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Couples win payout over cruise bug
FOUR York holidaymakers who fell seriously ill on a cruise holiday have won a share of a six-figure settlement.
The friends, Bill, 77, and Mary Clasper, 79, from Haxby, and Stanley, 73, and Patricia Cooper, 71, from Whernside Avenue in York, were among dozens of passengers struck down with a severe vomiting bug while aboard the luxury Grand Princess cruise liner.
Their Mediterranean cruise was ruined by the bug, which some passengers have blamed on poor hygiene. A number needed medical help and all suffered sickness, diarrhoea and agonising stomach cramps.
Now Carnival, which operates the 2,600 passenger Princess Cruises liner, has compensated 45 passengers who fell sick on board the ship over a period of four months in 2010. The payout amounts to more than £100,000.
Mr Clasper said his party fell very ill during the last leg of their cruise near Gibraltar.
He said: “It was horrific. We have never been so ill in our lives.
“Normally when you go on a cruise you put weight on, but this time we lost weight.
“The legal action was not about the money, more about the way we were treated. When we first got on the cruise there was no mention this had been a problem before.”
Complaints from a number of passengers included some food being served cold and left uncovered for long periods of time and some of the communal facilities being dirty and shabby.
Mr Cooper said: “During our illness they started rigorously cleaning things. They started standing outside the eating area with hand wash for when you went in and out, they discarded the pepper and salt pots.
“As far as the holiday went we had enjoyed ourselves, but it was spoilt by what happened at the end.”
Elizabeth Tetzner, of legal firm Irwin Mitchell, said: “It would appear that the ship’s staff were clearly aware of the risk of gastric illness because a number of our clients have reported how they were delayed boarding due to a deep clean taking place.
“Sadly we continue to hear from passengers who fall ill on cruise ships as a result of poor hygiene standards and we remain very concerned that cruise operators have not learned vital lessons. All too often holidaymakers suffer illness, sometimes with life changing consequences due to inadequate health and hygiene standards and it is not acceptable.”
Carnival did not comment.
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