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lenquixote66

Accessible cabins

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8 hours ago, nancyls62 said:

I will keep you updated as I am booked in a regular room next week but have asked for them to look for an accessible cabin. I have the names and room numbers of two pinnacles that are booked in two accessible cabins next week without need...they have already had accessible rooms for the past two weeks.  We have contacted our attorney and he’ll be calling them with the information tomorrow.  I dont understand why everyone on here wouldnt want to support me in asking Royal to do the right thing and enforce their policy. This is fraudulent behavior and they will continue to get away with it unless something changes. I’ve traveled my whole life and I have a severe mobility issue... I can’t continue to explore if I can’t be safe in my room.

Good luck, be interested to hear how your lawyer gets on.

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21 hours ago, nancyls62 said:

I have NEVER been asked to fill out the form.

 

Quick question.

UK booking T&C state:  5.2 WHAT ABOUT GUESTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS?
 At the time of booking (or as soon as possible if the condition arises after booking) you must tell your Travel Agent (or us if booking direct) in writing about any assistance or requirements that you have relating to accommodation, seating or services on your holiday including medical assistance or a requirement to bring medical equipment onto the cruise. ....  our ships have a limited number of accessible staterooms, equipped with features designed to help guests with a mobility disability or other disability who may find a non-accessible stateroom restrictive. Guests who book these staterooms must sign
and return the Guest Special Needs Form
we provide in order for us to ensure that they are only allocated to those guests who have a genuine medical requirement for them.  

 

Does to US booking T&C not have a similar clause?

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Yes they do but I’ve never been asked to fill one out and didn’t know they had them until I started researching about accessible staterooms.

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6 hours ago, nancyls62 said:

Yes they do but I’ve never been asked to fill one out and didn’t know they had them until I started researching about accessible staterooms.

 

Thank you for answering. We are always told we have to fill one in, that why I found it strange that you were never asked to fill one in.  Good luck with you case.    

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The first issue is there is no "law" covering the vast majority of these ships. Only a handful that sail under American registry must operate under ADA requirements. All the others have some "corporate" policy as far as booking. We see the statements on websites, that could possibly be defended as advertising or "puffing". While I know first hand the boiler plate statement Princess makes at booking, there is no mention of accessible cabins in the actual "cruise contract". 

Edited by jlp20
misquote

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1 hour ago, jlp20 said:

The first issue is there is no "law" covering the vast majority of these ships. Only a handful that sail under American registry must operate under ADA requirements. All the others have some "corporate" policy as far as booking. We see the statements on websites, that could possibly be defended as advertising or "puffing". While I know first hand the boiler plate statement Princess makes at booking, there is no mention of accessible cabins in the actual "cruise contract". 

I think you will find that any ship sailing out of US ports are covered by the ADA, regardless where they are registered 

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1 hour ago, GUT2407 said:

I think you will find that any ship sailing out of US ports are covered by the ADA, regardless where they are registered 

A three second Google search got this result:

 

Our November 2004 article discussed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's decision in Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Lines, Ltd., 356 F.3d 641 (5th Cir. 2004), which held that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) does not apply to foreign-flag cruise ships serving U.S. ports. That decision stood in stark contrast to the decision of the Eleventh Circuit in Steven v. Premier Cruises, Inc., 215 F.3d 1237 (11th Cir. 2000), wherein that court held just the opposite.


 Maritime Law
 August 2005
 

To resolve the conflicting circuit court rulings, the Supreme Court granted certiorari and, in June 2005, theoretically resolved the split by holding that foreign cruise lines that dock at U.S. ports must provide better access to handicapped people. Spector v. Norwegian Cruise Line, Ltd., 125 S. Ct. 2169 (2005). However, the various Justices' opinions fell short of specifically stating what kind of modifications must be made to foreign cruise ships to bring them into compliance with the ADA.

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An update....superior customer service by Zhenhong and JoAnn from Royal Caribbean. They are moving a pinnacle member out of the accessible room and I’m getting the room, just as their policy states. I feel supported...corporate is aware of the situation and checking into all of the future cruises they have booked but of course, this has become a common practice for everyone, so a lot of change needs to happen.

 

Anyone can book an accessible room. They are not requiring the paperwork to be filled out. This needs to change. It also should have a doctor signature verifying need. You’re able to upload a photo, fill out your set sail and luggage tags...why not follow accessible parking spots paperwork and if you ask for an accessible room, you’re required to upload a guest special needs form with doctor signature before your cruise. its simple, just fill out the form. It’s a start.Enforce the policy.

 

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I totally agree with you. I believe that at least once cruise line requires a letter of medical necessity.

 

The ship that I am on a waitless for has 8  accessible cabins. According to a representative of NCL they determined that all 8 people are disabled because they are just a couple and no kids.

I am not saying that the 8 people are not disabled.I am saying they should all submit letters from at least one medical doctor.

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7 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

According to a representative of NCL they determined that all 8 people are disabled because they are just a couple and no kids.

 

And NCL wins the prize for stupid statement of the month. Well done NCL  🍾 

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This all needs to change. I’m so sorry! I’m not sure if you are going to book it without the guarantee of an accessible cabin, but if so....we shouldn’t have to do this, but find out where all the accessible rooms are on the ship and when you get on the ship, check the cabins to see if the person is truly in need. If not, ask for their cabin. That makes for a great vacation. 😁

 

Or...we band together to get the forms filled out and signed by a doctor.

Edited by nancyls62

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I do not think disabled individuals need to ask a doctor for a letter or statement. I am significantly disabled and quite capable of describing the type of problems I have. I have no problem filling out a form giving the ship all information including the dimensions of my mobility aids, the need for c-Pap space and water, and shower seat among others. It is beyond me why anyone needs a doctor to agree to that. Also, why should I have to pay for an additional physician visit?

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I can describe my disability to the cruise lines too and ask for what I need. But, that’s not going to ensure that someone without a disability isn’t getting my room. My first week on this ship, people were boasting about staying in an accessible room, while I was not. People are taking advantage of a system that is broken. We will not get the rooms we need because others are booking them with no need other than extra space. We have to put in steps to make it more difficult for others to ask for the rooms.

 

Yes, I agree, I don’t want to have to do those things either, but status quo isn’t working.

 

The earliest post I could find about this was 2010...that’s too long and I’m continuing my pursuit in changing their policy to ensure that everyone who books an accessible room truly needs it and that their doctor confirms their disability. Now that I’m aware that this is a common practice, I can’t sit back and do nothing.

Edited by nancyls62

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1 hour ago, katisdale said:

I do not think disabled individuals need to ask a doctor for a letter or statement. I am significantly disabled and quite capable of describing the type of problems I have. I have no problem filling out a form giving the ship all information including the dimensions of my mobility aids, the need for c-Pap space and water, and shower seat among others. It is beyond me why anyone needs a doctor to agree to that. Also, why should I have to pay for an additional physician visit?

None of my doctors would charge to complete a form or write a letter.Anyone can claim disability and ger a handicapped cabin. However,a signed statement from a reputable doctor would prove the disability. I as an example have both visible disabilities and non visible.

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Yes, me too...my disability is not seen right away. I get a lot of double takes on my scooter. My husband says it’s because I’m beautiful...I say it’s because folks are always judging if I need one or not. I have had so many people question my disability, from Southwest Airlines to Coors Field. I’ve been disabled for 1 1/2 years and in that short time, it’s made me realize, PWD have to fight harder, stand taller and be heard. This is not an easy path...please support these changes, so people like me can continue exploring through travel.

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2 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

None of my doctors would charge to complete a form or write a letter.Anyone can claim disability and ger a handicapped cabin. However,a signed statement from a reputable doctor would prove the disability. I as an example have both visible disabilities and non visible.

I doubt there’s a doctor in Australia that wouldn’t unless you were already there, and paying, for some other reason.

 

Really is a pity that some are so dishonest it even needs to be considered.

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1 hour ago, nancyls62 said:

Yes, me too...my disability is not seen right away. I get a lot of double takes on my scooter. My husband says it’s because I’m beautiful...I say it’s because folks are always judging if I need one or not. I have had so many people question my disability, from Southwest Airlines to Coors Field. I’ve been disabled for 1 1/2 years and in that short time, it’s made me realize, PWD have to fight harder, stand taller and be heard. This is not an easy path...please support these changes, so people like me can continue exploring through travel.

There are a lot of judgemental ...... that want to try and claim YOU are rooting the system because your disability doesn’t fit their expectation, I vary between needing sticks, walker or wheelchair and if I’m seen using one at some time another at other times the abuse can start.

 

And as for standing tall and fighting, to be frank I do that for other people as a career, when I’m at my physical lowest the last thing I need to worry about is having to fight to get shown just a bit of common respect.

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I agree..hard to fight but it’s so morally wrong, I have to. I was raised on fairness and standing up for what’s right. I will get lots of help and hopefully this will change and it will be one less thing we have to worry about. ❤️

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I don't think a doctors letter is the answer.

 

Firstly some people will not want to pay for a letter, for various reasons.  Personally we have to hire 2 mobile hoists so we can cruise, 1 for the cruise and 1 for the pre cruise hotel.  I'm not sure if I want to pay for a doctors letter as well as all the other extras I have to pay for just to cruise.

 

Secondly Doctors letters could be easily faked and unless the cruise line investigates every letter people will still abuse HC cabins. 

 

I think a possible solution is the crew themselves. Get senior staff to check if the people in the cabins really need them.  If they  don't need them black list them so that they can only book normal cabins. 

 

Use FB to pressure cruise lines to check people in HC cabins are not abusing HC cabins. 

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you are correct @Bloodgem.    there are plenty of doctors out there that will happily provide some sort of documentation to 'prove' disability.  and  since there is no universal standard,  anything goes.  

 

but the crew don't have time or the training to  decide who really is  disabled  , or disabled enough.  I look perfectly fine, but stairs are the enemy.   I also  have heart and lung issues that manifest under certain conditions.  I don't need my wheelchair on board, but I do in ports.  

 

quite honestly,  on this Side of the Pond we need to tweak ADA to require more stringent checks and balances and require  everyone to prove with documentation.. and have that documentation standardized and independent from your  personal Physician.  

 

 

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If there are only 8 cabins than how to you find the ability to run into those 8 people and listen to them boast?  Of all the cruises I have been on, I have never heard anyone boast this.  Next, the newer ships have more rooms than the older ones.  RCCL has been doing a pretty good job at this.  They even have a HC junior Suite. As far as getting a Doctor's note.  The only thing they can say, is yes you need one.  Can't say why or any medical reasons.  Not all disabled passengers need a HC cabin, just like all Non-disabled passengers will have a certain number that can use one, such as elderly, or temp conditions etc.  The word disabled is often misleading.  My wife is disabled.  We usually get a HC cabin, and we do have a travel scooter.  But we can live in a non HC cabin if needed.  We live in the world with the belief that we are not owed anything.  We just go with what we can, and if we score a bigger cabin, to make things easier, we are happy and grateful. 

 

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I’d be happy with a standard cabin but wider door. Or even somewhere close by to park and charge my chair it’d be a hassle but could survive

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Hearing them boast was a fluke. I’ve never heard anyone do this. But, they did, I shared it with RC and through research, i discovered it’s a common practice. That’s why I and everyone like me haven’t been able to book an accessible cabin. These pinnacles have over 30 cruises booked out with accessible cabins with no disability. And today, I’m sharing the names of another pinnacle couple that is doing the same thing.

 

I don’t believe I’m owed anything either, but traveling in a regular room is unsafe for me and to continue exploring is very important to me.  When they book an accessible cabin without need, that is entitlement and it’s so morally wrong (but acceptable within RC’s current policy), that something has to change. There’s no perfect answer for this but I know we can make it better.

Edited by nancyls62

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A reputable doctor will never charge for writing a letter. I tried being in a not HC and it was pure hell. I posted initially that I have neighbors who boasted about being in a HC cabin because it was larger.

 

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How does a person go about booking so far ahead to ensure they get the accessible cabin they desire? Even 18 months out I am unable to do so; later cruise dates for the cruise we want to go on haven't been released yet. Can I put in a request prior to release dates?

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