Being put off the ship didn't just happen, it wasn't a complete surprise. We can be sure the Staff most likely talked and tried to reason with the couple, then finally told them if they didn't comply that they would have to be put off the ship. Because the consequences of non-compliance was so serious, likely the final decision was made with the Captains knowledge. Evidently the money wasn't an issue to for this couple or they would have complied! (like...who wants to lose $30,000? Give me a pillow, stick me in a wheelchair, and push!!!)
Just because a person is elderly doesn't mean that they are 'sweet' 'lovable' Andy Griffin types. Elderly passengers can be just as fierce in a buffet line as a 30yr old and wipe you out in the race for the ship's last deck chair. They can be cranky and difficult to deal with. There are older passengers who take advantage of the fact that because of their age and apparent frailness they are given 'great' latitude by staff & crew on board ship. Some get away with 'mouthing' off, rudeness, demands, etc. that would not be tolerated in someone younger. (we tend to say, "oh, they're old they don't mean it" or "they really don't know what they're doing"...Excuse me, sometimes really THEY DO!)
We cannot be sure what really went on in the cabin when the couple was ask to leave the ship, but we do know they made an INFORMED choice. We make choices everyday and there are always consequences...sometimes they're good and sometimes bad. For some the consequences can cost $30,000.