It won't be easy and will take time but hopefully the effort would be worth while?
It won't be easy and will take time but hopefully the effort would be worth while?
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Fiona, therein lies the beauty of a petition. A lot of people will support someone else "doin the talkin for them". They are the petition signers. Other people are the movers and the shakers, they prepare the statement for the petitions, recruit the volunteers to go out and persuade people to sign. And then there are the closers; the people who take the signatures to the CEO's and marketing executives and make the case to take the petition seriously.You are so right. I am one who fits into the ' busy living and keeping myself going' to have the energy to fight. I give up a bit too easily! Partly because I don't like being disabled
Most people don't know where to begin. They see their specific complaint as just one of many complaints made by many people and it overwhelms them.
Some people just want to rant and they want feedback that lets them know they are not alone in their dissatisfaction.
Some people don't believe they can affect change so they swallow that bitter pill of acceptance.
Some people are busy, or preoccupied with the immediate task of getting this one cruise, or one excursion or this one issue resolved now. They aren't really interested in the bigger picture or the "down the road".
Some people are burned out.
Some people hope someone else will take on the task of facilitating change and are content to sit back (with less) until someone else makes it possible for them to have more.
BUT no matter how it happens it generally starts with the first step being of someone saying "lets organize". That first step has been taken by you by starting this thread. The best that you can do (and I will not leave you alone in this task) is to keep it alive, keep the thread live. Keep soliciting for suggestions on how best to make our voices heard.
I still like the idea of petitions (as a suggestion). Agree on one issue, make a statement, put it out for signatures, send it to CEO's and make the case. Stir and repeat. The other way to do this is to write a letter (as you have a suggested), keeping the issues to two or three at a time, put it out to the disabled community to sign (with suggestion to add their own comments) provide a good address and name to send the letters and ask everyone to send in their copy.
And you are right.....before too much more discussion about this goes on, we probably need to get approval from the forum managers. The road to h3// is paved with good intentions.
Hi Virga,will be interesting to read .I am hopeful that the things I'm writing about will help some people to cruise who thought - for a variety of reasons - that it wasn't feasible.
I have found the ADA/DDA specalists helpful in certain ways booking shower chairs, equipment advice etc: but have no authority to introduce changes.
i was in contact by letter, email and telephone with a major US cruise company with the head of the disability management about the possability of introducing modifications such as extra drop down rails etc: to H/C,W/A cabins,the idea was to fit them to existing ships has they can in for refits and being standard for new ships.This had been agreed in correspondence, 12 months of hard work justified, until the first ships came in for refits and further correspondance reveiled that this was no longer going to take place, this is the sort of problems we come accross. Usual thing, just a single person writing so cruise lines class this as a induvidual problem and dissmiss it.
I have also found that the cruise lines tend to conform to whichever legislation suits them best ,what is needed are regulations covering all cruise lines and their ships irrespective of where the ships are sailing to and from and where those ships are registered.
The more members we can encourage to voice their concerns the better i hope the likes of yourself will be able to support and keep pushing for changes. Thanks
I am hopeful that the things I'm writing about will help some people to cruise who thought - for a variety of reasons - that it wasn't feasible.I agree with you. I have thought the same thing about cruise lines making more cabins that work for those passengers that don't need the larger turnaround spaces but do need the grab bars, etc.
I had an eye opening experience recently with Celebrity - tried to book an accessible room for my father. Asked for an oceanview, to participate in the promotion. They only had a suite available - less than a month before sailing - and it took three days to reach a person who was willing to review the HC cabin bookings to move an AB from one of them. What bothered me most was the constant refusal to give me anything in writing at any point - but of course they don't want to give me something that proves outright that they're violating legislation. I was given blatantly incorrect information over and over, but noone - not even resolutions - would take the responsibility to admit it in writing.
In the end, the ADA specialist (not just a special needs staffer) for X/RCCL was great - even had a few suggestions for my dad, and sent some private photos of the actual cabin he ended up in. He apologized for the runaround and gave me all his contact information for any future problems. I feel confident that he would always do everything possible to make it work, at least in part because he knows that I am well aware of my father's rights here. He is also a very compassionate man, who seems to feel real satisfaction with being able to help folks with limitations enjoy their trip to the fullest.
That said, it is obvious that they only have him for situations where people intend to exercise their rights - if you either don't know you have them, don't know their implications, or don't fight for them... Well, if my dad didn't have a firecracker for a daughter, he wouldn't be on this cruise.
And that's only having to do with booking and pricing! Don't even get me started on how DUMB it is that X appears to have no intention of partially modifying any standard staterooms to try to relieve the demand for fully accessible cabins. I don't much like how Carnival lumps them together, but I wholeheartedly support the concept. If space is the premium that 'costs too much' to add more accessible cabins, why not retrofit standard cabins? My dad doesn't need the space this cruise - actually, large open rooms are pretty difficult for him - but does need extra grab bars, a higher toilet, a sturdy seat in the shower, reduced lips in thresholds.. some of the features that are ONLY available in the fully accessible cabins. It's ludicrous that they wouldn't at LEAST add additional handrails, I don't think they'd even have to reserve those as accessible cabins.
The regulations are good for certain purposes - preventing price discrimination, ensuring HC cabins are held for folks with limitations that require them - but that's pretty much the only sway the US has on these foreign ships. Demand is going to have to drive the addition of more accessible cabins.
Unfortunately, everything I'm learning is only valid for cruises sailing from US ports - I agree that it would be optimal to have a set of umbrella legislation, but I do understand why it is untenable. I think the only solution right now is for it to be made apparent to the lines that modification is in their own financial best interests. That's where the OP's idea comes in - I think a lot of folks with limitations are so used to working around obstacles that they don't complain often enough when they've been slighted. Sure, a single letter can be overlooked, but how else will companies know that they're shooting themselves in the foot if we aren't all providing feedback? Many people articulating the same issues - with money to spend elsewhere - is likely going to be the only thing that brings real changes.
I want just the opposite. I want to be able to book a "regular" H/C balcony cabin for myself, my wife & my daughter and not have to go to a junior suit. Disney does it. Why can't everyone else?Yup. Part of the reason DCL is not much more expensive for us. Don't have to shell out $$ for mini-suite, just so family will fit.