Norwegian Cruise Lines has now introduced agent training for disabled passengers on the cruise line. The company’s online training programme has introduced a module on accessibility, designed to provide agents with knowledge of the line’s facilities and policies to sell cruises to disabled passengers.
The course information includes a guide to fleet-wide facilities for guests with limited mobility, hearing and sight impairments – as well as how the line can equip guests with medical or dietary needs. The current NCL fleet has up to 27 wheelchair accessible cabins per ship with facilities such as grab bars, ramps and Braille signs on doors.
All public spaces such as restaurants, entertainment areas and lounges have been designed to be wheelchair friendly and extra wide passageways in the gym, spa and bars will also feature.
Andy Wright, managing director at Accessible Travel, which specialises in holidays for disabled, wheelchair and elderly guests, was involved in the creation of the training module. “Any vehicle that raises awareness on accessible travel is welcomed by us,” he said. We know first-hand that this is an area which has often been neglected so it’s great that NCL is addressing this with a proactive approach. Meeting the needs of disabled travellers goes deeper than product knowledge alone but this is certainly a step in the right direction.”
NCL UK general manager Stephen Park said: “From agent feedback and working with Accessible Travel we understand some agents may lack confidence in booking disabled customers because of either a lack of product knowledge, or they may be uncomfortable asking customers quite specific questions about their needs. We want to help break down these barriers by giving travel partners easy access to the information they need to provide the right cruise to the right person regardless of their requirements.”