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  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 28th, 2001, 01:01 PM
Bhw
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Default question for KLD

KLD,
We are going on our fourth Carnival cruise-the Pride in April 2001. Our friends that are going with us have a child that is in a wheelchair. You seem to be very informed about this. Our friends are afraid of getting on board and not having a cabin that is appropriate and their child (16 yrs.old) being too limited to what he can do. I also read where some cruises require someone to be with you if you are handicapped??? Will he be able to be on his own a little??? He is very independent and very reliable.
Any info that you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
Bhw
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 29th, 2001, 09:49 PM
KLD KLD is offline
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Default Re: question for KLD

Have they already made their reservations? This is one of their newest ships, so it is not listed on the disabled travel sites by what is accessible. It is also not listed as one of the specially designed ships for accessiblity on the Carnival website:

http://www.carnival.com/Guestservices/specialneeds.asp

If they have not already reserved a special accessible room, I would be very leary of them being able to manage easily. Most rooms have a 4-6" lip going into the bathroom unless specially modified. At 16 he may also have near to an adult sized wheelchair, which may not fit through some cabin doors. Generally most public areas are fairly accessible on newer ships, but sometimes areas that are important to kids (like the arcade) may not be fully accessible. The pool on this ship is NOT accessible unless someone lifts him into the pool. How big is he? It would be best to call the Special services desk and have them discuss their special needs directly with a ship representative:

Carnival Special Needs staff at 1-800-438-6744, ext. 70025

While you are generally required to TRAVEL and stay with someone who can assist you when needed, you certainly do not need to be supervised by anyone on the ship. He should be able to get around the ship by himself. The only limitations are that some exterior doors (for example, leading to the Promanade deck or pool area) can be heavy, and on some ships have either a very short steep ramp or a 3-4 inch lip which would require assistance for most people to get over in a wheelchair. If he can safely direct this, often other passengers or crew will help. There is lots to do on any ship...arcade, computers, movies, lectures, Trivia, library, just relaxing and reading, watching for sea life, eating, etc. Of course he can take his Game Boy too! Often there are teen events and he should meet with the director for these programs at the beginning of the trip to see what can be adjusted to accomodate his participation. Also discuss this with the Special Needs staff.

Transferring to a car or taxi is easiest for shore trips. Don't expect any of the ship's shore excursions to be wheelchair accessible. Be sure he takes a manual wheelchair for this if he uses a power chair.

I hope this helps.
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Old October 31st, 2001, 07:08 PM
HannaS77
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Default Re: question for KLD

Since I am familiar with Section III- Public Accommodations of ADA, I recommend that you or your travel agent communicate with Carnival Home office providing them with information on the specific needs of the person requiring use of a wheel chair. It is advisable to getting a written commitment as to what the cruiuse line can provide. If you cannot get a satisfactory response you are now in the cancelation period where the carrier should make a full refund.

In reviewing some of the ADA lawsuits against cruise lines, in some cases it was quite apparent the needs special needs of disabled person were of such a nature that the cruise line could not meet these needs.

The problem confronting the cruise industry rests with the laws enacted by Congress and that since 1993, the U.S. Departmnent of Tranportation has never issued contruction specifications for what make a cruise ship wheel chair accessible.

My wife uses a wheel cair supplied by the cruise line. We have been on the Carnival "Elation" and have experienced no problems since she can use the stall shower and toilets. She has no problem getting around the vessel in the wheel chair while I push her and even sometimes when she motivates the chair herself. I have seen several young lads and maidens using the motorized scooters.

Be frank with the cruise line.
HannaS77
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