If there was ever a garbage scow on the ocean it is the P&O ship Pacific Pearl. Within 2 hours of sailing the lady I was with and I wanted to get off, things were that bad. Makes the Pacific Jewel look great this boat does. It was a total nightmare. What you need to be aware of is that I have spent 5 years at sea with some of the most professional people possible.
In case you were wondering there was at least one other person who stormed off the garbage scow called the Pacific Pearl at the same time as us. He paid $4000 for a suite and couldn’t wait to get off. So it wasn’t only us. Seems this is a regular event from what I gather from the New Caledonia authorities who were absolutely marvelous.
The first thing we encountered was putting some money into the on-board account. The sign says they take debit cards. Wonderful, that’s what I wanted. Even better – no fees.
The exuberance though was short lived. “sorry sir, we dont take debit cards without a name on them”. Read the sign again please, they dont take these because most debit cards do not have a name on them and there is no fee that P&O can rip you off with. Every major card company has a debit card and no name on it as well. Australia Post and a few others. You ask a question, where was this fact declared anywhere at all. Failure to disclose is a serious matter. How many peoples holidays have they ruined by their bullshit failure to disclose that small fact.
We got around that we move on, I was used to P&O simply scamming so let it go. What else can go wrong. That was just the start of it all. It got worse, much worse.
It was about this time the Captain Tony Herriot got on the horn welcomed us on board and did everything possible to assure us these lot had our safety at heart and of course the big one, they respect our privacy and hold that with the utmost respect.
Well, Tony Herriot, as a Captain of that piece of floating shit your entire crew and yourself fell flat on your arse with both those minor and inconsequential points. Pity you didn’t realize I am fully qualified OH&S (WH&S – if you wish).
We had all our luggage delivered except 2 pieces. We were wondering what was happening to it. It didn’t take long after we sailed to find out. We were called to reception. It appears they claim we were smuggling alcohol aboard. So what, we read nothing to say we couldn’t, all we read was no duty free. Thats when it started, a few security people trying to stand over us demanding we open the luggage right there and then or they would take it off us. The picture shows exactly where we were at the time, just after sailing and about 100 people at the reception desk. Respect our privacy do you? You lot are getting your arses sued over this one and a few other matters. The lady I was with was forced to open her bag and put on show potential ladies things. Her and my public humiliation was extreme. These security arses need hanging. I fought with them and made them work for it. I seriously question their hiring policies. This is P&O’s stated alcohol policy as stated on Cruise Critic. We got it right, they got it wrong.
Bringing Booze Onboard
Bringing liquor onboard at embarkation: According to the line, passengers are welcome to bring a small amount of alcohol with them onboard. There is no restriction to the amount. P&O does, however, reserve the right to remove alcohol at the gangway should the need arise. If, quoting the policy, it’s “likely that the health, comfort, safety and enjoyment of passengers may otherwise be compromised.”
Did they display any courtesy or manners and enquire as to the exact source of our information or the cause of the matter? Resolve the matter in any form of amicable way? Not their idea at all. Nope, just being totally bombastic shitheads hell bent on their own way and zero people skills at all. These lot were no doubt swinging in trees a little while earlier. Were they in the least bit interested in perhaps trying to ensure others dont have the same unfortunate issue as a direct result of their negligence? Not in this life they were not. Just a real smart arse ok now go and enjoy your cruise when I settled it in a fashion that suited me. Interesting later the Purser accused me of being rude and bad mannered to his crew.
The next very serious issues were very severe safety breaches. I did say I was OH&S trained – I see things where most people would miss them. This Tony Herriot is where you are in deep kimshi – you wear the rap for all these and no dodging it.
The subject of food aboard the garbage scow. Food – lets just say that which was presented to us as food and leave the description at that. Basically quite tasteless or bad tasting. In what we shall refer to as having 8 meals aboard only the breakfasts were of what could be considered a reasonable standard. The lady and I are not what you would call fussy eaters in any way at all. We actually love our food and to be honest, we can do far better than the swill served up to us. It really was garbage and given fancy names.
Health and Hygiene
This is the biggest disgrace of all. They talk about it and preach it but there is zero adherence to it. The only time there is any adherence to it is when it can be dressed up and disguised as a money making opportunity and that is for the most part a total scam. The issue of drinking water and selling it is a scam, WH&S used as the excuse. When I was on the Jewel the crew did without fail at all meals ensure that all persons used hand sanitizer on entering food areas. This is to minimize health risks as disease can spread throughout the ship within hours. This I am aware of and the action commended. So what happened on the Pacific Pearl you want to know. Take a guess. In 8 meals there was only once a crew member got everyone to sanitize their hands. That is a massive 12% of the time. That figure is not “simple oversight” it is plain negligence of the highest order and second to none. There is no excuse possible that can get them out of that one. The Captain in his address on the horn started off by asking us to be careful when using the crappers. Never in my life anywhere in the world have I ever heard anything like that. It seems the issue of excessive shit size or content or the use of too much paper can cause the system to clog up. Lets not worry about foreign objects, that goes without saying anywhere. Lets do a simple ship risk assessment with all that now. The toilet situation alone would put them on the high end of a low risk. The total failure of basic hygiene in the food areas puts it into the low end of medium risk category. Add into the fact that I am type 2 diabetic and we now have a real problem. About 25% to 30% of the population have type 2 diabetes. The risk assessment now would run into the high end of medium. This is totally unacceptable and now we have a legal case against P&O. Please remember I am fully OH&S qualified and I actually do look at things this way these days. Did P&O advise anyone of this toilet situation before we boarded or purchased tickets? Nope. Can they offer any guarantee That any of the passengers, especially the diabetics have minimal risk of serious problems? No they cannot. Did I declare that I was diabetic when I booked my ticket? Yes I did.Another classic case of what is legally a duty to declare – and now a massive failing of failure to declare. These lot are happy to kill people.
During the second day our cabin was partially flooded because the toilet overflowed and we were unable to use the bathroom for two days. The cabin stank.
To be continued