Able bodied in disabled cabins

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#21
Land of 10,000 lakes
5,300 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I fail to understand what is so difficult about carrying or having travel documents from one's doctor. Make it part of a regular check-up. My doctor has mine on file and just up-dates, prints, signs and hands it to me; along with all the test results and other paperwork. I keep my current travel letter with my travel documents. Also, when traveling in Europe, I take my HC placard. My letter does not indicate my illness, only what my needs are and certain capabilities.

For every cruise, I always fill out and provide the SNF (Special needs form) when I make my reservation.

I view the documentation as something for my own health and safety. It is not discrimination against me, it is something to protect me.

Betty
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Past cruises: Splendour OTS (Med) 11/01, Voyager OTS (Caribbean) 11/02, Majesty OTS (Bahamas) 1/03, Nordic Empress (Caribbean) 3/03, Noordam (Baltic) 7/03, Horizon (W Caribbean) 12/03, Horizon (E Caribbean) 2/04, Jasmine (Nile) 5/04, Empress OTS (S Caribbean) 12/04, Opera (E Med) 4/05, Maasdam (St Lawrence) 6/05, Sapphire Princess (Mexico) 12/05, Regal Princess (Amazon) 4/06, Rotterdam (Black Sea) 10/06, Rotterdam (Med) 10/06, Sun Princess (Caribbean) 1/07, Magica (TA) 5/07, Island Princess (Panama Canal east) 10/07, Mercury (So Pacific) 3/08 , Mercury (Hawaii) 3/08, Century (W Med) 11/08; Legend OTS (Asia) 4/09; Legend OTS (Asia) 5/09; Legend OTS (Mid East) 5/09; Rotterdam (Baltic) 8/09; Volendam (Japan) 10/09; Poesia (Caribbean) 1/10; Summit (Bermuda) 5/10; Concordia (W Med) 10/10; Century (TA) 10/10; Oasis OTS (W. Caribbean) 9/11; Carnival Valor (E. Caribbean) 9/11; Carnival Valor (W. Caribbean) 9/11; NCL Sky (Bahamas) 9/11; Majesty OTS (Bahamas) 9/11; Carnival Imagination (W. Caribbean)10/11; NCL Spirit (W. Caribbean) 10/11; Maasdam (Atlantic Coast/St. Lawrence) 4/12; NCL Jade (Med/Holy Land) 2/13; Infinity 10/13 (Western Europe); Liberty OTS 10/13 (Transatlantic); Maasdam 1/14 (S Caribbean), NCL Gem 9/14(Bahamas); Carnival Splendor 9/14 (New England); Carnival Pride 9/14 (Bahamas); Carnival Paradise 10/14 (Caribbean); NCL Star 10/14 (Panama Canal west); Equinox 1/15 (Caribbean); Constellation 2/15 (Caribbean);Serenade OTS 1/16 (Eastern Caribbean); Serenade OTS 1/16 (East/Southern Caribbean); Serenade OTS 4/16 (Transatlantic); Serenade OTS 5/16 (Norway); Enchantment OTS 1/17 (Bahamas); Navigator OTS 1/17 (Western Caribbean); Navigator OTS 1/17 (Caribbean); Eurodam 1/17 (Caribbean); NCL Getaway 2/17 (Caribbean); Oosterdam 11/17 (Panama Canal west); Regal Princess 4/18 (Transatlantic)

Future cruises: Summit (E. Caribbean) 1/19; NCL Dawn (E. Caribbean) 1/19
#22
GB
738 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by john watson
It is a pity you took this hard line on the issue with a cruise line which was trying to insure fair play on this problem. The cost of a doctor's letter would be about £30 I should think which is a very small amount when you consider that it would be valid for many cruises thereafter the first. Many people in the UK get special financial allowances because they are disabled; and rightly so, and in many cases these special payouts are in place to try and address the additional expense of coping with a disability.

Regards John
Hi John,

Where would you want it to stop, do I have to provide a doctors letter every time I require reasonable adjustment when trying to live as normal life as I can.

So that you understand it is discriminatory for any provider of a service to require someone who is disabled to do something that an able bodied person doesn't - namely pay for a doctors letter, an able bodied person doesn't have to provide a letter to say they are "fit to cruise"

As I said in my original post
"Hi,

I have a certain amount of sympathy for the cruise lines as they are sometimes between a rock and a hard place.

I am sailing from San Francisco in October and have booked an accessible cabin which I need, I booked this in the UK (which as most will know that there are similar disability laws in the UK but with differences). I received a letter from the cruise line asking for a letter from my doctor to prove that I needed the accessible cabin. I wrote back to them expressing how impressed I was with them in the fact that they were trying to ensure that the correct people were able to use these cabins but as my doctor would charge for this letter I felt that it was discriminatory for me to pay to prove that I am disabled, I also advised them that I would willingly provide them with a letter from my doctor but at their expense.

This was several months ago but I haven't heard anything from them.

Pete"

It is a shame that you failed to quote the full post as I have highlighted relevant points that show your post up a borderline offensive.

Pete
#23
Land of 10,000 lakes
5,300 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Enforcer
So that you understand it is discriminatory for any provider of a service to require someone who is disabled to do something that an able bodied person doesn't - namely pay for a doctors letter, an able bodied person doesn't have to provide a letter to say they are "fit to cruise"
Pete,

I think maybe you missed the problem.

The whole issue is the “Accessible or Handicap cabin”, not the cruise. If the cruise lines could insist that those who need an HC cabin had to provide a doctor's statement indicating their needs, not their medical condition, able bodied people would not be using those cabins for their comfort. So, if an able bodied wanted to reserve one of those cabins, they would have to provide a doctor's certificate, the same as a HC person; and there is not any discrimination.

As I suggested, in my earlier post, an individual can have a letter created as part of their standard checked, thus no charge involved. The European medical services provided documentation with check-ups long before the U.S. did, thus it should be available without question or charge. My doctors require I have semi-annual check-ups, but I only request the letter with the spring visit. Most airlines require doctor's certification be within a year of flight.

Even you missed the comment that the cruise line ask for the letter for the specific cabin, not the cruise. The HC does not need any documentation for a standard cabin. They can submit a SNF form for their own safety if they wish, however that is up to the individual.

Again, the need for a doctor's certificate is for the cabin, not the cruise. If you do not want the able bodied people using those cabins, then help the cruise lines restrict those cabins.

Betty
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Past cruises: Splendour OTS (Med) 11/01, Voyager OTS (Caribbean) 11/02, Majesty OTS (Bahamas) 1/03, Nordic Empress (Caribbean) 3/03, Noordam (Baltic) 7/03, Horizon (W Caribbean) 12/03, Horizon (E Caribbean) 2/04, Jasmine (Nile) 5/04, Empress OTS (S Caribbean) 12/04, Opera (E Med) 4/05, Maasdam (St Lawrence) 6/05, Sapphire Princess (Mexico) 12/05, Regal Princess (Amazon) 4/06, Rotterdam (Black Sea) 10/06, Rotterdam (Med) 10/06, Sun Princess (Caribbean) 1/07, Magica (TA) 5/07, Island Princess (Panama Canal east) 10/07, Mercury (So Pacific) 3/08 , Mercury (Hawaii) 3/08, Century (W Med) 11/08; Legend OTS (Asia) 4/09; Legend OTS (Asia) 5/09; Legend OTS (Mid East) 5/09; Rotterdam (Baltic) 8/09; Volendam (Japan) 10/09; Poesia (Caribbean) 1/10; Summit (Bermuda) 5/10; Concordia (W Med) 10/10; Century (TA) 10/10; Oasis OTS (W. Caribbean) 9/11; Carnival Valor (E. Caribbean) 9/11; Carnival Valor (W. Caribbean) 9/11; NCL Sky (Bahamas) 9/11; Majesty OTS (Bahamas) 9/11; Carnival Imagination (W. Caribbean)10/11; NCL Spirit (W. Caribbean) 10/11; Maasdam (Atlantic Coast/St. Lawrence) 4/12; NCL Jade (Med/Holy Land) 2/13; Infinity 10/13 (Western Europe); Liberty OTS 10/13 (Transatlantic); Maasdam 1/14 (S Caribbean), NCL Gem 9/14(Bahamas); Carnival Splendor 9/14 (New England); Carnival Pride 9/14 (Bahamas); Carnival Paradise 10/14 (Caribbean); NCL Star 10/14 (Panama Canal west); Equinox 1/15 (Caribbean); Constellation 2/15 (Caribbean);Serenade OTS 1/16 (Eastern Caribbean); Serenade OTS 1/16 (East/Southern Caribbean); Serenade OTS 4/16 (Transatlantic); Serenade OTS 5/16 (Norway); Enchantment OTS 1/17 (Bahamas); Navigator OTS 1/17 (Western Caribbean); Navigator OTS 1/17 (Caribbean); Eurodam 1/17 (Caribbean); NCL Getaway 2/17 (Caribbean); Oosterdam 11/17 (Panama Canal west); Regal Princess 4/18 (Transatlantic)

Future cruises: Summit (E. Caribbean) 1/19; NCL Dawn (E. Caribbean) 1/19
#24
Cambridgeshire
3,224 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by Enforcer
Hi John,

Where would you want it to stop, do I have to provide a doctors letter every time I require reasonable adjustment when trying to live as normal life as I can.

So that you understand it is discriminatory for any provider of a service to require someone who is disabled to do something that an able bodied person doesn't - namely pay for a doctors letter, an able bodied person doesn't have to provide a letter to say they are "fit to cruise"

As I said in my original post
"Hi,

I have a certain amount of sympathy for the cruise lines as they are sometimes between a rock and a hard place.

I am sailing from San Francisco in October and have booked an accessible cabin which I need, I booked this in the UK (which as most will know that there are similar disability laws in the UK but with differences). I received a letter from the cruise line asking for a letter from my doctor to prove that I needed the accessible cabin. I wrote back to them expressing how impressed I was with them in the fact that they were trying to ensure that the correct people were able to use these cabins but as my doctor would charge for this letter I felt that it was discriminatory for me to pay to prove that I am disabled, I also advised them that I would willingly provide them with a letter from my doctor but at their expense.

This was several months ago but I haven't heard anything from them.

Pete"

It is a shame that you failed to quote the full post as I have highlighted relevant points that show your post up a borderline offensive.

Pete
Hi Pete,

The only reason I only quoted part of your posting was because you focused on the money and cite discrimination in having to pay as the issue. I do not dispute that this is discrimination. The doctors letter as I see it would only be needed to be written once and thereafter reused for other purposes as well as for cruising, where adjustments to accommodate your needs would need to be made accordingly as appropriate. This cost in my view is therefore trivial whereas the broader issue is much larger which I see as the cynical booking of adapted cabins to get a larger cabin at a budget price. I see the likely outcome to be that cruise lines will drop the procedure of insisting on seeing appropriate evidence regarding whether passengers need an adapted cabin or not and just booking anyone into the far too few adapted cabins available which I think will be a major tragedy. I feel this broader issue is best addressed first then afterwards an examination of how to get round the payments issue. In this respect consultation with ones member of parliament might be the answer.

Regards John
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John Watson

Ships cruised on
RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS France, Oronsay, Oceana, Vision of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Aurora,
Queen Mary 2, Star Flyer, Star Clipper, Grand Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Azura, Ruby Princess, Ventura, Diamond Princess, Britannia, Emerald Princess, Navigator of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Pacific Princess
#25
6,978 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by john watson
Hi Pete,

The only reason I only quoted part of your posting was because you focused on the money and cite discrimination in having to pay as the issue. I do not dispute that this is discrimination. The doctors letter as I see it would only be needed to be written once and thereafter reused for other purposes as well as for cruising, where adjustments to accommodate your needs would need to be made accordingly as appropriate. This cost in my view is therefore trivial whereas the broader issue is much larger which I see as the cynical booking of adapted cabins to get a larger cabin at a budget price. I see the likely outcome to be that cruise lines will drop the procedure of insisting on seeing appropriate evidence regarding whether passengers need an adapted cabin or not and just booking anyone into the far too few adapted cabins available which I think will be a major tragedy. I feel this broader issue is best addressed first then afterwards an examination of how to get round the payments issue. In this respect consultation with ones member of parliament might be the answer.

Regards John
Based on the law sited in Post # 2 it's unlikely that any cruise ship departing from a USA port will intentional drop the certification/verification process for booking accessible cabins. Unfamiliar with any laws in other countries pertaining to this matter.
#26
Cambridgeshire
3,224 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by xxoocruiser
Based on the law sited in Post # 2 it's unlikely that any cruise ship departing from a USA port will intentional drop the certification/verification process for booking accessible cabins. Unfamiliar with any laws in other countries pertaining to this matter.
Yes, the United States is taking this abuse very seriously; rightly so, and draughted specific legislation. In other parts of the world crusing is not such a major industry and there they might well be a bit more lax and any opportunity to not bother may well creep in with some cruise lines in those parts of the world. Lines could adopt the policy wherever they are sailing and stick rigidly to it. In this respect; it is my opinion that everybody should try as much as they can to encourage and support any effort from any cruise line in upholding these principals worldwide even passengers reporting cruise lines that did not insist on seeing relevant documentation to make sure that standards are upheld.

Regards John
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John Watson

Ships cruised on
RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS France, Oronsay, Oceana, Vision of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Aurora,
Queen Mary 2, Star Flyer, Star Clipper, Grand Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Azura, Ruby Princess, Ventura, Diamond Princess, Britannia, Emerald Princess, Navigator of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Pacific Princess
#27
connecticut
27 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by Enforcer
Hi John,

Where would you want it to stop, do I have to provide a doctors letter every time I require reasonable adjustment when trying to live as normal life as I can.

So that you understand it is discriminatory for any provider of a service to require someone who is disabled to do something that an able bodied person doesn't - namely pay for a doctors letter, an able bodied person doesn't have to provide a letter to say they are "fit to cruise"

As I said in my original post
"Hi,

I have a certain amount of sympathy for the cruise lines as they are sometimes between a rock and a hard place.

I am sailing from San Francisco in October and have booked an accessible cabin which I need, I booked this in the UK (which as most will know that there are similar disability laws in the UK but with differences). I received a letter from the cruise line asking for a letter from my doctor to prove that I needed the accessible cabin. I wrote back to them expressing how impressed I was with them in the fact that they were trying to ensure that the correct people were able to use these cabins but as my doctor would charge for this letter I felt that it was discriminatory for me to pay to prove that I am disabled, I also advised them that I would willingly provide them with a letter from my doctor but at their expense.

This was several months ago but I haven't heard anything from them.

Pete"

It is a shame that you failed to quote the full post as I have highlighted relevant points that show your post up a borderline offensive.

Pete
ok pete!!! so instead of paying the doctors for the note, and the cruise line asking , lets say someone who wants a "larger room " does so with no dr. note... now you cant even go!!! wasn't it worth the dr. note? ?????
ALSO>>>>>
if you are truly disabled,(not saying your not)chances are more then likely you should see your doctor before traveling . so WHILE there, request the note in hand from the dr.... it wont cost you a thing!! plus your disability most likely causes extra dr. visits ,and/or visits with a specialist.. who know you, and therefor will give you the note!
a great idea comes form your post... they can make it so that the note must be faxed /sent to them directly from your doctor.
#28
Scarborough ON Canada
4,193 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by steeringstevie
if you are truly disabled,(not saying your not)chances are more then likely you should see your doctor before traveling . so WHILE there, request the note in hand from the dr.... it wont cost you a thing!!
Can't speak for the Original Poster (OP) but I can for my mother. Anytime she wants a note for anything or paperwork completed, there is a $25 charge.

We usually take 2-3 cruises a year, plus stay at between 10-15 hotels a year - what if all of them started to request a doctor's letter for their files?

Why can't they just have a form that is mandatory for people to fill out saying:

a) I have a disability and require the accessible stateroom;
b) I require the following accommodations / am bringing the following supports.

The special needs form should be filled out but let me tell you - I recently booked over the phone with Celebrity and booked an accessible cabin (at a guarantee rate - that was a first and I have to thank this board for knowing we could do that). Despite obviously consulting with special needs, the agent never told me to complete the online form for special needs, nor have I been contacted by special needs to fill out the form.

If everyone who booked an accessible stateroom was told, fill out the form, you have two weeks or you're automatically moved to a regular stateroom, you'd probably have less people booking accessible staterooms who don't need them.

People get this idea (from the cruise websites, from TAs, from wherever) that if they book an accessible stateroom and it's needed by someone with a disability, they'll be moved from that stateroom into a "better" stateroom.

If people had to sign the attestation, fewer would book the cabins they don't need because most people would feel guilty about signing a paper that says, "I am disabled." when they are not. And frankly, those who wouldn't feel guilty, would also probably have no issue going to their doctor and getting a note saying they needed an accessible cabin anyways (and I'm sure many doctors would sign the form).
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Patricia (Trisha to my friends and family) cruiseforfood.com
Disney:
Magic 10-30-2010
Dream 10-30-2011 & 11-03-2011
Magic 4-30-2012
Fantasy 10-26-2013
Magic 11-15-2015
Carnival:
Dream 3-12-2011 & 3-19-2011
Miracle 8-26-2011
Dream 10-27-2012
Pride 03-15-2015
Pride 01-17-2016 & 01-28-2016
Pride 07-10-2016
Pride 08-21-2016
Sunshine 05-29-2017
Pride 01-07-2018
Royal:
Explorer of the Seas 2-24-2013
Explorer of the Seas 2-23-2014
Navigator of the Sea 11-10-2015
Freedom of the Seas 02-12-2017
Celebrity:
Summit 06-01-2014
Equinox 11-21-2014
Summit 08-30-3015
Summit 02-18-2017

Princess:
Caribbean Princess 11-20-2017

Future Cruises:
Adventure of the Seas 05-18-2018 (7 nights) A Cheap getaway
Caribbean Princess 11-25-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 12-10-2018 (10 nights) Partial Panama Canal
Caribbean Princess 12-19-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Celebrity Infinity 01-05-2019 (5 nights) Because we're already in Florida
Carnival Sunshine 01-12-2019 (13 nights) Journey Cruise
Disney Fantasy 01-26-2019 (7 nights) Stars Wars at Sea
Disney Magic 02-03-2019 (5 nights) Marvel Day at Sea
#29
connecticut
27 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by meatloafsfan
Can't speak for the Original Poster (OP) but I can for my mother. Anytime she wants a note for anything or paperwork completed, there is a $25 charge.

We usually take 2-3 cruises a year, plus stay at between 10-15 hotels a year - what if all of them started to request a doctor's letter for their files?
well if your mom is not known/liked enough by the doctor for him to hand it to her at the visit...(do not ask the secretary, but the actual doctor WHILE seeing him/her)..then she would get the paper ONCE, and if the disability is permanent,it will say so,and she would keep it safe, and reuse it.
#30
connecticut
27 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Originally posted by meatloafsfan
And frankly, those who wouldn't feel guilty, would also probably have no issue going to their doctor and getting a note saying they needed an accessible cabin anyways (and I'm sure many doctors would sign the form).
true.. but the chances go down drastically when not only do they have to be slightly dishonest, but also ask a doctor to be dishonest for them, and have a doctor be dishonest enough to write it ...
NOT SAYING IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN.. but many who will say yes disabled to get the room will not want to even admit to their doctor they want to do so... much less have the dr. sign on that.
#31
6,978 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by steeringstevie
true.. but the chances go down drastically when not only do they have to be slightly dishonest, but also ask a doctor to be dishonest for them, and have a doctor be dishonest enough to write it ...
NOT SAYING IT WOULD NOT HAPPEN.. but many who will say yes disabled to get the room will not want to even admit to their doctor they want to do so... much less have the dr. sign on that.
Not too mention that most States have laws that specifying that if a Doctor falsely signs a document that the information contained in that document cannot be backed up with the appropriated medical records and or legal records than that Doctor can be fined as well as potentially lose their medical license. No credible Doctor will take the chance of losing their license.
#32
Scarborough ON Canada
4,193 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by steeringstevie
well if your mom is not known/liked enough by the doctor for him to hand it to her at the visit...(do not ask the secretary, but the actual doctor WHILE seeing him/her)..then she would get the paper ONCE, and if the disability is permanent,it will say so,and she would keep it safe, and reuse it.
It has nothing to do with that. Our OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) does not cover medical documentation AT ALL. My mother gets a home visit due to the fact that her doctor's office is not wheelchair accessible so he comes to the house every 3 months for a check up.
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Patricia (Trisha to my friends and family) cruiseforfood.com
Disney:
Magic 10-30-2010
Dream 10-30-2011 & 11-03-2011
Magic 4-30-2012
Fantasy 10-26-2013
Magic 11-15-2015
Carnival:
Dream 3-12-2011 & 3-19-2011
Miracle 8-26-2011
Dream 10-27-2012
Pride 03-15-2015
Pride 01-17-2016 & 01-28-2016
Pride 07-10-2016
Pride 08-21-2016
Sunshine 05-29-2017
Pride 01-07-2018
Royal:
Explorer of the Seas 2-24-2013
Explorer of the Seas 2-23-2014
Navigator of the Sea 11-10-2015
Freedom of the Seas 02-12-2017
Celebrity:
Summit 06-01-2014
Equinox 11-21-2014
Summit 08-30-3015
Summit 02-18-2017

Princess:
Caribbean Princess 11-20-2017

Future Cruises:
Adventure of the Seas 05-18-2018 (7 nights) A Cheap getaway
Caribbean Princess 11-25-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Caribbean Princess 12-10-2018 (10 nights) Partial Panama Canal
Caribbean Princess 12-19-2018 (14 nights) Circle Caribbean
Celebrity Infinity 01-05-2019 (5 nights) Because we're already in Florida
Carnival Sunshine 01-12-2019 (13 nights) Journey Cruise
Disney Fantasy 01-26-2019 (7 nights) Stars Wars at Sea
Disney Magic 02-03-2019 (5 nights) Marvel Day at Sea
#33
Blue Ridge Mountains
45 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Some physicians require payment for completing letters or documentation regardless of how often you see them. For instance, school forms required to play sports...some physicians charge $25 to fill those out (and that's a standard form, not a customized letter). I'm in the U. S. Where everything is monetized, though....
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Viking Star, Western Med, December 28, 2017
HAL Zuiderdam, Western Caribbean, December 21, 2016
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#34
Cambridgeshire
3,224 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
The cruise lines could formulate a range of documents which are acceptable as evidence that the passenger has a disability which people could choose from and turn up with.

This could include a doctor's letter (which you pay for once and re-use) and Disabled Persons "Blue Badge" parking permit etc. There must be a number of official documents which would be acceptable.

The alternative to just going on the basis that people just have to say "I'm disabled" is that unscrupulous people will acquire unfairly a big cabin at a bargain price.

Regards John
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John Watson

Ships cruised on
RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS France, Oronsay, Oceana, Vision of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Aurora,
Queen Mary 2, Star Flyer, Star Clipper, Grand Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Azura, Ruby Princess, Ventura, Diamond Princess, Britannia, Emerald Princess, Navigator of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Pacific Princess
#35
6,978 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by john watson
The cruise lines could formulate a range of documents which are acceptable as evidence that the passenger has a disability which people could choose from and turn up with.

This could include a doctor's letter (which you pay for once and re-use) and Disabled Persons "Blue Badge" parking permit etc. There must be a number of official documents which would be acceptable.

The alternative to just going on the basis that people just have to say "I'm disabled" is that unscrupulous people will acquire unfairly a big cabin at a bargain price.

Regards John
In the State of Illinois the HC Parking Placard is NOT considered to be an expectable document to be submitted to any agency and or company as legal proof of ones disability. Rather it only proves that the individual has met the State's requirement to have such a placard. It is NOT proof that a person has a disability the requires the features of an accessible cabin as is stated in the USA Federal Law that went into effect 1/1/2012
#36
Cambridgeshire
3,224 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by xxoocruiser
In the State of Illinois the HC Parking Placard is NOT considered to be an expectable document to be submitted to any agency and or company as legal proof of ones disability. Rather it only proves that the individual has met the State's requirement to have such a placard. It is NOT proof that a person has a disability the requires the features of an accessible cabin as is stated in the USA Federal Law that went into effect 1/1/2012
On this basis I should suggest somebody from the cruise lines looks at the Federal Law that went into effect 1/1/2012 and see if an appropriate list of documents may be formulated to make it easier for passengers and cruise lines to comply because at the moment it seems anyone can book and travel in these cabins so long as they just say they are disabled. In suggesting the Blue Badge parking permits I was simply thinking it is better than nothing, cheaper as people already have them and generally understood throughout Europe.

Regards John
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John Watson

Ships cruised on
RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS France, Oronsay, Oceana, Vision of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Aurora,
Queen Mary 2, Star Flyer, Star Clipper, Grand Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Azura, Ruby Princess, Ventura, Diamond Princess, Britannia, Emerald Princess, Navigator of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Pacific Princess
#37
6,978 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by john watson
On this basis I should suggest somebody from the cruise lines looks at the Federal Law that went into effect 1/1/2012 and see if an appropriate list of documents may be formulated to make it easier for passengers and cruise lines to comply because at the moment it seems anyone can book and travel in these cabins so long as they just say they are disabled. In suggesting the Blue Badge parking permits I was simply thinking it is better than nothing, cheaper as people already have them and generally understood throughout Europe.

Regards John
The law that went into effect 1/1/2012 does not specifically list the documents required to prove one's disability rather it states that the individual needing the accessible cabin has to a have a disability or mobility disability requiring the features provided in an accessible cabin and the cruise line has the right to ask for verification.

Following is an example of why a Blue HC Placard does not serve as proof that an individual requires the features provided in an accessible cabin :
  • My sister and I both meet the State of Illinois requirements for eligibility of a Blue HC parking placard.
  • Though my sister has a blue HC parking placard her reason for eligibility does not require her to have to book accessible cabins as she does not require the features of such cabin as is required under the 1/1/202 Federal Law.
  • I on the other hand have a mobility disability that requires the need for extra space to accommodate a walker, mobility scooter. Additionally requiring a zero threshold entry into the bathroom and shower as well as the need for grab bars and a raised toilet.

As a result of the United States Supreme Court Rules on Spector et. al. VS Norwegian Cruise Lines. a Federal Law under the Department of Transportation ( commonly referred to as DOT) became effective on January 1, 2012 for cruise ships departing from a USA port that requires that the cruise lines have to verify that the person occupying the cabin has a medical or physical need to book the cabin .

(g) To prevent fraud in the assignment of accessible cabins (e.g., attempts by individuals who do not have disabilities to reserve accessible cabins because they have greater space, you—
(1) Must inquire of persons seeking to reserve such cabins whether the individual (or an individual for whom the cabin is being reserved) has a mobility disability or a disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in the cabin.
(2) May require a written attestation from the individual that accessible cabin is for a person who has a mobility disability or a disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in the cabin.

Under this law the only time it's acceptable for an able body person to book an HC cabin is after the final payment period has past and any unsold HC cabins are than open to the general public for booking.
#38
Cambridgeshire
3,224 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by xxoocruiser
The law that went into effect 1/1/2012 does not specifically list the documents required to prove one's disability rather it states that the individual needing the accessible cabin has to a have a disability or mobility disability requiring the features provided in an accessible cabin and the cruise line has the right to ask for verification.

Following is an example of why a Blue HC Placard does not serve as proof that an individual requires the features provided in an accessible cabin :
  • My sister and I both meet the State of Illinois requirements for eligibility of a Blue HC parking placard.
  • Though my sister has a blue HC parking placard her reason for eligibility does not require her to have to book accessible cabins as she does not require the features of such cabin as is required under the 1/1/202 Federal Law.
  • I on the other hand have a mobility disability that requires the need for extra space to accommodate a walker, mobility scooter. Additionally requiring a zero threshold entry into the bathroom and shower as well as the need for grab bars and a raised toilet.

As a result of the United States Supreme Court Rules on Spector et. al. VS Norwegian Cruise Lines. a Federal Law under the Department of Transportation ( commonly referred to as DOT) became effective on January 1, 2012 for cruise ships departing from a USA port that requires that the cruise lines have to verify that the person occupying the cabin has a medical or physical need to book the cabin .
In establishing that a passenger may appropriately have an adapted cabin the cruise line seems to have to satisfy themselves that the passenger has a disability and that the type of disability present makes the adaptions in the cabin necessary.

I am thinking that stage one is easiest to establish with documentation and whilst you and your good sister would be able to produce your Illinois Blue HC Placards and others similar documents as appropriate, many bogus people would not get past this stage at an attempted booking. This would cut them out at the early booking stage.

Stage two, providing evidence that your disability necessitates the use of an adapted cabin is more difficult. A doctor's letter specifically outlining this point would be useful as would a form from the cruise line or industry outlining all the points or adaptions to make it easier and cheaper for doctors to complete. The form could be reused and cruise lines can also keep records for future cruises. From what you said about your sister she would not be able to get through this stage. I am wondering how else this problem could be addressed. The number of adapted cabins on any cruise ship is very small and they should only be taken by people who genuinely need them.

Regards John
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John Watson

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RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS France, Oronsay, Oceana, Vision of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Aurora,
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#39
6,978 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by john watson
In establishing that a passenger may appropriately have an adapted cabin the cruise line seems to have to satisfy themselves that the passenger has a disability and that the type of disability present makes the adaptions in the cabin necessary.

I am thinking that stage one is easiest to establish with documentation and whilst you and your good sister would be able to produce your Illinois Blue HC Placards and others similar documents as appropriate, many bogus people would not get past this stage at an attempted booking. This would cut them out at the early booking stage.
One thing you haven't factored in to your plan is the high rate of counterfeit blue HC placards in circulation. Not every state has checks and balances to help minimize the circulation of HC placards nor are placards standardized in the USA. Additionally high grade color printers have made it even easier to produce counterfeit placards.

Some states don't even code them to have the gender and the birth year of the person make on the placard. The State of Illinois is constantly challenged with making HC placard harder to counterfeit. It has even imposed fines for Doctors that fraudulently approve the application for someone that does not meet the state's criteria but instead just wants it so their car doesn't get scratched. Additionally Illinois placards are coded with gender and the birth year of the person it's assigned as well as having a hieroglyphic symbol. Even with all these check and balances 20% of the placards being used in Illinois are counterfeit or were fraudulently obtained.

Bottom line - An HC placard is NOT considered as legal proof of a person having a disability that requires the features of an accessible cruise cabin. So if the cruise lines use that a criteria someone will just produce their parents and book an accessible cabin any way resulting in the continuing problem of able bodied persons booking an accessible cabin just for the added space.

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#40
Cambridgeshire
3,224 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by xxoocruiser
One thing you haven't factored in to your plan is the high rate of counterfeit blue HC placards in circulation. Not every state has checks and balances to help minimize the circulation of HC placards nor are placards standardized in the USA. Additionally high grade color printers have made it even easier to produce counterfeit placards.

Some states don't even code them to have the gender and the birth year of the person make on the placard. The State of Illinois is constantly challenged with making HC placard harder to counterfeit. It has even imposed fines for Doctors that fraudulently approve the application for someone that does not meet the state's criteria but instead just wants it so their car doesn't get scratched. Additionally Illinois placards are coded with gender and the birth year of the person it's assigned as well as having a hieroglyphic symbol. Even with all these check and balances 20% of the placards being used in Illinois are counterfeit or were fraudulently obtained.


.
This is just get beyond stage one. There will be unscrupulous dealers in false parking permits and fraudulent doctors. Many places are being hit by fraudsters looking to park conveniently close to the city centre for less money. However the fact is that this larger cabin on the cheap problem exists and needs to be stopped.

What surprises me is that not many people on this thread are offering a positive way of how to stop these people. Many just complain which is understandable but no suggestions on how the cruise lines can sort out these people.

Regards John
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John Watson

Ships cruised on
RMS Queen Elizabeth, SS France, Oronsay, Oceana, Vision of the Seas, Caribbean Princess, Aurora,
Queen Mary 2, Star Flyer, Star Clipper, Grand Princess, Queen Elizabeth, Azura, Ruby Princess, Ventura, Diamond Princess, Britannia, Emerald Princess, Navigator of the Seas, Queen Victoria, Pacific Princess