Up To 10,000 Pounds Per Passenger Secured After Holiday Nightmare Onboard Cruise Ship

Specialist Travel Lawyers Welcome Settlement


Specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have secured a settlement of several hundred thousand pounds for almost 200 passengers after several cruises between December 2009 and June 2010 were ruined by an outbreak of illness onboard the Island Escape cruise ship.

Passengers who were hoping for relaxing breaks taking in sights in places such as Morocco, Gibraltar, Madeira and Las Palmas explained to lawyers about the ‘atrocious’ conditions they faced which included:

• Some of the public toilets were blocked and urine overflowed onto the toilet floors;
• Passengers were not warned of the risk of illness prior to boarding;
• Some passengers were moved to hotels on land while the ship underwent a deep clean;
• On occasions what should have been hot food was serve lukewarm;
• Some new food was added to existing food;
• On occasions food appeared to be left out for long periods of time.

Expert travel lawyers representing the passengers who travelled on board the luxury cruise liner issued court proceedings against Sunshine Cruises Limited, TUI UK Limited and First Choice Holidays & Flights Limited following liability being denied.

Now, settlement has been agreed on behalf of dozens of families although liability has not formally been admitted by the operators for causing passengers to become ill on board the ship. 

Many of the passengers affected by illness suffered symptoms which included diarrhoea, stomach cramps and severe sickness. Some are still continuing to suffer symptoms now, four years on.

Irwin Mitchell confirmed it also represented 27 passengers in relation to their cruises on board the cruise liner in 2012. However, they have successfully resolved claims for 13 of the clients, leaving claims for 14 clients remaining. The firm has now commenced formal legal proceedings for those clients whose claims have not been settled to date. Irwin Mitchell have also confirmed that they are investigating a further 90 cases in relation to cruises on board the ship in 2013.

Elizabeth Tetzner, a travel law expert from Irwin Mitchell, said: “We are pleased for this group of passengers that travelled on board the cruise ship in 2009 and 2010 that their legal battle is over and they will now receive settlements after their trips were ruined aboard the Island Escape cruise.

“A number of the passengers that suffered illness suffered from symptoms such as stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and lethargy. Aside from making the cruise extremely unpleasant, these types of illness can have a debilitating long term impact on their health. Some passengers had to seek medical assistance on board the cruise ship, whilst others had to seek medical assistance upon return home.

“Within the group who travelled on board the cruise ship in 2009 and 2010 were passengers who were looking to enjoy Christmas, wedding anniversary celebrations including a 50th wedding anniversary and birthday celebrations such as a 75th Birthday party. Those passengers have described to us how these special occasions were ruined by the illness suffered or by the experiences they suffered on board the cruise ship.

“We hope that now a settlement has been reached they will be able to get on with their lives and put the experience behind them.”

Collette Ellis, 59, from Fareham, Hampshire  booked a two-week cruise to celebrate Christmas, New Year and her mother’s 75th birthday on the Island Escape ship.

But within days the entire family were struck with stomach cramps and sickness which left them confined to their cabin for the majority of their holiday. Both Collette and her mother still experience gastric symptoms to this day.

Collette said: “We are happy that we have received justice after our holiday was totally ruined.

“The conditions aboard the vessel were atrocious. On occasions toilets were blocked and overflowing, cabins were grubby and on occasions food was not served at the correct temperature.

“This was supposed to be a dream cruise but it quickly turned into an absolute nightmare, certainly a Christmas time we wanted to forget.

“On our return home both myself and my mum, who was celebrating her 75th birthday continued to suffer illness. We are just glad it’s over for us now and we can move on with our lives. We hope no one else has to go through such an experience like we did.”