We had some friends who had booked a nice cruise on the Queen Mary 2 but could not go or cancel their reservations and asked us if we might like to buy the passage at a rather sizeable discount.
I have never been on a cruise so I decided to check it out.
This is supposed to be Cunard-UK who owned the White Star Line and I imagined Titanic and all of the ships sailing to and from Great Britian that never made it. I have seen two films about the Titanic and still vividly remember the sinking scenes.
I don't think I will be going now after reading what happened to an older Jewish couple on such a cruise in the Oct. 4,2010 edition of The New York Post.
A wealthy Manhattan couple were forced to walk the plank during a cruise on the Queen Mary 2 after getting into a bizarre fight with a fellow passenger, sources say.
Broadway producer Gloria Sher, 82, and her husband Frederick Evans, 91, said they were ordered off the luxury liner after their obscenity-filled argument with someone they claim made an anti-Semitic remark during a stately black tie dinner.
The couple almost wound up stranded in a remote port in Quebec as punishment for their outburst. At the time they were only a few days into the $20,000 five-day cruise.
They were eventually allowed to remain aboard for six more days after some passengers came to their defense,but they had to stay inside their cabin under house arrest. Even their booze was confiscated.
"I was treated with no respect and unbelievably rude and shockingly terrible,"Sher said."I've been sick every since. It has ruined our lives. It has changed us forever."
Minutes into their meal that day, the couple said, one of their dining companions told Sher to shut up, then added,"There are too many Jews on board."
Sher, who is Jewish, admits she got angry, shooting back,"F**k you!" and "How dare you insult me!" before storming off to her stateroom.
The next morning,the ship's commanding officer,Commodore Bernard Warner knocked on the couple's cabin door.
" You insulted a fellow passenger.I'm going to have to ask you to leave the ship," he said, quoting from a manual.
The couple who met aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1991 and knew Warner from several trips on the QM2, were stunned, especially when he insinuated that the 95-pound Sher had pushed someone.
"He told two seniors that we had to get off the ship in Quebec and make our way home," said Sher who produced the Tony-nominated musical "Shenandoah." "We begged him not to do this."
Evans, a former British Navy man, said the Commodore acted more like a modern-day Captain Bligh, refusing to even listen to their side of the story.
But one passenger told The Post that the couple was at least partly to blame. Sher tends to get belligerent when drinking, the passnger said, recalling that she went on a rant one night because a lounge's piano was closed.
Another passenger, however, felt that the couple was definitely mistreated. Fred Bangasser, a retired Army colonel from Austin,Texas who has befriended them during the cruise, tried to intervene when the commodore was giving them the heave-h*o.
"This is deplorable,"Bangasser said."I felt that they were absolutely treated without appropriate dignity."
Warner allowed them to stay on the ship until their return to New York, but only if they agreed not to leave their room.
The elderly couple spent six days as shut-ins although they did manage to slip out of their suite once in a while.
It was hardly the royal treatment for two people known to make bold claims. Sher, for example, likes to tell people that her husband is the illegitimate son of the Duke of Windsor, the abdicated King Edward VIII, as well as a British knight. Neither claim could be confirmed.
And she has her own colorful past. her former husband, Louis K. Sher,owned a chain of art-house movie theaters, and produced "The Stewardesses," a 1969 3D soft-core porn flick.
The Cunard Cruise Line which would only refund the couple $839-- said in a statement that "Sir Evans and Lady Sher engaged in multiple instances of disrespectful and disruptive behavior towards crew members and guests."
The statement said that Cunard "fully Supported" the Commodore's decision.