Hol on Dream liner ‘was a nightmare’

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A MOTHER and daughter have spoken of their disgust at a holiday they hoped would be the trip of a lifetime.

Joyce Whiteley, 75, had hoped for a dream Christmas and New Year Caribbean cruise.

Mrs Whiteley booked the break after suffering a stroke last August.

Once she was given the all-clear by doctors, she decided to fulfil her lifelong ambition of going on a cruise and asked her daughter, 46- year-old Gail Wilkinson to join her.

The pair flew from Manchester on December 23, joining the Thomson Dream, billed as “spacious” and “stylish” by the owner.

The couple hoped for two weeks of luxury and looked forward to enjoying the restaurants and pools on board.

Instead their getaway was littered with catastophes.

Wheelchair-bound Mrs Whiteley was left with an injured elbow after a loose piece of carpet sent her flying.

The list of problems went on, they said, with their bathroom flooding and human waste coming up through the toilet.

A fire broke out on their deck, leaving guests panicking. Messages came across the Tannoy of ‘Code Bravo, Code Bravo’.

“Me and Mum were ready to jump ship. We were dressed ready, just waiting for our lifejackets,” said Mrs Wilkinson. “I was shaking and my adrenaline surged. I said to my mum just get in your warm clothes and I’ll sort the rest.”

After the fire was put out, they said the captain took to the Tannoy telling guests: “Everything is under control and passengers may rest in peace.”

“I just couldn’t believe he said that,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

“It was a horrible trip,” she said.

Even when they were back in the UK, the confusion continued with delays and being taken through an unnecessary extra journey through Bristol Airport.

Mrs Wilkinson had seen the cruise ship on the BBC Watchdog programme, but said she was assured by staff that problems with the air conditioning and bathrooms had been repaired and the liner was shipshape.

Thomson confirmed the ship had problems.

A spokesperson said: “The ship experienced some challenges since departing Germany at the beginning of December where she was in dry dock.

“On departing Hamburg, where the ship had spent six weeks, it became apparent that part of the air-conditioning unit had been damaged by the severe cold weather in Germany.

“We would like to reassure Mrs Whiteley and future customers that our team of engineers did all they could to correct any issues, swiftly and efficiently.”

l Have you ever had a disastrous holiday? Tell us all about it at yoursay@halifax coutier.co.uk