As first time cruisers we were apprehensive at the point of booking as this cruise (Cuban Fusion and Pride of Panama) was costing much more than we would usually pay on a holiday but as we were travelling for a 65th birthday, we decided to stretch the budget for a holiday of a lifetime. Before we even travelled we had countless issues that UK based staff failed to deal with. Firstly, out full
Day, evening and full
Morning in Cuba was reduced to an evening, a night and we were to set sail early the following morning. Staff at the travel agents were unable to issue any compensation and eventually they had authorisation from head office to credit our onboard accounts with £100. We felt that this was a small amount to only have a few hours in Cuba in a Cuban Fusion cruise (our main reason for choosing that cruise). Throughout the process of complaining about the change we were constantly ignored by Tui, emails were not responded to and calls that they promosed to make back to us never happened. 4 days before we were due to fly, we received an email saying one of our pre booked cabins had been double booked and one of our party had been allocated a new cabin on the other side of the ship with a different muster station. The email stated that they had been trying to call (they hadn’t) and the email was also sent at 17.29 - just as the store closed so we were left panicked and upset as we could not speak with anyone until the next morning. The next morning, we called the store and was told that they would try and get us cabins together. We got a call a short while later saying that they could get us 2 cabins together, but they were twin cabins (maybe bunk beds) and were near the public toilets, lifts and stairs. When booking cabins we researched where to avoid and all the above were mentioned. So we were advised to keep the newly allocated rooms and that it would be sorted onboard. We were very upset and distressed and this was made worse by the rude and incompetent store manager at Waltham Cross telling us that she didn’t have time to deal with it due to January being a busy time and high levels of staff sickness. The flight to Jamaica was fraught with anxiety again made worse by only 4 toilets being available to everyone in economy and one of those being placed out of order within the first hour leaving people queuing down the aisles for over 30 minutes to use the toilets. We were also made to share 1 can of drink between 2 people! Throughout the day of travel we were constantly told us our cabin would be sorted at the next opportunity, when our bags were tagged to cabins at the airport, the port embarkation process and when we boarded, we still didn’t have cabins together. We headed to reception to ask where our cabins were and we were told that we were never getting new cabins, it was a full cruise! We had continuously asked to have a full refund rather than separate cabins but were lured to the cruise ship under false pretences. We were devastated. One of our party suffers with anxiety, which is why it was so important for us to be close by each other but this was totally ignored by Tui.