Milestone Settlement for People with Disabilities on Cruise Ships: An Initiative of Carnival Corp & U.S. Justice Dept.


The U.S. Justice Department and Carnival Corporation have entered into an landmark agreement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which offers equal access to people accommodations with disabilities travelling on the cruise ships.


Carnival Corporation, world’s largest cruise provider with a portfolio of 10 cruise brands and 100 ships and the Justice Department declared a settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Thursday regarding the right to use by people with disabilities on 62 ships owned by Carnival, Holland America and Princess Cruises brands.  ADA has agreed upon the accessibility standards and policies for the disable people to provide greater access on cruises.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Florida felt that the ADA agreement will enable individuals with disabilities to equally enjoy and appreciate a full range of cabins and services that were unreachable while vacationing on cruise ships.

The settlement agreement has materialized due to an investigation of allegations like:

  • Failing to provide and reserve accessible cabins for individuals with mobility disabilities
  • Depriving these individuals of participating in programs and services
  • The absence of effective communication during muster and emergency drills by the Justice Department

The government has asked the cruise company to provide a minimum number of accessible cabins and to develop a remediation plan to comply with the ADA.  For this, 42 existing ships and other 7 ships that are in various stages of design and construction would be remediated to conform to the ADA regulations.  Three percent of the cabins on 49 ships would be classified on the basis of three levels of accessibility.

Carnival Corp. has established a benchmark by addressing to ADA and would provide specific ADA training to employees and managers.  In addition, it has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $55,000 to the United States and $350,000 to individuals affected by past discrimination.