You've got to feel sorry for P&O.... and most people it seems, do!
Throughout the whole 11-day debacle there's been an interesting undercurrent. The press coverage has been astonishingly restrained, although you can tell they really wanted to roast the cruise line in ridule. The problem is, they haven't been able to find anybody, particularly among the passengers, who wants to bad-mouth P&O!
Time and time again the papers, tv & radio have referred to the passengers who've paid up to £40,000 for their round the world luxury cruise getting no further than the Isle of Wight. But of the 380 who dis-embarked before the final attempt to depart, I've not heard/read of one who, while disappointed, didn't think that it was P&O's fault and that P&O weren't doing their best to sort it out. Of course, free booze onboard probably helped, but P&O have been very slick at averting disaster by being seen to be up-front and generous in their terms - full refund plus a sizeable discount off another cruise. Can't say fairer than that.
For me, the only criticism of their crisis management has been the abysmal use of their website for crisis communications. It took them an unbelievable 9 days before they started posting updates on the website.