Couple’s cruise is blighted by illness

Marie and John O'Mara
Marie and John O'Mara

WIGAN newly-weds are seeking legal action after suffering the honeymoon from hell.

Marie O’Mara, 51, needed hospital treatment after being struck down with food poisoning while on the luxury liner Island Escape.

Now she and husband John, 54, are calling on other families who were on the cruise from April 17 to 24 to contact specialist lawyers Irwin Mitchell and join a possible class action.

The firm says it has already represented more than 200 passengers who have fallen ill after taking holidays on the ship in the past three years.

But TUI UK, operators of the Mediterranean holiday, said today: “There was a very low level of sickness among passengers on the cruise.”

Mrs O’Mara said they endured an horrendous experience on the cruise and she became ill with severe diarrhoea, stomach cramps and sickness. She sought treatment from medics aboard the vessel who prescribed antibiotics, Then she had to endure hospital treatment in Palma to obtain a fitness-to-fly certificate in order to get home.

They later met other passengers in the hospital and on the flight home who had suffered similar symptoms.

Mrs O’Mara said: “The quality of the food served on the ship was shameful; it was served undercooked while new food was placed over the old food and it was rarely served warm.

“We’d had a perfect wedding day, it was everything we’d hoped for, but now our lasting memory of such a special time in our lives has been clouded by the honeymoon, which was just a disaster.”

Mrs O’Mara said she has instructed the lawyers because she wants answers from Thomson about why they saw fit to send the couple on board a cruise ship that has a history of illness.”

Her lawyer Elizabeth Tetzner said the pattern of illness onboard the Island Escape combined with the accounts from passengers about standards on board were a matter of great concern.

She said: “It is now the fourth consecutive year where we are aware of similar problems.”

Expressing regret, a Thomson spokesman added: “All possible steps were immediately taken to contain the virus, treat those affected and minimise the disruption to the majority of customers who remained unaffected.”