Rough weather in the Mediterranean Sea left more than 1,000 travelers stranded when they were unable to return to their ship after a shore excursion.
According to The Daily Express, passengers from the P&O Cruises’ Azura were taken ashore by small boats in Monte Carlo for a day of adventure, but a heavy storm moved in and made the waters unnavigable, forcing them to stay the night in Monaco.
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Instead of being put up by P&O Cruises officials in one of Monte Carlo’s luxurious resorts, passengers were forced to sleep on tables and other makeshift beds on a basketball court after they were informed they couldn’t return to the ship.
Passengers said they were only provided the minimal amenities, including towels to use as blankets. One of the travelers on the ship, Julie Rowson, told The Daily Express about the experience:
“It was horrendous. It’s spoilt our holiday,” Rowson said. “We were supposed to be spending the day in the most luxurious and expensive place on earth but had to spend the night sleeping on a floor. I’m very angry and upset. It’s a disgrace. It was very cold. There were a lot of elderly people there.”
In response, a spokesman for P&O Cruises told The Daily Express:
“Due to unexpected poor sea conditions it was necessary to stop tender operations in Monte Carlo,” the spokesperson said. “Shelter and food were provided by the ship’s crew for those guests still on shore.”
“Guests traveled from Monte Carlo to neighboring Villefranche this morning where the tendering operations were resumed,” the statement continued. “All guests are now back on board. We are so sorry that this happened. It’s certainly not what we would ever want for our guests but safety is our absolute priority.”