CELEBRITY CRUISES-HEARING AND SIGHT HANDICAPS

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Apr 20, 2019
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#1
I am currently sailing on Celebrity Cruise Silhouette from Ft Lauderdale to Southampton. I am hearing and sight handicapped along with mobility handicap. I have not been able to watch any TV or any movies on Demand, because no captions are shown on the screen. However, the TV screen in my cabin shows I have a choice of turning on the captions and did so. But no matter what channel or Demand movie I attempted to watch no captions shows up even though I have the caption mode turned to ON. I contacted Customer Relations on board Celebrity Silhouette, but they gave me the reasons for no captions is because they are not getting the signals from satellites for the captions to show up??? I explained to Customer Relations that is wrong when I have had seen captions showing up on other cruise ships. By the same token no captions are shown on the movies shown in Celebrity Four Theatre. Thus I am not able to enjoy watching TV programs nor the movies, because I do not understand what is being said without the captions due to my severe hearing loss in both ears. This is especially true when third unseen actors speak in the background. I am just not able to understand what is spoken.

Elliot Advocacy asked me for my desired resolution? That Celebrity Silhouette should have captions showing up on the screen for both movies and TV. And the very fact that the cabin TV clearly shows one can turn off or turn on captions but then no captions show up. There is something wrong that I am not able to enjoy watching the TV or the movies. By the time you manage to get this resolved my cruise will well over half finished. I am not enjoying this cruise for I depend on being to watch TV and movies. Furthermore, Celebrity Cruises on this ship also does not provide head phones for enjoying shows in their theatre or anywhere else on the ship to assist my being able to hear what is spoken. Other cruise ships do provide ear phones for those who have hearing handicaps. I am not able to put a dollar figure on not being able to enjoy watching the TV or the movies so I will put an arbitrary number down like the value I paid for my share of this cruise since I am traveling with another person sharing the cabin.
What can I do about this situation? In my opinion, Celebrity Silhouette is not assisting those who are hearing and sight handicapped; Celebrity Silhouette clearly gave me the opportunity to turn on the captions but as I have said no captions are showing up. Something is wrong here.
 

Neil Maley

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#2
This is indeed an issue. When you booked, did you contact the Special Services Department and have them add to your booking that you were visually and hearing impaired? That is a must to have the equipment you might need available to you. The form you send in has check off boxes for you to tell them what you need so it is provided for you:

Accommodations:☐Wheelchair Pier Assistance☐Cannot Ascend/Descend Steps☐Wheelchair Accessible Transfer☐Service Dog☐Large Print Materials☐Blind (optional)☐Assistive Listening Device☐Portable Hearing Room Kit☐Sign Language Services -American Sign Language☐Sign Language Services - Tactile☐TTY (Teletype
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#3
Just wondering, as someone with sight impairment, do the other lines you sail on offer these accommodations? I got the implication from your letter that you've sailed before to much better treatment. If you have other ships or lines before, which ones were the best for you?
 

Carrie Livingston

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#4
Neil likely has more experience with this as a travel agent but I know that with NCL you have to contact Special Needs department to handle any access issues. I'm sure most cruise lines have a similar department that you need to contact prior to sailing to determine what they can help you with. Was this done?
 
Likes: VoR61
Jan 6, 2015
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#5
I'm disappointed about the impact this is having on your trip. From my experience, captions/subtitles are based on the video source. Some DVDs we rent have them and some do not. Some programs on our Dish receiver do and some do not. And so on . . .

Even if a TV, receiver, or disc player supports captioning or subtitles, the delivery media must contain them. We demoed a new TV device recently (similar to Roku), and turned on CC, but nothing showed. I assume that each "App" has it's own content delivery setup, and that's why that "software" solution did not show captioning.

So I believe it is possible that the source for their TV/theatre programs does not include captioning or subtitles . . .
 
Likes: FrankL183

Neil Maley

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#6
Neil likely has more experience with this as a travel agent but I know that with NCL you have to contact Special Needs department to handle any access issues. I'm sure most cruise lines have a similar department that you need to contact prior to sailing to determine what they can help you with. Was this done?
That is why I asked if he filled it out. If he did not, they have no idea he had special needs so they wouldn't have added the items he needed to his cruise. They can even provide an interpreter when there are shows if they know they have hearing impaired guests. Not every ship happens to have the headphones and assisted listening devices hanging around - they add them if they are aware of guests that need them.

There is also a company called Special Needs at Sea that people that need special items for their cruises can rent or purchase from. They have not only scooters and oxygen, they can provide items like incontinence supplies, hospital beds, oxygen, even Miraburst for guests undergoing chemotherapy so they can eat when they have that awful metal taste in their mouths. People that might shy away from cruising because they don't have the equipment they need should look at what they offer. They have many of the items waiting for guests in their cabins when they arrive.
 

Neil Maley

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#7
I'm disappointed about the impact this is having on your trip. From my experience, captions/subtitles are based on the video source. Some DVDs we rent have them and some do not. Some programs on our Dish receiver do and some do not. And so on . . .

Even if a TV, receiver, or disc player supports captioning or subtitles, the delivery media must contain them. We demoed a new TV device recently (similar to Roku), and turned on CC, but nothing showed. I assume that each "App" has it's own content delivery setup, and that's why that "software" solution did not show captioning.

So I believe it is possible that the source for their TV/theatre programs does not include captioning or subtitles . . .
But the cruise lines can have the assisted listening devices for the guests in their cabins if they ask for them in advance. They also can provide interpeters when needed if they know about it before hand.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#8
Great information, Neil. I found this from Celebrity:

Closed-caption televisions are available in all staterooms across the fleet. Please note that only select programs offer closed-captioning. Assistive Listening Systems are located in the main theatre on Solstice class ships.​

And I see that Celebrity Cruise Silhouette is a Solstice class ship . . .
 
Likes: Algebralovr
Apr 20, 2019
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#9
to have ear phones in the theatre. On my earlier Princess Cruise sailing, the cruise ship provided without my asking for ear phones prior to that cruise
and thus I had assumed cruise lines would provide ear phones. I looked at it this way why wouldn't cruise lines have at least two or more ear phone sets on each cruise ship for after all what does it cost the cruise line to have such devices available? But now that I am aware that I will need to alert Special Services of my need for ear phones. But the cruise ship, Celebrity Silhouette, did provide an option to turn on the captions only to find no captions were showing up on any of the TV programs nor of the movies on demand available. So for the cruise ship to say switch to captions but then do not provide
captions is contradicting themselves. And does it cost a cruise line like Celebrity to show captions on the movies shown in their Celebrity 4 theatre?
 
Apr 20, 2019
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#10
Answering Riroon, I have sailed on other cruises. And ear phones were provided on request in the theatre, but I was not aware that one had to state the need for ear phones at least for the theatre. I also think the cruise line should provide ear phones for use in other venues as well because what does it really cost a cruise to provide for such items that can be reused again and again? I assume each person being offered the use of an ear phone would sign out for the use of such devices and on return of the device after usage the name would be removed.
Other cruise lines did provide captions at the bottom of the screen on their TV programs and movies. For some reason Celebrity Silhuette clearly offered me to turn on the captions which I did but then no captions showed up!!! And I went through all the different TV channels and also the "free" demand movies as well but no captions showed up. I brought this issue up with Customer Service, but they claimed they had to get some sort of signal from a satellite. And I knew right away they were lying to me because other cruise ships showed up with captions on the screen. So getting a signal from satellite is well B/S. I then asked to talk to Hoda, the lady manager, but they kept saying she is on a break or not available each time I asked to talk to her. My cabin steward called for their technician to come to my cabin, but he/she never showed while I waited in the cabin. I was left under the impression they did not know how to make the caption system work and that included their technician. And for their manager, Hoda, to avoid even talking to me I felt was rude.
 
Apr 20, 2019
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#11
Neil likely has more experience with this as a travel agent but I know that with NCL you have to contact Special Needs department to handle any access issues. I'm sure most cruise lines have a similar department that you need to contact prior to sailing to determine what they can help you with. Was this done?
Answering Carrie Livingston, I was not aware that Neil is a travel agent. I will need to keep that in mind to specifically send a message to Special Services prior to each cruise in the future. But really what does it really cost a cruise line to have at least 2 or even more ear phones on a cruise ship? The cruise lines probably waste far more in wasted food than the costs of any number of ear phones. I am certain I am not the only one with a hearing problem what with at least many more elderly passengers taking cruises. I did ask Celebrity to provide a handicap accessible cabin which I got. Of course, with 401 points, I am well above the lowest ELITE level and should be able to get some satisfaction.
 

Carrie Livingston

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#12
to have ear phones in the theatre. On my earlier Princess Cruise sailing, the cruise ship provided without my asking for ear phones prior to that cruise
and thus I had assumed cruise lines would provide ear phones. I looked at it this way why wouldn't cruise lines have at least two or more ear phone sets on each cruise ship for after all what does it cost the cruise line to have such devices available? But now that I am aware that I will need to alert Special Services of my need for ear phones. But the cruise ship, Celebrity Silhouette, did provide an option to turn on the captions only to find no captions were showing up on any of the TV programs nor of movies on demand available. So for the cruise ship to say switch to captions but then do not provide
captions is contradicting themselves. And does it cost a cruise line like Celebrity to show captions on the movies shown in their Celebrity 4 theatre?
If you haven't notified them ahead of time they have no way of knowing what services might be needed. You are asking them to have several sets of headphones available just in case they might be needed. Across a fleet of ships that's not really an optimal solution. They likely break and need to be repaired.
 
Apr 20, 2019
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#13
Great information, Neil. I found this from Celebrity:

Closed-caption televisions are available in all staterooms across the fleet. Please note that only select programs offer closed-captioning. Assistive Listening Systems are located in the main theatre on Solstice class ships.​

And I see that Celebrity Cruise Silhouette is a Solstice class ship . . .
The cruise ship Celebrity Silhouette may be a Solstice class ship, but I will state captions never showed up in all the TV channels. And never showed up in the Free Demand movies never mind being available in all statement rooms across the fleet. I asked to speak to Hoda, the manager, but never got to speak with her. There was a message red light showing up on the telephone, but I do not hear what is said on the telephone. And my friend hates using the telephone so I never got any message from either the technician nor Hoda. And no one posted a written message in the slot by the door so I had assumed no one was bothering to do anything. Perhaps I should go back to Customer Service a third time but the second and third time Customer Service did not want to bother with me anymore. As I mentioned they kept saying the ship needs to get a signal from the satellite??? I pointed out that having captions had nothing to do with signals from satellites???
 
Apr 20, 2019
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#14
But the cruise lines can have the assisted listening devices for the guests in their cabins if they ask for them in advance. They also can provide interpeters when needed if they know about it before hand.
One more point. When I went back to Customer Service, I had asked them if they would provide the Demand movies that require a payment to watch pay per view movies free of charge. They refused to allow me to watch the pay per view movies free of charge saying I must pay for such movies. I pointed out again that they are claiming for the captions to show up required a signal from satellites. I knew right then that was incorrect. And apparently, Hoda, the manager did not correct this issue, because I would think she would know one does not get signals from satellites to have captions show up on the TV screen. And since they would not provide pay per view movies free of charge, I was not about to click on one of those movies one has to pay if I am not certain of seeing captions.
 
Apr 20, 2019
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#16
I understood Celebrity Silhouette being in the Solstice Class should be able to display captions on the TV screen even when crossing oceans. I was not aware that captions require signals from satellites. I decided to take another look at various TV channels on the TV now that we are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps the ship does need to get some sort of signal from satellites for these TV programs to show up. But when I looked at some of the TV channels like Sky News, BBC World News, CNBC, Fox News, etc., I would think the TV in my cabin would need to receive signals from satellites for these various TV programs to show up on the screen. But that still leaves me wondering why captions are not also displayed on the TV screen. Now I do not know if having captions must be relayed by the use of signals as Customer Service has been saying as well. But at home I get these same channels with captions showing. And those captions make all the difference when it comes for me to understand what is said. Since I have the captions turned on, I had thought Celebrity Silhouette would also receive these news broadcasts along with captions since the cabin's TV says captions are on.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#18
John, your issue is lack of preparation ... the cruise line did not know what you needed. Assumptions were made. My colleagues have pointed out the details of the problem. None of us in this discussion know why things are the way they are, we can only guess about topics such as closed captioning and how it functions on a cruise ship. It's unfair to expect the cruise line to provide special items and services without notice.

Cruises are best booked through a travel agent who is a cruise expert. A good TA will make your cruising life MUCH more pleasant. It doesn't have to be a TA around the corner, it can all be done via email ... but don't use an online booking service, find a real travel agent. I've learned a great deal from this thread, I have a slight hearing loss and ambient noise makes it much worse. It makes dining at a table of 6 or 8 a challenge ... but I'm not complaining; learning about your challenges ... mine are really nothing. I do miss watching movies while travelling and wish they'd come up with some kind of "TV Ears" that one could use in a hotel or on a cruise ship. I hope you manage to find some good on this trip ... and I know you will enjoy your next cruise immensely with aid of a good travel agent.
 
Likes: ADM
Jan 6, 2015
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#19
I understood Celebrity Silhouette being in the Solstice Class should be able to display captions on the TV screen even when crossing oceans. I was not aware that captions require signals from satellites. I decided to take another look at various TV channels on the TV now that we are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps the ship does need to get some sort of signal from satellites for these TV programs to show up. But when I looked at some of the TV channels like Sky News, BBC World News, CNBC, Fox News, etc., I would think the TV in my cabin would need to receive signals from satellites for these various TV programs to show up on the screen. But that still leaves me wondering why captions are not also displayed on the TV screen. Now I do not know if having captions must be relayed by the use of signals as Customer Service has been saying as well. But at home I get these same channels with captions showing. And those captions make all the difference when it comes for me to understand what is said. Since I have the captions turned on, I had thought Celebrity Silhouette would also receive these news broadcasts along with captions since the cabin's TV says captions are on.
I will attempt to clarify my previous post. I too, very much enjoy closed caption. But what I have seen and heard from providers is that all subscriptions are not created equal. Dish, DirecTV, Comcast, etc all have their own "subscription" with the networks. And there are others too, like Netflix.

What has been explained to me is that each entity will have a licensing agreement that includes certain services while prohibiting others. I have some DVDs in my collection that have NO subtitles, but then I may see them on satellite and they do. I don't pretend to understand all that goes into captioning, but it's clear to me that just because it's one place does not mean it's everywhere.

This is what I think your confusion may be. Celebrity will have their own "subscription", which comes with some services and not others . . .
 
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Neil Maley

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#20
This is a classic example of “you don’t know what you don’t know until there is a problem”.

You act as your own travel agent when you book on your own and in special circumstances like this - a travel agent would have told you about this and given you the form to complete beforehand.

Should every ship having a few of these devices available? Yes. And I would encourage you to write to the Executives and state that.

This tv might not be any issue when you are sailing in the Caribbean but transatlantic is whole different story. It is much harder to get a signal on a transatlantic.