A Cruise Law News reader from Australia alerted me of a newspaper article published on Thursday discussing how Miami-based Celebrity sent an elderly couple packing from the Millennium cruise ship a month ago.
The Cairns Post reports on the disturbing story of Celebrity kicking 78 year old cruise passenger Adry Arnold and her husband off the cruise ship while it was docked at Yorkeys Knob, Queensland, Australia.
The Arnolds were enjoying their vacation cruise. Mr. Arnold went to visit nearby Cairns. While alone on the ship, Ms. Arnold apparently had difficulty locating her her cabin. She became upset and began to cry.
The newspaper states that when Mr. Arnold returned to the cruise ship, he was not allowed back on the ship. Celebrity allegedly told them that their cruise was over "because the doctor did not think they were the kind of people who should be on the cruise ... if she was left alone." The article suggests that Ms. Arnold may have had dementia and that's why Celebrity sent them involuntarily from the ship.
The Arnolds are pensioners and paid over $12,000 for the cruise.
The couple's nephew told the newspaper "this is a disgusting way to treat anybody, let alone an elderly couple, without even trying to resolve the issue at hand."
The Celebrity passenger ticket drafted by the cruise line's defense lawyers states that the cruise line can disembark passengers for any reason. However, from a public relations point of view, I would think that the couple should have been provided with a full refund rather than left behind at a port with no transportation back home.
Celebrity said that it would provide a "pro-rata refund" for the remaining nine days of their sailing. But as of the time of the newspaper article, Celebrity had not issued the refund.
A mean corporation versus a nice, elderly couple? Should the husband have stayed with his wife? Should the cruise line have treated the retirees nicer including getting them safely home?
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December 7 2013 Update: The popular cruise on line community Cruise Critic has comments about the story on its board under the topic "Bad Publicity for Celebrity." As usual, the Cruise Critic cruise line supporters defend Celebrity's callous conduct and blame the passengers. Cruise Critic is best known for being exposed as a paid cruise line cheerleader shilling for Royal Caribbean on its reviews and message boards.
December 9 2013 Update: Watch the video below:
Photo Credit: Millinnium cruise ship - Wikipedia / Captain Tucker