Holidays and transport

Your rights and how to complain about ferries and cruises

All you need to know to complain about ferries and cruises

cruise ship on the sea

The law that applies to complaints about ferries and cruises

The Consumer Rights Act 2015 was applied to ferries from 1st October 2016. You are now entitled to services carried out with reasonable skill and care. If they are not then you should be able to gain redress.

ABTA can deal with some complaints about ferries and cruises.

Delays to ferries and your rights

If your ferry service is cancelled or departure is delayed for more than 90 minutes, you are entitled to either an alternative sailing at the earliest opportunity at no additional cost or reimbursement of the ticket price which should be paid within seven days. If you choose an alternative crossing, you’re still entitled to claim compensation for the delay to your original journey.

While you wait (when delayed for more than 90 minutes or it is expected to be cancelled) you are entitled to meals and refreshments if they can be reasonably supplied even if the reason is bad weather.

If an overnight stay is required due to the delay/cancellation then the ferry or cruise operator must offer you accommodation free of charge, if possible. This can be on board or ashore.

Your ferry company can offer alternatives such as permitting you to make your own separate plans to travel and reimburse your expenses. No overnight accommodation has to be offered or costs reimbursed if the delay is caused by weather conditions endangering the safe operation of the ship.

Further help with complaining

Look out timber frame on a beach "researching, booking and complaining aabout holidays and flights. Tips, ideas and your rights"


For all things complaining holidays see All you need to know about booking/complaining about holidays/flights



Cover of How to Complain updated 2019 large cow logo


For more advice, tips and templates for complaining  see GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!



101 Habits of an Effective complainer book cover with logo



101 Habits of an Effective Complainer to help you become more skilled and assertive when making complaints




The Complaining Cow logo download templates

Purchase downloadable templates to gain redress





By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

3 replies on “Your rights and how to complain about ferries and cruises”

How can everyone keep ignoring the extortionist ferry prices for residents to get off the Isle if Wight. Sonething gas to ge done prices are in the hundreds especially in summer. Residents feeling trapped because they cannot afford to get on and of the Island.

Why is it that the point we are making is missed each time, I will explain?
The first point is not about getting our money back it is about the way P&O
treated us we were on our honeymoon and the holiday started as a dream
but halfway through it turned into a nightmare. The nightmare was intensified
because we were left to resolve all that was presented to us without any
support. It is frightening enough when someone is not feeling well in a country
that is thousands of miles from home. As soon as the passenger is taken off
the ship their welfare is left to the country who’s hospital they are sent to, no
matter how good or bad the care is. The next point is that P&O have been to
the ports in the Caribbean hundreds of times and cannot just say well it is not
the NHS why are you not able to put in a system that supports the passenger
if they are unfortunate to have to be sent to a port medical facility.
Knowone from the ship or the port came to see how we were and explain
what was going to happen, we were unable to get any information about
the ship leaving port and what we needed to do from hospital staff. We tried
to contact the Port Assist person but had no joy and we had no contact from
anyone from the ship `to see if we were ok. P&O cannot use excuses that the
so-called support does not work for the company, you say in all your advertisements
that the passenger’s safety is paramount. As a world-renowned company, you should
not take customers thousands of miles away from the UK send them to a hospital
that you have already said in not the NHS and leave them to fend for themselves.
We used our mobiles to find out if P&O had any way of contacting the company for
advice, it is totally false that we had support from the emergency team as we made
the calls and asked for advice. All the suggestions that we made were not from the
emergency team we asked the questions like rejoining the ship or travelling back
on the scheduled flight which you have already made comments about because
they were not sure about. Next what was £2,000 for a night in the medical bill,
the first night Linsey was given a nebuliser which made her feel better we were
then advised to take the Nebuliser back to our cabin we had to pay £10 for the
loan of it. The next day we were asked to return to the Medical bay where blood
was taken and a chest x-ray was done. Linsey had her Temperature pulse and blood
pressure taken. Chest x-ray was ok but one of the results on the blood test were raised,
so Linsey was asked to stay in the department. Meals had to be paid for I was offered
no food I was with Linsey all the time. I did ask why we had to pay for food when
we had paid for the cruise and were not either in the cabin or unable to go to
any of the restaurants. The staff came in a couple of times to do Linsey’s observations
and give any medication that was due. It was a sea day so the staff said you need to stay
in the department overnight. No medical input was required I stayed in a chair in the room
with Linsey. The next day we arrived in Antigua and the doctor came to see Linsey
and said we have contacted the hospital and we are sending you for a scan to ensure
you are ok, at this stage. Linsey was feeling better but because the ships medical team
wanted the scan we agreed and we were told an ambulance was booked when the ship
docked. Before we left the ship we had to pay a £2,000 bill now the ship may have been
registered in the Caribbean but the company is P&O and there is no excuse for P&O to
use the excuse that it is not their problem because the ship is not registered in the UK
are the passengers informed of this.
Linsey was seen by the Consultant and given a letter to say she was fit to be discharged
and fit to fly so we made the effort to fly from Antigua to Barbados and our intentions to
rejoin the ship for the last night. We had told Southampton of our intentions but still we
were refused to rejoin the ship. P&O were quick enough to send us by taxi to a poor quality
Hotel that we had to pay for without any concern about Linsey’s welfare.
Linsley’s health was addressed when we got back to the UK everything was fine.
To Summarise;
P&O have a duty to ensure the safety of all their passengers both on the ship and if they
feel the passenger needs to go elsewhere for investigations. They need to look at the
massive charges for very little input from the ships medical staff because the passenger
has already paid for a cabin and food. There is a need for the company to look at their policy
for the safety and support of passengers if they are sent from the ship to a port medical centre.
Helen, you have not answered any of our concerns in your emails you are saying P&O accept
no responsibility and the customer will not get a penny from P&O, missing the point that it is
not all about what customers can get out of a company but what the company responsibilities

I am unable to read all of the above but note that near the end that I have not answered any of your concerns in my emails.
1) I do not work for P & O the above post is one of hundreds that I have provided to give free advice to consumers
2) I have not ignored any emails from you as I have not received any.
3) I can only assume that you have copied and pasted an email here although i do not understand why you have written the last paragraph to me.
4) I suggest you read the above post and Top 20 Tips How to Complain!
I have removed your phone number and email address from your comment on this public forum website.

I hope that helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.