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Carnival UK have issued a new policy about mobility scooters on both Cunard and P&O. Here’s P&O’s new policy:

From the Summer 2013 programme, if you or your travel companion require the use of a mobility scooter then please select either a wheelchair accessible cabin, or selected suite or mini-suite accommodation when making your booking.

I’m not clear at the moment what the policy is regarding wheelchairs; there’s some suggestion that they will be affected by the new policy as well but I can’t find confirmation of that on the websites.

The policy goes on to say that any passenger attempting to board in contravention of this policy may be prevented from doing so, and that full cancellation terms could apply – i.e. no money back at all.

It’s fair to say that views on this new policy are mixed. Many people have drawn attention to the significant number of scooters that can be on the ships on some cruises, and have wondered what would happen to mobility scooter-using passenger in a Costa Concordia situation. They’ve also wondered what would happen to other passengers who happened to get caught behind a scooter passenger in that sort of event. However, other people, possibly themselves mobility-impaired, have expressed outrage at the new policy. It’s suggested that this is discriminatory, and that there has not been any consultation about this change in policy.

Informally, the lines are apparently indicating that this is not prompted by the Costa Concordia sinking, but by a review of safety generally. There have been reports of scooters being inappropriately parked, e.g. in corridors, near lift entrances and outside lounges and restaurants on some cruises where there have been a lot of them.

3 Responses to “New mobility scooter policy on Cunard and P&O”

  1. sungirl says:

    I know this policy may well be deemed as discrimination, but people must realise that there are safety factors to be considered for all persons travelling on cruise vessels. Scooters may impair vacuation procedure so therefore this could be seen as discrimination in a different form. I know that things are not black and white and we do not live in an ideal world, but safety rules and regs are there for the majority and not the minority.

  2. Interesting topic and one that will create emotive responses depending on which side of the fence you sit on.

    I guess by placing those using mobility scooters in designated areas is a step forward when it comes to safety.

    As to scooters being left in inappropriate places; not every mobility scooter rider does this and so they should not be tarnished with the same brush as those who do. Things like that need to be managed by the cruise lines.

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