I was the Plaintiff's counsel for the class action against Carnival Cruise Lines to make their vessels accessible to all disabled passengers. I was just on the Carnival Jubilee to review their accessiblility after they modified the ship, and the progress that Carnival has made on the Jubillee was incredible.
Carnival has made five of the rooms in the Jubilee fully ADAAG accessible, with plenty of turn-around space in the bathroom, accessible showers, automatic door openers on the cabin doors, accessible route to the balcony in the outside suites. The rooms that were modified previously were further improved so that they would be accessible to passengers with mobility and other impairments, but did not require a wheelchair or scooter.
The common areas in the ships have many accessible restrooms throughout the vessel. There is an accessible route throughout the vessel so a wheelchair passenger does not need assistance to go out on the deck (no high thresholds or combings). There are plenty of accessible seating areas with companion seats in the lounge and dining areas. The gym and the sauna are accessible to wheelchairs. Carnival even put in a lift to the stage and to the raised area of the dining room so a disabled passenger can be seated at the captain's table!!
I was impressed with the speed and initiative by Carnival to make their ships accessible to their customers. Hopefully, the disabled community will request the accessible elements and show Carnival that these modifications are not only pursuant to thier class-action settlement agreement, but also make good business sense.
If you have any comments on the accessibility of these vessels, please feel free to post them on this site or to e-mail me. Thanks.
It is good to hear the progress that is being made. It is sad, though, that it took a case going to the 11th circuit court of appeals (Stevens v. Premier Cruises) before cruise lines realized the benefits (and necessity) of complying with the law
We have a small group going on the Jubilee in July. My boyfriend was suppose to go with us, however Carnival stated they would not assist in getting on and off at ports. Grand Caymen is one of the ports that have to be tendered in.
So instead we took one by ourselves on Celebrity "Horizon". We went to Grand Caymen and the staff actually picked him up wheelchair and all and carried him on and off the tender.!!!!
I also went on the "Pride" and found the so called public ada bathrooms were very difficult to get into.
Rccl and Celebrity are the way to go if your disabled.
While Carnival is attempting to be more accessible in its construction, it has a problem with many of its policies and procedures. These items are not encompassed into the settlement. Policies and procedures involving what accommodations should be on a case by case basis, and I believe if they could not accommodate a scooter in any of the ports of call, they should have advised you of that beforehand.
The further difficulty is that some of these items are rendered off US territory, and the ADA may not apply, but I do think it is unfair and deceptive for any cruise line to offer programs and then tell the disabled that they do not have access to these programs.