Visitability at Sea


Those of you who know me, know I?ve always been an advocate for improved access on cruise ships; more specifically wide doorways on all cabins (not just the accessible cabins) of newly built cruise ships. This idea has met with some opposition in the cruise industry and it?s no secret that I?m known as Candy ?wide door? Harrington by many a cruise line executive. But, it?s not like I?m going out of my way to be a pain; in the end it?s really a very reasonable request. After all, hotels are required to have wide doorways on all their guest rooms, so why shouldn?t cruise ships be held to the same standard?

From what I can see the opposition to this idea stems from a combination of a reluctance to embrace something new and the added work of redesigning the ships. Granted it would be work in the beginning, but it would be worth it.

Sadly, most cruise line executives cannot understand the need, and they point out that you can always meet your friends and family in the many accessible public rooms on the ship. The other solution offered is an accessible hospitality room. Neither of those solutions worked for one cruiser, who just wanted to tuck in her daughter.

?Mrs. Smith? uses a wheelchair, so she booked an accessible cabin for herself and her husband. Her daughter and a friend were also accompanying them, so they booked a standard cabin across the hallway for the girls. Of course the problem came when it was time for Mrs. Smith to tuck in her daughter, and she discovered the doorway was too narrow for her wheelchair. Suffice it to say, the situation was disappointing. And it?s one that can?t be remedied by a hospitality room.

I imagine Mrs. Smith isn?t alone, as lots of folks travel with their kids in different cabins, and they want to be able to get in their room to check on them or (God Forbid) to help them out in a emergency.

Visitability at Sea ? it?s not an unusual request. It just makes sense. At least it does to Mrs. Smith.