Problems on the Azura
Stan Smith | June 2, 2018 | P&O Cruises | Azura
I was on the Mediterranean cruise on the Azura which returned to Southampton on the 30th October, 2015, complete with many cases of the Norovirus, including me. It was our second cruise on the Azura and the ship itself is fine. The food and entertainment were good and the service from the restaurant and cabin staff were excellent.
If you have never had the Norovirus then believe me you do not want it but as it happened it was not my major worry on this cruise. On the fourth day we were in Gibraltar and the rain was so heavy that one of our waiters from Goa said that he had been home in the monsoon season and this was worse. Some shore excursions were cancelled but ours – “Secrets of the Rock” went ahead. This included minibus to the cable car, then a walk of about 800 yards to St Michael’s Cave. Of course half way up the cable car we vanished into thick cloud and consequently had no views.
The walk to the Cave was horrendous. The rain was coming down in sheets and the roads were like rivers in places. All of us were absolutely soaked to the skin and several members of the party asked the guide to abandon the tour and go back. Tour buses passed us complete with apes sitting on them and we had to press against the rock face to let them past. I was telling everyone else to be careful when my foot skidded on loose gravel and down I went. Within thirty seconds our friend just in front of us fell, cutting his knee and hand and tearing his trousers. In my case I knew from the pain that I had either severely sprained or broken my ankle. It was broken.
The guide and party continued on, desperate to get out of the rain, and my wife and I, aged 81 and 80 years, were left on our own on top of The Rock with the rain in sheets. I had no choice but to hobble as best I could over 300yards to St Michael’s cave where an ambulance was called and I was taken to Gibraltar hospital. The ambulance men said that no-one should have been allowed up the Rock in those dangerous conditions.
The hospital staff were great with a quick X ray confirming it was broken. They splinted me up and contacted the ship which was delayed about 20 minutes until we got back on board. In our cabin the crew had packed one suitcase with a selection of clothes and our passports, ready to leave that with us in Gibraltar. I was then confined to the ship for the rest of the cruise and had to cancel our other excursions. My wife had to push me in a wheelchair from one end of the ship to the other to the restaurant – not easy on ship’s carpets.
I had crutches but was not able to use them in the cabin whilst the ship was moving. Trips to the bathroom were down on my hands and knees. Imagine having the Norovirus and having to get to the bathroom quickly – not a pleasant experience.
So back home after two trips to the hospital I am confined to my house for 4 weeks with instructions to keep my leg elevated. I don’t quite know how I am going to get through the sheer frustration. It remains to be seen what P & O will do regarding an excursion which should never have been allowed to continue.
I suppose there is a bright side – we are due to go to the Med on the Britannia on the 10th April next to celebrate our Diamond Wedding, 60 years of happy marriage. The only slight worry is that we are due back in Gibraltar on the 13th!!!!
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