Couple win pay-out four years after ‘disaster’ cruise

PUBLISHED: 10:28 17 April 2014 | UPDATED: 10:28 17 April 2014

Donna and Glenn Weekes

Donna and Glenn Weekes


It was supposed to be the dream get-away. But a seven-day cruise turned into a nightmare of overflowing toilets and unhygienic conditions for one Little Easton couple.

Donna and Glenn Weekes booked the Thomson Dream cruise to celebrate their 20th anniversary in May 2010. But, like hundreds of other passengers, their trip was ruined when Glenn got sickness and diarrhoea three days in.

This week the couple were paid £2,250 in compensation in an out-of-court settlement. Yet the couple feel this is “too little, too late”.

Donna, 48, said: “The aftercare was absolutely awful – Thomson didn’t want to know. We were not worried about the money, all we wanted was either another holiday on them or our money back.

“We would have been happy if they just held up their hands and said they made a mistake. We kept going with the complaint because it just made me so angry – our trip was totally spoiled.”

The trouble started for the couple as soon as they stepped on to the boat for their Mediterranean cruise. They were hit by an “awful smell” which stayed with them for the whole trip. They also complained about toilets backing up and sewage spilling on the floor.

“We expected once we left the dock the smell would go away but it got worse – it was making us gag,” added the mother-of-one.

“The cleaners were wearing full face masks, all the toilets were overflowing and there was faeces on the floor. The boat was awful.”

Glenn, 61, who suffered with sickness and diarrhoea for months after the cruise, said: “It wasn’t a dream cruise – it was a disaster cruise.

“There were 10 of us [friends and family] on that trip and not one person had a good time. We couldn’t wait to get off the boat and get away from the smell.

“It is unbelievable it has taken four years to get to where we are today.”

Donna and Glenn enlisted the help of specialist travel lawyers from Irwin Mitchell to fight their corner.

The firm represented 205 passengers from across the country who travelled aboard the Thomson Dream cruise ship between May and October 2010.

Irwin Mitchell previously agreed settlements for 13 passengers and has now come to an agreement with tour operator TUI UK Ltd, in respect of the remaining 192 passengers. The parties have agreed awards for passengers of up to £11,000 each.

Elizabeth Tetzner, a specialist travel lawyer at the firm, said: “A number of the passengers who travelled on the Thomson Dream in 2010 were devastated that they suffered illness. We are pleased that we have been able to reach a settlement with TUI UK Ltd for all those passengers we represented that travelled between May and October 2010. We hope they will now be able to get on with their lives and put the experience behind them.”

Thomson declined to comment.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Dunmow Broadcast visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Dunmow Broadcast staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Dunmow Broadcast account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Fri, 16:12

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss visited Stansted Airport today to highlight the importance of exports to the UK economy and to hear about the airport’s multi-million pound expansion plans.

Fri, 13:22

An afternoon talk on Saturday, January 27 about the dangers the Cold War brought to East Anglia will launch a new display at Braintree Museum.

Fri, 13:19

Golf clubs and equipment worth some £15,000 were stolen during a break-in at Saffron Walden Golf Club.

Fri, 07:51

A water supplier is asking customers in Uttlesford to monitor their usage to help reduce the likelihood of restrictions later in the year.

Digital Edition

Read the Dunmow Broadcast e-edition E-edition

Most read stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter