It was supposed to be a relaxing holiday at sea, but fitness guru Jillian Michaels says the Italian getaway aboard a yacht quickly became a vacation from hell.
“It became a very scary situation within five days,” she told Inside Edition.
The former Biggest Loser star says it all started when she and five friends chartered a yacht for an Italian vacation that cost $60,000.
“They show us pictures of this boat, the boat looks amazing," Michaels recalled. "They speak English. It has all this and all that and state of the art and blah, blah, blah — and you get there and of course it's in total disarray and it's filthy, dirty, things are broken, the air doesn't work, there's no hot water, there's no electricity."
The 43-year-old and her friends were so upset that they documented the conditions aboard the vessel.
“They said, 'We'll fix it all. We'll take care of everything and we'll give you some money back. And you have nowhere to go,' so we said, 'All right, fair enough,'" she recalled.
She says the crew hit them with unexpected bills for things like docking fees, fuel and drinks.
“They never fix anything," she said. "By day 4, all of a sudden we're out of money, and we owe them money."
She says the crew told her they would terminate the vacation if she didn't come up with the money.
“That's when I took out my phone and started recording everything and I said, ‘I’m recording all of this.’ They started freaking out and trying to shut off the camera,” she said.
Michaels says she got so fed up that she and her pals left the boat and checked into a hotel.
Michaels says she reported the incident to the FBI and to the U.S. State Department.
She says travelers looking to do a similar trip should demand a FaceTime interview before the excursion so they can see the place in real time.
Charterworld, the company Michaels used to book the yacht, sent Inside Edition a lengthy statement about the situation:
"Ms. Michaels has embarked on a media campaign through a series of public posts listing unfounded allegations designed to smear the excellent reputation of CharterWorld. CharterWorld emphatically denies these allegations.
"We act as brokers for the charter of yachts between yacht owners, yacht managers and the charter parties. We had no physical involvement in the operation of the local yacht concerned.
"CharterWorld is the largest and most respected retail yacht charter broker in the world. CharterWorld’s brokers have arranged 1000's of successful superyacht charters for 1000’s of very satisfied VIP clients, a large portion of whom are American. See client endorsements here.
"While we are dealing with the unfounded allegations surrounding the recent charter in Italy, we will continue to respect the absolute privacy of our all of our VIP clientele.
"In respect of this charter, while we strongly disagree with Ms. Michaels’ version of events, and with the privacy of all of our clients in mind, we have no further comment beyond our confirmation below.
"Our broker, despite difficult circumstances, did everything reasonably within her power to try to resolve the issues on board during the charter, including securing a partial refund. Ms. Michaels elected to commence the charter after personal inspection of the yacht and continued with the charter until it was terminated early by the Captain/Owner days later due to Ms. Michaels’ breaches of the terms of the contract."