Home > Announcement > NEED YOUR HELP! There will be no interpreter service for cruises….

NEED YOUR HELP! There will be no interpreter service for cruises….

May 3, 2009

Dear Cruise Travelers,

 Many of you have enjoyed the marvelous interpreter service that Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises provided in the past. Thus, you were able to discover remote destinations, learn about the history and culture, and enjoy the onboard entertainment. Although the ADA does not apply to regions like Europe, Asia, Australia, or South America, the two cruise lines went above and beyond for many years and provided interpreters for all destinations that their ships were sailing to. No other cruise line provided this service to so many destinations so consistently for individuals and groups as Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises did. They deserve a lot of praise for doing so.

 

Recently, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises decided to discontinue interpreter service for cruises that do not start or terminate or do not have at least one port of call in the U.S. or Canada in the itinerary. That means that there will be no interpreter service for cruises at destinations like Europe, Asia, Australia, or South America in the future unless the cruise starts or terminates in the U.S. or Canada like transatlantic sailings.

 

Frustrated about this decision, I talked to Royal Caribbean’s President & CEO, Adam Goldstein, and went to Royal Caribbean’s office for a meeting to discuss the issue. I was told that the companies have to pay several thousand dollars for each interpreter who will work on a cruise overseas (air, hotel, incidentals, transportation, tips, compensation, interpreter agency fee etc.). The cruise lines feel that they provided a service way above and beyond and did not receive enough recognition for doing so. Therefore, they decided to provide the service only in a scale that is requested by the ADA including Canada and transatlantic sailings if the sailing starts or terminates in the U.S.

 

After my meeting at Royal Caribbean’s office with no positive outcome regarding the interpreter policy, I sent letters to Adam Goldstein and Dan Hanrahan, President & CEO of Celebrity Cruises. I asked them to reverse their decision and continue to provide interpreters for all their cruises if requested. However, I am only one voice. Since the deaf community is a lot more powerful with several million people in the U.S., I would like to ask you, the deaf travelers, to send a letter to the cruise lines’ CEOs, Adam Goldstein and Dan Hanrahan, to express your dissatisfaction about the policy change. Write a personal letter to the addresses listed below and let them know how important it is for you to have interpreters on all cruises, not only at the destinations that are covered by the ADA. If you do not feel comfortable writing a letter, you can use the two sample letters shown below. Feel free, to change the letters if desired. I hope that you will join and help to make the life for the deaf traveler easier.

 

If you have a professional travel agent, ask the agent to contact the CEOs and ask for a policy change. Your travel agent should be an advocate for you.

 

 ———————————————————————————————

April 30, 2009

 

Mr. Adam Goldstein

President & CEO

Royal Caribbean International

 

1050 Caribbean Way

Miami FL 33132-2096

 

 

Dear Mr. Goldstein,

In the past, thousands of deaf people enjoyed the excellent interpreter service provided world wide by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. Having interpreters on a cruise makes it possible to be treated equally with hearing passengers. Interpreters are for us the key to the hearing world and allow us to enjoy the cruises and the shore excursions as much as the hearing people do. Finally, we had the privilege to understand the tour guides, to learn about the history and culture of foreign countries, to understand the onboard work shops, and to enjoy the nightly entertainment. We were part of a world that respected us despite the fact that our ears are filled with silence. How much we appreciated this outstanding and comprehensive service is reflected in the number of deaf cruise passengers who went on a vacation with your cruise lines year after year. Even an entire ship, the Freedom of the Seas, was chartered for a deaf only cruise.

 

We, the deaf community, understand that this service has a hefty price tag especially for cruises outside of the U.S. It was so great to know that there are two companies who opened up our silent world to all the fun and excitement of cruising and went above and beyond the ADA by providing interpreter service for all destinations. You did not deprive us from learning what the world has to offer and you helped us to broaden our knowledge. How disappointed were we when we recently learned that this service will no longer be offered by your companies for sailings that do not start or terminate or have at least one port in the U.S. or Canada . Our daily life is full of struggle for our rights anchored in the U.S. legal system such as the ADA . It was so nice that your companies understood our needs and provided the interpreters without having to fight for it every time. With your recent policy change, the world has changed for us again in a negative way. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a deaf person to see what it is like to be left out if you live in a world of silence. It is like sitting in the back of a tour bus while the tour guide is talking in the front of the bus without a microphone. How much will you enjoy the tour if you do not understand anything? Or it is like watching TV without sound. What can you understand? That is exactly what the deaf community is experiencing in daily life.

 

We, the deaf community, are a group of several million people in the U.S. We would like to ask Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises to continue their marvelous interpreter service for all cruises within and beyond the ADA requirements. We understand that maybe some adjustments have to be done because of the present economical problems in our country. Your companies have always been the leaders in innovation. Royal Caribbean proclaims itself as the Nation of Why Not? So, let the deaf passengers be an equal and respected member of your Nation and reverse the recent decision regarding the interpreter policy.

 

Sincerely,

 

 ———————————————————————————————

April 30, 2009

 

Mr. Dan Hanrahan

President & CEO

Celebrity Cruises

1050 Caribbean Way

Miami FL 33132-2096

 

Dear Mr. Hanrahan,

In the past, thousands of deaf people enjoyed the excellent interpreter service provided world wide by Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises. Having interpreters on a cruise makes it possible to be treated equally with hearing passengers. Interpreters are for us the key to the hearing world and allow us to enjoy the cruises and the shore excursions as much as the hearing people do. Finally, we had the privilege to understand the tour guides, to learn about the history and culture of foreign countries, to understand the onboard work shops, and to enjoy the nightly entertainment. We were part of a world that respected us despite the fact that our ears are filled with silence. How much we appreciated this outstanding and comprehensive service is reflected in the number of deaf cruise passengers who went on a vacation with your cruise lines year after year. Even an entire ship, the Freedom of the Seas, was chartered for a deaf only cruise.

 

We, the deaf community, understand that this service has a hefty price tag especially for cruises outside of the U.S. It was so great to know that there are two companies who opened up our silent world to all the fun and excitement of cruising and went above and beyond the ADA by providing interpreter service for all destinations. You did not deprive us from learning what the world has to offer and you helped us to broaden our knowledge. How disappointed were we when we recently learned that this service will no longer be offered by your companies for sailings that do not start or terminate or have at least one port in the U.S. or Canada . Our daily life is full of struggle for our rights anchored in the U.S. legal system such as the ADA . It was so nice that your companies understood our needs and provided the interpreters without having to fight for it every time. With your recent policy change, the world has changed for us again in a negative way. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a deaf person to see what it is like to be left out if you live in a world of silence. It is like sitting in the back of a tour bus while the tour guide is talking in the front of the bus without a microphone. How much will you enjoy the tour if you do not understand anything? Or it is like watching TV without sound. What can you understand? That is exactly what the deaf community is experiencing in daily life.

 

We, the deaf community, are a group of several million people in the U.S. We would like to ask Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises to continue their marvelous interpreter service for all cruises within and beyond the ADA requirements. We understand that maybe some adjustments have to be done because of the present economical problems in our country. Your companies have always been the leaders in innovation. Royal Caribbean proclaims itself as the Nation of Why Not? So, let the deaf passengers be an equal and respected member of your Nation and reverse the recent decision regarding the interpreter policy.

 

Sincerely,

 

———————————————————————————————-

( From: kerstin@kerstinstravel.comHibiscus at Travel 2148 Radnor Rd. Juno Beach FL 33426 phone: 561-748-8766 fax: 561-493-7045)

 

 

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Categories: Announcement
  1. Benjamin
    May 3, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    hello. it really suck that 2 major cruises lines decide to stop use interpreter service. really sad. it will have big impact on deaf customers’ fun with show that happen while cruise is run on water. i want to tell you. that it was amazing that interpreter have make it different on my fun on cruise. i did went on cruise trip to south america with my father, sister and my grandma. i rode on freedom cruise under carnival cruise line never did ask for interpreter due of guess, that they would not get one of they have only one deaf customer that ride. i go though like 4 days of walk around cruise and watch show. on 5th days, it change my night after i saw interpreters being interpreting for only one deaf customer that i not know. so i join and sit front sit row of show. i have my first fun of show that i really actual understand. i wish i ask from start plan the trip. as my experience, they should not to decide to cut contract or service that really important to deaf customers. i am sure there at lest more than several deaf customers go on cruise on any company.

  2. Jenny
    May 4, 2009 at 6:27 am

    An IDEA: If it’s so expensive to hire interpreters – how about the DEAF step up to the plate and become cruise guides themselves? Then Carnival, etc., could hire them as guides, activities directors, etc. I see this as an opportunity of employment for DEAF people. Why not? Who needs interpreters, anyway? They do not give you direct access! Deaf people do! What do you need interpreters for? Best is to do it yourselves! Step 1: Learn EVERYTHING you can about your tour, etc.

  3. Kitty
    May 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

    If deaf people had written to thank people on the cruise that were in charge to get interpreters things would have been different and for the better! Courtesy pays!
    **The cruise lines feel that they provided a service way above and beyond and did not receive enough recognition for doing so.**
    So it is deaf people’s responsibility to make people recognized for what they have done!
    If you don’t like what has been done then do something about it and then be courteous! Praise them and thank them!
    I really like Jenny’s reply! That would be so nice if someone trained a deaf person to be the tour guide or whatever they call it!
    I know hiring an interpreter is so expensive…no wonder why a lot of people want to learn signs.

  4. A.J
    May 4, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I agreed with cruise’s plan to terminate the interpreters. They know that it is not reliable service because, you seen how many deaf people travel on the cruise? My assume is two or less than 5 different destinations so too expensive to pay the interpreters for inactive.

    My suggestion is contact one of deaf travel agents, they will provide their own interpreters. Or make a plan, get 100 people and find the interpreters.

    Solution?

  5. Rox
    May 4, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    Jenny,
    If a Deaf person were to work on a cruise ship, they would still need interpreters for training, meetings, to communicate with their boss, co-workers, to find out about daily changes, etc.

    A. J.
    There are quite a few deaf groups of 10 or 12 that go on cruise ships and I think it’s reasonable to expect an interpreter to be hired for these groups. Interpreters are not paid as full time staff, they are usually contracted only when they are needed. Many are only paid $100 per day that they are on the ship. Any excursions or extra food is paid by the interpreter.

  6. areumoron
    May 4, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Thanks to Deaf Passage Travel, they ruined everything becuz they have a contract with Royal Caribbean. They think they own Deaf people, screw them and I am not going to 2010 Cruise to Mexico and ain’t give my money for their profit out of my pocket!

    Call ADA and file suit against them.

  7. faye edwards
    May 30, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    hello, I been on cruise few time. I wasn’t surprise or not shock about this. I think we as deaf should send a personal letter and wish the company very much for provide us an interpreter. I also think that they shouldn’t provide too many for just a small group. Interpreter and the cruise line should have discuss about the pay. I also disagree for them to stop, CEO make whole lots of money compare with people who cruise with them. I suggest the cruise line should charge everyone extra for pay interpreter that way they wouldn’t have to pay too much for example cost ($1200 and they should charge everyone like $25 or $30) to cover the price of interpreter. The reason I am say this, Royal and other cruise line will lost people from cruise I mean there won’t be too many of them just few of them. Do I blame Passage Travel agency, I can not answer it and will not answer it. If everyone complain then write a letter to CEO and cruise line and we all can see what’s the CEO will do. Until then there no other way we can do to help them realize that we are in a dark place with no sound to understand word or understand what’s going on. I do understand everything what’s all this about but we as DEAF need to voice too and let them hear our voice not just for the sake of the interpreter and I also suggest interpreter be part of it by explain why it cost. I also think not everything should be cost for interpreter, they should be pay some of the cost for the trip

    I do not want anyone think I support Royal or any other cruise but want them to understand I know where they come from.

  8. Bridget
    May 1, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Any current update information about the interpreter requests on cruise lines in Europe ?

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