Trip of a lifetime turns sour

IT was meant to be the holiday of a lifetime. Promised fabulous scenery and welcoming cities of North America Terry and Joan Mayes booked a 25 day luxury cruise aboard the MV Athena to celebrate their 48 wedding anniversary.

IT was meant to be the holiday of a lifetime.

Promised fabulous scenery and welcoming cities of North America Terry and Joan Mayes booked a 25 day luxury cruise aboard the MV Athena to celebrate their 48 wedding anniversary.

But their £5,000 dream holiday turned into a nightmare as the cruise ship was caught in hurricanes, turned away from ports and a man died.

Retired builder Mr Mayes said: “It was a disaster. We celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary in the middle of a storm. Several people were injured and had broken limbs and a 70-year-old man died.”

A catalogue of problems beset the cruise prompting an outright apology from Travelscope boss Richard Ford.

Mr Mayes, who returned to the couple's home in Woodbridge Road, near Ipswich town centre , yesterday said: “We left Falmouth headed for a port in Nova Scotia in Canada. We got hit by hurricane. It was a force 12 storm and there were 30ft high waves.”

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But the problems didn't end there. The ship failed to land at Boston on the US coast and a second storm struck on the way home.

Mr Mayes added: “We ended up in Brest, in France. All in all it was fairly disastrous. We not angry but we are very disappointed.”

A spokesman for tour company Travelscope said: “Unfortunately the cruise was affected by severe weather conditions for much of the time, resulting in the itinerary having to be revised for the safety and comfort of the passengers.

“The ship was then subject to delayed entry into the US because of US Customs and Immigration formalities and issues surrounding documentation.

“Although we are aware that many passengers did enjoy the cruise we also understand the legitimate concerns over the failure to land at Boston and this is being investigated as a matter of urgency with the owners of the vessel.”

Have you had a holiday nightmare? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink www.travelscope.co.uk

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