GLOBAL ACCESS NEWS TRAVEL E-ZINE
VOLUME III, NUMBER 2, February 2002

Copyright 2002, Global Access News
http://www.globalaccessnews.com/

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Please note: Any Internet links mentioned in this e-zine were verified as functioning as of the date at the top of this e-zine. Websites and e-mail addresses, however, change frequently, so changes may have occurred after that date.

Welcome to the February 2002 issue of the Global Access News Travel E-Zine. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write us and share your travel experiences.

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CONTENTS

1. CARNIVAL CRUISE ACCESS UPDATE
2. ARUBA BEACHES
3. THAILAND ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS
4. HOTELS IN BRUGES & CYPRUS
5. BANFF SPA ACCESS
6. PRAGUE, CZECHOSLOVAKIA


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1. CARNIVAL CRUISE ACCESS UPDATE


Matthew W. Dietz, Esq. writes "I was the Plaintiff's counsel for the class action against Carnival Cruise Lines to make their vessels accessible to all disabled passengers. I was just on the arrival Jubilee to review their accessibility after they modified the ship, and the progress that Carnival has made on the Jubilee was incredible.

Carnival has made five of the rooms in the Jubilee fully ADAAG accessible, with plenty of turn-around space in the bathroom, accessible showers, automatic door openers on the cabin doors, accessible route to the balcony in the outside suites. The rooms that were modified previously were further improved so that they would be accessible to passengers with mobility and other impairments, but did not require a wheelchair or scooter.

The common areas in the ships have many accessible restrooms throughout the vessel. There is an accessible route throughout the vessel so a wheelchair passenger does not need assistance to go out on the deck (no high thresholds or combings). There are plenty of accessible seating areas with companion seats in the lounge and dining areas. The gym and the sauna are accessible to wheelchairs. Carnival even put in a lift to the stage and to the raised area of the dining room so a disabled passenger can be seated at the captain's table!

I was impressed with the speed and initiative by Carnival to make their ships accessible to their customers. Hopefully, the disabled community will request the accessible elements and show Carnival that these modifications are not only pursuant to their class-action settlement agreement, but also make good business sense.

If you have any comments on the accessibility of these vessels, please feel free to post them on this site or to e-mail me. Thanks."

Matthew W. Dietz, Esq.
Law Offices of Matthew W. Dietz, P.L.
Brickell Bayview Center, Suite 1920, 80 Southwest 8th Street
Miami, Florida, 33130
Telephone (305) 381-7999 Fax (305) 381-8203

E-mail MatthewDietz@USdisabilitylaw.com

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2. ARUBA BEACHES


Betty J, of Aruba, an island in the Dutch Caribbean, reports that there are beach wheelchairs available on the island at the Wyndham Hotel and at the Holiday Inn Hotel (Best Western).

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3. THAILAND ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS

If exotic Thailand is your dream destination, Adventure Holidays Thailand is now available to help plan an accessible vacation designed especially for your needs.

Adventure Holidays Thailand individually tailors everything a disabled traveler needs (including 24-hour nursing or care as required) for the perfect holiday. Activities include visiting temples and royal palaces, elephant trekking scuba diving, para sailing or just relaxing on the beach. To learn more, visit www.adventure-holidays-thailand.com
Tel (office) + 66 38 233 502
Fax +66 38 720 737


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4. HOTELS IN BRUGES & CYPRUS


Katherine W. graciously sent mini reviews of her visits to Bruges, Belgium and the island of Cyprus. She writes:

"Christmas 2000, I spent a week at the Royal Court Apartments - Atlantica Hotel, Limassol, Cyprus. All public rooms, swimming pool, etc. had level access. With a bit of ingenuity, the bedroom was also accessible. The hotel staff members were excellent-- nothing too much trouble for them. Limassol is level and the airport staff were helpful.

September 2000. I visited Bruges, Belgium and stayed at the Hotel Flandres, which is very wheelchair accessible. The staff was excellent, and the room was huge but hard to get into the bath for a shower - not for the faint hearted. There weren't any grab rails in the bathroom, but the washbasin was very sturdy. The showerhead was removable from the riser. Airport staff, etc. was also excellent. No problems, but don't try the railway system unless you get the train to Brussels Central for Bruges, stairs everywhere else! Bruges being below sea level means that most buildings have at least one step up to them, but the staff will help you. Most historic buildings were accessible. All the cafes were accessible. Beer excellent. Take a good cushion for all the cobblestones though! Most of the museums were wheelchair accessible and one even had a glass elevator and stair lift in its medieval building. Some museums were ground floor anyway. There wasn't any wheelchair access onto the canal boats, but several strong men helped me into the boat with me using my crutches. The man in the ticket office looked after my wheelchair."

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5. BANFF SPA ACCESS

Elizabeth J., of Calgary, Canada, shared the following insights about a visit to Banff spa:

"I recently had a wonderful experience in Banff, Alberta, Canada. I live in Calgary and love the Rockies. Banff is 90 miles from Calgary, a city of 1 million people. I visited the world famous hot springs in Banff and found it so accessible that my day there was terrific. I use a cane to walk and need short distances for my fatigue and ease of movement. The Upper Hot Springs in Banff is a short drive from the town center.

"There is disabled parking, a ramp and a level entrance with automatic doors. An elevator takes you to the pool area where there are two changing rooms for the disabled, complete with showers and aids. The pool is five feet from these changing rooms and has a ramp and rails. The pool is warm and inviting and outside! But it is fed by a sulphur spring so the mountains with their snow are in the background and you are quietly relaxing in a therapeutic pool, steam rising from the water. Very lovely. Cost is $7.00 Canadian."

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6. PRAGUE

Fiammetta Draghetti and her boyfriend, Marco, share their access insights about their visit to Prague, Czechoslovakia. http://www.globalaccessnews.com/prague02.htm

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Global Access News welcomes your travel reports, tips and comments at clearpath@cox.net
Thanks for sharing!

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