Success for disabled cruise passengers

Over the past 15 years, passengers of Carnival Corporation’s cruise lines have complained about the lack of disability awareness on its ships. Now, the legal system has become involved.

Carnival Corporation has been ordered to amend 42 existing ships and seven under construction to make them more friendly for disabled cruise passengers.

According to the judgement, handed down by the United States Justice Department, three per cent of the cabins on 49 ships across Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line will need to be accessible according to three levels of accessibility: fully accessible, fully accessible with a single-side approach to the bed, and ambulatory accessible cabins.

In addition, its reservation systems will be modified to allow disabled passengers to reserve accessible cabins and suites – and guarantee those reservations.

“People with disabilities who travel must be able to count on getting the accessible cabin they reserve,” said Vanita Gupta, head of the civil rights division of the Justice Department.

Carnival Corporation has also been ordered to pay US$55,000 in penalties as well as US$350,000 in compensation to those passengers who complained about disabled access.