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Walkers and Wheelchairs


kitty2boys
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What are the best ships for persons using walkers or wheelchairs? We just got off the Royal Princess and the cabin doors and corridors are too narrow, and there was not enough elevators. Using a walked does not qualify a passenger for a handicapped room. Have all of the new ships and remodeled ships made it difficult for passengers with physical challenges?

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The number of elevators a ship has depends on the number of passengers. As Royal is a new ship, I would expect it to meet current standards for numbers of elevators, width of hallways, doors, etc.

 

You might want to look at this board:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

 

for more specific info for people with disabilities.

Edited by CruiserBruce
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What are the best ships for persons using walkers or wheelchairs? We just got off the Royal Princess and the cabin doors and corridors are too narrow, and there was not enough elevators. Using a walked does not qualify a passenger for a handicapped room. Have all of the new ships and remodeled ships made it difficult for passengers with physical challenges?

 

All ships that home port in US ports must meet the ADA requirements with respect to construction. I feel that few cruisers, whether challenged or not, feel that ANY ship has "enough" elevators.

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All ships that home port in US ports must meet the ADA requirements with respect to construction. I feel that few cruisers, whether challenged or not, feel that ANY ship has "enough" elevators.

 

Technically only Cruise Ships that are permanently home based in the USA , registered to the USA and sail under the USA flag have to comply with all ADA regulations. The NCL's Cruise ship the Pride of America is the only cruise ship that has to fully comply with all aspects of ADA.

 

In the land mark case Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd., 125 S. Ct. 2169 (June 6, 2005) the U.S. Supreme court in a highly divided 5-4 decision, ruled that foreign-flagged cruise ships embarking in U.S. waters are subject to liability to disabled passengers under the ADA for alleged discrimination practices, policies and procedures. There was no ruling by the US Supreme court as to the whether a Foreign Flagged/Register ship has to meet all construction build outs regulated by ADA .

 

In fact at that time the Supreme Court remanded the matter back to the lower court to determine whether plaintiffs were discriminated against as claimed, and whether the structural modifications sought were in conflict with international law or otherwise interfere with the ship's internal affairs.

 

A lingering question left unanswered to date by the Supreme Court's decision is whether the pending DOT regulations addressing construction, alterations and barrier removal on cruise ships, when finally promulgated, can be applied at all to foreign vessels, and if so, to what extent. Even if the regulations are not inconsistent with international law and pose no threat to safety, they presumably would require permanent structural parameters in the design and construction of vessels, and if applied to foreign ships, would implicate their internal affairs. The Court was clear that such application of the ADA would "likely" require an amendment by Congress to specify application to foreign ships. To the best of my knowledge no such amendment has been made to date.

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Technically only Cruise Ships that are permanently home based in the USA , registered to the USA and sail under the USA flag have to comply with all ADA regulations. The NCL's Cruise ship the Pride of America is the only cruise ship that has to fully comply with all aspects of ADA.

 

In the land mark case Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd., 125 S. Ct. 2169 (June 6, 2005) the U.S. Supreme court in a highly divided 5-4 decision, ruled that foreign-flagged cruise ships embarking in U.S. waters are subject to liability to disabled passengers under the ADA for alleged discrimination practices, policies and procedures. There was no ruling by the US Supreme court as to the whether a Foreign Flagged/Register ship has to meet all construction build outs regulated by ADA .

 

In fact at that time the Supreme Court remanded the matter back to the lower court to determine whether plaintiffs were discriminated against as claimed, and whether the structural modifications sought were in conflict with international law or otherwise interfere with the ship's internal affairs.

 

Note: just noticed that the ruling was after my experience onboard, so that may explain some things.

 

A lingering question left unanswered to date by the Supreme Court's decision is whether the pending DOT regulations addressing construction, alterations and barrier removal on cruise ships, when finally promulgated, can be applied at all to foreign vessels, and if so, to what extent. Even if the regulations are not inconsistent with international law and pose no threat to safety, they presumably would require permanent structural parameters in the design and construction of vessels, and if applied to foreign ships, would implicate their internal affairs. The Court was clear that such application of the ADA would "likely" require an amendment by Congress to specify application to foreign ships. To the best of my knowledge no such amendment has been made to date.

 

What you say is my recollection as well, however, I am not sure if there were subsequent rulings, since I was on the Norwegian Sky, Bahamian flag, in 2004, and were required to upgrade some of our systems, signage and access to meet ADA. I believe that a further ruling stated that because the foreign cruise ships "provided services (meals and lodging) in the US (at the home port) that they needed to comply. I've been known to be wrong, but this is from my experience.

Edited by chengkp75
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What are the best ships for persons using walkers or wheelchairs? We just got off the Royal Princess and the cabin doors and corridors are too narrow, and there was not enough elevators. Using a walked does not qualify a passenger for a handicapped room. Have all of the new ships and remodeled ships made it difficult for passengers with physical challenges?

 

Generally speaking all standard cruise ship cabin doorways are only 23" wide. The cruiselines are not required under ADA to have ALL cabin doorways accessible width. With regards to elevators even if the ship is permanently based in the U.S. ADA Law does not mandate the number of elevators rather it only mandates that a least one elevator is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

 

Who told you that having a walker or wheelchair does not qualify a person passenger to book a handicap accessible room? If you are unable to walk without the use of walker than under the US Federal Law stated below provided that the ship is embarking from a USA Port you are eligible to book an accessible cabin due to the fact you have a mobility disability requires the features of an accessible cabin as you need to have a entry door and bathroom door that is of accessible width to allow for safe usage of a walker.

 

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 that requires that the the cruise lines have to verify that the person occupying the cabin has a medical or physical need to book the cabin . Though this new regulation came about in 2010/2011, the cruise lines were granted until January 1, 2012 to completely comply with these new regulations. Because of this new law Cruise lines have also had to reclassify its HC cabins. Some of the key points to this new law are:

 

(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.

Edited by xxoocruiser
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What you say is my recollection as well, however, I am not sure if there were subsequent rulings, since I was on the Norwegian Sky, Bahamian flag, in 2004, and were required to upgrade some of our systems, signage and access to meet ADA. I believe that a further ruling stated that because the foreign cruise ships "provided services (meals and lodging) in the US (at the home port) that they needed to comply. I've been known to be wrong, but this is from my experience.

 

I am very active at both the Federal and local state level with regards to advocacy for the disabled through the National Multiple Sclerosis Society due to living with the affects of MS. Though something could have by-passed me, to the best of my knowledge what I stated in my previous post is current information and Congress has not amended anything deeming foreign flagged/registered ships must comply with all ADA construction regulations. Even that which pertains to discrimination of the disabled as a result of the US Supreme Ruling regarding In Spector v Norwegian Cruise Line only applies to when the ship is in U.S. waters.

 

Some ships that are dealing regularly with the USA did voluntarily make adjustments to comply with some aspects of ADA with regards to construction and design particularly if in doing so it did not pose a financial hardship.

Edited by xxoocruiser
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One would think so, but on the Royal, the center staircase was eliminated (actually, it is there, but for staff use only), so people who might walk, use elevators. Only two of the four rear elevators go down to deck 5 for the back dining room. Princess may have computed the number of elevators by the number of passengers, but they appear not to have taken the design of the ship into account.

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Generally speaking all standard cruise ship cabin doorways are only 23" wide. The cruiselines are not required under ADA to have ALL cabin doorways accessible width. With regards to elevators even if the ship is permanently based in the U.S. ADA Law does not mandate the number of elevators rather it only mandates that a least one elevator is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair.

 

Who told you that having a walker or wheelchair does not qualify a person passenger to book a handicap accessible room? If you are unable to walk without the use of walker than under the US Federal Law stated below provided that the ship is embarking from a USA Port you are eligible to book an accessible cabin due to the fact you have a mobility disability requires the features of an accessible cabin as you need to have a entry door and bathroom door that is of accessible width to allow for safe usage of a walker.

 

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 that requires that the the cruise lines have to verify that the person occupying the cabin has a medical or physical need to book the cabin . Though this new regulation came about in 2010/2011, the cruise lines were granted until January 1, 2012 to completely comply with these new regulations. Because of this new law Cruise lines have also had to reclassify its HC cabins. Some of the key points to this new law are:

 

(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.

I was told this by a Princess agent who also said that we could call back a day or two before the cruise to see if there still was a h/c room available. She did not mention any of the information noted in your response. My husband could have obtained a doctor's statement attesting to his need to use the walker if she had only mentioned it. I rather think that there were was more need than spaces available.

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One would think so, but on the Royal, the center staircase was eliminated (actually, it is there, but for staff use only), so people who might walk, use elevators. Only two of the four rear elevators go down to deck 5 for the back dining room. Princess may have computed the number of elevators by the number of passengers, but they appear not to have taken the design of the ship into account.

 

You missed the point of my post. There are laws and regulations of maritime construction, so the number of elevators and stair cases is, at some point, not a choice of Princess, but a requirement in order to be able to evacuate the ship in a timely manner. So, while you may think there isn't enough, they must meet at least minimums on these things.

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I was told this by a Princess agent who also said that we could call back a day or two before the cruise to see if there still was a h/c room available. She did not mention any of the information noted in your response. My husband could have obtained a doctor's statement attesting to his need to use the walker if she had only mentioned it. I rather think that there were was more need than spaces available.

 

Never depend on the cruise line representative having complete knowledge of the U.S. Federal Laws that apply when booking an accessible cabin on a ship embarking from a U.S. Port. It is your responsibility to know your rights Therefore in the future you need to escalate the call to a Supervisor and or the Resolutions Department sighting the law I previously posted should you be denied provided that a accessible cabin is available for booking. The law does not have any bearing if all the accessible cabin had already been reserved and no longer available for booking which may have possibly applied to your situation.

Edited by xxoocruiser
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I did miss that point, but hold the same belief. They might have enough elevators to evacuate able persons, but walkers and wheelchairs take up space in elevators. There were to enough elevators to handle the crowds in non-emergency settings. Do the regulations allow them to factor in the steps.

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I did miss that point, but hold the same belief. They might have enough elevators to evacuate able persons, but walkers and wheelchairs take up space in elevators. There were to enough elevators to handle the crowds in non-emergency settings. Do the regulations allow them to factor in the steps.

 

There is a whole science of studying crowd management that will model crowd behavior in a crisis situation, and the design will take all this into account when determining size and number of staircases and elevators. This science has even been used to look at disasters forensically like the Wilhelm Gustloff in WWII (worst passenger ship disaster in history). This science of crowd and crisis management is also how the class societies determine whether muster stations can be located indoors or out on deck.

 

In an emergency, the elevators will be shut down, and crew will be able to selectively use them to assist disabled passengers. Crew are also trained in 4-man carries to get wheelchair passengers down stairs.

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The number of elevators a ship has depends on the number of passengers. As Royal is a new ship, I would expect it to meet current standards for numbers of elevators, width of hallways, doors, etc.

 

You might want to look at this board:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190

 

for more specific info for people with disabilities.

 

 

Thank you for the link.:)

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I was told this by a Princess agent who also said that we could call back a day or two before the cruise to see if there still was a h/c room available. She did not mention any of the information noted in your response. My husband could have obtained a doctor's statement attesting to his need to use the walker if she had only mentioned it. I rather think that there were was more need than spaces available.

 

You asked who told me that. I told you. Given the information you have provided, I will ask for a supervisor the next time.

 

Sadly, far too many cruise line reps are poorly trained and not very experienced. Way too often they give incorrect information and they cannot be counted on to always know of what they speak. By all means, if you do not get a response you think logical or accept likely correct, thank the rep, hang up and call back. Get a new rep and ask again. I've been known to call their and get a 'majority' vote. :D

 

We should be able to expect correct information from the reps but that is not the case in many instances.

 

Of course, there are also some great reps. One can only hope luck of the draw has one of them answer your call and questions. :)

 

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My husband uses a SMALL scooter that does go thru the narrow doors. But standard cabins are too small to comfortably park it.I have used a walker and it folds up. The problem we have found is one of us needs to open and hold the door for the other to get in, so ships with automatic door openers on the accesible cabins work best for us. Also some cabins on some ships are larger and we can use those.

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