A newlywed same-sex male couple has branded travel agency group TUI as a “disgrace” after staff members allegedly pointed and laughed at them during their honeymoon cruise.
The married couple Dan and Chance Walton-Ashmore claimed they received continuous “homophobic abuse” from TUI staff throughout their honeymoon trip on the Marella Discovery. On social media, Dan wrote, “Heartbroken at this cruise. […] We want to come home. TUI are a disgrace!”
Speaking to the Mirror, Dan further stated, “Initially, it was that they refused to provide a double bed rather than the two singles we were given, even though the booking did state it was our honeymoon. When we requested this to be completed at reception five times they simply pointed and laughed at us. I had to push them together myself for it to be done.”
It was reported on social media that bar staff would laugh and point while the couple danced. Dan said, “We are being treated differently from the bar staff and in some cases not being served at all and feeling like we are invisible. We have danced with each other and noticed bar staff laughing and also pointing at us. Passengers have witnessed this happening and have all been really supportive.”
Responding to the couple’s social media post, TUI has tried to make amends by giving them champagne, strawberries and a free meal on the cruise. Dan said, “This is not good enough and is in no way a sufficient apology and does not make up for the 11 days that we have been through.”
A TUI spokesperson has stated that an internal investigation has been launched. They stated, “Our team onboard are doing everything possible to address the customers’ concerns and give them the best possible experience on their holiday.”
Chance has said to the Mirror, “This whole experience has been horrible. This should [have] been the trip of a lifetime and has turned out to be a nightmare. I didn’t think in 2019 we would be facing this kind of prejudice from an established company. We really want to stress that it is the minority of the staff on board not the majority.”
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