P&O Cruises upset the disabled

POCruisesAuroradisabled

As some of our readers are aware we just returned from a 3 week cruise on P&O Cruises Aurora (review coming soon), which had returned from a world cruise before we boarded. The ship is full of leaks and became a joke each time we saw green buckets, and in some cases water leaking like a waterfall around the ship.

Today we received an email from one of the passengers that travelled on the world cruise before us, and they’re being banned from using the same cabins again, which they just used on their world cruise. This change affects them because they are disabled and some changes have been made according to this email.

Here is the email we received, which our readers might find interesting especially if you’re disabled and like to cruise: “P&O Cruises Ban the Disabled – On returning from a 3 months World Cruise on Aurora a disabled passenger found a letter from P & O Cruises stating that, as he uses a motorised mobility scooter, he will not be able to book 98% of the cabin type he had just used for 3 months. This is because P & O have been told by their parent company that mobility scooters are a health and safety issue.

He has contacted P&O about using his folding mobility scooter, which he bought because it will store in a cabin wardrobe. They have stated he must use a disabled cabin – for safety – of which there are only 8 in the balcony grade opposed to 392 balcony cabins previously available in this grade. Or he can upgrade to a mini-suit for more money! – of which there are only 18.

However if he uses a ‘powered wheelchair’ – much bigger than his folding scooter – he can still book any cabin he wishes! This is because P&O state ‘powered wheelchairs’ are not included in the ban.

They have said he should not store his folding motorised scooter in the wardrobe, ‘as it would not be obvious to other passengers (what cabin he is in) leading to complaints about perceived inconsistencies of approach’. P&O already specify the weight and size of allowable motorised scooters and wheelchairs, so the inclusion of an acceptable folding make within the approval list would not be hard. Unless passengers are now being asked to wear badges stating cabin numbers, people will not care what cabin you occupy.

On asking P&O about the storage of children’s pushchairs in the corridors they did not comment. P&O will also have to ensure that abled bodied passengers do not book the ‘larger’ disabled cabins for themselves, thus preventing disabled passengers using the few available.

Factually there are two folding mobility scooters which measure, when folded, – floor size (a) 39.4cm x 44.5cm (1753 sq cm) and (b) 31cm x 38cm (1178 sq cm) whereas the powered wheelchair is 59cm x 88cm (5192 sq cm). and it is therefore difficult to understand the logic behind the ban, and it is probable that the folding scooters were never considered, as they are fairly new to the market.

If some of the other P&O ships are examined by looking at the balcony cabins (excluding suites etc.). Oriana has zero disabled cabins against 94 available 0%. Adonia has only 2 disabled cabins against 232 available less than 1%. Arcadia has 16 disabled cabins against 634 available less than 3%.

Have a read of the above and let us know how you think P&O Cruises should treat disabled passengers?

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  • Duncan Caine

    We have also received the same letter from P&O.  I have written to Mr Nick Burrows Head of Customer Services, asking if they could include approved collapsible scooters.  In reply I received a telephone call saying that the policy is now in place and cannot be altered.  I have since brought this to the attention of our MP who has also written to Mr Burrows and we are currently waiting his reply

  • Zaphod

    After 15 cruises on P&O ships, 8 with with electric mobility scooter which fitted easily into any cabin we are now told that we must book a wheel chair adapted cabin. We will not be allowed to use the scooter in the dining areas. So the disabled are effectively banned. Who was the able-bodied person who came up with this rule.

  • derek shickell

    we also have gone into detail at purchasing a light weight folding mobility scooter one which folds smaller than a suite case and can be stored under the bed(as you do with your suite cases when empty)we have just returned from our christmas crues on Queen victoria we took our normal mobility scooter and it fitted in a stateroom with balcony so what is p&o problem

  • sandra smith

    been there done that,no reply to my email at all,so now we have changed companies and going with royal carribean,where i am allowed to take my luggie scooter in any cabin aslong as it goes through cabin door ,spent thousands of pounds with p&o on cruises in the last ten years,there loss.

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