No end in sight for cruise nightmare

Will Bennett talks to passengers forced to endure sub-contractors' nois e and clutter on their luxury QE2 trip

For Peter Ludlow and his fiancee, Merrilyn Wesley, their cruise on the QE2 is the third luxury sea trip that they have taken with Cunard in the past year.

The couple, from Camberley in Surrey, are used to the best and were horrified to discover that the corridor outside their cabin was littered with debris when they went on board last Saturday.

A floor sweeper, a life-jacket and a roll of carpet were lying there. In several corridors in that part of the ship, the ceilings were hanging down in an unsecured condition.

Mr Ludlow, 48, a diamond setter, was so concerned that he called out the ship's safety officer at 2.30 on Sunday morning and asked him to record officially that the corridors were in a dangerous state.

The embarrassed officer, who was used to providing a high standard of service, had to admit that Mr Ludlow was right. The complaint was logged, meaning that if a passenger had been injured, Cunard would have been liable.

Mr Ludlow and Miss Wesley, increasingly feeling as though they were bit-part players in a television sitcom, called the officer by telephone, partly for convenience but also because the deck by the purser's office was impassable.

After a few hours' sleep the couple, who paid £7,400 for the cruise to New York and the Caribbean, were awoken, not by gentle music or a waiter bearing breakfast but by the sound of workmen drilling in the cabin above, which began at 8am and continued remorselessly.

Mr Ludlow said: "It was supposed to be a dream holiday but it has turned into a nightmare. I don't think that we will be travelling with Cunard again." However, they have decided to stay with the cruise for its second leg from New York to the Caribbean. As American workmen are taking over from the British ones, who are going home for Christmas, the noise and disruption are likely to continue.

Whether Christine Hall will be able to wear the expensive ballgowns she bought specially for the cruise is open to serious doubt.

The American professor won her ticket for the cruise in a draw. She said that she was worried about wearing them because the jagged edges left by unfinished work might damage them. She might have done better to pack steel-capped boots and a hard hat instead. It was bad enough for some passengers to have to swill out their lavatories with water from ice buckets and sleep on mattresses on the floor. But even when they have got away from their cabins and the surrounding corridors, all has not

been well.

Some of the public areas were not finished at the start of the voyage. The Yacht Club Bar was full of welding equipment, a room called the Lido was closed, an outside swimming pool contained builders' rubbish and the theatre was not opened until two daysafter the QE2 left Southampton.

Workmen have been sleeping in the nursery despite the fact that a number of families with young children are among the passengers.

Even where the work has been finished, some passengers have said that it looks shoddy. In the cabin that has been allocated to Professor Hall, new panelling is already coming off the wall and some of the lights do not work.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
Buddy DeFranco
people
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month