Two blind passengers told ITV News they were ordered to leave a P&O Cruises ship.
Pam May and Jennie Bailie said they were the order was due to “health and safety reasons.”
P&O Cruises offered them a full refund after first charging the pair with a cancellation fee.
Two blind passengers who were ordered to leave a cruise ship before it set sail said it was “humiliating” and that they “felt like criminals”.
Pam May and Jennie Bailie told ITV News they were asked to leave a P&O Cruises Ventura ship in May for “health and safety reasons”.
“We were standing there and having to argue why we had the right to travel, and go on holiday on our own, the same as everybody else,” May told the outlet.
The friends, from West Sussex, said they were put in a room for two hours before being escorted off the ship in Southampton, England. They said they asked to use the restroom first but were not allowed to do so.
Bailie told ITV News they were “marched off” the ship “like two criminals. It was totally and utterly embarrassing, and very, very upsetting.”
After arriving home the P&O then charged them a cancellation fee of almost £900 ($1,130) each – the entire price of the cruise.
May told the outlet: “We weren’t even given the opportunity to say ‘look, this is what we’re capable of.’ They didn’t ask to get to know us and see what we were like as individual people. They just decided ‘oh you’re blind you can’t be on there’.”
P&O Cruises told Insider in a statement: “Whilst we want all our guests to have a wonderful time with us, clearly the safety and wellbeing of all onboard is our priority at all times. We are so sorry that these guests were unable to travel with us and we have offered them a full refund for their holiday including any expenses incurred.”
In November 2022 Virgin Voyages said it was “infinitely sorry” after Donovan Tildesley, who was blind, was told to leave a cruise ship before it departed from Miami, the Daily Hive reported. However, an executive then intervened and Tildesley was flown to Honduras to join the cruise.
Tildesley also posted on Instagram a picture of a note from Virgin founder Richard Branson that read: “Thanks for giving us the chance to do things right.”
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