More high seas drama for luxury liner

Pacific Pearl. Photo / Supplied
Pacific Pearl. Photo / Supplied

The luxury Auckland-based cruise ship Pacific Pearl has run into more drama on the high seas.

Its owner P&O is investigating how a large chandelier fell three storeys into a cafe area on a cruise last week.

Passengers on a separate voyage on the liner, which was renamed in December, also complained of broken toilets and a lack of drinking water when the ship ran into rough conditions caused by Cyclone Wilma.

The 3m-wide chandelier fell through the ship's open atrium at 2.30am last Thursday, crashing onto tables. No one was injured, but just hours earlier the room had hosted guests at a champagne waterfall event. Passengers commenting on online forums said it was lucky no one was killed.

"There are a lot of risks in life, and a few risks in cruising. I didn't expect falling chandeliers to make the list. A very lucky escape for P&O," said one.

P&O spokesman David Jones said the company was investigating how the chandelier broke from the ceiling.

"The reassuring thing is that there were no passengers or crew anywhere near it when it happened."

The chandelier was installed during the Pacific Pearl's recent multi-million-dollar refit.

In a Food and Wine Cruise which sailed last Friday, passengers reported their toilets failed to flush after the boat ran into rough weather. They also said drinking water became scarce.

Mr Jones said the cruise had not received any formal complaints on the failure of toilet cisterns.

"In response, people made the point that this sort of thing happens at sea. In fact, many passengers complimented the speedy work of the maintenance people to get the problem resolved."

The boat had an unlucky maiden voyage in December after its renaming - it was previously known as Ocean Village - when a seriously ill passenger had to be airlifted from the boat near Great Barrier Island.

The Pacific Pearl was launched in Auckland after a refit in Singapore. It is the largest ship to call New Zealand its home port.

- NZ Herald

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