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Cunard To Compensate Passengers after Complaints on New York Voyage

May 3, 1987

LONDON (AP) _ All 1,200 passengers aboard Britain’s luxury liner Queen Elizabeth II have been offered a 40 percent cash refund on their fares, a spokesman for Cunard, the company that owns the vessel, said.

The offer was prompted by a torrent of complaints about faults during its maiden voyage to New York following major renovation work. Passengers paid up to $5,810 per person for the trip.

Cunard chairman Alan Kennedy said passengers will receive the refunds by May 27. Kennedy, who is aboardthe QE2, added that he has written to each passenger offering apologies for the problems.

″I am very conscious of the inconvenience and discomfort you suffered at the non-availability of some of the ship’s facilities,″ his letter said.

The 67,139-ton liner sailed from Southampton on Thursday after a 179-day refit in the West German port of Bremerhaven costing $182 million. No British shipyard had accepted the contract, saying it could not do the job within the timetable demanded by Cunard.

However, the German yard had its problems with Cunard’s stringent schedule. More than 80 passengers’ cabins weren’t ready, some showers, telephones, toilets and television receivers didn’t work, and often meals were served cold British newspapers reported.

The refund will go to every passenger, not just those who suffered, because many facilities offered in the brochure weren’t available, including the swimming pools, cinema and computer learning center, Cunard said.

The ship is scheduled to dock in New York City on Monday.

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