Written by Chillie Falls, January 22, 2023
If you are investigating the accessibility of a cruise ship, the first two things you likely notice are embarkation procedures and one’s accessible stateroom. While these are clearly important, my most important discovery on Day 1 of a cruise is how the ship equips the public restrooms. If the accessible restrooms are right, or close to it, it is very likely the entire ship will be disability friendly. If they have that wrong, it is almost guaranteed there will be numerous red flags for the accessible community.
These two ships have it right.
Symphony of the Seas even has a slider door, which really makes it easier on anyone mobility challenged, manual or powered wheelchair or a scooter.
Unfortunately for our community, many ships still have it wrong. One would think in today’s world, new ships would have the basics right. Not so.
I was on the inaugural sailing of the MSC Seascape, a stunningly beautiful ship, with terrific food and service, plus awesome entertainment. But, here is the bathroom door situation.
And the Nieuw Statendam
My personal feelings, if the doors are not push button/automatic, or in some way helpful for a disabled person to access the restroom, the ships should not be allowed to refer to it as a wheelchair accessible restroom because, clearly, they are not.
Here is a unique idea. When you are designing a new ship, let’s start with ADA Compliant push-button doors on all public restrooms. That, alone, is so important to any of us that are disabled.