I’d like to go on a cruise, but I use a Segway as a mobility device. Are the cruise lines required to accommodate me and allow me to bring and operate my Segway on board?
Although there are currently no ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines for cruise ships that dock at US ports, the Supreme Court has ruled that they are covered under the ADA. Additionally, the Department of Justice released new ADA guidelines for wheelchairs, mobility aids and other power driven mobility aids in January 2014. Those guidelines required covered entities (including cruise ships that dock at US ports) to accommodate other power driven mobility devices, including any mobility device powered by batteries, fuels or other engines that is used by individuals with mobility disabilities for the purpose of locomotion. The guidelines specifically mention Segways as being included in the definition of “other personal mobility devices.”
That said, because of the construction of cruise ships, there may be some areas where Segways cannot be accommodated because of legitimate safety concerns, such as narrow passageways with low ceilings. And since there are currently no ADA guidelines for passenger vessels, you may find some inaccessible spaces like those on cruise ships.
Your best bet is to call the special needs department to find out which ships have the fewest space limitations on your personal mobility device. Hopefully once the new regulations are implemented, these inaccessible spaces will go away, and you’ll have a wider choice of ships.