I frequent several message boards that focus on accessible cruising. For the most part the people that post there are civil and the boards are good places to pick up resources. But every now and then the sparks fly. Such was the case last week when an able-bodied traveler wandered in and inquired about booking an accessible cabin because it had more room. Let’s just say the proverbial excrement hit the rotary device.
To be honest, you can’t hardly blame folks for their hostile response. Most of the board regulars are disabled and they love to cruise; and they know from first-hand experience how difficult it can be to find an accessible cabin on a particular sailing.
And it wasn’t exactly a one-sided argument either. Soon more able-bodied cruisers joined in. Their comments ranged from rude (“Somebody is going to get this room — it may as well be me.”), to utterly ridiculous (“My husband needs an accessible cabin because he is tall.”) Ultimately it got pretty ugly and the thread was closed by the moderator.
Is there a viable solution here to what some consider an abuse of the system? How can we make sure accessible cabins are saved for passengers who really need them?
Personally I think the cruise lines should hold back their accessible cabins until one week before the sailing date. Many cruise lines try to monitor the allocation of their accessible cabins, but to be honest there are a few holes in the system. Every now and then they pop up on cruise consolidator websites, and able-bodied passengers scramble to snap them up. These ignorant masses consider them a perk. They don’t understand they are a necessity for some people.
To be honest, I think able-bodied cruisers should show more restraint. Would it really kill them to pass up that accessible cabin that slipped through the system?
Some people feel that stricter documentation should be required to book an accessible cabin, but I think that’s an unfair burden to put on disabled cruisers.
Can’t we all just exercise just a little common courtesy?
Stop the madness now! If you are able-bodied, please refrain from booking an accessible cabin. Just say no! These cabins are not perks. Some people really need them. Save the accessible cabins for passengers who are disabled.
And, just for the record, tallness is not considered a disability! Neither is stupidity for that matter.