I have had the time to read the new proposed stardards which came out last month.
I did comment in 2004 and I do not see where you have addressed the issue I raised.
Many of us as disabled individuals have to modify our food type due to medication, control a problem or interaction, or reduce chronic pain.
As I stated in 2004.. The ship controls the food on board. I have tried on 12 cruises now to make appropriate arrangements to modify food selection to fit within the diet I am permitted. Unfortunately, the cruise lines seen this as merely a preference, and not a limitation, that is equally impacting those of us that cannot choose something, different for medical reasons.
Please add a standard for food in your standards. The cruise lines need to comply with a standard that requires them to offer meals, snacks, and desserts that allow disabled people to have appropriate dining. Frequently they do offer "vegetarian" choices but when pressed for details, they add chicken broth to rice or in a sauce, have high sodium, or make everything with cheese and dairy products. In the buffets you cannot always tell what is in a salad or other food product. They need to be required to post ingredient lists in menus or on the buffet as frequently the waiters and head waiters do not speak English well and thus are unable to fully understand and explain what ingredients are in various dishes. It has not been good in asking for alternative dishes to be made. I have asked and I was told in Jan 2006 on a Carnival ship they buy all premade salad dressing, which all contained dairy.. and I could not have any salad dressing all week, even when I asked for them to make me one. I asked once on a cruise for some pasta with marinara sauce to be made, as the cook at the buffet was making small batches.. The cook decided to try and scoop out some he already had, and leave the meat chunks in the pan! This was unacceptable. I have made requests, waited while everyone else at the table ate, only to have my request come out covered in cheese, and then have nothing to eat as the kitchen got the request wrong! Once I was told french onion soup was fine.. But after asking at least five people, up to and including the matiter'd.. I finally found out ( as I had suspected) the soup was made with beef broth and contained anchovies in one of the ingredients. Both of this would have made me very sick and increased my chronic pain, if I had not kept asking questions. No one should have to go through this. On most cruises I am unable to have dessert. All contain dairy..It isn't too hard to offer soy "ice cream" or fruit pies, cobblers and other dishes.
As it is cruse lines do control the food and can offer appropriate choices. They will not change, as I have observed over the years, unless there is a standard that requires then to do so. I am asking for you to add a section on food and that they be required to offer food selections that allow disabled people to have as many choices in each course, and on the buffet as they offer non disabled people. They should be required to provide ingredient lists, at least if requested.
Smoking. There is too much of of it on board. Smokers seem to light up everywhere. I have told many they are in non-smoking areas. They do not care. On the same Carnival ship we had to enter the dining room through a lounge where it was permitted to smoke.. So it was VERY hard to avoid second hand smoke that only makes my sinus disability worse. I hate coming home sick from a cruise as I was unable to eat a full and proper diet all week and then be exposed off and on all week to second hand smoke. You need to include a section that smoking will be LIMITED to designated areas, and then not allow smoking in cabins, hallways, lounges in additon to dining rooms and theaters, and most other area unless there is a separate ventilation area. Likewise on open decks.. Smoking ought to be LIMITED to certain areas, and that is it..I do look for the non-smoking sides of ships and then try to avoid the smoking side of the deck. But when a smoker lights up in front of a red slashed circle non-smoking sign and then claim to be so ignorant as to not know.. It is time for the gov't to REQUIRE cruise lines to LIMIT and designate smoking only areas, so the rest of us can be smoke free everywhere else on the ship. This has worked in airports, on airplanes, and in federal buildings. You and the cruis elines need to prohibit people too that if we have to be outside in a line waiting to get on a ship or wait for a tender that those areas should be non-smoking too. We all can't leave a line because some inconsiderate smoker decides they are "outside" and thus ought to expose everybody downwind of them to second hand smoke. It can work just as well on cruise ships, if the gov't will make the cruise lines do it.
Thanks. I hope you add the sections I've requested.
Arthur A. Scharein
Decatur, AL 35601
June 7, 2005 [Email]
I am disabled, rated 50% disabled by the Veterans administration and meet the ADA standard for disability.
I have back and leg problems, as well as chronic pain.
I am glad to see the Supreme Court has ruled cruise ships have to make things more accessible.
I have been on 9 cruises.
One issue I would like you to incorporate is the cruise line controls all the food duing the week. I can ease and mitigate my chronic pain through diet and thus do not eat meat, eggs, or dairy products. It is hit and miss on how well the cruise ships do this. The last cruise I had, I talked with several people who were responsible for food but did not care I have few options on food.
Can you please make sure the ADA rules state that food issues are a part of ADA compliance and the cruise lines have to offer proper meals. I know others that have food relate dissues with their disability. It isn't enough that the doors and hallways comply, as at home, you can go home to eat. On a ship you have to eat their food and thus they ought to be compelled to offer food and meals that allow ADA defined people to fully enjoy the cruise.
Arthur A. Scharein
Decatur, AL 35601