Family Vacation to Holiday Village Red Sea Ruined by Illness


Jacqueline and Dale Percival had saved for months to take their 2 children to the Holiday Village Red Sea in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. But the 10 day trip in July 2010 turned out to be far from a relaxing affair as father and son fell seriously ill.

Jacqueline, from Sunderland, said:

"On our 4th day my husband fell ill and was vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea. Louie then began to complain about stomach pains and became really poorly too. He was only 3 years old and it was horrible to see him in pain and not understand why. "

"It wasn’t long before I started to get sick too, showing the same symptoms as my son. As adults my husband and I we were able to fight the infection a little easier."

Red Sea Holiday Village Illnesses

The family initially put it down to ‘mummy’s tummy’, a stomach bug that most holidaymakers pick up whilst in Egypt due to the change in climate, food etc. But when the sickness continued back in the UK, the Percivals decided to seek medical help.

"We had taken medication over in Egypt to settle our stomachs and flush out the bug,” said Jacqueline, “However, after further tests back home Louie was diagnosed with Cryptosporidium."

"It cost almost £3000 for us to go away and I am really upset that we were unable to enjoy the holiday because of an apparent disregard for hygiene within the resort. Louie lost 7lbs whilst he was sick– a massive amount for a 3 year old. His grandparents even commented on how drawn he looked on our return."

Cryptosporidium is a bacterial infection found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with infected human or animal faeces. Symptoms include vomiting, severe diarrhoea, dehydration and a fever. The disease can prove fatal in those with weakened immune systems.

Bad reviews have haunted the all-inclusive resort since it opened in July 2007. Billed by First Choice as ‘providing the whole holiday experience’, complaints about the resort appeared almost immediately after the opening because it was said to be unfinished. Food poisoning and hygiene complaints have been commonplace ever since.

Jacqueline says that it was only on reflection that she realised how many people staying at the resort were sick, some to an inconvenient degree:

"Everybody seemed to be taking medication for stomach upsets, and I lost count of the number of times I overheard discussions about illness around the pool and bar. "

"It was really brought to our attention after we witnessed the large swimming pool close down twice during our stay – practically unheard of for such a big resort. When we were told that the younger guests ‘dare’ each other to excrete in the pool for a joke we were absolutely horrified – I’ve never heard anything like it! However it later emerged that the youngsters responsible were in fact so poorly with the bug that they simply couldn’t hold on long enough to get out of the pool in time. "

"I feel the information we received was a little misleading. Now I have seen that these complaints go back a year or so I am puzzled as to how First Choice can still be selling the holiday without warning customers of the problems. We will never return after our experience at the Holiday Village."

Nick Harris Head of Holiday and Travel Law at Simpson Millar Solicitors LLP said:

"The Percival’s case is not the first we have seen from this resort and unfortunately I doubt it will be the last. Since the beginning of the 2010 holiday season we have received in excess of 120 complaints from former guests of the Red Sea Holiday Village. Holidaymakers are returning with very serious bacterial infections such as cryptosporidium, e-coli and shigella, as well as very severe cases of salmonella. "

"Although complaints from Holiday Village Red Sea have been flooding in, First Choice continues to allow its customers to travel there. The resort requires a serious overhaul to health, safety and hygiene standards before welcoming any more holidaymakers."

Useful links

News Archive

Get In Touch