Elderly New York Couple Kicked Off Ship After Fight

Posted Oct 4th 2010 10:29 AMUpdated Oct 6th 2010 12:40 PM

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Cunard is defending its decision to throw an elderly New York couple off the Queen Mary 2. But Gloria Sher, 82, tells AOL Travel News that she and her 91-year-old husband, Frederick Evans, were treated "terribly" by the cruise line.

The wealthy pair were only a few days into a 30-day, $20,000 cruise when Sher was involved in a swearing match that she says began after a fellow passenger made an anti-Semitic remark.

Sher says the incident occurred in the Queen's Grill, where only passengers in the top accommodations on the ocean liner dine. A stranger the couple was seated with at dinner told her to shut up and that there were "too many [expletive] Jews," on the ship.

Sher, who is Jewish, says she responded with a strong expletive.

"I am not going to put up on that crap," Sher tells AOL. "Six million Jews died because of this sort of thing."



For his part, she says her British husband politely told the man, "You are not a gentleman."

Sher says she and her husband quickly left the dining room, but were informed the next day by Commodore Bernard Warner, captain of the QM2, they were being thrown off the ship in Quebec.

The captain accused Sher, who weighs only 95 pounds, of being physically abusive to another passenger, she says.

In deference to their age, Commodore Warner later decided to allow the couple to stay onboard six more days, until the QM2 returned to New York, but only if they remained confined to their cabin.

"Like a criminal. Stay in your cabin. 'House arrest.' That's what we were told," she says. The couple also had to hand over all their alcohol.

Once in New York, the couple was disembarked, and not allowed to continue their trip, which was to include a transatlantic sailing and Mediterranean voyage.

Sher, who produced the Tony-nominated musical "Shenandoah," and Evans, a former British navy man, say they actually met on Cunard's now-retired Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1991, and had cruised on the Queen Mary 2 several times, often in the ship's top suite. They even knew Commodore Warner.

Yet Evans says the captain would not even listen to their side of the story.

For its part, Cunard says in a statement that Sher and Evans "engaged in multiple incidences of disrespectful and disruptive behavior towards crew members and other guests."

Cunard says Commodore Warner acted correctly and that all guests on its ships are expected to behave according to terms in its Passenger Contract, which the line says Sher and Evans violated.

The cruise line says the rules "are designed to protect the safety and well being of all of our guests, and thus Cunard fully supported (the Commodore's) actions in dealing with the situation."

Meanwhile, Sher says she hasn't slept for weeks and is ill over what happened.

"I am sick in bed," she tells AOL.

Sher also complains the couple only received a $869 refund from the cruise line. "They won't apologize and they won't give me my money back," she says.

Cunard says in its statement, "normal cancellation fees applied."


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