US news outlet The Oakland Press is reporting that a disabled man, who was ordered off Celebrity Century in Guadalupe for refusing to hire a nurse to care for him, is launching a legal case against Celebrity Cruises for a refund of his cruise fare and reimbursement for unexpected travel expenses.
According to the report, 66-year-old Michigan resident James Keskeny, who has multiple sclerosis and is wheelchair-bound, was ordered off the vessel during a Bare Necessities Tour & Travel nude charter on February 18. He had to pay US$1,500 in travel expenses for the journey home.
So far, Celebrity Cruises has said in a statement that Keskeny was offered the option of hiring a private nurse to care for him during the 10-night Caribbean cruise, after the line discovered he wasn’t self-sufficient and was relying on cruise staff to perform duties like feeding, bathing and using the lavatory.
“He needed help every time he had to get out of bed and go to the bathroom, every time he needed to take a bath. These tasks aren’t something that the cruise lines avail themselves of beyond their normal duties. He really needed someone 24/7, and we had to go by cruise line policy when we were made aware of the situation,” Nancy Teimann, founder of Bare Necessities Tour & Travel, was quoted as saying on Cruise Critic.
Although Celebrity Cruises policy states that passengers booking an accessible cabin (which Keskeny had) must fill out a special-needs form and must be self-sufficient or bring a helper, Keskeny said he was never told that his stateroom’s butler wouldn’t be sufficient.
Keskeny’s lawyer, Richard Bernstein, is hoping for the line to refund the full cruise fare and travel expenses.