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Cruise passengers receive compensation after illness

Ormskirk pensioner had her holiday ruined after she was confined to her cabin

The Fred Olsen cruise liner Boudicca

A cruise passenger from Ormskirk has received over £1000 after an outbreak of norovirus confined her to her cabin for a week.

Some 26 passengers received a total of £42,500 in compensation after outbreaks of norovirus struck the Boudicca cruise ship between November 2009 and April 2010.

Outbreaks affected six separate cruises, causing many passengers to suffer from severe symptoms including sickness, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps. This led to hundreds of passengers being quarantined within their cabins.

Alice Hickson, 79, from Ormskirk, travelled on board the luxury cruise ship on April 6, 2010. Despite five previous outbreaks occurring on the Boudicca cruise ship, she received no information to suggest that norovirus outbreaks had affected the cruises.

Alice said: “I had received no information to say that the vessel had previously had outbreaks of illness.

“However, I was very surprised on the first night when you could not serve yourself in the buffet restaurant. All food was being served by members of the crew and I thought this was very unusual, especially on the first night.”

Despite some measures appearing to be in place to prevent the spread of illness, Alice  fell ill on just her third day on board. The next day, she was confined to her cabin for a week.

Alice said: “On April 9 I began to be very unwell with profuse vomiting, the next day I sought advice from the ship’s doctor. He said that I had gastric symptoms. There were many people on board who were ill.

“I was told I had to stay in my cabin for a week. After a week I began to feel better, but my holiday was spoiled by this time.”

Cruise line Fred Olsen eventually cut the cruise short by two days due to the amount of illness on board.

Alice Hickson personally received £1,574.55 in compensation from Fred Olsen, after contacting holiday claims specialists Your Holiday Claims, a division of Farnworth Rose Solicitors in Nelson, Lancashire.

Despite agreeing to pay out the total sum of £42,500 to the 26 affected passengers, Fred Olsen did not accept responsibility for the outbreaks on board the Boudicca cruise ship.

Tracy Stansfield, holiday claims solicitor at Farnworth Rose Solicitors, said: “The illness suffered on board the Boudicca cruise ship was a very serious and sustained outbreak which spread from cruise to cruise.

“We have been fighting for our clients for four years and everybody is delighted that our clients have now received compensation.”