Haven guests say their holidays are ‘waste of time’

Anger is mounting among holidaymakers who have blasted trips at Haven Holiday parks as a “waste of time.”

It comes following several changes to the travel company’s parks following the following the coronavirus lockdown delay announcement.

Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a delay in restrictions on June 21, with rules remaining in place for another four weeks.

The roadmap delay means that more than six people will not be allowed to meet indoors.

The delay is having an impact on travel plans as holidaymakers can now only stay overnight in the UK – for example, in a self-catering holiday home – with five other people or two households.

Haven Holiday Parks have said because of the delay there will be ‘ongoing’ limitations at its 30+ venues, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Haven rules

Accommodation

All Haven accommodation is open and the parks are able to welcome two households per unit.

Facilities for Stay holidays

All restaurants and bars are open both indoors and outdoors, however they are only able to welcome up to six guests.

Facilities and activities for Stay+Play holidays

All facilities and activities are back in action including indoor and outdoor pools, entertainment venues, indoor dining and arcades.

General guidance

Haven kindly ask all guests to ensure they check the latest Government guidance at the time of travel, stating:

“If you are unable to travel due to local restrictions, please rest assured your break will be covered by our Coronavirus Book with Confidence Guarantee.”

Reaction

Posting on its Facebook page, Haven said: “It may not have been the news we were all hoping for from the Prime Minister and we’re going to have to be a little more patient, but better days are still on the horizon!

“With social distancing continuing for the time being in England and therefore ongoing limitations to our venues’ capacity, we’re continuing to do everything we can to ensure you have the best holiday with us.”

Comments were quickly made underneath the Facebook post, with many choosing to call out the travel operator over its handling of its restrictions.

Iain Appleford said: “Went to Lakeland a couple of weeks ago.

“We got one night of entertainment, couldn’t get another night, waste of money. Wish I’d taken the refund last year instead of helping them by putting it off for a year.

“Shambles. The app is a waste of time as there is no wifi and no phone signal.”

Meanwhile, Heather Rose North said the entertainment on offer was “terrible”.

She said: “Just came back from Berwick 7-11 June and the entertainment was terrible!”

Ann Aspery was at Devon Cliffs last week with her family and said the extra money they paid for the entertainment passes weren’t needed.

She said: “We bought four adult passes, costing £108.

“My son, his partner and their kids, aged four and 21 months, managed to queue up and get two sessions of swimming and we managed one night in Bugsy’s, which was useless in there for kids.

“We noted that on both times in going to the booked entertainment slots none of us were asked to show our passes., so basically we wasted £54.”

Haven has responded following the complaints, apologising to guests who have been unable to book entertainments and activities during their stay.

A Haven spokesperson said: “We appreciate that this is not the normal Haven experience that we pride ourselves on delivering and we apologise to any guests that have been affected.

“With the announcement by the Prime Minister this week that restrictions will be in place until at least July 19 this unfortunately means we have had to continue to put measures in place while there are capacity issues with our venues.

“However we are committed to provide guests with the best holiday experience under the circumstances in which we are having to currently operate.”

Since the pandemic hit, Haven has said it has made huge changes to its holiday offering including; being the first holiday park company to provide a Coronavirus Booking Guarantee in April 2020 to their Caravan Cleanliness Guarantee to provide reassurance to guests.

It also stated it has invested heavily in additional teams on park to provide experiences safely from contactless check in to increased cleaning teams, to ensure all holidaymakers feel as safe and secure as possible on holiday.

A Haven spokesperson added: “As with all new systems we have had some teething problems with our booking app, but we are continually addressing these issues.

“We have also had to manage changes to Government restrictions around capacity in indoor venues which has also impacted us further.”

Haven acknowledge that not all guests will be able to get the entertainment that they want during their stay but say it has:

  • Doubled the amount of swim slots
  • Have limited new sales of Stay+Play holidays for some periods of summer 2021 where they are unsure venue capacity can support breaks.

Not all holidaymakers have criticised Haven.

Marietta Galbraith said: “I feel for the staff.

“Decisions being made by the company that they have no control over, having to deal with the public and suffer complaints and abuse for something they can’t control.

“People not distancing or following rules means they’re having to police it which isn’t something they should have to do and are possibly giving up due to hassle from people.”

While Emma Costello had nothing but praise for her stay at the Berwick park.

She said: “I’ll be honest, we were in Berwick from June 4 but couldn’t fault it!

“In fact our boys thought it was best ever they’ve been around!

“Staff where great, we booked onto what we wanted and seemed a lot easier than looking for a seat and being squashed in.

“We aren’t normally into the night time entertainment but it was great! Seen worse shows in Las Vegas to be fair!

“We used track and trace when entering bars and arcades but not been contacted and fingers crossed we don’t as parents are still at the site.”