A NEWLY-WED couple have told how their honeymoon in paradise almost cost them their lives.
Willen hospice carer Jo Adams and her husband Mike were told to expect “just a bit of rain” by their travel rep in Cuba.
Instead they spent a terrified night trapped in their hotel bathroom as ceilings caved in and windows smashed all around them.
Now the couple are complaining to First Choice Thomson travel about the lack of preparation and guidance during the disaster.
“We’re not complaining about the hurricane itself – that is an act of God. But we do consider the travel company put us in great danger by ignoring the warning signs,” said 46-year-old Jo.
She and Mike were told by their travel rep that the hurricane would be 65 kilometres further up the coast.
Said Jo: “We decided to check for ourselves on the Internet at our hotel. We discovered the hurricane was on its way – and heading straight for us.”
The Adams went to their fourth floor room when the rain started that evening.
Later a piece of paper was pushed under the door bearing advice from the travel company to keep possessions up high and stay clothed.
At 11pm the hurricane struck, causing immediate devastation. The room flooded, the balcony roof blew off and the ceilings collapsed, said Jo.
“All we could do was shelter into the bathroom. As soon as we got in there the patio doors exploded all over the bed on which we’d been lying.”
The couple, who live in Filgrave, spent the next seven hours holding the door shut to protect themselves.”
“Nobody checked on us. The only help we had from First Choice Thomson was that little piece of paper pushed under our door,” said Jo.
She is now urging the travel company to pay more attention to customer safety in Cuba.
“It ruined our honeymoon. It really was the honeymoon from hell,” said Jo.
A spokesman for First Choice Thomson said: “Thomson is sorry to hear that Mr and Mrs Adams were upset by their experience at the Brisas hotel during a hurricane in Cuba.
“As soon as Thomson Holiday Advisors were made aware of the hurricane warning, notices were put up in public areas including the restaurants and reception at the hotel.
“Our customers were also contacted directly in their rooms and given advice on how best to keep safe as the hurricane hit overnight. We also had a Holiday Advisor based in each of our hotels in Cuba throughout the hurricane.
“While Thomson has no control over extreme weather conditions, our overseas holiday advisors are trained to assist customers in rare situations such as this. We follow advice given by the National Hurricane centre and local authorities and work closely with other members of the Federation of Tour Operators to ensure all customer communication is consistent.”