09 September 2010

Cruise ship sale and passengers “not even an issue”: St. John’s mayor

According to King 5 News, Milo Myers and his wife are out at least US$12,000 for a planned cruise on the Spirit of Oceanus from St. Pierre to Halifax that won’t happen.    Seattle-based Cruise West is currently restructuring.  The company sold Spirit of Oceanus and the cruise ended abruptly in St. John’s on September 8.

The couple flew to St. John’s in advance of boarding, spent a couple of days in the capital city and planned a short flight to St. Pierre to meet the ship there.  Instead, the Myers, who both live in New New Mexico, will also be out the cost of new airline flights home and a hotel stop in Seattle.

According to the news report, the company hasn’t returned Myers’ calls.

While news media like USAToday  can’t get any information on Cruise West, St. John’s mayor Dennis “Doc” O’Keefe seems to have turned into a spokesperson for the cruise line.  O’Keefe even seems to be dismissing any concerns about the fate of passengers affected by the cancellation.

He spoke to the St. John’s daily newspaper The Telegram:  

St. John’s Mayor Dennis O’Keefe said there were 70 people aboard the Spirit of Oceanus when it docked, and only four or five of those were involved in the full world cruise. He said they were the only ones having their trip cut short.

For the rest, St. John’s was the end of their original itinerary, O’Keefe said.

He said the cruise line was looking after those passengers.

The ship was originally scheduled to proceed to St-Pierre and pick up another 70-100 people, but that port of call is off now.

Those passengers were to travel to St-Pierre from elsewhere to board the ship, but were notified well in advance of the cancellation, O’Keefe said.

“It’s not even an issue,” he said.

That’s much more than the company itself is saying. 

A statement issued on September 8 said only that the company ended the trip at a scheduled port of debarkation. The company recommended that passengers affected by the cancellation of cruises should contact their insurance company, their credit card company or send an e-mail to the companies general information e-mail address.

The Spirit of Oceanus is registered in Nassau.

- srbp -