American Cruise Lines has settled a federal lawsuit and is committed to improving its customer service delivery for cruise guests with disabilities.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) took action against the cruise line over alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Complaints Filed Over Inadequate Accessibility for Wheelchair Users
The U.S. attorney’s office noted six customer complaints were filed, stating a lack of accessibility for wheelchair users.
ACL didn’t have sufficient procedures in place for the safe boarding and debarkation of wheelchair users. It said ACL failed to provide adequate wheelchair-adapted ground transportation for shore excursions.
Will develop an ADA-compliant plan
Following the ADA lawsuit settlement, the cruise line has vowed to address gaps in ADA compliance. It will improve accessibility on its fleet of ships and for landside operations. ACL has agreed to submit an ADA-compliant plan to enhance accessibility within 18 months.
Additionally, the settlement calls for accessibility training and the appointment of an ADA compliance officer. It will also roll out an accessible website.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to safeguarding civil rights, including those protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Vanessa Roberts Avery, US Attorney for the District of Connecticut.
The cruise line says it has been working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to address the concerns raised in the complaints collaboratively. “American Cruise Lines has worked closely with the government and will continue to accommodate all our guests onboard,” the cruise line said.
The largest U.S. domestic cruise line, the Guilford, CT company, sails river and coastal cruise itineraries on small ships accommodating up to 180 guests.
It has five new American Riverboats and Coastal Cats currently under construction, which will launch within the next two years.