Disabled Man Claims He was Kicked Off Cruise
James Keskeny, 66, was ordered off the Bare Necessities Tour & Travel charter cruise in Guadeloupe where he had to pay an additional $1,500 for travel arrangements home, reports the Oakland Press newspaper.
Bare Necessities specializes in clothing optional cruises, but a spokeswoman from Celebrity Cruises says Keskeny remained clothed on the ship.
Keskeny, a Michigan resident who has multiple sclerosis, paid $4,000 to book a Sky Suite on the Celebrity Century so that he would have ample room to accommodate his wheelchair. The room upgrade also comes with butler service, which Keskeny thought could help cover his needs.
According to Keskeny, problems began when the butler refused to help him get his wheelchair over a lip going to the bathroom that he believes is non-compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
"They wouldn't touch me," Keskeny tells the Oakland Press. "I felt like a leper."
Celebrity Cruises, however, tells Cruise Critic there was no lip in Keskeny's room.
On the third day of the trip, Keskeny says he slipped off the toilet and none of the workers would help him get back into his chair. After a visit to the infirmary, Keskeny was taken off the ship and left in the port of Guadalupe the next morning.
"I never dreamt they would treat me in such a discriminatory fashion," says Keskeny, who reportedly took an around-the-world trip in 2002 by himself and had no problems.
"During the sailing, Mr. Keskeny required special assistance above and beyond what is provided to our disabled or wheelchair-bound guests," Celebrity says in a statement.
The cruise line maintains that although Keskeny was saying in an accessible suite he "required nurse-related assistance, such as help with feeding and personal hygiene, which is beyond the scope of what our butler service provides."
The cruise line says senior ship officers explained the situation to Keskeny and offered the option of hiring a private duty nurse, but Keskeny declined.