The Justice Department and Carnival Corp. have entered a
sweeping civil settlement that will provide increased rights for disabled
The agreement requires Carnival to modify 42 existing ships
and seven ships under construction following a survey of their compliance with
Americans with Disabilities Act.
Three percent of the cabins on 49 ships will be accessible
according to three levels of accessibility: fully accessible cabins, fully
accessible cabins with a single-side approach to the bed, and ambulatory
accessible cabins. Another 13 ships will
be subject to possible remediation if they continue to be in service in U.S.
ports four years after the agreement is entered.
The ships sail for Carnival Corp.’s three largest North
American brands: Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Holland America
In addition, Carnival will provide ADA training for its
Carnival’s reservations systems will be modified so
that disabled passengers can reserve
accessible cabins and suites with specific available options and amenities, and
to guarantee reservations for accessible cabins.
The settlement says Carnival’s website and mobile apps will
meet a particular standard for disabled access. Also, Carnival will appoint
several ADA compliance officers shoreside and have an ADA shipboard officer for
Finally, Carnival will pay a $55,000 civil penalty to the
government and $350,000 in damages to "individuals harmed by past
The settlement results from an investigation of complaints
by the Justice Department. Carnival
officials cooperated throughout the process, the department said.
Among the complaints were 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.
In a statement,
Carnival said it was pleased to reach the agreement in a cooperative effort
with the government.
“We have historically
maintained a strong focus on accessibility and have a longstanding track record
of meeting the needs of all our guests,” Carnival said.