A firefighter who booked a cruise to celebrate his retirement from the rescue service was met with the stench of human waste when he boarded the vessel.
But former Hemel Hempstead fireman Paul Stanbridge said he and wife Gill were among the ‘lucky ones’ aboard the Thomson Dream cruise ship in 2010 as others had backed up waste overflowing into their bathrooms and some were struck down with chronic sickness and diarrhoea.
Paul, 57, said: “We boarded the ship, got given a cabin number and as we were going down the stairs into the bulk of the ship the stench of human sewage was unbelievable and the closer you got to the cabin the worse it got.
“We were one of the lucky ones - talking to other people, they had sewage coming out into their cabins and people were ill.”
The couple, who spent seven nights aboard the ship on a Mediterranean tour are among more than 200 passengers who have received cash settlements through specialist travel solicitors Irwin Mitchell.
Paul has secured compensation that falls just short of the total cost of his holiday, while other passengers have agreed settlements of up to £11,000 each.