PASSENGERS on a £5,000 festive cruise found the trip hard to swallow after their Christmas dinner was ruined in a booking mix-up.

The fuming guests claimed their experience on P&O Cruises Arvia's maiden voyage was dampened by a string of errors.

This included long queues for "poor" food, booking errors and bad Wi-Fi onboard.

The captain on the Christmas cruise from Southampton to the Canary Islands was forced to apologise for the issues, The Times reports.

Passengers had forked out thousands for the trip on the Arvia, which has been branded the "latest evolution in the P&O Cruises experience".

Lynne Wheatley, 67, and her husband, Richard, 73, paid £5,300 for the two-week journey.

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The couple had reserved a table for Christmas dinner but were told that morning the booking had been lost.

They claim they were forced to wait an hour for a new booking but another mix-up meant their table was given away.

Eventually the Wheatleys managed to tuck into their festive feast almost three hours later.

Lynne said: “We waited two and a half hours and the food was awful.

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"We were in a restaurant with no tablecloths — it was more like your kitchen table. I spoke to one couple who got sat down at 11pm.”

She continued: “Don’t get me wrong, the ship is beautiful [but] it’s a shame because it’s ruined Christmas for a lot of people.”

The Arvia boasts a "SkyDome pool with retractable roof, infinity pool, aerial obstacle course and 12 restaurants.

Gwyndaf Jones said the "non-existent" Wi-Fi was the "worst" he has seen at sea.

He said: “It’s a lovely ship, but in hindsight they were not ready to sail”.

While Dominik Scott said other passengers complained to him after recognising him from his YouTube channel where he reviews cruises.

He said: “On Christmas Day we were quite lucky. Other people’s day was an absolute disaster.

"We didn’t experience anything half as bad."

The ship is currently still at sea for New Year's Eve and will return to Southampton on January 6.

A spokeswoman for P&O Cruises said: “We are so sorry for those guests affected by the IT and connectivity issues on Arvia’s current cruise, which caused dining issues and restaurant delays for a proportion of guests on Christmas Day.

"This service was certainly not up to our usual high standards and we wholeheartedly apologise.”





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