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Family Calls For Answers After Nightmare Holiday On Board Island Escape Cruise Ship

Lawyers Instructed To Investigate Island Escape Illness Problems For Fifth Year In Last Seven


A family-of-four who endured a ‘nightmare’ holiday on board the Island Escape cruise ship administered by Sunshine Cruises Limited and Thomson are taking legal action after two of them fell ill whilst on a recent voyage.

They have now instructed expert travel illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of their illness. The law firm has been instructed to investigate hygiene and illness complaints by more than 350 passengers who experienced problems on board the ship over the last seven years. Many of which have received a successful outcome.

The cruise ship offers trips around the Mediterranean and the latest claimants include three generations of the same family who travelled on board the ship for two weeks in August 2015.

Edith Smith, 85, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, her daughters Lesley Khaksari, 57, and Beverley Burke, 52, as well as Beverley’s daughter Lucy, 15, reported that after sending food back to the kitchen as it was cold it would be returned at the same temperature, that bins on the ship were often overflowing and that some of the public toilets they used during the voyage were not cleaned properly.

They also reported they were not the only passengers suffering with illness.

Jennifer Downing, an expert travel illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the family, said: 

Expert Opinion
“The issues highlighted to us by Beverley and her family are extremely concerning, particularly as we have been instructed to help over 350 people since 2009 who have either suffered illness and or had ruined holidays on board the Island Escape Cruise ship.

“Beverley and Lesley suffered from severe gastric illness symptoms whilst on board the ship when they should have been relaxing and enjoying themselves and it is concerning that there are reports of other passengers on the ship suffering from similar problems.

“Any reports of illness on board cruise ships or at holiday resorts across the world are a concern. There are normally procedures which cruise ship operators should follow to prevent the spread of illness and we will be investigating to determine what has been done to implement any measures both on this and any previous cruise.

“We would like to hear from anyone who travelled on board the Island Escape recently who may be able to help with our enquiries.”
Jennifer Downing, Solicitor

Beverley and Lesley suffered severe gastric illness during their voyage on the Island Escape after eating a chicken dish at one of the ship’s restaurants. They experienced diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and lethargy following the illness.

Both Lesley and Beverley were visited in their cabins by the cruise doctor and received treatment for the illness they were suffering.

Lesley, from New Moston, Manchester, said: “We were absolutely heartbroken when we saw the ship as it was not at all what we expected when we booked the cruise. It didn’t get any better from there and we were extremely disappointed with the standard of the décor and the hygiene on board.

“When my sister and I fell ill it was absolutely horrendous. The last thing we expected when we booked the holiday was to be confined to our cabins suffering from such an unpleasant illness.

“When we found out there had been illness outbreaks on the Island Escape in the past we were not surprised as the hygiene standards were not what we expected. I believe the ship simply isn’t good enough and too many people are falling ill during voyages.”

Beverley, from Chapel-en-le-Frith, said: “Our trip on the Island Escape was an absolute nightmare and people were desperate to get off the ship as soon as they could. It wasn’t just us that were ill, we saw a lot of people around the ship who had similar problems.

“We’ve never experienced anything like it and it completely ruined our holiday. I hope Irwin Mitchell will be able to get to the bottom of the cause of our illness, and determine if anything more could have been done to prevent our ordeal."

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