CRUISES have topped an annual list of the worst ­holidays.

Travel law specialist Irwin Mitchell said almost one-third of new cases last year related to botched cruises.

The firm is currently representing passengers involved in group actions against cruise firms operating the Island Escape, Boudicca, Oriana and Thomson Dream, among many others. They are also representing victims of the Costa Concordia disaster.

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In 2013, 27 per cent of new cases brought to the firm related to cruise holidays, with Turkey, Egypt, Dominican Republic and Spain making up the top five.

Food poisoning caused by potentially deadly bugs such as Salmonella, E-coli and Cryptosporidium were the most common complaints.

Suki Chhokar, an inter­national personal injury expert, said: "Unfortunately, the same issues, such as poor food preparation and storage and unclean swimming pools are responsible for the majority of illness cases we deal with."