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Woman, son want refund for cruise gone bad

READ MORE: Woman, son want refund for cruise gone bad

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington mother wants a refund after taking her quadriplegic son on a cruise around Europe.

Martina Lipsey says before she ever booked the cruise on the Emerald Princess, she asked the travel agent if the cruise and the excursions were wheel chair friendly. She says she was assured they were, but when the Lipseys were visiting a concert hall in Russia, there wasn't a wheel chair ramp. Martina's son Stanley had an accident on the stairs, and broke his leg, ruining the cruise, and costing the Lipseys thousands of dollars in unanticipated expenses.

"I receive a form saying, 'Who do you think is to blame for this?', and I said, 'I think the tour guide was because she went off and left us,'" Martina said, 'and we were left alone, it was getting dark, and we were scared."

Martina lipsey wants a refund for the thousands of dollars she spent on the cruise and the airfare home from Europe.

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You cant sue the cruise line, they didn't drop him some nice strangers did. Russia does not have the same handicap laws as we do and if you have traveled the world as you say you would know this.

Its nice that this man is willing to travel in his condition but this is just how traveling is, there is always a problem for someone.

Trip insurance would have covered all your extra expenses, if they cover people in wheelchairs that is.

Not at fault

It seems to me that the cruise can only assure someone that their ship is wheelchair friendly. How can someone hold the cruise line responsible for the excursions that you choose to take? The mother should have checked before deciding to go to the concert hall. On a cruise, the excursions are optional and there is no way the cruise director can know (or take responsibility for) what the facilites are like at each place they visit. It sounds like the ship itself was wheelchair friendly, so the cruise did not do anything wrong.

Also, why did they decide to tackle climbing stairs? One look at the stairs and they should have made a different choice.


Ok, So I feel for this woman and her son, but at the same time they need to realize that there are limits to what a person with a disability can do. It's ludicrous to think that you can take a quadriplegic on a cruise to Russia and expect that you can be accommodated in the same way that you are in the US. There are different laws and regulations there, and I would assume they are far less strict about them. It may not be a popular thing to say, but everyone has limits and a quadriplegic has even more limits. Traveling by boat would likely be one of them.

Now on the other hand, I will say that the cruise should not have assured them that everything would be wheel-chair accessible if it wasn't, however, I would think it's only common sense to expect possible issues with accessibility in a foreign country.

Why not?

Why shouldn't she take her son on a cruise? He is in a wheel chair, not brain dead. His mind is perfectly fine. He can enjoy the same things that you and I do, with laughter and joy. He feels the same emotions that everyone else feels. His body has failed him, not his sense of adventure. It makes me sad that you are so narrow minded that you can't understand that. Maybe she made a bad choice to try to climb those stairs without assistance. If she had already paid for the excursion, she should've requested a refund possibly. I have no opinion regarding her sueing. But I think it is a great thing that she wanted to share the world with her son!

You must be crazy

Why on earth would you take a quadripegic on a cruise? There are some things that people with disabilities can not do. That no different than a little person tying out for the basketball team then suing because they didn't make it. Its your responsibility to take care of your health. Shame on you for taking your son on a crazy thing like a cruise.


Cruises are one of the most accessible ways to travel including for people with spinal cord injury. There are companies that specialize in helping to accommodate them with equipment, etc. My uncle had a fantastic time in his power chair on a cruise - which is such a blessing because he also had a terminal illness. I am so glad he and my aunt had that experience together. As for excursions, if a cruise line purports to be accessible, they should probably do their homework regarding which excursions to recommend, though I don't know the law on this.

Wowever made this comment is

Wowever made this comment is nothing short of stupid.......why wouldn't you want to take your son on a cruise...quadriplegic or not. That was a very insensitive comment to make....I am not saying that the cruiseline should be responsible for what happens on 'excursions'...maybe their travel agent should bear some of the responsibility for not being knowledgable about certain things and giving proper advice to their client but to just outright say "shame on you for taking your son on a cruise" is ignorant. Hopefully you will never have to experience anything like that in your family!

i don't know why she is

i don't know why she is suing the cruise line.

...if anything it's her own fault for trying to climb stairs that they would consider having a problem climbing in the first place.

and before she had left togo to this concert she could have double check or simple asked for a cab to take her back to the ship.

if anything the concert hall we seem it should be sued for not having wheelchair access if the lady isn't gonna accept responsibility for her actions.

we are not talking about somebody that slipped on a wet spot on the floor ...the stairs didn't jump up and trip them they had a choice to climb them beforehand.