WHEN you go on your dream cruise, you and your wife naturally expect to have your cabin to yourselves, and to enjoy some excellent dining.

But there were some surprises in store for for Bobby, 64, and Mary Jackson, 62, when they went travelling with Norwegian Cruise Lines from Singapore to Thailand.

The ship was the Norwegian Jewel. But some of the couple’s experiences were not exactly sparkling.

The Jacksons, from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, were stunned when they entered their cabin with their ‘secure’ coded keycard — only to find a naked couple having sex in their state room.

“I was horrified,” Mary said.

“What I witnessed was extremely unpleasant.

“There was a man and woman having sex on the bed in our designated room.

“I immediately closed the door again.”

They had paid about £4800 (nearly $9000) for the week-long cruise – their first – on the 2376-passenger Norwegian Jewel luxury ship.

With them was their cabin attendant, who immediately went to inform his supervisor.

“We are not prudes, but this was ridiculous,” Mary said.

The trip didn’t get off to the best of starts when they were left waiting on the quayside at Singapore’s Marina Bay for two-and-a-half hours in scorching heat before boarding.

“When we finally got on the ship we first went to the bar for a drink because we were exhausted after all the standing around in the heat,” Bobby said.

“We were then shown down to our state room accommodation, which we were really looking forward to seeing.”

When they got to cabin 10039, the electronic key card wouldn’t work at first.

But it opened at the third attempt, and that was when the couple saw what they wish they hadn’t.

“I could see the back of a man on the bed who was directly facing us and it was obvious he was in the middle of having sex with a woman,” Mary said.

“I shut the door immediately and we went into the cabin next door where my sister was staying, while the staff sorted this out.

“I was traumatised and I needed a glass of water.”

The couple then went to complain to the ship’s guest relations manager and to ask for an unsullied cabin, but there was no alternative room available because the ship was full up, they said.

“We went back to the cabin and the woman had left, but the male was still there,” Bobby said.

“Two of the ship’s crew eventually persuaded him to leave. He looked very sheepish.

“I asked the crew if they knew him and they told me he was a worker on the ship.”

The couple said they felt insulted when they were offered about £100 of credits to spend on the ship as compensation.

Things got worse when Mary took ill with a stomach bug two days later and spent most of the rest of the trip confined to her cabin.

“I was extremely frightened because I was very sick and I was a long way from home,” she said.

“The ship’s doctor put me on an IV drip, gave me antibiotics and I was told to stay out of the sun.”

When the couple returned home they wrote to Florida-based operators Norwegian Cruise Line to complain about their experience but were unhappy with an offer of £200 each in credits towards their next trip with the firm, if taken this year.

The cruise company said a full investigation had taken place and the appropriate (but unspecified) action had been taken.

They said the Jacksons had been contacted to discuss compensation.

However, the experience of dehydration, a stomach bug and a cabin used by an unidentified amorous twosome suggests the Jacksons might try another company, should they ever go cruising again.

 

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.