Travel giant defends record as holidaymakers sue over cruise ship sickness

Cruise Ship Thomson Spirit.
Cruise Ship Thomson Spirit.

Food safety measures aboard a cruise ship on which a South Tyneside passenger was struck down by sickness were “thorough, comprehensive and based on best practice”, the High Court in London has heard.

Barrister John Kimbell was responding to allegations by a group of eight passengers that their stomach bugs were probably caused by a “breakdown in hygiene standards”.

John Wile, 68, of South Shields, had booked the cruise with his wife to celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary, but he succumbed to an acute infection nine days into the voyage.

The eight are suing travel giant Tui UK over sickness and diarrhoea they suffered during their May 2009 voyage aboard the luxury vessel Thomson Spirit.

Some are claiming damages for their distress and inconvenience and others for the allegedly shabby conditions they endured on board.

However, Tui is fighting the case, insisting that the bug was brought on board by a passenger and that proper steps were taken to control the outbreak.

Mr Kimbell insisted that hygiene measures were “well implemented in a highly-proactive fashion”.

The court also heard, the ship’s “sanitation system” had been checked and “found to be satisfactory” during two independent investigations.

The case continues, and the judge is expected to reserve his decision until a later date.