Norwegian Star, 3/1/11 ADDENDUM AND UPDATE

Okay, I am going to get this out of the way, now, and drop it. Apparently a series of miscommunications. I WILL give NCL major points for, at least reactivelly, responding to customer service issues. Bottom line, I was mis-informed. While NCL is "in the proccess" of having "access managers" on board every ship, the person I was under the impression was so designated, says that she is not (although she apparently will be, once trained). And apparently, she did not get my message, either from the Access Desk at Corporate, or thru the person I talked to on boarding day.

She did come and meet with me today, and we had a "frank exchange of views" as they say in the political world. She told me the only communication she was aware of was my message to the Hotel Manager, Jean-Micelle, re: moving a headboard to facilitate transfering my brother to bed. At this point I really can't say if the fault is in Miami, or onboard here, or both, or neither. And if I misconstrued what I was told, I apologize for that. I can say, thank God I have direct access to the Hotel Department higher ups.

And while I am at it, I would like to say that NCL is far from the only cruise line with issues as far as accessibility. With the exception of Princess, HAL and RCCL, they are all way to slow to respond and embrace the PWD (persons with disabilities) community. And it seems the whole industry's attitude is to do what the lawyers tell them they have to, rather than to do what is right from both a moral and financial standpoint. Again, with the exceptions above, they don't seem to recognize what a good business decision it is to accomodate people with disabilities. Apparently they think of the disabled as mostly people scraping by on Social Security or a veterans pension. What they're missing is how many of that community have been on the receiving end of multimillion dollar settlements of various sorts. Usually structured to provide a consistent lifetime income rather than a big lump of money. So, not rich, but certainly able to afford to travel. And, pretty much by definition, with plenty of time on their hands.

The few cruise lines who DO make a serious effort to work with the PWD community are reaping rewards for it. And, again, the community is not asking for a lot of "special" treatment. But, if an able-bodied person can get on an airport shuttle, or a bus tour around a port, why shouldn't a wheelchair user?.

Anyway, I am tiring of the subject, and I am sure you are too.

We are in the midst of a great day here in Puerto Vallarta, and I am going to get back to it.

Manana, mi amigos!

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