Disabled individuals may be intrested in a letter I wrote to the Chief of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice on a court decision involving the cruise ships operated by the Disney Company.
Re: ADA & Foreign Flagged Cruise Ships
I read where a court decided that the Disney cruise ships, which are foreign flagged, are not subject to Title III of ADA. This is all I know about the matter and perhaps your office has more information on the case that I would welcome? What surprised me at this late date is the decision of the court that Title III does not apply to cruise ships.
This decision seems to be nothing more than a continuation of a series of conflicting and different decisions by different courts. I thought the matter had been settled by some recent decisions agreeing Title III applies to any and all cruise ships. I was also of the opinion that the foreign flagged cruise lines through their lobbying mouthpieces, the CLIA and ICCL agreed to abide with Title III of ADA.
I say why are you so gung-ho on creating problems for cruise lines? The ships ARE foriegn flagged and US laws CANNOT be forced upon soveriegn territory, which is just what these ships are.Personally I think the ships do a darn fine job of making the disabled feel welcome and treat themvery well.
I do not feel I am gung ho on ADA. I merely report what has been happening. One reason the Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Departrment of Justice feels so strongly about Title III of ADA and cruise ships is that a number foreign flagged cruise lines are really owned and operated by American Corporations who use flags of convenience to avoid paying federal corporate income taxes and use U.S. only when it is to their benefit.They also tend to not adhere to International Maritime Laws or IMO Treaties when it suits them.
Personally, I do not recommend some disabled passengers aboard cruise ships.All one has to do is read fires and sinking of cruise ships to learn how the disabled fared. When the Sundancer in 1984 grounded on a rock in the Seymour Straits in Alaska, the ship got to a dock in Campbell River and commenced to sunk. They had to get the disabled off rolling them up in blankets and lowering them with ropes; or the use of fire department cherry pickers.
When the Star Vista sank off the coast of Maleysia a couple of years ago, about 200 passengers were deserted by the crew on the forward section of the ship. Those that were disabled had to be removed by helicopters.
When the HAL Prinsendam sank after an engine room fire in the Gulf of Alaska the disabled were fortunate. There was a tanker nearby with a helicopter that plucked the disabled off the ship. They were the fortunate ones since some passengers spent two days, freezing in open life boats. I could go on, but why ?
If you have not read these I suggest you takethe time. The info is free.
Report of the Cruise Ship Safety Task Force, Oct. 31, 1995
by Dept. of Transportation & U.S. Coast Guacrd. You will have better luck getting this through your Congressman or Senator.
Progress in Maritime Safety , But Many Uncertainties Remain
GOA /RECD 92-103
Additional Actions Needed to Improve Cruise Ship Safety
The NTSB has issued a report about the fire aboard the HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, Reading this report aand the two above General Accounting Reports, nothing has really improved.
Normally would not have taken the time to respond tpo yours but I am killing time waiting for our shuttle to take us to the Airport to fly to Vancouver where we will be on the Sea Princes for 14 days.
Do you work for the cruise lines. Every post pertaining to ADA and compliance by cruise lines, you tend to attack. Now, as far as US laws and sovereign countries, ships, whatever, you should do some research and you will find that the US imposes its laws on many others simply because they make a call here or do business with us. Take the smoking ban on flights. It does not only pertain to US airlines, it is required for foreign airlines that land here. ETC, etc.