South Yorkshire family take legal action over cruise ship illness

Thomson's Island Escape cruise ship
Thomson's Island Escape cruise ship
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A South Yorkshire family are among nearly 100 passengers taking legal action over claims their Mediterranean cruise ship holiday was ruined by gastric illness.

It follows alleged problems with a trip on Thomson’s Island Escape ship last year.

Among those being represented by lawyers is a man from Barnsley who was travelling on the cruise with 13 members of his family to celebrate his 60th birthday.

Travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have issued legal proceedings after being contacted by passengers who travelled on board the all-inclusive cruise liner between March and November 2013 after the defendant has failed to admit liability.

Irwin Mitchell says it has received complaints that some food was served lukewarm and under-cooked, while there were occasions where fresh food was placed on top of old food on the buffet.

Passengers have also raised concerns that the cutlery and plates were often dirty and that the communal toilets were unclean at times. Many of the passengers who were affected by illness were reported to be confined to their cabins for days after suffering symptoms including diarrhoea, sickness, fever and dehydration.

Irwin Mitchell has now represented more than 300 passengers who have travelled on board of the vessel between 2009 and 2013.

Amandeep Dhillon, a partner at Irwin Mitchell who is representing the group, said: “The large number of people who have instructed us to investigate their complaints about this cruise ship is very worrying. Some of these passengers suffered from severe gastric illness symptoms whilst on board the cruise ship when they should have been relaxing and enjoying themselves.

“Any reports of illness on board cruise ships or at holiday resorts across the world are a concern, but of particular concern that is that this is the fourth year in the last six that we have been asked by passengers to help them following episodes of illness on board this particular liner.

“Guidelines are in place for cruise ship operators to follow and we are working to determine what the Defendant has done to investigate and resolve any underlying issues following the problems experienced in recent years.”

A spokesman for Thomson Island Cruises said: “We are sorry to hear of these customers’ experience on board the Island Escape in 2013.

“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.

“Island Cruises took over 35,000 passengers on holiday in 2013 and the vast majority had no complaints about their cruise. As this case is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.”