Law Firm Demands Action Over Thomson Dream Cruise Illness

Passengers On The Ship Report Being Confined To Cabins

05.04.2011

Travel law experts are urging tour operator Thomson to provide reassurance over hygiene procedures after being contacted by a number of holidaymakers who fell ill onboard one of their cruise ships.

Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell were contacted by more than 400 passengers who travelled on board the Thomson Dream last summer.

Now lawyers at the firm have spoken out after receiving yet more calls from people who suffered illness on board the ship in December, January and February.

Passengers have reported being confined to their cabins after being struck by a gastric illness outbreak.

Experts from Irwin Mitchell’s travel team have urged the tour operator to come clean with passengers due to travel on the ship in future if there is a real risk of them also falling ill.

Denise and Christopher Gleave from Manchester were amongst those to contact the firm. They travelled on the Thomson Dream from 30th December 2010 to 14th January 2011. Halfway through the holiday the couple both began to suffer serious gastric illness symptoms.

The couple are still suffering symptoms of their illness and are awaiting test results from their GP, despite receiving medication and being quarantined on board the ship.

Mr and Mrs Gleave said that food on the ship was of a very poor standard and had little refrigeration. They also reported that their cabin was dirty and that tap water was brown, and that the ship had a range of problems including broken air conditioning, a smell of sewage, water shortages and blocked toilets.

Clive Garner, head of Irwin Mitchell’s specialist travel law team, said: “Last year we had requests for assistance from over 400 passengers who travelled on this cruise ship between May and October, so to be receiving calls about cruises that took place in December, January and February is unacceptable.

“Passengers who have travelled on the Thomson Dream are furious that their ‘luxury break’ has ended with them suffering severe illness having stayed on a ship that was nothing like tour operator Thomson had advertised.

“The passengers onboard the Thomson Dream have had an extremely distressing time and it is unacceptable that other passengers could fall ill and have a holiday ruined due to poor hygiene standards.

“People have suffered from symptoms ranging from stomach cramps to sickness and while we continue to investigate the latest reports of illness, passengers in the past have been confirmed as having contracted Campylobacter, a form of food poisoning. 

“Such illnesses can have a long lasting impact on health, and can be extremely dangerous for the young and the elderly, so it is essential that illness outbreaks are prevented and that passenger protection is put before commercial considerations.

“Thomson needs to assure its customers, both past, present and future, that no more passengers will suffer illness. Meanwhile, we invite Thomson to work with us as soon as possible to resolve our clients' claims amicably and quickly.”

Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have previously helped hundreds of cruise passengers to recover compensation following illness outbreaks. This includes helping 39 passengers to claim after they suffered illnesses including salmonella and e-coli on Thomson’s MS Topaz ship.