Carnival Continues to Send Firm Reminders of Scooter Policy

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Carnival Cruise Line has reached out to guests booked in particular staterooms aboard Carnival Celebration for more than six months’ of sailings to remind them of the cruise line’s mobility scooter policy. The emails are being sent to guests booked in specific accessible staterooms and only apply to passengers traveling with a scooter.

The cruise line began sending these notifications more than two months ago for sailings on Mardi Gras. At that time, the notifications were being tested for effectiveness, and it now seems they are being rolled out to other ships.

Carnival Celebration a sister ship to Mardi Gras and the second ship in the Excel class. The sister ships – along with Carnival Jubilee – are the largest in Carnival’s fleet at roughly 182,000 gross tons and with passenger capacities of more than 5,200 guests at double occupancy.

Cruise Ship Mobility Scooter
Cruise Ship Mobility Scooter (Photo Credit: Joni Hanebutt)

“We have important information regarding your stateroom and its accessibility features for guests traveling with a scooter,” the email begins. “The stateroom you have secured does not accommodate all types of scooters.”

The email has been sent to all cruisers booked in these staterooms on Carnival Celebration‘s sailings from June 15 through December 29, 2024.

The notification goes on to note that scooters must be able to collapse for safe storage and may not be stored in public areas or corridors. Oversized scooters may not be allowed onboard if they will not fit in the booked stateroom.

Guests have three options under Carnival Cruise Line’s scooter policy. First, they may travel as planned with a collapsible scooter, or else choose to set sail without a mobility scooter. If that is not possible, guests will have to change their ship or sailing date in order to confirm a stateroom that can properly accommodate a larger scooter.

Finally, guests may cancel for a full refund if they prefer not to set sail or if there is no other preferred sailing that can accommodate their mobility scooter.

Carnival Cruise Line has begun more strictly enforcing its mobility scooter policies following a variety of complaints about corridors blocked with parked scooters. Not only does this cause problems for guests and crew members moving through the corridors, but it could be a serious hazard if an evacuation is necessary.

Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras (Photo Credit: Darryl Brooks)

“We really are going to be working to make sure that for the safety of everyone on the ship that scooters must be kept in the cabins and never in the corridors,” said John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line’s Brand Ambassador.

Read Also: Carnival Ships by Size – Biggest to Smallest

While the cruise line does strive to be accessible to everyone and in fact is adding more accessible cabins to many of its ships, there are practical limits to what can be done. Furthermore, frequent cruisers have noted a dramatic increase in the numbers of scooters, including larger models, onboard ships in recent years.

It should be noted that Carnival Cruise Line is not banning mobility scooters, it is only enforcing the necessary size limits to ensure scooters are able to fit safely into staterooms.

“I don’t want to make this a bigger thing than it is,” Heald said with his characteristic British wit. “The decision has been made, it’s been for some a long time coming. Those are the rules.”

Mobility Concerns at Ports of Call

In addition to reminding guests about onboard scooter policies, Carnival is also vigilant about alerting guests to possible mobility concerns at select ports of call.

Carnival Pride Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: StudioPortoSabbia / Shutterstock

For example, Carnival Pride will be departing on Sunday, May 26 on a Journeys cruise to Greenland, a once-in-a-lifetime destination for many travelers. Because both ports of call in Greenland are tender ports, however, and the terrain in Greenland can be rough, the cruise line is ensuring guests know about the challenges.

“Like some of our destinations, facilities are not equipped for people with mobility limitations,” an email sent to booked guests said.

The email also noted that climbing stairs is necessary to board water shuttles and that resting areas are sparse at the ports of call. Any mobility scooters must also be collapsible to be accommodated onboard tender boats.

Any traveler who uses a mobility scooter, powered wheelchair, or similar assistive device should always contact their cruise line’s special needs or accommodations team well ahead of sailing to discuss challenges so their travels can be as smooth as possible.

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