Family’s £14,000 Caribbean cruise cancelled over vaccine status

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Family's £14,000 Caribbean cruise cancelled over vaccine status
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A family’s £14,000 Caribbean cruise was cancelled over the vaccine status of their two young children.

P&O cancelled a family’s Caribbean cruise because the children are not fully vaccinated. The children are both under the age where vaccination is even possible.

Ally Keeting and her husband Joe had booked their dream cruise with their two young children. The cruise was set to take place in December and they had booked it in August.

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The dream holiday had been paid for by Joe’s mother in celebration of her 70th birthday.

P&O called to cancel the holiday though. The company has said that the children aged two and only five months old would have to be fully vaccinated to be allowed on the cruise.

P&O changed its policy last month for its Caribbean cruises. Regardless of age, all passengers need to be fully vaccinated.


In the UK only children aged 12 and over can be vaccinated so far. This is due to regulations put in place by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The family were given a full refund. They have booked a holiday with a different firm. This has cost them an additional £2000.

Ally explained: ‘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.”

The family had been expecting to enjoy the cruise with Joe’s mother and other family members too.

The COVID policy for P&O was changed as the company tries to “evolve to the changing public health situation.”

Ali commented: “We just felt really sad. 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.”

A P&O cruises spokesperson 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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Alex Glenn is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News. Formerly she worked in the NHS for 15 years until relocating to Spain in 2018. She loves the Spanish lifestyle, language and culture and spent several years learning Spanish before moving to Spain for a better quality of life. She has made her home in the mountains in Almeria, where she loves being part of a rural community that has a mix of both expats and Spanish residents. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, reading and exploring the area where she lives.

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