Returned from Disney Fantasy - Not a Fantasy experience

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by amagical, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. amagical

    amagical Earning My Ears

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    Greetings -
    Years ago I was a member of the DIS (10 year cast member) and so on. When I left the company I took a break from all things Disney! Fast forward to today and 2 children later!!! In the past year we have been to Disney 3 times and have now just returned from 7 nights aboard the Fantasy. My 6yr old son is bi-laterally profoundly deaf. Both of our children are adopted from ethiopia. Needless to say the crusie did not go so well fo him and I wrote guest communications and included photos of some of the challenges and the response I got was not even an I'm sorry just a thanks for sharing your feedback. I really am rather upset and am hoping you can point me in another direction to advocate for him.

    Courtney
     
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  3. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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  4. Cassandy

    Cassandy Earning My Ears

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    If the cruise is over, it's a little late to advocate for your son. What are you trying to accomplish with guest services? By which I mean, what would be a good resolution that you would be happy with?

    Also, why would you say, "needless to say the cruise didn't go so well for him". Why is that 'needless to say' when Disney tends to be super-accommodating? Did you foresee problems that you didn't address ahead of time? What were the issues? How would a picture help capture those issues?

    I guess the question is.... what do you actually want, and what in the world happened? :confused3
     
  5. Schmeck

    Schmeck <font color=blue>Funny thing is now my 17 year old

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    Disney's first response is usually a 'thank you for the info' just to let you know they got it. It may take them quite a while to check into the issue (especially when it is about a ship at sea).
     
  6. Talking Hands

    Talking Hands <font color=purple><b>|,,|/</b> DEAF DISNEY LOVER<

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    Does your son use sign language? Did you request interpreters? What were the challenges? A little more info might help us guide you.
     
  7. chloelovesdisney

    chloelovesdisney DIS Veteran

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    x2
     
  8. Talking Hands

    Talking Hands <font color=purple><b>|,,|/</b> DEAF DISNEY LOVER<

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    How long before the cruise did you request the interpreters? They need to be requested at least 45 days prior to the cruise. I am really surprised you were unable to get interpreters. A friend just got back from a 4 day and a 3 day last week.
     
  9. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    I am surprised because in my experience DCL has been wonderful at accommodating children with special needs. As long as they know in advance, they'll arrange to have CMs who speak a certain language (for non-English speaking kids) or someone who knows sign-language; they do a great job with allergies and meals; except for the profoundly disabled who require direct 1:1 assistance they'll work to include the kids in the Club. Do you have more specifics of what went "wrong" and how you think it could be addressed? Also, as a PP mentioned, the "thanks for the info" response is usually a canned response that goes out automatically; if you included contact information you may well receive a call at some point after they've done more investigation into the situation.
     
  10. jmartinez1895

    jmartinez1895 DIS Veteran

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    We had an issue come up during our last visit. Once home I wrote an email to GS to let them know of the issues ( I had made contact ehile there as well, but the GS CM I spoke to gave me an email address and asked me to send an email once I got home). I also got a generic thank you, but within a week I received an email asking for my contact info. Within hours of me sending it I had someone calling me to gather info and then she had someone else call me. In the end I felt that my concers where listened to and that it was something that would be taken care of in the future.
    I am sure that they will contact you soon. Be sure that when the do to be direct and offer solutions that you think they might could consider.
     
  11. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

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    Agree that it was a canned response. It doesn't mean they're not looking into the issue you had. It wouldn't be good business practice for any company to offer an apology before doing further research. To some people, that would imply that the company is taking responsibility for whatever happened. They're not prepared to do that after an initial email, so they're just acknowledging that they received your feedback.
     
  12. Mom2six

    Mom2six DIS Veteran

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    I am sorry that you had a bad experience and didn't enjoy your cruise!
     
  13. PatMcDuck

    PatMcDuck DIS Veteran

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    Not true, unless things have really changed. I was told by a friend who works for DCL not to worry about my special needs son in the Kids Club, that they are trained to handle all sorts of kids. Did not work that way for me.... my son was about 8, Down Syndrome, non verbal, mildly autistic. They looked at me like I was nuts when I asked to leave him. They did take him, for one hour, after that, I said forget it. The CMs were very nervous, and it was just not a good situation. (this was 12-13 years ago, yikes) I also had trouble walking him around in his McClaren chair, many doors did not have the button you push to open it, and the big lip on the floor when entering a room on some decks (which is there to block water, I understand of course)

    I was glad it was just a 3 day cruise. For us, they parks are a better fit. I would try another cruise, but not with my son, who is now an adult and still in need of supervision.
     
  14. cmesq61

    cmesq61 DIS Veteran

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    I am handicapped myself and also had a less than Disney-esque experience on DCL. The parks are fabulous, and there is very little that I can't do. The DCL staff just were not as adept or receptive.
     
  15. Talking Hands

    Talking Hands <font color=purple><b>|,,|/</b> DEAF DISNEY LOVER<

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    I have both mobility, hearing, food allergies and diabetes and found the CMs quite helpful. No problems setting up interpreting, assistance at the muster call using the stairs, servers and chefs making sure I had safe meals. I was very satisfied. That said I have not been on the 2 new ships yet.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  16. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    I'm sorry to hear you had a bad experience on the cruise. I honestly don't know what it was like 12 years ago as I didn't cruise back then. And I don't know if the CMs have had more training now or what. But they are very well prepared to deal with autism and developmental delays - at least they are as long as the child is capable of functioning in a group environment without need for a 1:1 assistance at all times. Possibly your son's non-verbal issues was a stumbling block, especially if they hadn't been notified in advance. But again I didn't cruise that long ago.

    We did not need to use our DD's Maclaren Major on the ship. I have read reports that the doors are very heavy and don't always open in the right direction and therefore cause challenges to those using mobility devices. Possibly the newer ships are better equipped with push buttons and automatic doors and not the lip when transitioning from one area to another.

    OP's post was specific to children's clubs and programming, and I still think that if DCL has advanced noticed they will provide someone in the club who knows ASL. That said, there will always be kids and families (special needs or not) who don't feel the clubs "work" for them and I respect that. I'm glad your family has continued to enjoy WDW vacations.
     
  17. amagical

    amagical Earning My Ears

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    Sorry for the delay in my response I have been traveling for work. We booked 7 months in advance. The day after booking the trip as a whole I made arrangements for an ASL interperter. I was told once we boarded we would meet them. I expressed concern with the kids club and so on and was assured by land based cast members it would be fine. It was not until we met our interperters that we found out disney policy is that they are NOT allowed in the the kids clubs and are really only on board to sign for the shows that happen in the theater. Not even the shows on the decks!! Now this was something I had asked about at least 100 hundred times and had names and dates of people I had spoken with. The TTY equipment placed in the room was placed in with packing tape and not correct so every time we opened the door it fell off and we were told it was correct.
     
  18. bookwormde

    bookwormde <font color=darkorchid>Heading out now, another ad

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    Wow, someone in the cruise division needs some retraining!

    Keep persuing it.
     
  19. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    Wow! I know this doesn't help, really, but might offer some clarity into the situation. DCL has undergone a MAJOR overhaul of the kids programming during the past year. Previously, adults were allowed into the kids clubs - be that a parent with a timid child, a support person for a special needs child, or an older special needs child who cognitively fit better in the younger setting. Due to an unfortunate incident about a year ago, DCL has gone through a series of adjustments in the rules regarding who can access the kids clubs though they have remained very solid on the current policy that no adult who is not a CM will be allowed in during "secure programming." Now - I had always been under the impression that DCL had at least a few kids club CMs who know sign language (and other languages - Spanish, French, etc.); maybe they don't have someone currently on staff, maybe not currently assigned to the Fantasy, or maybe the only ASL they offer is contracted through outside vendors. I definitely agree that this is an area DCL could address to make the kids club accessible to a deaf child.

    Unfortunately as many of us know, the call-center staff who answer the phones are not always very knowledgeable about real life at either the parks or DCL. They likely have never set foot on a DCL ship and do frequently give mis-information. That is an area that both WDW and DCL should address, because it's simply ridiculous that those of us in-the-know will know to call back and get a different person on the phone to get a different answer, but regardless of what answer is given on the phone it may not carry over to the actual experience while on vacation (resort, parks, DCL or otherwise).

    I would approach it with DCL from the standpoint that a reasonable accommodation was requested AND PROMISED for the kids club, and since they did not provide that accommodation the disabled child was essentially excluded from actively participating, so how do they propose correcting this situation so another guest is not similarly excluded?
     
  20. a1tinkfans

    a1tinkfans Spreading Some Pixie Dust Today!

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    Im sorry to hear about your recent experience. I truly hope that Disney will address your concerns and insure that it will be corrected (post trip) to your satisfaction.
    As an aside, I feel that one "incident" that perhaps prompted the no adult in the kids club ??? is just another example of No common sense and overboard (no pun intended) decision without clearly thinking it thru.
    IF disney knew an interp was needed for this or any child, that person should have been cleared Before the trip even left port, seriously its a FAIL on Disneys part to not have preplanned (and accommodated) KNOWING that the OP spoke to them and did what she could do on her end to notify them.
    If disney had told her ahead of time that she would not be using the club etc etc, she may not have taken that cruise at All.....
    what a shame...her child lost out on everything IMHO, the club/shows etc. etc..
    Id be prepared ,,,because I think you will be contacted...pixiedust:
    Best of Luck!!
     
  21. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    I honestly don't know if there had been additional earlier, but lesser known, incidents. However, there was 1 incident that seemed to "break the camel's back" so to speak, as the new rules came into effect shortly after this incident became public. A young girl was allegedly stalked by an adult on the cruise in a position of "counselor" with a special needs organization. The new rule is assumed to be driven by DCL's legal team to to protect themselves from litigation. It's really not that much different than most schools today - as a parent if I wish to volunteer in my child's classroom or chaperone field trips, then I am required to undergo a background check.

    I agree that there should have been a way for DCL to assign a CM who knows ASL to be on duty in the club during OP's cruise. Or at a minimum clear communication that no such service could/would be provided - therefore allowing OP to make an informed decision about her family's vacation.
     

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