Lawyers Urge Investigation After Family’s Christmas Cruise Ruined By Illness

Illness Reported Onboard Thomson Cruise Ship

30.03.2011

Travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell have urged tour operators to investigate what led to holidaymakers being taken ill while spending Christmas onboard the Celebration cruise liner.

Kelly and Jason Kerr, and daughter Saffron, were all struck down with gastric symptoms while on Thomson’s Celebration cruise liner as it sailed around the Red Sea on Christmas Day.

The family contacted cruise illness experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to help them recover compensation. The Kerrs say they saw many other passengers suffering similar illness symptoms.

Kelly Kerr said: “To say we were disappointed with the conditions onboard the ship is an understatement. It was supposed to be the best Christmas ever, a really special family occasion, but in the end we were just delighted to return home.

“The food we were served was often undercooked and cold, there was only a limited variety, and we saw new food added onto old food. Generally the ship was really tatty and rundown, and the water in the adults’ pool was filthy but worst of all was the faeces floating in the children’s pool – it was utterly disgusting. That ship was the last place we wanted to spend our Christmas.”

She continues: “The entire experience was been a nightmare from start to finish.  It didn’t even stop when we got home as Jason was so ill that he had to take four weeks off work, and Saffron missed time from school. I want Thomson to say why they saw fit to send me and my family on such a horrendous holiday.”

Suki Chhokar from Irwin Mitchell is representing the family. He has called on Thomson to take steps to make sure that future passengers on the ship don’t suffer similar problems.

Mr Chhokar said: “The reports we have received from the Hutton family following their time aboard the Thomson Celebration vessel as part of a Red Sea Magic cruise are a serious cause for concern, particularly as Thomson’s website promises travellers aboard the liner ‘a touch of luxury’ and ‘devilishly delicious cuisine’.

“This family’s awful experience shows that this is far from the truth, and it is essential that Thomson’s owners TUI UK Ltd investigate how they became so ill to ensure that lessons are learnt and that future passengers’ safety is protected.”

He continues: “It is totally unacceptable that Jason had to take four weeks off from his work as a self employed carpenter due to ongoing gastric symptoms.  In today’s climate, no-one can afford to be out of work – through no fault of their own – for such significant periods of time. 

“And for his illness and subsequent time off work and financial strain to be caused as a result of what was supposed to be a celebratory family holiday is totally unfair. The fact that their young daughter became ill on holiday, and subsequently had to take time of school when she returned, is also totally unacceptable.

“We will now look to work with Thomson - and hope that they will work with us - to resolve the matter on behalf of the Hutton family promptly and amicably as it is the least they deserve after all they’ve been through and continue to suffer. If not, then regrettably, legal proceedings will follow.”