Nov. 8, 2012 at 12:40 PM ET
A UK man is suing Thomson Cruises and booking agent Thomas Cook for “distress” caused when the ship's staff asked passengers aboard a luxury cruise liner to be ready by 5 a.m. one morning in February, the Derby Telegraph in England reported.
Traveler David Bookbinder, a former politician, claims passengers on the ship touring the Mediterranean Sea were asked to be ready early on the morning the ship stopped at Israel's Eilat port, the Telegraph reported. Bookbinder, 71, was traveling with his then-86-year-old brother, and says the "distress" of getting up at 3:30 a.m. "ruined" their vacation.
A spokesperson for Thomson Cruises told the Telegraph the reasoning for the request was for the immigration process: "Israel has very strict immigration procedures and interviews customers and crew on board. Customers are therefore required to make an early start, which we warn them of in advance."
Bookbinder alleges the early timing was so the ship could sell passengers excursions, the Telegraph reported. A "more acceptable" time for the immigration procedures could have been possible, he argues, according to the newspaper.
Bookbinder told the Telegraph that his brother is "wheelchair-bound," "has many health problems," and was "jittery" after getting up at 3:30 a.m.
The lawsuit asks Thomson Cruises and Thomas Cook to refund the entire cost of the seven-day cruise -- nearly $2,500, the newspaper reported.
"Even if I lose this case, I believe I will have exposed a great wrong," Bookbinder told the paper.