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Couple Booted From Cruise Ship After Being Accused of Pushing a Crew Member




A couple says they were left humiliated when they were kicked off a cruise ship after being accused of pushing a crew member.

According to, Elaine Chan and her 65-year-old husband were disembarked from Holland America Line‘s MS Zuiderdam just five days into the 24-day voyage.

The couple claims they were called into the captain’s office to discuss an incident that occurred two days prior in which several passengers had been verbally abusive towards the crew in St Petersburg, Russia. Chan’s husband was identified as the offender and the couple was forced off the ship in Helsinki.

“We did not expect our highly anticipated vacation to end as a nightmare in complete humiliation,” Chan told

Chan said she and her husband witnessed a man push past crew members while a group of passengers was forced to wait to disembark the ship for shore excursions but they weren’t involved in the altercation.

“My husband didn’t do this. Someone made a mistake and misidentified him. This false accusation has really taken a toll on him,” she said.

“I promise this story will make you angry,” said non-profit consumer rights group Elliott Advocacy’s Michelle Couch-Friedman, who was contacted by the couple. “It’s yet another troubling case of a company leveling a wild accusation at a customer and refusing to provide even a shred of evidence to support it. And it’s the consumer who pays the price—financially and emotionally.”

The couple wrote to the cruise line requesting it review video footage to no avail. Chan and her husband also offered to provide photos and even agreed to pay for a lie-detector test in hopes of clearing their names.

“Your husband participated in a scene where staff members were verbally abused. This abuse became physical when he and another guest attempted to push their way off the ship in port at St. Petersburg,” the cruise line’s response stated. “As a result, a staff member required medical attention. As stated by the captain in your verbal interview and in our previous correspondence, this is a violation of Section 4 of the Cruise Contract, and so the decision was made to remove both parties from the ship at the next port of call (Helsinki).”

“The safety, security, and comfort of our guests and employees is Holland America Line’s highest priority, the cruise line said in a statement to “In rare instances when inappropriate guest behavior violates the terms of their cruise contract, including not following the orders of ship’s officers or making offensive physical contact with the crew, guests are disembarked from the vessel.”

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