A FAMILY has been handed thousands of pounds in compensation after enduring a nightmare cruise ship holiday.

Sheila and John Bradley, of Preston Road, Holland-on-Sea, booked a Christmas cruise on the TUI-operated Island Escape ship in 2009.

They were joined by son Marc, 41, but the family holiday turned into a disaster due to the conditions onboard.

Sheila, 68, criticised the food and facilities, while other people onboard suffered from serious illness.

The Holland-on-Sea family joined nearly 200 other passengers who used the ship in 2009 and 2010 in asking for compensation.

Travel company TUI, which includes Thompson and First Choice Holidays, has denied liability.

But travel lawyers at firm Irwin Mitchell have now secured a major settlement for the passengers.