THOUSANDS of cruise ship passengers – including Live Aid legend Midge Ure – were left floating in the Caribbean after their luxury vessel broke down.
Passengers on the Queen Mary 2, the largest cruise liner in the world, claim they floated without power or lighting for an hour.
One passenger says she remains traumatised after getting stuck in a lift during the outage on December 30.
Another passenger, a solicitor, is demanded a £3,000 refund of the £9,000 she spent on the luxury cruise.
She reported a “massive explosion” just before the blackout and feared pirates could be attacking the ship.
The 27 night cruise, from December 15 to January 10, started at Southampton and then went to the New York via the Caribbean before returning home.
But the Queen Mary 2, which cost £460m, carries 2,695 passengers and weighs 150,000 tonnes, suffered a power blackout and loss of propulsion just over two weeks into the trip, near the Dominican Republic.
Speaking today (Wed) Belinda Greenwood, 60, a consultant solicitor advocate from Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, said: “We were leaving the Caribbean sea heading back to New York. I was on deck 8 with my mother – the smoking area.
“I had my back to the back of the ship and suddenly there was a massive explosion. The lights went out at the pool then everything went dark and the engine died.
“The emergency lighting came on after a short while. It was about an hour it lasted for the incident.
“It was a good 20 minutes before anything was said and the captain said, ‘there was an incident’.
“After 15-20 minutes we went to check the edge of the ship to see if there was anything such as pirates but it was pitch black and we couldn’t see much.
“We saw a helicopter come in and thought it was for us. We were thinking of all sorts of scenarios. We were floating in the middle of the ocean anything could have happened.
“A crew member told us a generator had blown. I have put in a massive complaint into Cunard and I requested £3,000 back from the £9,000 I spent on the cabin.”
“It was a frightening experience.”
Dawn Powers, 55, a businesswoman from London said: “ It was completely out of order. I expect a level of honesty and transparency. My son was in the bedroom when all the lights went out.
“He ended up having to wait in reception just in his pyjama bottoms for about 40 minutes as he was trying to get back into his room.
“My husband was stuck in the theatre when everything died and an officer came to the door and no-one was allowed out. He was panicking like mad as he doesn’t know where I am or my son.”
She explained that she was stuck in the lift after being told it was safe to use after the lights came back on by one of the member of staff. She claims she was stuck in the lift for about 15 minutes until the power came back on.
She added: “Midge Ure was on the boat on holiday with his family. He was giving talks about his life and had a concert. They got off the boat at New York a few days after the incident.”
Midge Ure, the former singer of Ultravox and co-organiser of Live Aid with Bob Geldorf, himself tweeted before and after the incident but made no mention of the power cut.
Lorraine Lee, 64 , from Runcon Cheshire, said: “I’m not sleeping at night because of this experience.
“Me and my husband, James, were stuck in the lift and it was dark and cramped. Some people were in tears as there was nobody to explain what was happening.”
A Cunard spokeswoman denied passengers’ claims the incident had lasted for an hour.
She said: “The incident occurred on the 30 December. The ship experienced a temporary blackout and loss of propulsion lasting approximately 15 minutes, as a result of a technical issue.
“All back up systems operated as required and full propulsion was quickly restored.”