By James Blower
Senior Holiday Claims Specialist
There are times when a holiday abroad is more than just a chance to unwind and enjoy the unique offerings of another country, sometimes you go abroad for something special and life changing, which is exactly what a couple from Essex had planned, with a proposal that was delayed by a bout of illness at the First Choice advertised Memories Splash Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Why Choose the Memories Splash Punta Cana
The Memories Splash Punta Cana resort is advertised by First Choice as a waterpark set within a tropical garden, located near a sandy beach and featuring a sea themed restaurant. It’s understandable why you would choose this holiday destination that sounds like a tropical paradise as a romantic place to propose to your future wife. Due to a lack of food safety and poor standards the romantic proposal was put on hold while a disastrous bout of illness took place.
Disappointment at All-Inclusive Resort
The Essex couple had concerns early on when it became apparent that the standards of the rooms were far below what they were expecting, but their problems truly began when eating at the resort restaurants. They found that food that should have been piping hot was being served lukewarm and in some cases even cold, with seafood such as prawns being served raw. Food being served undercooked or at unsafe temperatures often results in food poisoning, which may have been the cause of their illness.
Why Are Raw Prawns Dangerous?
While prawns can be eaten raw, your risk of suffering food poisoning greatly increases. In their natural habitat prawns filter seaweed and algae, but as part of this process they subsequently contaminate themselves with harmful bacteria. To ensure that any meat is safe to eat, bacteria can only be effectively eradicated through thorough cooking.
No Help for Illness in the Dom Rep
The loving couple soon became severely ill and were unable to enjoy the food at the all-inclusive resort, with the soon to be fiancée losing a stone within a week. Unfortunately they were unable to locate the First Choice representative or the resort doctor, meaning that their only option was to travel to the nearby hospital. On the advice of the hotel staff they were told it was dangerous to travel there, meaning that they were unable to receive medical treatment for their condition.
The proposal was planned to take place during a luxurious spa day, but the Essex couple were unable to attend due to illness, meaning that the proposal in what should have been a magical tropical setting couldn’t go ahead. The proposal instead happened back in the UK, but ultimately this special opportunity was ruined by suspected gastroenteritis likely caused by the poor standards and basic hygiene mistakes being made at the Memories Splash Punta Cana. Often tour operators can make excuses for poor conditions, but like in this instance the result of a special day being spoiled is inexcusable.
Other Guests Suffering Illness
The now engaged couple noted that other guests were suffering from similar symptoms at the Dom Rep resort, and we urge those affected by the low standards at the Memories Splash Punta Cana to contact with us. If you booked a package holiday then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you are able to make a claim for compensation if you can prove that your illness was caused by any aspect of your break abroad that you paid a single price for in the UK. If multiple people decide to claim for similar causes and conditions, they can be in a position to make a group claim for illness.
Group claims have the benefit that they make it difficult for a tour operator to refute the evidence presented to them. Tour operators can try to deny that they are to blame by stating that your illness was caused by an airborne virus or that you suffered a one off infection that wasn’t their fault, saying that if they were to blame other guests would have complained. A group action negates this argument, and puts everyone involved in a better position to win a compensation claim.
Claim for Illness in the Dominican Republic
If you’ve suffered illness at the Memories Splash Punta Cana or at any resort in the Dominican Republic, or anywhere else in the world and want to find out how you can claim compensation from your tour operator, then get in touch with a member of our travel law team. We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation on your case, including advising you of how much compensation you could be entitled to. We also offer ‘no win no fee‘ terms, so you don’t have to worry about funding your claim as we only get paid once we win your compensation.