A NEW bride from Erskine has told of how her dreams of a paradise AN Erskine couple were yesterday preparing to fly home to Scotland after their dream honeymoon in the Caribbean turned into a nightmare.

Julieann Fernandez and Jonathan Thomson had jetted off to the Cuban island of Cayo Coco to begin their new life together at the end of last month.

But, as Hurricane Irma swept towards the region, they were moved to a hotel in the resort of Varadero, which they claim was full of biting bugs.

The Gazette understands the couple were due to be flown out of the country last night.

Julieann, who booked her trip through leading travel agents Thomas Cook, said: “We were put in a hotel which had been condemned by the Cuban government. It was a one-star hotel.

“We were bitten alive by bugs, the hotel was not safe at all.

“Windows started coming in and everyone was petrified. The safest place was the corridor, so everyone camped out there.

“We were fed basic food parcels and told to deal with it.

“Thankfully, we are safe but we are exhausted and so angry and upset.”

After sweeping through the Caribbean, Irma went on to carve up communities in Florida, with winds of around 130mph being recorded. 
Dozens of people across the Caribbean have lost their lives, with more victims in Cuba and Florida.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: “We are working on an evacuation plan for our 2,350 customers in Varadero, to bring all of them home in the coming days.

“We have an additional 26 members of our special assistance team waiting to fly out from the UK to provide further support to customers as soon as we can get into airports in Cuba.

“The safety of our customers is always our first priority and that we continue to follow local and government authority advice.

“All of our customers in Cuba were accommodated in hotels that were built to withstand a hurricane as the worst of the storm passed through.

“We understand this is a worrying time.We are grateful to our customers for their patience.”