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What facilities do you have on board for blind or visually impaired guests?

Guests must notify us that they are blind or visually impaired using the "Your on board needs" questionnaire via My Cunard. Large print documents and braille can be requested via the questionnaire.

 

Just because someone is blind, doesn't mean they can't see anything. In fact, 93% of people who are registered blind or partially sighted can see something. There are many different words used to describe sight loss and people with sight loss including: blind, sight impaired, partially sighted and visually impaired. If someone registers their sight loss with the local authority, there are two groups of terms used to refer to their sight loss: 

  • Severely Sight Impaired (SSI) or blind
  • Sight Impaired (SI) or partially sighted

Braille

  • Safety information and tender safety information is supplied in braille.
  • Braille menus are not available for Cunard as they change on a regular basis. 

Large print documents

Large print documents can be requested by the guest via the "Your on board needs" questionnaire. As a minimum they should receive the following documents in large print, font size 18:  

  • Safety and Emergency Drill Information 
  • Daily Programme
  • Main dining room and bar menus
  • Other literature that can be produced in large print should be provided at the guests request if it is possible.  

Orientation tour

Guests can receive a brief orientation tour once they board the ship. A crew member will be able to take the guest around the ship to give the guest the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the location of key areas in relation to the position of their stateroom. This can be arranged by emailing accessibility@carnivalukgroup.com prior to the cruise.

Safety

  • We recommend that guests who are blind have, as a minimum, one-to-one assistance in the unlikely event of an emergency. This means in the event of an emergency, guests will have a member of our trained crew with them to assist. Guests will be asked to confirm whether they require assistance in the event of an emergency during the booking process. If the guest didn’t make us aware at the point of booking that they require assistance, then they need to contact their travel agent or the Customer Contact Centre urgently to confirm their requirements and complete a “Your on board needs” questionnaire via My Cunard. These requirements will then be added to their booking, however this is subject to availability.
  • We strongly recommend that guests who are blind travel with a sighted companion. From a health and safety point. We need to ensure that guests can safely manage on-board and find their way independently to the main areas and locations around the ship. Solo travellers will be provided with an orientation tour and, once they have completed the orientation, they will be asked to demonstrate that they can safely navigate to the muster station. Please note that anyone who’s unable to demonstrate that they can navigate the ship independently may not be able to be safely accommodated on-board in accordance with our Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requirements.
  • On embarkation, when the Cabin Steward is introducing themselves to a guest who is blind or visually impaired, they must verbally advise the guest of their allocated muster station and asked if they require assistance to locate this muster station. Guests must also be verbally advised of their restaurant name, table number and table size at this time. 
  • In the event of an emergency on board, specially trained crew members from the Passenger Assistance Party will be sent to assist the guests in their cabin should it be required. This can be requested via the "Your on board needs" questionnaire.

 

Please be aware that crew are not required to provide assistance with ongoing communication support, escorting the guest around the ship or any aspect of day-to-day personal care. However, it is reasonable to offer help with providing directions. Therefore, we strongly recommend guests travel with a sighted companion.

Additional Information

  • You must ensure to ask every guest “In the unlikely event of an emergency, would anyone on the booking need assistance?”. If they would require assistance, please add the relevant level of support to Polar Online using the "package list" option. If a guest is bringing a mobility scooter or wheelchair on board, you must add evacuation chair assistance for them. However, it’s not possible to add this resource to existing bookings. If this step is missed or needs to be added post-booking, please complete the Partnership Helpdesk Webform and we'll come back to you as soon as possible. For bookings sailing within the next six months, you should call the Partnership Helpdesk for urgent support.
  • If the guest has mobility or accessibility requirements, they must complete their "Your on-board needs" questionnaire via My Cruise as soon as possible. You can send them a reminder to do this by following this process guide.
  • We have a range of how-to-guides on Shine Rewards Club. Please click here for Cunard and here for P&O Cruises.
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