Carnival to Pay $405K to Settle Disability Claims

(CN) – Carnival Corp. will pay a total $405,000 to settle claims it failed to provide access to people with disabilities on 62 ships sailing under the Carnival, Holland America and Princess Cruises banners.
     The Miami, Fla.-based company, the world’s largest cruise provider, will pay a civil penalty of $55,000 and $350,000 in damages to individuals harmed by its past discrimination.
     According to the Justice Department, the settlement is the result of investigation following consumer complaints that Carnival failed to provide accessible cabins for individuals with mobility disabilities, and that it failed to provide passengers with disabilities the same opportunities to participate in programs and services as other passengers.
     Under the terms of the agreement, 42 existing ships and seven currently under construction will be surveyed and retrofitted to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Three percent of the cabins on 48 ships will be accessible in a variety of configurations, and the company’s reservations systems will be revamped to allow individuals with disabilities to reserve accessible cabins and suites.
     The agency said the settlement is a first in that it requires the cruise line to provide a minimum number of accessible cabins and to develop a remediation plan to comply with the Americans with Disabilities.
     In addition, Carnival will appoint an ADA compliance officer at the executive level.
     The government said Carnival cooperated with the investigation.
     In a statement, Carnival said it has always tried to meet the needs of all its guests and will continue to do so “with even more enhancements in staff training, accessibility policies and communications, as well as additional shipboard accessibility features.”

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