I?m pleased to report that a number of people have contacted me and told me they are going to write the Access Board about the proposed guidelines for passenger vessels. At issue is the number of accessible cabins required on each ship. The cruise lines want less (they feel they already have too many); while many travelers want and need more.
I can?t overemphasize how important it is for travelers to write in and let their voices be heard. Some people are intimidated and even fearful of writing to a government agency, but you don?t have to be a professional writer to craft a response. Just give them you opinion and tell them your story. Here?s an example from a reader who already sent in his letter.
?Based on personal experience, and I will embark on my 35th cruise this year, what is needed are more cabins, not fewer. Even the largest ships currently being built with as many as 1500 cabins have no more than 30 that are accessible. What that means is that those of us that could not cruise without an accessible cabin often have to book and deposit more than a year in advance. Because the current demand is so great, failure to book that far ahead can, and does, result in no accessible cabins available.?
So start writing! And if you feel inclined, send me a copy of your letter and I will post your excerpts here to give other folks ideas of what to say.
Comments can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to (202) 272-0081 or mailed to Office of Technical and Information Services, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, 1331 F Street NW, suite 1000, Washington, DC 20004-1111.
And don?t forget to include ?Docket No. 2004-1? in all of your correspondence on this subject.