On the second day of the cruise (Saturday 20th October) we came back to the cabin after breakfast as it was being cleaned and I noticed that our mugs and glasses were in the bathroom with an orange square sponge.
We came back an hour later. The cabin was now ‘cleaned’. We looked closely at the mugs and noticed tannin stains – we then sterilised the glasses and beakers with boiling water. One of the mugs had a distinctive mark in the porcelain and I took a photo with my smartphone.
After the evening cabin clean on 20th October 2018
When we went back to the cabin after dinner the mug was still there. Again we sterilised everything.
After the morning cabin clean on Sunday 21st October 2018
On Sunday 21st October after breakfast we still had the same mug in our room. There now could be no mistake. The cabin steward was NOT replacing mugs and glasses with clean ones. Instead she was trying to somehow clean them in our bathroom with her sponge. This was probably being repeated in ALL of her cabins.
No interest in the problem at Reception
I went immediately to Reception to raise the issue that we were NOT getting clean mugs or glasses when our room was being serviced.
At Reception I asked to speak to the Hotel Manager about what was happening in our cabin. I explained that this was a serious health hazard. I was told that complaints about ‘dirty mugs’ had to be handled through the ‘correct channels’.
Again, I repeated what was happening and as important just how potentially serious a health hazard this was. Especially as probably ALL the cabins were having their glasses and mugs ‘cleaned’ with the same sponge. Again I was told ‘dirty beakers’ was ‘a matter for the floor manager’.
The floor supervisor at our cabin
When I returned to our cabin an officer was waiting at our room. We again had to explain that this was not a ‘dirty mug’ problem with tannin stains. This was the SAME mug that had had now for nearly two days. This was clearly a health hazard. We received a short lecture about there probably was a training issue with the cabin steward. She left taking all the mugs, cutlery and glasses from our cabin.
She left with no apology or further comment.
The mugs changed by the floor supervisor
She returned with clean mugs, glasses and cutlery. We then received a further lecture about training issues with new cabin staff. She further explained that she didn’t believe in ‘punishing’ mistakes made by cabin staff. Instead she promised more training and better supervision of cabin stewards on our deck.
I politely asked if ALL the other cabins serviced by this cabin steward would now have their mugs and glasses changed but received no answer.
There still was no apology or comment about the obvious health hazard before she left.
Call from a another supervisor
In the late afternoon we had a call from another officer who asked us about the ‘dirty mugs’.
Did we now have clean mugs?
We explained what had been happening and we were told that this shouldn’t happen. Azura clearly has no procedures to update what problems there are on the ship even when they are potentially serious health issues.
Again, no apology and no further comment on the call.
Feedback to P&O about the health hazard
During the cruise we had two feedback forms and I raised this issue both times and had no phone calls or any response from anyone on the ship.
After the cruise we duly filled in the email form sent out by P&O and as of today (December 3rd) we have had no response from P&O.
Our travel agent was so shocked when we told him about experience and the lack of response by the Azura staff that he has forwarded a letter of compliant to P&O on our behalf (on November 7th 2018).
Again there has no response by P&O.
Cabin service for the rest of the cruise
We sterilised our mugs and glasses every time we used them as we had no trust that our cabin steward was being supervised.
Our cabin service deteriorated even more as coming back from breakfast we found sanitary plastic bags left in the sink two days running.
For the last four days of the cruise the bin in the bathroom with plastic sanitary bags was never emptied. The good news was at least the plastic bags were not in the sink.
On the last evenings of the cruise we didn’t have Horizon delivered at night nor did we have blue towels replaced. Minor but indicative of the chaos surrounding cabin service on Azura this cruise.
Frankly this was the worst maintained cabin that we have ever had on P&O.
So much for the ‘promise’ of more training or supervision.
What about Norovirus on P&O ships?
On P&O ships in the past that have had outbreaks of norovirus.
In the past we had relied on our cabin stewards to help protect us by making sure that our cabin was a safe haven – we now have no confidence that all P&O’s stewards care about the health of passengers.
Conversation with P&O lady based at Carnival House, Southampton
On Friday 14th December we had a phone call from a lady from P&O. We were pleased to hear that someone was taking this potential health risk seriously and it was not just a complaint about a ‘dirty mug’ in a cabin.
She apologised on behalf of P&O and promised that other members of P&O at Carnival House would be enquiring how this breach of health and safety could have happened and the way our complaint was handled on board the ship.
As far as we are concerned the matter is now closed as we trust that P&O will endeavour to rectify this issue.