Elderly Renfrewshire couple kicked off cruise ship amid covid scare

An elderly couple were kicked off a P&O cruise liner an hour before departure and denied a refund.

Janet Anderson, 75, has booked the £4,000 trip to the Canary Islands to celebrate her husband Ian’s recovery from a brain tumour.

But after traveling hundreds of miles by coach from their home in Renfrew and being driven to their cabin in Southampton, they were forced to disembark shortly before departure on March 19 due to a covid scare.

Neither Janet nor Ian, also 75, had the virus or had ever tested positive, but the cruise line refused to allow them to travel because someone on their coach had tested positive.

The heartbroken and exhausted couple were instead forced to endure another 12-hour bus journey to Glasgow and told they could not get their money back but could only book another cruise.

But after our sister newspaper the Sunday Mail stepped in, the couple were contacted by the cruise line, who arranged another trip and gave them a goodwill gesture.

Janet said: “My husband and I have had health issues so this was going to be a vacation of a lifetime.

“We paid £4,000 and I spent another £230 on kennel fees and insurance. We traveled by coach to Southampton and were shown to our cabin on the Iona which took about 12 hours so we were exhausted and hungry.

“But an hour before the ship left we got a call telling us to get off – it was devastating.

“We were sent to a hotel for the night, where we had to pay for our own meal, before catching a bus for another 12 hour journey to Glasgow.”

The couple booked the two-week P&O Cruises holiday through agents at the Cruise Center in Scotland.

Janet added: ‘We were vaccinated and never tested positive for covid We tested negative in Southampton. It was so stressful.

“I just want a refund and compensation for my other costs but were told we could only rebook. The only replacement we can make is a one week cruise – our original vacation was two weeks.

After contacting P&O, the company contacted the couple directly.

P&O Cruises – which is not linked to controversial company P&O Ferries – said: ‘We are truly sorry that the Andersons’ vacation did not go as planned. However, they have booked another stay for the fall.

“We also gave them a gesture of goodwill.”

Janet said: “Thanks to the Sunday Mail we got a call from P&O Cruises and came to an agreement.”

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