A British man is suing a luxury cruise company and travel agent for the "distress" caused when passengers were told to be ready by 5am one morning.
David Bookbinder, a former local body politician in England, told the Derby Telegraph he and his wheelchair-bound, elderly brother had to get up at 3.30am during a Mediterranean cruise on the Thomson Celebration in February.
He says they were asked to be ready early to begin immigration procedures on the morning the ship arrived at Israel's Eilat port.
But bookbinder believes the real reason for the early start was so the cruise company could sell passengers day-trip excursions.
"I'm happy to get out of bed at 3.30am if the ship is sinking – but not so excursions can be sold."
He says the experience was distressful and "ruined" their holiday.
His brother had been 86 at the time.
"He has many health problems and the aggravation and stress of getting him up at 3.30am was immense... All the benefits of the holiday were lost."
Bookbinder is suing Thomson Cruises and travel agent Thomas Cook for the cost of the seven-day cruise – about $3000.
A Thomson Cruises spokeswoman told the newspaper Israeli immigration officers follow strict procedures and interview passengers and crew on board.
"Customers are therefore required to make an early start, which we warn them of in advance."
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