The following article has been republished with permission from the author. You can find the original article here.
Cruises are the perfect getaway for disabled travelers. They offer a hassle-free holiday on ships that boast convenient and comfortable facilities.
Having everything in close proximity makes it easy for disabled travelers to get around and enjoy all that is on offer. From accessible cabins, swimming pool lifts and elevators, modern cruise ships have everything to ensure everyone has the holiday of a lifetime.
See our Guide For Disabled Cruisers to out find out more.
It is clear to see from beginning to end, the cruise journey of a disabled cruiser is no short of perfect. One thing we are asked about regularly is information on the use of mobility equipment onboard, so I hope this helps you with everything you need to know.
It is speculated more than 40% of people using mobility scooters worry about going on holiday due to unknown restrictions. I can imagine this is a daunting thought, but a cruise can put your mind to rest. Cruise ships of today are designed to cater for mobility scooters, power chairs and other walking aid. Wide corridors, elevators and door-ways have all been made to ensure guests have a hassle-free stay. Most cruise lines also boast accessible rooms that are up to 50% larger than standard rooms with the added convenience of rails, wider spaces and ramps.
Although most lines will allow you to take your own scooter onboard, they will require you to complete a questionnaire and ensure your scooter fits their size and weight limits. Mobility scooters have to be kept in cabins, due to safety regulations they cannot be kept in corridors or block door ways. They can also be charged in cabins and extension leads will be given if required. Scooters can be taken off ship for use in port and excursions. Many lines offer excursions exclusive to those with scooters. Ramps will ensure you can enter and leave the ship with ease and assistance will be given when having to tender.
Needing a wheelchair on a cruise is common, you may not require mobility aid but feel you won’t be able to cope with the amount of walking on a cruise. Having the ability to get around onboard and in port is essential for everyone to be able to make the most of all the exciting opportunities a cruise offers.
There are no wheelchairs onboard for you to use, there will just be a few for medical emergencies only. If you do require one you will have to take your own or hire one from a certified hiring partner. If taking your own onboard it must fit the cruise lines weight and size restrictions. You will also need to inform your travel agent.
I would recommend an accessible cabin for those requiring a wheelchair so you have more space to move, wider doorways and ramps to access your balcony.
All cruise ships can cater for those who require a casabed, bed lever, pillow raiser bed wedge, over bed table or bed rails. However, this equipment is not available onboard and will need to be arranged before your cruise. There will not be crew onboard to assist with this equipment so you or your travelling partner will need to ensure you know how to use, install and adjust this equipment.
Bathing and toileting equipment can he hired to use onboard including shower commode chair, bath lift, show chair, bath bench, perching stool and toilet raiser. Again, this equipment will not be available onboard and you will need to hire it before your cruise. It is also a good idea you advise the cruise line if you plan to use any of this and they can advise your cabin attendant.
Although cruise lines allow you to bring your own mobility equipment onboard, for a more convenient experience,Mobility At Sea are a fantastic company that work closely with the major cruise lines. They offer the hire of certified equipment to major cruise lines sailing from Southampton, Dover and Portsmouth. A staff member will meet you at the dock side, deliver your equipment, show you how to use it and deliver to your cabin for you – easy!
They hire an extensive range of mobility equipment including scooters, wheelchairs, Zimmer frames, sleeping comfort, bathing and toileting equipment.
At A Glance…
• Make your travel agent aware of your mobility needs and what equipment you will have onboard
• Book early if you require an accessible cabin
• Have a look at hiring equipment instead of taking your own
• Check out the exclusive accessible excursions available
• There are no specific crew onboard to help with mobility equipment, so it is a good idea to travel with someone
By Sally Grimes