A French tourist was thrown off a ‘fantasy’ cruise holiday after staging a protest over cancelled ceases.
Alain Jan, 53, a chef who resides in the island of Reunion, has been booked on the trip with his wife. It was intended to be a luxury cruise across the “Vanilla islands” of Madagascar, Maurice, Reunion and the Seychelles on the Costa neoRiviera lining.
Two weeks into the trip, the captain announced that three stops across the island of Madagascar could be cancelled because of a plague epidemic.
The island is suffering with an epidemic of bubonic and pneumonic plague that the World Health Organisation has said may be a risk to other Indian Ocean regions. More than 1,000 individuals in Madagascar are infected and more than 100 have expired.
Mr Jan stated the 3 cancellations were understandable for health reasons, but that two additional ceases were subsequently cancelled as well as the stop in Mauritius being canned.
Passengers were told they would receive €150 to spend on board as recompense – and that didn’t go down well.
“Things began heating up – and -euro;150 when a big region of the excursion is cancelled along with a beverage on board expenses €5,” Alain told the Telegraph.
“That evening, we ordered a protest at the restaurant. There were 60 of us slamming our fists in the desk to alarm other railway passengers for the con job.”
There was also another protest at a theater after the captain refused to change course.
The captain then rang the local police chief who arrived on board.
Mr Jan explained that he asked to speak to the French ambassador but that the policeman asked the captain when he wanted to disembark anybody and he pointed straight back to him.
He then spent two nights at a resort in the Seychelles before being flown home to Reunion on a flight paid for by Costa.
He says that the cruise liner turned into a ‘flying prison’, which he believed ‘ripped off’, suggesting Costa understood of the plague cases but were not forthcoming regarding the change of programme ahead of the railway set off.
Costa Cruises denies that claim. A spokesperson explained: “The business made every effort to maintain that the stop-offs on Madagascar, looking into all the alternatives,” but that “safety, wellbeing and health of crew and passengers are still an absolute priority”.
The company explained that police in Mauritius had required that the lining be quarantined to ensure it had no ill passengers, including: “Given that the delays that would have created, as well as longer ones when there had been any defendant cases on board and believing that passengers were already on board, the company was forced to restrict its visit to the Seychelles and Reunion.”
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