FOR most people, a sea cruise brings to mind visions of exotic locations and excitingly strange food – but a honeymooning Port Elizabeth couple got … well, they got Port Elizabeth.
The newlyweds had booked a cruise to Bazaruto off the coast of Mozambique – but found themselves back in their home city just three days later.
Tyrone Adams and Nadine Larter tied the knot at the weekend and flew to Durban on Monday to board the ship for the start of what they envisioned would be a romantic cruise.
But instead of the ship taking a left to Bazaruto on leaving the Durban harbour, it took a right to Port Elizabeth.
Tropical cyclone Irene was still viewed as a potential threat to Mozambique, forcing the change in course, a blow for the hundreds of passengers.
“It’s kind of a letdown,” Adams said. “You can’t control something like this, but we were sold ‘tropical island’ and we got PE,” he said.
“I love PE, don’t get me wrong, but my job’s here. We were just hoping to get away for a bit.” Larter said it would have been better if the cruise line had been a bit more helpful.
“They haven’t tried to accommodate us at all with regard to entertainment.
“I know they’ve made alternative arrangements for outings and excursions, but we’re from PE, so we’ve seen a lot of it.”
Other passengers were equally frustrated.
Liezel Herman, from Johannesburg, said: “They’ve been good about everything else, but the communication has been frustrating.
“We’d like to know why they haven’t told us about compensation.”
MSC Starlight Cruises director Allan Foggitt said the decision to sail to Port Elizabeth had been in the “best interests of the safety of the vessel and the comfort of the passengers”.
“We do sympathise with the passengers, especially those who were actually from Port Elizabeth.
“Obviously, these things are out of our control – the cruise tickets also mention that the captain has the right to change course and destination as is needed.
“That said, though, we will be in contact with these passengers … to try to make up for this mishap.”