Honeymoon turns into nightmare

Friday, 28 December 2007 21:09

A DEVIZES couple say their wedding was nearly wrecked when their dream honeymoon turned into a nightmare.

Emma Kerr, 32, and Simon Emmott, 30, from Rider Close, Devizes, were looking forward to jetting off to the Maldives after their wedding at Beechfield House, Melksham, this Saturday, December 29.

But they learned that the Herathera Island Resort in the Indian Ocean paradise, due to open at the beginning of November, was still going to be a building site.

They booked the two-week all-inclusive break, costing £3,668, in July. The number of facilities available at the resort particularly appealed to them, including as it did a spa and water sports.

But, as the time got closer, they learned that the spa is not operational, wind surfing is no longer available and the glorious azure lakes on the island are a dirty brown in colour and being infilled.

The jetty is being dredged, some beaches are not functional because they need cleaning, the a la carte restaurant will not be open, and building work is still going on.

Yet Miss Kerr was told that normal terms and conditions apply.

First Choice, the travel agents the couple were going through, said they could switch the couple to nearby Meeru Island. The only snag was they would need to pay an extra £2,000.

Miss Kerr told the Gazette: "We are both so upset about the whole thing. Organising a wedding is stressful enough without all this.

"First Choice has known about this for weeks but have done nothing about it. It is not right they can get away with doing this kind of thing."

On Christmas Eve, the couple learned that First Choice was prepared to give them a full refund but that still left them with nowhere to go on their honeymoon.

Miss Kerr said: "Fortunately, I managed to fix something up over the Internet. We will be leaving on December 30 for Cuba. It's not the Maldives but it is something.

"I cannot believe a reputable company like First Choice could do this to people. There must be others in the same situation as ourselves.

"The resort was supposed to be finished at the end of October and the grand opening at the beginning of November. First Choice must have known the situation, but they did nothing."

An email the couple received from First Choice, before they decided to cancel, said: "I do seriously apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

"First Choice was expecting the Herathera to have opened on time and it is unfortunately out of our hands that this resort was not completed in time."

Miss Kerr and Mr Emmott have now reported the matter to Wiltshire Trading Standards.

Source: www.gazetteandherald.co.uk

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