CRACK2.jpgCRACK3.jpgCruise ship Ventura is back in the Bay of Biscay today, with crew and P&O officials no doubt hoping the weather will be kinder than during the ship’s last crossing, when a substantial crack opened up in one of the upper decks.
Passengers who were on board and saw sections of deck cordoned off have expressed their surprise at the extent of the damage and the speed of the repairs, which were carried out while the ship was in Southampton on Friday.
One, who supplied these pictures, says: “I happened to talk to the deputy captain who at the time had been inspecting the damage caused to the deck. He informed me it was the length of the waves that we encountered that caused the ship to flex more thus stressing the joint more than it was designed to take.”
The information contradicts an official statement from P&O Cruises, which said the damage was “not weather-related.”
The passenger added that his daughter travelled on the ship for the two-day weekend cruise to Zeebrugge, during which engineers continued to “patch the deck up.”
She was assured that experts from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency had inspected the ship and gave it a clean bill of health.
Another passenger asked me: “If people were instructed not to use their balconies, and a staircase was cordoned off, how can P&O dismiss claims the damage was structural?”
The 3,100-passenger Ventura sailed from Southampton yesterday on a 13-night cruise which will take it to Vigo, Lisbon, Las Palmas, Tenerife, Lanzarote, Madeira … and back through the Bay of Biscay again. On November 2 the ship departs for a Transatlantic crossing to Barbados, at the start of a winter season in the Caribbean.