Things turned ugly when a cruise-ship captain skipped stops in plague-afflicted Madagascar

Saturday, 11 November 2017, 08:06:59 AM. When a cruise ship canceled its stops to plague-ridden Madagascar, a French passenger organized a protest.
A lemur jumps from tree to tree at Andasibe National Park in Madagascar. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post) It began with the captain’s announcement: The luxury cruise ship would not be stopping in Madagascar, a country troubled by a deadly outbreak of plague. The news came the day after the Costa neoRiviera liner set sail, its passengers expecting to be whisked, over two weeks, to Madagascar’s white sand beaches and to the nearby islands of Mauritius, the Seychelles and Réunion. The captain first canceled one of three Madagascar stops, and later scrapped the other two, including one at the tourist resort of Nosy Be. This left the ship with just three stops — on Mauritius, the Seychelles and Réunion — which especially frustrated many passengers from Réunion who had booked the cruise to visit islands other than their own. To compensate for the cancellations, passengers were offered 150 euros — about $175, Costa Cruises said in a statement. This sparked further outrage among the vacationers and led one passenger to call the ship a “floating prison” and organize a protest. “Things started heating up; 150 euros, when a major part of the trip is canceled and a glass of water costs 5 euros?” the passenger, Alain Jan, told Le Parisien. [Rats used to spread the black death. Now, poverty plays a role.] Jan, 53, runs a restaurant on Réunion, a French island east of Madagascar. The cruise departed from that island Oct. 26 at the height of an unusually deadly outbreak of pneumonic...Read more
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