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Published on Thursday, July 24, 2014

Law firm identifies worst offenders for holiday complaints




Lawyers are calling on travel companies and cruise companies to take more responsibility for the welfare of their guests after releasing a list of the five worst offenders.

Law firm Irwin Mitchell said the largest number of complaints it receives are about cruise holidays, representing 27% of the cases it dealt with in 2013.

"Cruises have topped the complaints list for the past four years and show no sign of letting up with several prominent outbreaks on board popular ships," said the law firm.

Irwin Mitchell said it is currently representing passengers involved in group actions against cruise operators following cruises on the Island Escape, Boudicca, Oriana and Thomson Dream, and others.

"What is worrying about our research is that many of the destinations and indeed many of the individual hotels and cruise liners featured have appeared in our research before. We are especially concerned about the number of cruise passengers still falling ill on board cruise liners," said Suki Chhokar, a partner in the International Personal Injury law team.

"Unfortunately, the same issues, such as poor food preparation and storage and unclean swimming pools are responsible for the majority of illness cases we deal with. Tour operators and cruise line operators need to recognise their responsibility to their customers to ensure that the appropriate standards of hygiene, health and safety are maintained.

"Gastric illness and food poisoning can be very serious and we have many clients that have contracted potentially fatal illnesses including Salmonella, Cryptosporidium and E-Coli while on holiday. This is unacceptable and tour operators and hoteliers must take responsibility for their guests' welfare."

According to figures for 2013, holidays in Turkey accounted for 17% of cases, Egypt 15%, Dominican Republic 12% and Spain 10%.

"Spain remains the most popular holiday destination in Europe for British holidaymakers so could perhaps be expected to be among the top destinations well known for illness," said the law firm.

But it pointed out that it is currently investigating claims about an outbreak of gastric illness at the Alcudia Pins in Majorca, which had an outbreak back in 2003.

Irwin Mitchell said it recovered millions of pounds in damages for almost 1,900 holidaymakers after the 2003 outbreak and is still investigating new claims from last year.

"Other tourists in 2013 suffered gastric illness and poor food hygiene at many hotels including the Bellevue Club in Majorca where liability remains in issue," it added.

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  • Beware the Jacuzzi

    On one ship I was involved with the water in the Jacuzzi was tested every hour, and frequently it had to be closed, cleaned and refilled after each inspection. Passengers complained it wasn't available but as soon as it was opened one of them would urinate or worse in it and it had to be closed for cleaning again. The temperature in a Jacuzzi is ideal for letting organisms prosper, and so you either make them so full of chemicals they are not that pleasant to use or you hope the people using them don't foul them. My advice, avoid the Jacuzzi on a cruise ship.

    By Martin Drew, Wednesday, November 2, 2016

  • This of course...

    ...says far more about avaricious lawyers and their equally avaricious clients than it does about travel service providers. Cruise companies are an easy and wealthy target and that is why they are top of the list. As one who has travelled on many cruise ships (including Fred. Olsen's Boudicca cited in this article) I know how much care most cruise companies take over hygiene (significantly more than do some of their passengers, I would mention). In any gathering of a thousand or more humans, some are bound to develop illnesses (many of which they will have brought on board with them) and these will spread. But the spread is not the cruise companies' fault; it is the fault of those passengers who do not take suitable precautions (such as making use of the disinfectant hand sanitizers provided in all washrooms and at all eating place entrances).

    By Richard English, Thursday, July 24, 2014

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