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Disabled child on board Anthem of the Seas


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I'm hoping someone can help me.

 

I'm taking my four year old daughter on Anthem in a few weeks time. She is toilet trained and will tell me if she needs to go with ample time to get out of a pool and visit the toilet.

 

However, because her disability requires that she needs an accessible toilet, we choose to put her in nappies / swim nappies because very often the first accessible toilet you reach is already in use and we don't want her having an accident while waiting / on the way to find another.

 

The following has been brought to my attention on the Royal website:

My child is still in nappies - can they go in the pools?

Only on certain ships. On Freedom and Oasis class ships, plus Anthem of the Seas, children in nappies – or who aren't toilet trained – can use the Baby Splash Zone. On all other ships, children in nappies – including swim-safe versions – or who aren’t toilet trained are not allowed in the H2O zones, pools or whirlpools.

 

We've travelled P&O and Princess before and its never been a problem as its a disability issue rather than a toilet training issue. Swimming is a key part of our daughters physical development and our holidays. A splash zone isn't appropriate as she can't sit or stand safely but can swim.

 

Does anyone have any thoughts?

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Posted (edited)

While a dry nappie can hold it in, a wet one cannot. My thoughts are the same as a poster on carnival. Also it's been posted that in order to comply with health protocols unless the water is completely circulating like that shallow child area you quoted, they cannot and should not be allowed in a swimming pool in a nappie.

 

No one will stop her if she is without her nappie and in a bathing suit. I am sorry if the accessible bathroom is too far for her but seems like there is one near the pools. 

 

Edited by firefly333
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If I'm not mistaken there is one "baby" pool that allows swim diapers.  It's a small circular pool that has its own filtration system. See arrow in photo below.  It's not exactly a pool, the water isn't very deep.

 

AI1jKaN.jpeg.9a27cff4e7f120d0a09d337a30eeac00.jpeg

 

The rest of the kids Splash zone features do not allow swim diapers.  Those are the areas to the left of the baby pool in the photo above.  

 

This is the sign from sister ship Ovation:

 

Baby pool:

 

tMm0zQn.jpg

 

Regular Splash Zone:

 

0tFyOAa.jpg

 

The indoor family pool area does not have any pools that allow swim diapers.

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Just wanted to say welcome to cruise critic. 

 

I have no experience with disabled children, and what experience I have with kids is so outdated it's comical.  That being said, I wanted to wish you and your family a wonderful cruise.  I'd love to hear a short review of your experiences when you are done.

 

Cheers

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They may make an exception but I doubt it.  You won’t know until you try.  The baby pool on the larger ships has water that goes through a special filter system, I believe ozone?  This makes it safe for other babies.  It’s only about 2 inches deep and small. It’s certainly not big enough for exercising her muscles.  If they notice the swim diapers in the other pools my guess would be to ask you to get out.  Pools on ships are not handled the same way as land but I’m sure you know that.  

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If lrin ess allows swimming in their pool wearing nappies and it's important to you, I'd stick with them. I saw that post on a similar request where it was spelled out how the pool needs to circulate water for it to be allowed. I can find that post but cant see if will help. It may not be something rcl has control over if it's a health requirement about recycling the water.

 

Good luck. 

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Could you let her swim in her regular bathing suit?  Then when she says she has to go just put a pair of pull-ups over her suit and wrap her in a towel just in case you can’t find a bathroom in time?  

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17 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

I'd go through RC's special needs department. Seems like a situation they've certainly handled before

This is a good suggestion.

Here's the email address:special_needs@rccl.com   

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1 hour ago, carolyn22 said:

Could you let her swim in her regular bathing suit?  Then when she says she has to go just put a pair of pull-ups over her suit and wrap her in a towel just in case you can’t find a bathroom in time?  

This is a great idea - thanks. Not sure why I didn't think of that.

 

1 hour ago, Bloodgem said:

This is a good suggestion.

Here's the email address:special_needs@rccl.com   

Thanks. Will try this also.

 

1 hour ago, firefly333 said:

If lrin ess allows swimming in their pool wearing nappies and it's important to you, I'd stick with them. I saw that post on a similar request where it was spelled out how the pool needs to circulate water for it to be allowed. I can find that post but cant see if will help. It may not be something rcl has control over if it's a health requirement about recycling the water.

 

Good luck. 

We would have but they are not accepting unvaccinated children during the UK summer holidays. So thought we'd try someone different and have always heard good things.

 

1 hour ago, Tee & Chilli said:

There is a special needs forum here on cruise critic. Try posting your message and maybe someone else has experience in this area. Have a great cruise.

Thanks. Will try this also if I don't get any job from Royal.

 

Thanks everyone else also. I fully get the reason behind non-toilet trained kids not being allowed in the main pools. What I don't get is why a toilet trained kid who only wears a swim nappy in case the disabled toilet is not available gets disadvantaged. She is afterall, no more risk than the normal toilet trained kid.

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24 minutes ago, Disabled Kid said:

What I don't get is why a toilet trained kid who only wears a swim nappy in case the disabled toilet is not available gets disadvantaged. She is afterall, no more risk than the normal toilet trained kid.

 

Probably because how would the life guard or another employee know which is which? And considering I've seen parents try to put kids who almost undoubtedly aren't potty trained in pools/hot tubs on ships I'm sure some would/have said that - and it's not really in the life guards purview to decide who is telling the truth. 

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3 hours ago, twangster said:

If I'm not mistaken there is one "baby" pool that allows swim diapers.  It's a small circular pool that has its own filtration system. See arrow in photo below.  It's not exactly a pool, the water isn't very deep.

 

AI1jKaN.jpeg.9a27cff4e7f120d0a09d337a30eeac00.jpeg

 

That explains the color. 😂

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In addition to a separate CC forum..there is also a facebook page "Royal Caribbean Accessible Cruising".. you might sign up for that group as well. Lots of people with experience cruising while having a disability...  

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Posted (edited)

I am also the parent of a special needs cruising kid. Have you thought about saving swimming for the ports on a beach day? That is where we do our water play with our daughter. In these Covid times of hyper-elevated health and safety protocols, I think cruise liners are going to be extra cautious. The Special Access Dept is wonderful in many ways, but not sure if they have power to change these kind of rules? Wishing you the best on your cruise!

Edited by CruiszBug
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/15/2021 at 7:33 PM, CruiszBug said:

I am also the parent of a special needs cruising kid. Have you thought about saving swimming for the ports on a beach day? That is where we do our water play with our daughter. In these Covid times of hyper-elevated health and safety protocols, I think cruise liners are going to be extra cautious. The Special Access Dept is wonderful in many ways, but not sure if they have power to change these kind of rules? Wishing you the best on your cruise!

Sadly no beaches on UK staycations and only able to leave ship if on ship excursion.

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I wanted to give an update on this as it turned out really well in the end. The special needs team advised to check with Guest Services on board as the rules actually vary from ship to ship, cruise to cruise. This is what I found out.

 

Firstly: the filtration system is essentially the same for all pools and the splash pool is no different. Apparently it has to be, for the odd occasion that an adult has an accident. (Apparently it happens more often than you expect).

 

Secondly: the 'default' no swim-nappy rules apply specially if a ship is cruising in US waters, or calling at a US port on the cruise, or flagged in the USA. These are legal rules which the company cannot change. [certain other countries also]

 

Currently Anthem is cruising from the UK and is not subject to these rules. "To avoid confusion", the company does not shout about the fact that the ban on swim nappies do not apply as most of their ships are in/out of the USA. However, they pointed out that on the stateroom TV information channel, it does say to enquire as to which ships allow this.

 

Finally: Guest Services confirmed that as she is toilet trained, it didn't matter anyway. The fact that a swim nappy is being worn 'as an extra item of clothing' would be acceptable precaution for a disabled child. They confirmed that if a disabled person is toilet trained, stopping them using the pool just because of what they are wearing would be discriminatory and against UK and US disability laws.

 

They key here is not whether a swim nappy is being worn but whether someone is toilet trained. I should note that it was pointed out that non-swim nappies are banned as they disintegrate and clog the filtration system.

 

To summarise: Guest Services confirmed that their signs cannot account for every scenario and that the idea is to catch 99% of situations. We used the pools, the swim nappies weren't needed in practice but she did wear them and it provided her and us with added reassurance.

Edited by Disabled Kid
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Well, as usual with the information given by customer service reps at all lines, some is correct, and some is not.  The correct part is that a ship sailing in Europe, and I don't know how Brexit changed this for the UK, sails under the EU's ShipSan program, and they do not require separate recreational water facilities for those not toilet trained.

 

The incorrect parts.  While, for most ships the water supply and filtration system is the same for all recreational water facilities, on ships sailing to/from the US, only toilet trained people are allowed in "regular" water facilities, and swim diapers are not allowed.  Those ships require an "infant only recreational water facility", which not only has a separate water supply, it has a higher "turn over" (filtration rate), and a UV sterilizer in addition to the normal chlorination.  Anthem's baby splash pool meets these requirements, as do all of RCI's Oasis, Quantum, and Freedom class ships, and one or two Voyager class.  All Disney cruise ships also have splash areas for non-potty trained kids.

 

The second part that is incorrect is that banning her from the pool in a US based cruise would be against US law (I can't speak for UK law).  The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the US) has ruled that the US ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), does not apply in all measures onboard foreign flag cruise ships.  This was a ruling in Spector v NCL, and the justices ruled that missing an explicit mention of foreign flag cruise vessels in the act (and there is none, even after 15 years since this ruling), that the ship's "internal policies and procedures" are not subject to the ADA, and that there are other laws that trump the ADA on ships. The fact that the ship needs to meet CDC requirements (no swim diapers in the pools) in order to obtain "free pratique" (health clearance) to enter US waters, trumps the ADA.  The policy is also internal to the ship, and therefore not subject to the ADA.

 

I'm glad your daughter was able to swim on your cruise, I am just pointing out that this will not be a universal situation, and that the information you were given is incorrect, should you try to use it to justify her inclusion on another occasion. I don't want you or her to be disappointed.

 

I have worked for NCL, and been the point man for transitioning a foreign flag ship (where the ADA does not fully apply) to a US flag ship (where the ADA does fully apply), so I have been down this route before.

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