Elderly New York Couple Kicked Off Ship After Fight

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


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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sara caldwell

I have cruised several times and have NEVER encountered such behavior from the employees/management of a cruise line. These folks deserve EVERY respectful consideration, in that THEY PAID FOR THIS TRIP.

THESE ELDERLY FOLKS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MUCH OF A PROBLEM; SOMEONE, working for the cruise line, decided they would not be tolerant of these elderly folks.


December 31 2010 at 12:27 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Just two words to use here..."SUE THEM"!

December 30 2010 at 2:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'd like to know what the cruise Captain did about the one who started it.

December 27 2010 at 2:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If the other passengers were using insults THEY deserve to be thrown off as well. I dont know the particulars but since it was such a cut and dry situation I think the woman had too much to drink and got obnoxious to other people because she's rich and ARROGANT.. Typical behavior. HOWEVER, event that behavior doesnt allow for remarks against her heritage.. only her STUPIDITY.

December 27 2010 at 1:27 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

You know, everybody on that cruise and specifically in that dining room paid for their cruise. It sounds to me like the lady was objectionable, and the other passenger said so... maybe not in the nicest words, but he paid for his cruise too and had a right not to have it ruined for him. Sometimes you see people who think nothing of being rude, condescending, or demanding who don't have the slightest idea that how they're behaving impacts other people's experience, or don't care. Often they are drunk, and it seems like that might be the case here since they were not allowed any booze while confined to their cabin. If the lady had good manners I'd bet this would have never have happened. If her husband said the other man was no gentleman, perhaps he should have been looking at his lady's. It's not always everyone else who has to put up with you.

December 23 2010 at 11:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the captain should have been thrown off the ship

December 21 2010 at 8:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
carol kaye

Having been in "certain boroughs" of New York there is no question that some folks are RUDE. Many New Yorkers are great but you do carry a burden with brash people who think they are better than others. I have found that to be the case in Boca Raton and West Palm Beach, Florida where they travel to during the winter season. Wow, hard to believe it but saw it myself many times. The older gentleman looks like a sweet guy but the wife definitely looks like trouble. The man's comment was not right but was probably prompted by the pushy and obnoxious woman.

December 20 2010 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why is AOL running this story again? Isn't there other news they could be covering? What's going on with North Korea? Isn't that news, that they're considering exploding nuclear war heads? AOL sucks!

December 19 2010 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Come on people, this couple were probably obnoxious and it was observed by the officers on the ship. Do you really think they would just on a whim tell them to stay in their cabin and take them off after six days. It is all about money with the cruise lines, so they are not looking on ways to treat people unfairly and get sued. I'm sure the captain was in touch with the home office on this. I think these people are just use to ordering people around and they don't realized how demeaning it is to treat people the way they think is normal. I wonder if their hearing is okay. Just can't believe being jewish was even brought up at the dining table.

December 17 2010 at 8:44 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Pretty one-sided report ... and THAT is how the Nazis gained so much power in Germany prior to the war. Be very careful Cunard you are sailing in rough waters.

December 15 2010 at 5:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply