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Elderly mom dies 2 weeks into 100-day cruise — and ship quickly sells room family spent $84K on, grieving daughter says

A heartbroken daughter was left seeing red when a cruise line sold her mother’s cabin on a 14-week trip days after she died at mid-voyage just three days before her 87th birthday.

British passenger Florence Goldwater, 86, caught bacterial pneumonia just two weeks into the 100-day P&O Cruises trip, her daughter, Rebecca Williams, said according to SWNS.

Williams’ husband, Andrew, paid about $84,000 for two rooms on the Arcadia. After consulting with her family, the grieving daughter decided to reboard and continue the journey.

When Williams — who is from the West Midlands in the UK — got back on board, however, she was shocked to learn that her late mother’s room had been quickly sold off and her belongings “dumped” by cruise staff.

Florence Goldwater, 86, with her daughter Rebecca Williams. Rebecca Williams / SWNS
Florence Goldwater, 86, with her daughter Rebecca Williams. Rebecca Williams / SWNS

“We took her to the sick bay in a wheelchair — the doctor examined her and said she’s poorly enough to need hospital treatment — but she’s not critical,” Williams recalled of the chaotic early days of her mom’s illness, just two weeks after they left Southampton on Jan. 6.

“The medical staff put her on an antibiotic drip and gave her a chest X-ray. They concluded she had bacterial pneumonia on both lungs,” she continued.

“Before we disembarked, I went to reception and asked, if she makes a proper, full recovery can we get back on the ship? It’s a 14-week cruise, and we were only two weeks into it,” Williams explained.

“The young guy on reception asked the manager — who came back and said, ‘Absolutely. You’ve paid for those rooms, they’re yours,’” she noted, adding, “Of course, we didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Florence Goldwater died on Jan. 25, just days before her 87th birthday and only two weeks into the 100-day voyage. Rebecca Williams / SWNS
Florence Goldwater died on Jan. 25, just days before her 87th birthday and only two weeks into the 100-day voyage. Rebecca Williams / SWNS

Williams brought her ailing mother to a hospital when the ship docked in Guatemala on Jan. 24.

Goldwater died the next day, three days before her 87th birthday.

The ambulance ride alone cost over $1,600 — while Goldwater’s hospital stay, accommodations for Williams and her husband and a flight to meet the Arcadia in Hawaii racked up another $23,000.

“It was very, very upsetting. I didn’t think she was going to pass away within 24 hours of us being there,” Williams said of the experience.

“We consulted the rest of our family — and Florence’s sister, Jill, who is 89 years old herself — and everyone said she would’ve wanted us to continue on with the cruise,” she explained of their decision to reboard the ship 10 days later.

The mother and daughter were on a 100-day cruise. Rebecca Williams / SWNS
The mother and daughter were on a 100-day cruise. Rebecca Williams / SWNS

They were troubled, however, when they found that Goldwater’s possessions had been “dumped” in their cabin.

When Williams checked with the Arcadia’s general manager, he said, “Someone else is in [her cabin] now.”

“I feel like the company is profiting off my mother’s demise — it’s all been so distressing,” she lamented.

“We’ve not heard anything back from P&O — we’ve emailed and emailed, and nothing,” she said.

“We’re literally still on the cruise, and can’t even speak to anyone. All we’ve been told is that it’s a matter for ‘post-cruise.’ We just don’t know where to turn.”

Florence Goldwater’s family was shocked when the cruise line sold her paid-for room after she died mid-voyage. Rebecca Williams / SWNS
Florence Goldwater’s family was shocked when the cruise line sold her paid-for room after she died mid-voyage. Rebecca Williams / SWNS

The cruise is set to finish on April 15 — leaving Williams and her husband more than a month out from returning from the high seas.

“We are so sorry that Ms. Williams’ mother died during the trip and our thoughts and prayers are with her and the family,” a spokesperson for P&O Cruises told SWNS.

“We follow very strict procedures in such cases to ensure that all personal effects and belongings are dealt with carefully and with the greatest respect,” they insisted.

“As such they were moved for safekeeping to Ms. Williams’ cabin.”