Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Royal Caribbean Cruises assessment for access

We've been touring Celebrity boats with Open Doors Org for 3 days and what a whirlwind of rolling through levels upon levels with our rulers, notebooks, and camera!

Despite having found a ship-full of suggested improvements, all in all we're extremely impressed with the three ships we checked out for: The Constellation, The Century, and the Solstice, and feel they're way above the curve when it comes to the rest of the industry. We've stood by Royal Caribbean for years now; and glad that Celebrity is part of this trusted family.

Having never cruised ourselves, we are always impressed with the floating cities (we've toured other ships through SATH conferences), and how generally accessible and accommodating they are to travelers with disabilities.  The list of access features is extensive- wide doors, tons of wayfinding signage, service dog relief areas, accessible spas, ramps and more ramps, large print menus, TTY packets, and rails and handbars everywhere. Worth note, the accessible rooms are spacious and better than most hotels we've seen! With libraries, casinos, multiple dining choices, decks and pools, cinemas and theaters, galleries and stores, the temptation to start cruising has set in on Access Anything!

But as was our reason to be there, we found many recommendations however, which should please our readers - though the industry has come a long way, there is still plenty of the hill to climb towards total universal design.  Of most importance to us is the alternative ways to disembarking at ports along the way - as many of the side stops and day trips in smaller ports are still inaccessible to PWD, and being the adventure promoters that we are, this is a key feature for us to consider cruising overall.

The recommendation packet is of course confidential, but we're excited that RC and Celebrity have dedicated their 2011 goals to improve their accessibility and set an industry standard that the rest will have to live up to! 

Have faith that your special needs will be well taken care of with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity!

Some great amenities:

Some suggestions: 

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