Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Like many of our loyal guests, P&O Cruises Australia was disappointed with recent adverse media coverage regarding the proactive and successful way we contained a gastrointestinal illness onboard Pacific Eden.

These reports were particularly distressing because we know that the vast majority of guests enjoyed a fantastic cruise holiday with our onboard team working very hard as always to deliver P&O Cruises’ customary great care and service.

P&O Cruises reaffirms our pride and confidence that Pacific Eden is a fantastic addition to the fleet. Our guests can be just as confident as they look forward to their own cruise holidays with us.

Our approach to preventing and containing Norovirus is world's best practice and NSW Health acknowledges the appropriateness of our proactive response to ensure our guests can enjoy their cruise holiday without the discomfort and inconvenience of a common 'gastro' illness that also appears from time to time in the general community.

These measures were incredibly effective and as good as or better than anything you would find in a shoreside facility in similar circumstances.

There's a good reason we are so vigilant about preventing and containing this common self-limiting stomach bug that is also a fact of life in the general community.

Its symptoms last from one to two days but we don't want any guest’s holiday to be disrupted by the discomfort and inconvenience of illness.

It takes only a small number of cases of so-called ‘gastro’ to be reported for onboard sanitation levels to be increased which is exactly what happened on Pacific Eden.

About 60 of the 1500 guests were affected by the bug over the full duration of the 12-night cruise, which is a small number relative to the ship’s size.

In fact, the number of new cases fell day-to-day, demonstrating the effectiveness of the onboard health measures.

As a further preventative measure we carried out increased cleaning of the ship and terminal during the recent turnaround as we did for the previous cruise.

Any claims that far more passengers were affected on either cruise are simply incorrect. We report all of our statistics to NSW Health as the relevant public health body.

In relation to service delivery, as with any large hotel or ship with more than 600 rooms, it is inevitable that operational challenges will arise from time to time.

Importantly, we always respond promptly and responsibly to matters raised by our guests.

P&O Cruises is a brand that carries more Aussies in this region than any other and the vast majority of our guests love our product and the direction in which it is heading.

Over coming months, we look forward to welcoming many more guests onboard Pacific Eden and the many other wonderful ships in the P&O Cruises Australia fleet.