Scooters and Wheelchairs

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Q&A with Peter Shanks, President & Managing Director Cunard Line



Peter Shanks
President & Managing Director



Special Event: Peter Shanks was here answering your questions about Cunard Line. Check in to see what he had to say!

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#1
Up North, UK
1,450 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth when the new policy about scooters and wheelchairs was introduced. Now, even with a tiny little scooter that will disassemble and store in the corner of a cabin, passengers must either book a handicapped cabin or splash out on a suite. I'm fortunate to be able to take the latter route, but most pax can't or don't wish to do this. I don't need a fully accessible shower and WC, but I do need to take a wheelchair for shore activities. Many, if not most of the scooter jockeys have a similar profile.

This means that the very limited number of HC cabins available will fill up even faster than they did and those with an unavoidable, medical need for one will be even more unable to get one since they almost invariably book up so quickly. Worse, they are now further disadvantaged when prices drop, because they can't risk waiting for price drops and have no chance of getting an HC cabin when Getaway fares come up.

This policy doesn't work to the advanage of any category of passengers, and certainly can't be a wise move on a line that has an age profile considerably longer in the tooth than just about any other premium offering.

Let me say that as a wheelchair user, I've never found myself inconvinenced by scooters parked in corridors, (even though this should not happen). I have had to regularly and repeatedly move cleaning and laundry trolleys out of the way as well as room service storage carts and uncollected trays outside cabins. In this respect, Cunard performs rather worse than some of its main competitors.

So here's my question - why has this policy been introduced on Cunard and P&O, but not the other Carnival Group lines like Princess and Carnival itself?
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#2
50 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
We took the advice of our Health and Safety teams - there were too many examples where we had too many scooters around the ship - and we cannot risk having any blockages to customer flow - especially in corridors. So we advise those that need to use them to book early and to take one of the appropriate cabins. I hope that hepls answer the question. Peter
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Peter Shanks
President and Managing Director
Cunard Line
#3
Up North, UK
1,450 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Ah, the old Health & Safety demon. Now I understand.

Mr Shanks, please don't take my comment as being sarcastic, because that is absolutely not the way it is intended. But perhaps you could ask your H&S teams to investigate the widespread corridor presence of laundry, cleaning and room service carts, which make navigation in a standard wheelchair so frustrating. Maybe narrower cart's are an option?

We recently completed our first voyage aboard one of your competitor's vessels and the greater ease of being able to move along corridors was startling.
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Queen Victoria V525 Spain, Portugal, Morroco - Nov 2015
Celebrity Sillhouette Shakespeare Cruise - April 2016
Queen Elizabeth Q620 Portugal & Canaries - November 2016

#5
Up North, UK
1,450 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
Much obliged.
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Queen Victoria V525 Spain, Portugal, Morroco - Nov 2015
Celebrity Sillhouette Shakespeare Cruise - April 2016
Queen Elizabeth Q620 Portugal & Canaries - November 2016