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Review: MV Artemis

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

Pirates and the Starboard Bow

  • By SilverTraveller Melville

    2 reviews

  • Jan 2011
  • Wife
  • Special occasion
  • Oceanview

57 people found this review helpful

Having caught your attention, I must admit that if there were pirates on the starboard bow they were a long way away.

I don’t intend to review the whole of the cruise which was very much like the curate’s egg – good in parts. This review is about that section that was influenced by the mere threat of pirates.

The threat is seen to be very real. P&O cancelled that part of the cruise that was to have gone to the Seychelles , where it is said our newly created Duke and his bride are enjoying themselves, and what woould have been a highlight.

Personally we found this out after we boarded, for most they received the notification as they were checking in. P&O serious view was also evidend by the presence of a serving senior member of the armed forces acting as consultant and co-ordinator.

Prior to the danger area (which seemed to cover the Arabian Gulf and much of the Indian Ocean) we had a practice drill. This entailed moving to the corridors (avoiding broken glass and possibly bullets). This was a bit of a bind as our cabin had only one chair. Sitting on the floor was one of the indignities of this voyage.

The main Promenade Deck was out of bound during the exercise, which was not important as we were cowering in the corridors. However for the whole of the “danger” period it was closed.

We were told that, technically, the Captain could not prevent the pirates from boarding as what they were doing was not so much a crime as a civil wrong. Apparently she could ask them not to board and if they had boarded she could ask, equally politely, for them to leave.

The stern of the ship was equipped with loudspeakers to play music, not,as I first thought, in welcome but loudly to drive them off. There was also the possibility of catching them with the cold water from pipes snaking across the deck. Of course this relied on the crew using the hoses. They may decide that it was more discreet to absent themselves if a couple of hand grenades preceded the pirates.

There was one action that could be taken by the ship. This was to proceed at full speed ahead and take a zig-zag course. What this would have done to us mature ones with our brittle bones as we bounced around the corrridors was not discussed.

It is said that although they have approached four, some say, cruise ships they have yet to take one. My view is that it would be a prime target. A thousand well-heeled passengers each capable of raising, say, a £500 000 ransom, and with the ship and crew as a bonus, would make a decent profit.

The ship also omitted a planned day at Salallah. Being of a somewhat cynical frame of mind I suspect that this was in order to catch the next convoy of civil ships with an Armed Naval escort.

So our trip in that part of the world was spoiled not by the pirates attacking us, sorry committing trespass, but by the fear of such action. It might have been exciting if they had armed all the ex-servicemen on board with permission to shoot on sight, but the reality was annoyance and restriction. For example the stroll in the warm, late evening denied because part of the ship was out of bounds ort he upper decks dark with restricted lighting.

In short it was not much fun which somehow is not what cruising is advertised to be.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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