Cruise Line Sued for 'Unsanitary' Cruise
SEATTLE (Reuters) - A California woman and her son have sued cruise operator Holland America Line for unspecified damages after getting sick on a cruise where they said toilets overflowed and crew members were seen with prostitutes at ports of call.
Bernice Oltman, 81, and her son, Jack Oltman, whose age was not given, said they took a trip on Holland America Line's cruise ship Amsterdam from Valparaiso, Chile to San Diego, California, in March 2004, where they said they encountered unprofessional staff and unsanitary conditions.
"Not long into the cruise, the toilets on lower decks overflowed several times," the Oltmans said in their lawsuit, filed in King County District Court in Washington state on Wednesday.
The Oltmans, who paid $4,642.06 for the cruise, said it took crew members 15 hours to clean up the mess, which "created incredibly unsanitary conditions on board, separate and apart from a piercing stench."
Seattle-based Holland America, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., the world's largest cruise operator, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The Oltmans said they suffered from a gastrointestinal illness, and also saw crew members eating directly from buffet platters.
"During the scheduled stop in Ecuador, Jack Oltman noticed some crew members openly associating with prostitutes," the lawsuit said.
The Oltmans said they expected to be compensated by Holland America for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of earnings, legal fees and medical expenses, including a colonoscopy and hemorrhoid surgery, the lawsuit said.
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