British cruisers sue for £500,000 after cruise line 'made them ill'
A group of passengers has launched a £500,000 claim for compensation against Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises after they became ill on a cruise holiday.
According to WalesOnline, the passengers say the cruise line failed to prevent them becoming ill and their complaints include flies in their bathrooms, a waiter blowing their nose on a napkin which was then placed on a table and an outbreak so severe there were often ambulances waiting for passengers in the ports they visited.
There are 25 passengers who have issued the group action against Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises after travelling from Southampton on various cruises on the Independence of the Seas ship between 10 December 2010 and 25 June 2011.
According to the claim, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises brochures promised passengers would 'look forward to an experience unlike any other' on 'an amazing holiday'.
They were assured that 'Royal Caribbean are committed to excellence' but the claim details how the passengers did not have the dream holiday they expected.
The cruisers say they became ill with gastro-enteritis on a ship where hygiene rules were not followed and that the cruise line failed to adopt adequate cleaning and sanitation despite multiple cases of illness.
Passengers said their cabins had fruit under the bed, dusty shelves and sewer flies in the bathroom cabinet.
WalesOnline reports that the travellers who became ill complained that there were not enough medical staff to help those in isolation leading to long waits for visits. Medical staff also failed to follow hygiene procedures, such as wearing gloves and washing their hands, the claim says.
It also says that restaurants on the ship failed to provide clean cutlery and glasses, and food was served undercooked, not properly refrigerated and reheated or re-served.
A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman said: 'Of the 25 guests that you refer to, not all of these guests experienced illness. The 25 guests were across five different sailings within a seven-month period from December 2010 – June 2011. In this time period, the ship, Independence of the Seas, sailed on 15 cruises, welcoming over 67,000 guests.
'Those affected by the short-lived illness responded well to over-the-counter medication which was administered on-board the ship and therefore were not referred for additional treatment by the on-board medical teams.
'Regarding the instances referred to, our crew conducted extensive cleaning on-board the ship and guests were kept up to date on these additional measures prior to embarkation and throughout their cruise.
She added: 'Guests were also provided with advice and information on preventative steps and good hygiene, including hand washing and making use of hand sanitizers that we provided throughout the ship.
'Our hygiene procedures on-board are comprehensive and always strictly adhered to.'
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