As a hard of hearing individual who went on a cruise last year with my wife and two daughters, who are all either deaf or hard of hearing, we experienced many barriers to access on our cruise. Although the cruise line provided interpreters which made it possible for us to access certain things, we still faced barriers in the following areas:
1) The movies shown on the cruise were not captioned.
2) There were no visual alerting devices to inform us if someone was knocking on our cabin doors.
3) There were no visual smoke detector systems.
4) Any on board announcements made were not captioned. There were no central locations where we could go and read captions for these kinds of announcements.
5) The television in our cabin was not captioned. Televisions on the cruise ship were not captioned.
6) The bus company that partnered with the cruise line to pick us up and drop us off at the airport did not have interpreters. As a result, there was a miscommunication that caused us to nearly miss our plane on the trip home. Although the bus company is not owned by the cruise line, they were hired by them.
7) No interpreter was provided when we checked in at the boat. There were many lines to choose from and many questions asked by the cruise agent once we were ready to "check-in." This was very stressful.
I bring these items up as specific issues to consider when thinking about accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing people on cruise ships. Thank you.
Fred S. Weiner
Germantown, MD 20874