I see what you mean. Yes, many retrofitted ships don’t exactly have the best access, especially the bathrooms. But then again, neither do retrofitted hotels. You do get the best access when you build (anything) from the ground up, rather than retrofitting it to be accessible years later. So yes, the best bet is to book on the newer ships. Most of these actually have quite good access (where they have decided to address access at all).
And yes the drains on many roll-in showers are not the best in the world. (Carnival even gives you a squeegee!). RCI on the other hand had actually improved their drainage system for roll-in showers on the Mariner of the Seas (with a third drain near the door).
I don't disagree with you, that we do need standards in place. However, that duty was actually given to the US Access Board (under the ADA) and is under the oversight of the Department of Justice. Cruise ships technically fall under Title III of the ADA (as a public accommodation) and as such they are under the oversight of the Department of Justice. So the correct entity to contact for action is indeed the US Access Board (www.access-board.gov
). Click on “status of rules” and then on “passenger vessel guidelines” to see where they are on this task to date. (most likely no progress has been made since November 2000)
I don't believe congress should revisit or review any portion of the ADA, as in this political climate we would most likely loose ground if that were to happen. The general public (and congress) was more supportive of access measures back in the early 90s (when a scaled down version of the originally ADA was passed by congress).
Again, the power lies with the US Access Board, not Congress to get this remedied.
Editor, Emerging Horizons
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