British couple say Tui needs stricter Covid controls on cruises after they test positive


British couple say Tui needs stricter Covid controls on cruises after they test positive on last day of £1,900 Mediterranean cruise and are forced to spend £1,500 on Malaga quarantine hotel

  • Kelly Silverton, 29, and her partner Rob spent seven days in a quarantine hotel
  • Couple were six days into their week-long trip when they were asked to take test
  • Kelly says that, along with 50 others, they were told to leave ship and self-isolate
  • She also alleged they only had to take one lateral flow test before going to Spain
  • *Did you test positive for Covid on ship? Email [email protected]*


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Were YOU affected by Covid outbreak on the ship?

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A British couple have called for Tui to have stricter control of Covid on cruises after one of them tested positive for the virus on the last day of their £1,900 trip around the Mediterranean.

Kelly Silverton, 29, and her partner Rob were forced to spend £1,500 – £250 per night – to stay in a quarantine hotel in Malaga, Spain, for seven days.

The couple from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, were six days into their week-long trip when holidaymakers on the boat were asked to take a Covid test while docked in Malaga.

Kelly claims that, along with over 50 others, her partner tested positive for the virus so they were told to leave the boat and self-isolate.

She watched the Marella Cruises ship ‘sail off into the distance’ to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, with the rest of the holidaymakers for the last day of the trip.

The couple then had to pay £158 for a taxi to a quarantine hotel last Wednesday, which Kelly claims used to be a student hostel costing just £20 per night.

Kelly said the food was so unappealing at the quarantine hotel that she paid £125 on Uber Eats orders for the week.

They also paid an extra £200 for return flights back to the UK, meaning in total the couple had to pay £1,983 on top of their original holiday costs due to coronavirus.

Kelly has since criticised Tui for their Covid protocols, alleging that passengers only had to take one lateral flow test before flying to Spain to embark on their cruise. 

The travel provider apologised to the couple for being ‘unable to enjoy the full duration of their cruise as planned’, saying the safety and wellbeing of everyone onboard is their ‘highest priority’.

Kelly Silverton (pictured above), 29, and her partner Rob were forced to spend £1,500 - £250 per night - to stay in a quarantine hotel in Malaga, Spain, for seven days

Kelly Silverton (pictured above), 29, and her partner Rob were forced to spend £1,500 - £250 per night - to stay in a quarantine hotel in Malaga, Spain, for seven days

Kelly Silverton (pictured above), 29, and her partner Rob were forced to spend £1,500 – £250 per night – to stay in a quarantine hotel in Malaga, Spain, for seven days

The couple then had to pay £158 for a taxi to a quarantine hotel (bedroom pictured) last Wednesday, which Kelly claims used to be a student hostel costing just £20 per night

The couple then had to pay £158 for a taxi to a quarantine hotel (bedroom pictured) last Wednesday, which Kelly claims used to be a student hostel costing just £20 per night

The couple then had to pay £158 for a taxi to a quarantine hotel (bedroom pictured) last Wednesday, which Kelly claims used to be a student hostel costing just £20 per night

The teacher claims that TUI told customers to take the lateral flow tests but purely relied upon temperature checks to deem passengers as safe.

Speaking today, Kelly said: ‘We took PCR tests around 8pm on Wednesday night and it was confirmed at midnight that we were positive.

‘We got a call at 11am on Thursday that we were to leave at 2pm and finally at 6pm we got a taxi to the Covid hotel.

‘The temperature check was the only safeguard but people had been passing that all week. 

‘The cruise was £1,853 for the week and we thought it was going to be a nice break. TUI had no protocols and the hotel they used was not fit for purpose. 

‘The costs were a joke. It cost £1,500 for the two of us to stay in the Covid hotel, as well as £200 for us to fly ourselves home.

‘We also spent £125 on UberEats throughout our time in the hotel. There were people in their sixties and seventies who were upset and on their own.’

A spokeswoman for Tui told MailOnline: ‘We’re sorry that Ms Silverton and Mr Hoddinott were unable to enjoy the full duration of their cruise as planned. 

‘We follow the correct protocols at all times, and after Ms Silverton’s partner tested positive for Covid, he was transferred to a quarantine hotel under local guidelines in Spain, and Ms Silverton was allowed to isolate with her partner as requested.

‘All cruise customers must have travel insurance with Covid cover in case they need to make a claim. The safety and well-being of everyone onboard is our highest priority, and we always offer every support possible to our guests.’ 

Kelly, who works as a teacher, said the food (above) was so unappealing at the quarantine hotel that she paid £125 on Uber Eats orders for the week

Kelly, who works as a teacher, said the food (above) was so unappealing at the quarantine hotel that she paid £125 on Uber Eats orders for the week

Kelly, who works as a teacher, said the food (above) was so unappealing at the quarantine hotel that she paid £125 on Uber Eats orders for the week

Kelly claims the hostel did not provide breakfast until 10.30am on multiple occasions and no questions were asked about dietary requirements (one of the quarantine's hotel meals, above)

Kelly claims the hostel did not provide breakfast until 10.30am on multiple occasions and no questions were asked about dietary requirements (one of the quarantine's hotel meals, above)

Kelly claims the hostel did not provide breakfast until 10.30am on multiple occasions and no questions were asked about dietary requirements (one of the quarantine’s hotel meals, above)

The shower room in the quarantine hotel. Kelly said: 'The costs were a joke. It cost £1,500 for the two of us to stay in the Covid hotel, as well as £200 for us to fly ourselves home'

The shower room in the quarantine hotel. Kelly said: 'The costs were a joke. It cost £1,500 for the two of us to stay in the Covid hotel, as well as £200 for us to fly ourselves home'

The shower room in the quarantine hotel. Kelly said: ‘The costs were a joke. It cost £1,500 for the two of us to stay in the Covid hotel, as well as £200 for us to fly ourselves home’

Kelly also tweeted from her quarantine hotel last week, writing: ‘Anyone who has a cruise booked with @TUIUK #marellacruises.

‘You are really gambling on your holiday. Over 50 people on a cruise of 500 guests tested positive for Covid on the last day.

‘Unhappy holidaymakers now strewn across Malaga and ignored by Tui.’

She added: ‘I only booked with @TUIUK and #MarellaCruises for extra peace of mind that we would be looked after if the worst happened.

‘No one has confirmed what happens now. How long I am here, how much it costs, and most importantly what was that meat?!’

‘Also @TUIUK #marellacruises, while I’m an optimistic #livehappy millennial who enjoys moaning on Twitter and ‘hablo un poco de español’, there are some older holidaymakers in this quarantine who are scared, upset and feel abandoned by you.

‘Why @TUIUK? Why?’

A letter sent by Marella Cruises to Kelly, advising her to contact the ship for any additional support, for which she claimed the 'phone didn't work'

A letter sent by Marella Cruises to Kelly, advising her to contact the ship for any additional support, for which she claimed the 'phone didn't work'

A letter sent by Marella Cruises to Kelly, advising her to contact the ship for any additional support, for which she claimed the ‘phone didn’t work’

A tweet from Kelly showing her dinner in Malaga after being quarantined on the ship. The vegetarian also said she was given half a jacket potato with beef for dinner at one point before staff then replaced it with carrots and rice

A tweet from Kelly showing her dinner in Malaga after being quarantined on the ship. The vegetarian also said she was given half a jacket potato with beef for dinner at one point before staff then replaced it with carrots and rice

A tweet from Kelly showing her dinner in Malaga after being quarantined on the ship. The vegetarian also said she was given half a jacket potato with beef for dinner at one point before staff then replaced it with carrots and rice

Unaware their quarantine was costing them £250 per night, Kelly later tweeted: ‘Yep, having an absolute ‘mare over here. 

‘Marella Cruises have sailed off into the sunset (literally) and left us paying Euro 250 a night pp (based on rumours from guests as no-one actually knows) in unfit for purpose student digs.’

Kelly claims the hostel did not provide breakfast until 10.30am on multiple occasions and no questions were asked about dietary requirements.

Vegetarian Kelly said she was given half a jacket potato with beef for dinner at one point before staff then replaced it with carrots and rice.

She captured a video of the hotel’s kitchen showing a tray of eaten food laying unemptied and other food left out in the open.

The couple spent the rest of their quarantine days ordering KFC and McDonald’s meals.  

Did you test positive for Covid on the ship? Email [email protected]

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