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Cruise operator being sued over illness

Nov. 24, 2012 at 2:06 PM   |   Comments

WEYBRIDGE, England, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Passengers who say their vacations were ruined after they contracted a stomach bug are suing a British luxury cruise operator.

The 25 passengers are suing Royal Caribbean, based in Weybridge, for more than $800,000 for illnesses contracted on the ship Independence of the Seas between December 2010 and June 2011, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Charles Crow, the lawyer representing the group, said the passengers had chosen Royal Caribbean because the company was said to be "committed to excellence."

He said the passengers "relied upon Royal Caribbean's descriptions of the ship's accommodation, board, services and facilities" as well as the promise that they could "look forward to an experience like no other."

"The company, despite multiple cases of gastroenteritis on previous cruises, failed to effectively remedy the situation, whether by way of adequate cleaning/sanitation or greater control in the preparation of food and drink," Crow said. "Royal Caribbean failed to allocate the passengers to a ship which was not experiencing an outbreak of gastric illness, (or) if no such ship was available, failed to notify them prior to embarkation and/or offer them a full refund."

A Royal Caribbean spokeswoman said the company and its staff adheres to proper hygiene procedures.

"The 25 guests were across five different sailings within a seven-month period," she said. "In this time period, the ship sailed on 15 cruises, welcoming over 67,000 guests.

"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 onboard are comprehensive and always strictly adhered to," the spokeswoman said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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