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Cruise Ruined After Group Of Holidaymakers Struck Down With Illness Aboard New Marella Explorer 2

Several Passengers Unwell Following Illness Outbreak


Emma Bolton, Press Officer | +44 (0)114 294 7843

A number of holidaymakers have instructed specialist International Personal Injury lawyers at national firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate after they suffered serious gastric illness on-board the new TUI Marella Explorer 2 cruise liner earlier this month.

According to press reports, a large number of passengers on Mediterranean cruises fell ill. Among those unwell were a woman from Northumberland and a couple from Wallsend who have now instructed Irwin Mitchell, with reports of a suspected norovirus outbreak affecting passengers on the newest addition to the Marella Cruises fleet.  The symptoms reported by passengers included severe diarrhoea, vomiting and painful stomach cramps.

Expert Opinion
“We are deeply concerned by the reports provided to us by our clients with regards to the gastric illness that they have suffered while on this cruise.

Norovirus is not only a debilitating illness affecting the enjoyment of our clients’ cruise holidays, but it has also continued to affecting some of their lives back home in the UK too. It is clearly not what these passengers wanted from their holidays.

We have already started our investigations into whether more could have been done to prevent what has happened and we would be keen to hear from anyone else who may have also been involved.”
Jatinder Paul, Senior Associate Solicitor

The team at Irwin Mitchell have considerable experience of handling cases of this nature and have represented thousands of holidaymakers who have fallen seriously ill abroad or on cruise vessels across the globe. The team have recovered millions of pounds from cruise operators including representing hundreds who fell ill on the Thomson Dream cruise over successive years between 2010 and 2015, and hundreds of passengers who fell ill with serious gastric illness on the Island Escape cruise over successive years between 2009 and 2015.

Case studies


64-year-old Linda Cody from Blyth, Northumberland has revealed how she began to suffer from diarrhoea and stomach cramps on 14 May, six days after boarding the Marella Explorer 2 in Naples with a friend. She was also troubled with a sore throat and cold sores.

Linda, who is retired, went to see her GP upon her return to the UK on 16 May and was diagnosed with norovirus.  In addition, she has been referred for a chest x-ray and blood tests, and is still suffering from the effects of the illness and is still undergoing further tests. 

Linda booked her package cruise through tour operator Hays and she said: “After boarding the cruise ship, it became apparent from other passengers that norovirus was affecting multiple people including staff.

“Things were so bad that I saw staff occasionally spooning out food to people and handling the glasses, as well as asking people if they had washed their hands and using tissues to open toilet doors.  All the pools were also closed off.

“But this clearly wasn’t enough, and I noticed that food was not served hot enough and it was left uncovered for periods of time.

“I booked the cruise a few months ago and I was really looking forward to it, but it was completely ruined because I was so unwell and couldn’t enjoy my time on or off the ship.

“This is not something you expect when you go on holiday; it was meant to be a memorable break, but now I will remember it for all the wrong reasons.”


Dawn and Colin Stewart from Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, started suffering from stomach cramps, sickness and diarrhoea four days into their cruise on the Marella Explorer 2.

The couple, both aged 54, booked their holiday through tour operator Thomson Holidays and it was their first time on a cruise.  Upon falling ill with severe vomiting and diarrhoea, they were told to stay in their room.

Dawn said: “This was our first time on a cruise and we were very excited.  But the whole experience was awful.

“We were unable to enjoy the majority of our holiday, and when we arrived home on May 1, Colin had to take another two days off his work as a joiner due to being unwell.

“It has really made us think twice about booking another cruise in the future.”

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling cruise illness cases