December 12 2013 Latest news:
Friday, September 6, 2013
A cruise-loving couple from Norwich are taking legal action following a nightmare two-week break.
Colin, 63, and Jacqueline Skipper, 60, of Desborough Way, Dussindale, stepped aboard cruise operator Thomson’s Island Escape ship in May ready to embark on a relaxing sail around the Mediterranean followed by a seven-day stay in Majorca.
But just days into the cruise things started to take a turn for the worse.
Company manager, Mr Skipper, said: “It started with me being ill one morning and my wife was ill later in the evening.
“We had been told by one or two people there had been problems on the ship the previous week. The self-service restaurant had changed into canteen-style service and the people behind the counter served the food with gloves on.”
Many passengers affected were confined to their cabins for a number of days after suffering diarrhoea and sickness and lawyers from travel law specialists at Irwin Mitchell said they had received numerous complaints over lukewarm and undercooked food, damp rooms and overflowing toilets. More than 85 passengers are now taking legal action after suffering from gastric illness, including Mr and Mr Skipper.
Mr Skipper added: “We were in our cabin for three days and were advised not to leave until 24 hours after the symptoms had gone.”
During their stay in Majorca the couple spent their time resting in the shade while eating and drinking small amounts and Mr Skipper is still experiencing on-going gastric problems.
“I would never, never go on another cruise again - never in my life,” he added. “Categorically, there is no way I would go on any cruise ship again. It’s affected us both in a big way.
“I would hate people to go through what we went through as it completely destroyed our holiday.
“At the moment I don’t think you would get me out of England for a long time - it’s certainly scarred me.”
A statement from Island Cruises read: “We are sorry to hear of this experience on board the Island Escape.
“As this case is now subject to legal proceedings it would be inappropriate for us to comment further.
“The ultimate priority for Island Cruises is the health, safety and comfort of all our customers. We operate stringent health and hygiene procedures in line with industry standards.”