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Legal action over cruise ship bug

11 September 2013 09:37

One couple described their cruise as the 'holiday from hell'

One couple described their cruise as the 'holiday from hell'

A group of cruise passengers are taking legal action after being struck by a sickness bug on board.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell is investigating the concerns of 50 passengers who sailed on Thomson's Island Escape between March and June this year. Many of them say they were affected by a sickness bug which meant they had to stay in their cabins, while others have complained about food quality and hygiene standards on board.

One couple have told how their trip in May was the "holiday from hell", and as well as falling victim to a sickness bug they were also left terrified when the ship lurched violently to one side at the start of their voyage.

Ralph and Patricia Hewitt, from Leeds, joined the ship in Civitavecchia, near Rome, for a week-long voyage, which they followed with a week's stay at a hotel in Majorca.

But their holiday did not begin well, as upon leaving the port they say the ship listed severely to one side and some passengers were thrown to the floor and injured.

Mrs Hewitt, 72, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: "All we could see was the sea. It was pandemonium and it was so scary. We've done over 15 cruises and we've never known anything like this. It's put me off cruising."

Mr Hewitt, 77, told the paper that when the ship lurched, water from the swimming pool poured out and ran down the ship. "We were going very fast towards the ocean," he said. "It was traumatic."

After surviving that ordeal, the couple - who could have minimised the impact of their disastrous trip by taking out appropriate cruise travel insurance - said the stomach bug which they had heard was rife on board then struck them once they had checked into their hotel on the Spanish island.

Mr Hewitt added: "Absolutely it was the holiday from hell."

In future, the couple could consider taking out medical travel insurance to help deal with the problems of falling ill while abroad.

An Island Cruises spokeswoman said: "The ultimate priority for Island Cruises is the health, safety and comfort of all our customers. We operate stringent health and hygiene procedures in line with industry standards. As this case is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate for us to comment further."