cabin not only looses their cruise but will find it virtually impossible to find a different cruise as you have to book very early to get an adapted cabin.

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Iona affected cabins appear to be cabins 94xx, 104xx, 124xx port side and cabins 126xx starboard.

 

It makes sense that its the same zone on multiple decks. The Deck 126xx makes little sense unless it is to capture some accessible cabins within the isolation zone.

 

Should note that some of these cabins have been in standard use previously - so I do wonder if they have had to change the isolation zones or expand them.

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I have to say that this latest development is deeply unsettling for those of us who have no choice but to book accessible cabins. We are trying to muster up enthusiasm to book a cruise but have been deterred by all the current policies and restrictions (covid tests, having to wear masks around the ships, apps that don’t work properly, select dining restaurants selling out, off-ship restrictions, difficulties getting into entertainment, risk of quarantine etc etc) and this is yet another nail in the coffin. I can’t see us cruising again until things return to normal but, at this rate, I am beginning to wonder when on earth that will be. I book holidays to escape anxiety and hassle, not to generate it!

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It raises more questions….Is a similar problem; ie availability of cabin type for covid isolation , likely to affect family cabins? Or has P&O already factored this in? If it is being decided at such a late stage that cruise numbers need to be reduced how does that leave those who booked a guarantee cabin or a saver fare, so currently have no cabin allocated? Are they likely to be cancelled first?

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14 hours ago, terrierjohn said:

Moley it is now at least 6 bookings over 4 different zones, and that's just from people on social media, and I can't believe that all accessible cabin passengers are social media users.

Am I right in assuming that only 1 zone would be needed, and probably only one side of the ship, if so only 4 accessible cabins would be affected.

We need P&O to come clean and provide full information of just how many bookings have been affected  and why, otherwise we will begin to suspect discrimination.

Although this topic doesn't affect me, I've been following it with some interest, especially your posts John, and I was unfortunately having the same suspicions. I sincerely hope that we are wrong and a plausible explanation is forthcoming. 

Avril

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I have been reading a couple of threads on the MSC section, along with links from them which detail big covid problems on Virtuosa at present.  One article referred to a man who had lost mobility due to the infection and the family had requested a wheelchair from MSC. 

 

That did make me think, though hopefully with other cruise lines insisting on passengers being fully vaxed, perhaps any outbreak would not become as widespread as seems to be the case on that ship at present.

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