If you’re paying up to R60 000 a day to cruise the world‚ you probably don’t want to spend time dodging torrential rain and standing in queues for three hours.
But that’s exactly what happened to Queen Mary 2 passengers in Cape Town on Friday thanks to a summer downpour and a computer glitch.
The flagship of the UK cruise line Cunard‚ recently refurbished to the tune of R1.5-billion‚ left passengers waiting for up to three hours at Cape Town International Convention Centre before they could be checked in manually.
Congested roads added to their discomfort as buses transporting them to the luxury liner got caught up in a jam blamed on the rain. Then they had to stand in yet another queue for security authorities to screen their luggage.
Lack of communication seemed to irritate the high-paying clients the most. “Little was communicated to the passengers‚ many of whom were furious‚ frustrated or both‚” Big News Network.com reported.
“A number of apologies were relayed to passengers once on board through the ship’s public address system‚ including by the ship’s captain‚ Christopher Wells. Later a bottle of wine was delivered to passenger’s state rooms (cabins) with a note from Captain Wells.”
Cunard spokeswoman Michele Andjel confirmed the delays to the Sunday Times on Saturday. She said the check-in system let them down.
“We are extremely sorry that a number of guests experienced delays in boarding in Cape Town‚” she said.
“Unfortunately this was caused by a technical issue with the check-in system combined with adverse weather conditions and traffic congestion in the city.”
Queen Mary 2 left Southampton on January 10 on a 118-night world voyage. The ship is due in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
– TMG Digital/Sunday Times