P&O Cruises: devastated family forced to cancel holiday because their young children are not fully vaccinated

The travel company told the family that their children Sofia, two, and Finley, five months, would need to be fully vaccinated

A family were left devastated after their P&O Ferries cruise holiday was cancelled because the children - including a five-month-old baby - were not double vaccinated.

Ally Keeting, 31, husband Joe, 35, and six of their relatives booked a Caribbean cruise for Christmas, in August.

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However, the company later called them to say their children Sofia, two, and Finley, five months, would need to be fully vaccinated to get aboard.

The family claim they were given a week to organise vaccines, which would have to be both completed by December 3, for the two kids, and their cousins aged 12 and 13.

The company rep said they understood youngsters could not get vaccinated, but this was the new policy, Ally said.

The P&O Cruises website says all guests on Caribbean holidays between October 2021 and March 2022 irrespective of age, must have completed their vaccination course.

The family from Leeds, West Yorkshire, got a refund for their £14,000 holiday, and paid an extra £2,000 to go with another firm.

‘How can we achieve something that’s unachievable?’

Ally, a civil servant, said: “We’re just baffled and really upset.

“How can we achieve something that’s unachievable?

“There’s nowhere in the world that’s vaccinating children that young - the vaccines aren’t even licensed for that age group.

“It’s like hitting your head on a brick wall. I just couldn’t believe it. I think they just want adults.

"They can resell the cabins at a higher price than what we paid for the children because you pay per person."

‘It’s irritating and hurtful’

Taxi-driver Joe, his mum, sister and her two children, wife Ally and their children were excited for the holiday leaving on December 17 from Manchester airport to meet their ship in Barbados.

Joe’s mum paid for it as a treat for her family to celebrate her 70th birthday.

They had started planning all their trips on the islands and even buying holiday clothes.

Ally looked online and all the Caribbean countries seemed to require was a Covid test for children, she said.

The family got a refund and have booked another trip with Tui.

“We just felt really sad," she said.

“If they had to cancel it because of regulations you’d understand, but when it’s their own new policy that doesn’t make sense: it’s irritating and hurtful,” said Ally.

What P&O Cruises said

A spokesperson from P&O Cruises said: "We are so sorry for the disappointment that this has caused.

"However, given the long-haul destinations and the number of different countries visited, combined with the current health protocols and various and evolving entry requirements in the Caribbean, all guests (irrespective of age) must have completed their vaccination course at least 14 days prior to travel for this season of Caribbean cruise holidays."

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