Posted March 13th, 2010, 03:20 AM
From the P&O Australia website: http://www.pocruises.co.nz/AboutUs/P...ntupdates.aspx
Pacific Sun N009N
P&O Cruises would like to take this opportunity to update you on Pacific Sunís N009N cruise.
Unfortunately, after having an opportunity to assess the fault overnight, our engineers have advise the repairs will require specialist machining only available on return to Sydney.
While Pacific Sun has two functioning engines and is perfectly safe to sail, if we proceed with the cruise itinerary we would have to maintain a reduced cruising speed for the remainder of our cruise.
In these circumstances, it would be impossible to call at enough destinations for this to be the South Pacific cruise experience our passengers expected and P&O Cruises wanted to deliver. As a result, P&O Cruises have decided the best option is for Pacific Sun to return to Sydney after departing from Vila later this afternoon.
As a result of these extraordinary circumstances, P&O Cruises will be providing affected passengers with a 100% refund of their cruise fare plus a 25% Future Cruise Credit to acknowledge their disappointment. A letter outlining this offer will be delivered to the affected passengers cabins today.
P&O Cruises share our passengerís disappointment that we have had to change our plans and we will be working harder than ever to make their remaining stay on Pacific Sun as pleasant as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
About the ship
Q. What is wrong with the ship?
A. There is a fault on one of Pacific Sunís two engines. While both engines are operational, the problem means one of them is working at reduced power, which is slowing the shipís speed.
We had hoped to fix the problem while alongside in Vila but further investigation overnight shows the repairs will require specialist machining only available on return to Sydney.
Q. If the ship is able to sail back to Sydney, why canít you continue with your scheduled cruise?
A. While we could have safely continued at a reduced cruising speed, we would have missed key destinations and have been unable to arrive in Sydney on schedule.
Q. Is the ship safe to sail back to Sydney?
A. Please be assured that the ship is safe and suitable for sea conditions. The safety of passengers and crew is the highest priority for P&O Cruises.
Q. Is this problem related to the delay with the ship leaving Sydney?
A. No, the engine fault is unrelated to Pacific Sunís delay leaving dry-dock last weekend. The ship was in dry-dock for standard testing by the regulator to determine the shipís centre of gravity, which is carried out on new or upgraded vessels . The delay was because it took longer than anticipated to collect the data to complete the test. The test was successfully completed and Pacific Sun set sail.
Q. Has the current poor weather influenced the decision to return to Sydney?
A. Our ships are built to sail in the open ocean and the weather has not affected our decision. We are, however, disappointed the weather has not been better to provide greater passenger comfort.
Q. Can passengers leave the ship and stay in Vila should they want to?
A. Our advice is for passengers to stay onboard to return safe and sound to Sydney as accommodation in Vila and flights to Australia are very limited. While passengerís can disembark in Vila should they wish, hotel and flight costs will be at their own expense.
Q. What accommodation is available in Vila?
A. There are a number of hotels and resorts in and around Vila. However, as Vila is a relatively small island accommodation is limited.
Q. What flights are available out of Vila?
A. Vila is serviced by Air Vanuatu and Virgin and do not have flights back to Sydney and Brisbane every day.
Q. Will P&O Cruises pay for a flight home if passengers leave the ship?
A. We will be sailing back to Sydney and, as a result, providing transport for our passengers safe return. For this reason, P&O Cruises will not be covering costs for air travel home.
Q. Will P&O Cruises pay for accommodation and food if passengers leave the ship?
A. We will be sailing back to Sydney and providing the full services of the ship. For this reason, we will not be covering costs for accommodation or food should the passenger decide to leave the ship.
Q. If passengers were to leave the ship, can they claim these costs on insurance?
A. As P&O Cruises is providing transport back to Sydney on the ship it is unlikely that passengers will be able to claim additional travel expenses from their travel insurance. However, as not all travel policies are the same we recommend that passengers consult with their travel insurance company