Sunday, September 14, 2008

Accessible Cruise Travel

With my broken leg in a cast, my eyes have really opened to the challenges faced by travelers with mobility impairments. It isn't easy to get around in a two-story house. What's it like on today's cruise ships?

Less than two decades ago "accessibility" on a cruise ship meant little more than a few inside staterooms set aside for mobility impaired passengers. Most public restrooms and nearly all en suite bathrooms had a "step-over" entryway—even passengers without mobility problems often tripped until they became accustomed to them.

In the wake of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the cruise industry began demonstrating ADA compliance. However, some older ships may still have physical barriers in both cabins and public rooms. In April 2001, the family of Carnival Cruise Lines announced an ambitious six-year plan for ship renovations to comply with the ADA. Cruise lines have always welcomed disabled passengers and are now designing new ships from the keel up with wheelchair access in mind.

Take a look at how they have done as Cruise Diva outlines Accessible Solutions.

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