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Daily Record
Daily Record
Jennifer Hyland

Scots couple furious after TUI axe £4.5k honeymoon cruise just three stops into two-week trip

A couple have told how their £4500 honeymoon was ruined after travel company Tui cancelled their two-week cruise just five days into their holiday. Dot Sayer and Iain Marr were aboard the Marella Discovery 2 cruise liner when they got a note under the door to tell them the holiday was ending a week early.

The couple, from Corstorphine in Edinburgh, had booked the £4498 trip in June with Marella Cruises, which is run by travel giant TUI, to celebrate their July 2020 wedding. They boarded the vessel on January 24 at Montego Bay port in Jamaica for a two-week voyage taking in the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Mexico and Jamaica before heading to Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica.

But last Sunday – only three stops and five days into the trip – the operator cancelled the rest of the sailing due to a “technical issue” which affected the food and beverage service. They told all passengers they were being sent home because an alternative cruise wasn’t available.

Dot and Iain received a note under their door to tell them that their holiday was concluding a week early (Dave Johnston)

The couple were returned to Montego Bay and then flown to Manchester airport, despite having flown out from Glasgow. They then endured an eight-hour trip home – a total of a gruelling 22 hours after leaving the ship.

Accounts manager Dot, 57, said: “It’s so disappointing and the whole situation has been a nightmare. We booked this cruise as cruising is our thing. But this was extra-special, a belated honeymoon, as it’s not every day you get to go to the Caribbean.

“On our first week we visited our first three stops but then we received a note under our cabin door in the dead of night telling us that the trip was cancelled and we were being sent home. It was total chaos with confusion, anger and upset among the passengers, who had spent lots of money booking.

“We then had to sail back to Jamaica and were flown to Manchester, 200 miles away from Glasgow. We arrived and, after a two-hour wait, they stuck us on a bus at 11am, which had only four people on it. We stopped at a service station and boarded another bus.

“We travelled back to Glasgow and were exhausted and had to drive back home to Edinburgh, where we got in at 7pm. On top of that, they lost one of our cases. It was horrendous. There was no communication, no explanation, no roll call for the bus and I wouldn’t even have known we were going by bus if I hadn’t asked.”

The couple have been offered a 'pro rata' refund for the cancelled week as well as a £300 voucher each. Dot has started a Facebook group which has attracted over 300 of the more than 900 disgruntled passengers who disembarked early.

The Marella Discovery 2 describes itself as the lead ship of the Vision class of ships originally operated by Royal Caribbean International.

A spokesperson for Tui said: “We understand how frustrating the cancellation of the Pride of Panama cruise on Marella Discovery 2 would have been for Ms Sayer and Mr Marr. The cancellation was due to a technical issue with our catering facilities. We apologise for the disappointment and inconvenience caused.”

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