The United States Justice Department and NCL finally reached an agreement to resolve a lawsuit in which NCL violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This only applies to NCL’s subsidiary NCL America which operates the only US flagged cruise ship in the industry. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of those who have sailed and are deaf, hard of hearing, or in wheelchairs.
Under the voluntary agreement NCL is to ensure that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to utilize auxiliary aids and the services they need under the law. Examples the two parties give include a written transcript of the emergency drill and to be able to fully participate in the activities on the ship and shore excursions. NCL also agreed to ensure that guests in wheelchairs get proper bus transportation between airport, pier, hotels, and shore excursions.
Surprisingly, NCL will pay $100,000 in damages to 9 individuals with disabilities plus $40,000 in civil penalties to the United States for violating the act.
My question is: How did it take this long to be ADA compliant? I wonder if there was some grey area as to where the ADA compliancy extends to.