Carnival Must Upgrade Ships, Pay $350K After Disability Violations

Ships operated by the world’s largest cruise provider are about to become more easily accessible for passengers with disabilities, as Carnival Corp. and the Department of Justice reached an agreement to resolve an investigation into complaints that the cruise line failed to adequately provide accommodations for those with disabilities. 

The Dept. of Justice announced today that Carnival would increase accessibility access for people with disabilities on 62 of its ships, as well as provide $350,000 in damages to individuals harmed by the company’s past discrimination.

Under the settlement, Carnival must survey 42 of its existing ships, plus another seven under-construction vessels, to ensure they comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The company must guarantee that 3% of the ship’s cabins are accessible according to three levels: fully accessible cabins, fully accessible cabins with a single side approach to the bed, and ambulatory accessible cabins.

Thirteen Carnival ships are not immediately impacted by the agreement, but they could each be subject to remediation if they are still servicing U.S. ports in four years.

As part of the settlement, Carnival is required to revamp its reservation systems to make it easier for people with disabilities to reserve accessible cabins and suites with specific amenities.

The company must also provide specific ADA training to employees and managers and pay a $55,000 civil penalty to the government.

According to the Dept. of Justice, the settlement is the result of an investigation of complaints filed against Carnival that included allegations that the company failed to properly provide and reserve accessible cabins for individuals with mobility disabilities; reasonably modify policies, practices and procedures to accommodate individuals with disabilities; afford individuals with disabilities the same opportunities to participate in programs and services, including embarkation and disembarkation; and provide effective communication during muster and emergency drills.

Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Carnival Corp. Over ADA Violations by Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises [Dept. of Justice]

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