<<the cruise lines DO NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW THE U.S. CODES>>
It's strange to me how people can make such broad allegations without any facts to back them up! The above statement is patently incorrect, as anyone doing his or her homework could have easily ascertained.
In the summer of 2000 a 3-judge U.S. federal appeals court panel, in a case filed against NCL, ruled that foreign-flagged cruise ships which operate in U.S. waters and dock in U.S. ports are subject to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). I am not aware of any subsequent ruling which has overturned that decision.
The Carnival family of cruise lines has reportedly drawn up a 6-year plan for ship renovations to comply with the ADA. Several cruise lines are now designing new ships from the keel up with wheelchair access in mind. HAL is reportedly in the forefront of accessible cruise travel, offering a variety of services to guests with mobility, sight, and breathing difficulties.
This is all very good news for disabled cruisers like our CruiseMates friend Seahunks and many others. Hopefully, this will lead to easing the problems of the handicapped in the embarkation and disembarkation processes, as well as in other areas of their cruise experience.
Baltic Sea, Aug.'04