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Group Of Holidaymakers Instructs Lawyers After ‘Illness’ On Board Thomson Dream

Travel Illness Experts Investigating Cause of Illness On Board Thomson Dream Cruise Ship


Three separate couples who booked cruise holidays on board the Thomson Dream cruise liner in the early part of 2016 have instructed expert travel lawyers from Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of illness hygiene standard suffered on board the TUI UK Limited ship.

Lesley Withington, from Castleford, West Yorkshire spent New Year’s on the ship and was diagnosed with suspected bacterial pneumonia when she returned to the UK. Her husband Paul was diagnosed with a chest infection and is undergoing further investigations due to the severity of his continuing symptoms.

They told their legal team at Irwin Mitchell that they suffered with dizziness, confusion, a cough, loss of appetite, shortness of breath and general lethargy as well as gastric symptoms while on their two-week cruise starting from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Lesley, 66, spent five days in hospital when she got home and Paul, 59, visited his local GP and was prescribed antibiotics to overcome the illness he suffered. They are both continuing to suffer the effects of the illness they developed during their stay on board the Thomson Dream.

Lesley and Paul said their cabin had a damp smell and they discovered the carpet in their room was damp and began to smell of sewage and despite complaining to staff on board the ship and since their return, they are yet to receive any answers.

A second couple, from Ferryhill, County Durham, who booked a cruise on board the Thomson Dream to celebrate 25 years of being together, have instructed Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of their illness after they both fell ill.

Joseph and Linda Pennington travelled on board the ship in January 2016, shortly after the Withingtons’ cruise came to an end, and were looking forward to their holiday, which they also booked through TUI UK Ltd.

However, just days into the luxury Caribbean cruise, Joseph, 65, began to suffer with terrible gastric symptoms, including diarrhoea, vomiting and stomach cramps. Linda also developed a chest infection while on board and was treated by the ship’s doctor. She was prescribed antibiotics and was placed on an intravenous (IV) drip on several occasions throughout the cruise.

The expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell have previously represented holidaymakers who suffered similar problems on the Thomson Dream in both 2010 and 2012. In 2010, more than 200 people came forward to complain of illness on board the cruise ship. Irwin Mitchell successfully settled their claims for a six-figure sum.

Joseph, a HGV driver, reported to his legal team at Irwin Mitchell that food on the ship was often served lukewarm and that on one occasion he witnessed bread rolls that had been on one guest‘s table being picked up and re used on another table for other guests. He and Linda also reported that a number of public toilets were out of order at various points during the cruise and that they noticed other passengers suffering from similar symptoms during their week-long cruise.

Paul Easton and Susan Clews, from Birmingham, travelled around the Caribbean on the Thomson Dream the following month and also suffered respiratory illnesses. Susan, 62, developed sore eyes, migraines and had difficulty breathing while on board.

She was treated by the ship’s doctor and prescribed antibiotics and eye drops and was placed on an IV drip.

Just before the end of the cruise she suffered blurred vision and as soon as she returned to the UK visited the Birmingham Eye Hospital, where she was told her loss of sight may require surgery and that she was informed that it may be linked to the respiratory illness she suffered.

Paul and Susan told their legal team at Irwin Mitchell that the conditions on board the ship were not what they expected and that the showerhead in their cabin was grimy. They also report that on occasions the shower temperature would alternate between hot and cold.

Simon Prew, an expert travel illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said:

Expert Opinion
“This is the third time we have been asked to investigate illness on board the Thomson Dream in recent years. It is extremely worrying that we have been contacted by three couples who spent time on the ship at different times in the early part of this year

“Understandably, all of them are very upset and angry that their cruises, which were supposed to be enjoyable and luxurious breaks, were ruined when they all fell ill.

“The concerns each of these people have shared with us are very worrying and it is concerning that they also saw others suffering with the same illnesses during their time on board the ship. Illnesses can spread very quickly on cruise ships if the correct precautions are not taken and we would like to hear from anyone else who travelled on board the Thomson Dream earlier this year how may be able to help with our enquiries.”
Simon Prew, Senior Associate

Joseph Pennington said: “The illness I suffered on the cruise was absolutely terrible and I was confined to our cabin for a number of days. Linda’s symptoms continued when we got back home and she still doesn’t feel 100 per cent.

“We booked this holiday to celebrate 25 years together in style, but what should have been a memorable trip was absolutely ruined when we both fell ill.”

Paul Easton, 58, said: “Our time on the Thomson Dream was more like a nightmare. Susan and I both suffered terrible chest infections and we were absolutely terrified when Susan lost her sight.

“Thankfully, it has started to come back, but she’s been told it could be linked to the illness she suffered and we want to know what caused the illness and the long-term implications it has had for us.”

Lesley Withington said: “We have been left very disappointed by our cruise on the Thomson Dream and very shocked that problems like this have affected other people who travelled on the ship in previous years, and since our own holiday in January this year.”

“We have instructed Irwin Mitchell as we feel our complaints and concerns have fallen on deaf ears and we simply want to know what caused us to fall so ill. 

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