RCCL Safety Training Videos

In 2011 Open Doors Organization created two safety training videos for Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. The first focuses on safe assistance for guests with disabilities during the boarding and disembarking process. It teaches proper techniques for assisting guests in manual wheelchairs, how to guide guests who are blind, and tips for effective, respectful communication. The second video focuses on how to safely assist guests who are non-ambulatory or have limited mobility during emergency evacuations. The videos were shot in Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Southampton, England, aboard ships of Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises.

Celebrity Cruises Accessibility Project

Although ADA design standards do not as yet apply to cruise ships serving the US market, in 2010 Celebrity Cruises began working with Open Doors Organization to fine tune the accessibility of its popular passenger vessels. Initial work included site visits to ships from three classes of vessels—Century, Millennium and Solstice—while they were in the Ports of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. In the second phase of the project, Laurel Van Horn, ODO Director of Programs, executed a full audit onboard the Celebrity Constellation while training a member of staff to continue the review process in house. Ms. Van Horn served on the US Access Board’s Passenger Vessel Access Advisory Committee that formulated the initial ADA guidelines for cruise ships.

Norwegian Cruise Line Staff Training Video

In Spring 2011 Open Doors Organization created its second staff training video for Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). It is designed to help NCL’s frontline staff better understand the needs and preferences of passengers with a variety of disabilities. Featured in the video are Eric Lipp, ODO’s founder/director who uses a cane or electric scooter; Pat Pound, an ODO associate from Austin, Texas, who is blind and uses a guide dog; Constantine “Gus” Zografopoulos, an ODO advisory board member who uses a manual wheelchair; and Lynn Rousseau from the Hearing Loss Association of Florida. ODO‘s first NCL training video, shot in 2008 at NCL’s Miami headquarters and onboard the Norwegian Dawn, highlighted the many barrier-free features of the ship and showed each step of the accessible cruise experience, from reservations through check-in, onboard dining and recreation to ports of call excursions. As in the subsequent video, individuals with different disabilities discussed how best to provide respectful and effective customer service.