Inside couple's 'awful' cruise with 'dirty' cabins' and 'sewage smells'

Linda and David Cobby, who are 57 and 59 years old, were eagerly anticipating a pleasant holiday, spending part of their retirement savings. However, they were left disheartened after a series of issues marred their trip, including grimy cabins, mislabelled food, and offensive odours of sewage.

The Harworth-based duo had previously enjoyed a holiday with P&O Cruises in March 2023 on a trip to the Caribbean. Their impressive experience led them to book two consecutive cruises on the same P&O vessel, which were set to sail just two months later from May 5th to 26th, totalling £3,400.

But their excitement turned into disappointment during their journey around the Norwegian Fjords, and then northern Europe and Scandinavia. Lynda told Nottinghamshire Live: “I think the whole theme is that it was just shambolic and farcical. It’s just left us feeling really frustrated, angry and stressed.”

They further revealed they now had ‘awful’ memories. The couple’s troubles began when they were assigned a cabin situated above a smoking area after boarding the ship. Lynda had previously contacted P&O to request a cabin away from smoke, as David had developed lung issues following a coronavirus infection.

The couple were reassured by P&O that their request was noted, and if they did end up with such a cabin, they could switch by asking at reception. The couple, who had paid extra to upgrade their cabin in response to an email offer a few weeks before embarking, found themselves in a cabin above a smoking area and a live lounge venue on May 5.

When they sought a switch after boarding, they were told by the staff that no action could be taken until head office confirmed the availability of other cabins.

Eventually moved to a second cabin on May 6, they reported that both cabins were “dirty”, and they had to clean them using their own wipes and spray. They also expressed dissatisfaction with the food variety on the ship.

David said: “We had to wipe everything down before we sat down. If you picked up any cutlery or glasses, you had to check they were clean because we’ve got pictures of glasses with lipstick stains on them.”

They also criticised the onboard food, alleging it was subpar and often mislabelled as vegetarian when it contained meat products.

The couple were relocated to a third cabin for their second cruise, which was, according to them, noisy and sporadically filled with sewage smells. Although P&O’s maintenance staff attended, the couple felt their concerns were dismissed.

Lynda said: “We’d taken early retirement, that’s one of the reasons we did the cruise, because these were places we always wanted to go, and the opportunity came up and we took it. It was supposed to be something that we could really enjoy, you know, we have got some nice memories but that’s when we got off the boat, but most the memories that we’ve got are really awful.”

Linda and David have now lodged a formal complaint with P&O Cruises.

P&O Cruises has been contacted for a comment by Nottinghamshire Live.

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