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Has any member tried a voyage on Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s latest venture? If you have made a voyage, please tell us about your experience.
In the travel section of last weekend’s Sunday Times there is a piece written by Matt Rudd about a week he has endured on EasyCruiseOne in the Caribbean. He was sent on a pre-revenue press voyage in the Mediterranean during the summer and managed to escape after only one night, vowing that he would not go back in a million years. His editor told him that it was all very well write a piece when they were making a special effort for a few journalists but he must sample a working voyage to get the real measure of the ship. So he went to the Caribbean, as he writes, “in the interests of journalistic thoroughness and of not being sacked.”
Firstly, he lists the good things. The staff are excellent, the longest voyage is about 100 miles so she spends a lot of the time tied up in harbour and you can escape, the cabins are spotless and the food is okay. Prices are now even less than they were in the summer. A basic cabin for two is only £18 per night. Windows have been fitted to six cabins and these are available at £33 per night. There are also a handful of suites with balconies at £93 per night. All food and drinks are extra of course. Yet despite these rock bottom prices, the ship was only about 60% full. Furthermore the passengers were not the young and wild set everyone expected. There were a few very polite and well behaved American frat boys, but the majority of the passengers were from the older generation. As they were not intent on creating wild parties every night, the appalling accommodation was even more obvious.
The major problem seems to be that cabins are more like torture chambers. They are about the size of the very smallest garden shed. The decor is of course, bright orange. There is a single, search-light strength light, without a dimmer switch. Worst of all, there is a complete absence of acoustic insulation. All conversation in adjoining cabins can be clearly heard. Footsteps passing the door sound as though they are in the cabin. If you fall asleep at last you are woken by the Evac toilet dawn chorus. When any toilet in the circuit is flushed it sounds as though it is in your cabin.
Matt Rudd is now determined that he is never going back in a million years. If his editor sacks him he would probably win his case in an industrial tribunal.

Fred (Read)
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