Did Seabourn Go Too Far?

This month, an elderly couple were “kicked off” the Seabourn Sojourn in Lisbon because one of the two would not go to the safety drill.  Further information has come out about this situation.  Let’s see what you think.

First, the couple, ages 90 and 84, were on a 20 day sailing that was made up of multiple cruises.  When they embarked in Civitavecchia, they both attended the safety drill.  Eight days later, the second sailing began in Lisbon.  The husband attended the drill while the wife did not.  She said she felt ill.  Seabourn has said that they do offer a makeup drill for any guest who is too ill to attend.  An officer was sent to check on her to see why she did not attend the drill.  Less than an hour later, crew members had packed up the couple’s belongings and they were escorted off the ship.  Seabourn is refunding the couple for the unused portion of their cruise fare.  Seabourn indicates that the reason they decided to remove the couple was that one of them refused to attend the mandatory drill despite “multiple, explicit warnings”.

Some have sided with the cruise line, indicating that safety should be their number one concern.  The drill doesn’t take that long in relation to the length of the cruise.

Others have said that the cruise line should be more compassionate with the elderly couple, especially since they just went through the drill only 8 days earlier.

What do you think?  Did Seabourn do the right thing?

2 responses to this post.

  1. I think the answer is somewhere in between. Safety should be first priority, regardless of a passenger’s age. However, an hour is a bit of a rush to give “multiple explicit warnings” and boot them off the ship–especially if the woman was truly ill.
    I would liken this situation to many flights I have been on, where the plane lands, some people disembark, some new people get on, and some of us stay on for the duration of the flight. Whether we can recite the safety spiel that the air hosts and hostesses give or not and regardless of how many times we have heard it while sitting in that seat, it is federal regulation that it be given before take off for all flights. So you sit and deal with it. Heaven forbid if something were ever to happen, we might actually remember what to do from the spiel.
    So yes, the old couple should have attended the drill. It was a new sailing. Should the line kicked them off the ship so quickly, I don’t think so.

    Reply

  2. Posted by fun4me on May 30, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    I imagine there is much more to this than we are hearing. The woman must have clearly done something other than politely refuse to attend the briefing due to illness. I really hate it when people use personal infirmity or age as an excuse or “entitlement” to act inappropriately. If they are healthy enough to cruise, then they are healthy enough to attend a 20-minute briefing. The cruise lines go out of their way to assist people with infirmities during safety briefings. They are allowed to use elevators and to leave the drill early. They are allowed to sit or stand in an area separate from the “line up” of other cruisers. They are allowed to have assistance from crew members to get to the safety briefing. They have more than one opportunity to attend a drill, just as the cruise line stated. How do I know this? My daughter is handicapped. We go through it every cruise. Really, they bend over backwards if you just ask.

    Were there other things the cruise line could have done so it didn’t go this far? Possibly. Perhaps they already tried those things. Perhaps they didn’t. I just don’t think we know enough to make a good judgement of who was right or wrong.

    Reply

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