According to The Timespassengers aboard one cruise ship's first seafaring trip were fuming over a "ruined" Christmas Day.
After booking dream vacations to the Canary Islands on P&O's new ship, The Arvia, the unhappy passengers complained about long lines, lost reservations, and not seating for dinner until after 11 pm.
In a press release earlier this month announcing Arvia's inauguration, P&O Cruises president, Paul Ludlow, called the ship “the latest evolution in the P&O Cruises experience," and said it "embodies the newest trends in travel, dining and entertainment and is the epitome of a sunshine resort sailing year-round to the warmest climates." He added that “Arvia is a very evident symbol of optimism for the future of the cruise industry."
But many passengers felt the cruise line had been too optimistic about launching the giant ship in time for the 2022 holiday season. Arvia is one of the largest at sea, featuring a “SkyDome” pool with a retractable roof, an infinity pool, an aerial obstacle course, 16 decks for guests and 12 restaurants.
One queer couple aboard, Dominik Scott, who reviews cruises on YouTube with his partner, Tom Hughes-Lewis, told The Times that some "teething" issues could to be expected on any maiden voyage, as operators discover new problems when its put to the test. Still Scott felt the Christmas meltdown was unusual.
"On Christmas Day we were quite lucky. Other people's day was an absolute disaster. We didn't experience anything half as bad," Scott told the The Times. "People like to stop and talk to us because they recognize us from YouTube and a lot of people aren't very happy."
A P&O spokesperson told The Times that connectivity problems "caused dining issues and restaurant delays for a proportion of guests on Christmas Day. This service was certainly not up to our usual high standards and we wholeheartedly apologize."
P&O Cruises is a favorite in the U.K. and touts its "exceptional service catered towards British tastes."