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Thread: Cruise line advice

  1. #1

    Cruise line advice

    It has been over 10 years since I have been on a cruise. I went on a Carnival Cruise because it was a last-minute decision and that was what was available for my timeframe. My parents have always preferred Royal Caribbean. I have a spinal cord injury C 4 ? 5 and I'm able to use a power chair. I am depended for transfers and ADLs. I would not need any type of lift. But, a shower/commode chair would be beneficial. Is that something I would need to rent? For some reason, I think I was able to get one provided to me by the cruise line when I went on my trip. Again, that was over 10 years ago. I would appreciate any feedback from people who have went on cruises. Thank you.

  2. #2
    You can rent a shower chair, but you will likely not get one that meets your specific needs. Some have a shower bench you can check out from them but they are very basic (not rolling for example, and rarely with arm rests). The fold down wall mounted seats in many cruise ship accessible cabin bathrooms are difficult to transfer to, and also provide no armrests...they can be very precarious in rough seas too. The cruise lines also contract with one of two companies; Special Needs at Sea, http://www.specialneedsatsea.com/res...pment-rentals/, and Care Vacations, https://www.carevacations.com/specia...l-needs-items/ . Only these companies can deliver to their ships and set up in your cabin. They also rent other equipment such as lifts (since you are dependent for transfers), hospital beds, etc. Prices are very expensive.

    Another option is to rent your own, or purchase, and take with you. A travel shower/commode chair can be very nice as they fold up compactly, and there is no extra charge for taking these on the plane (you can check as medical equipment, not extra luggage).

    RCCL is one of the few cruise lines that actually has pool lifts, and if you are lucky, they will actually be in working order when you are on your cruise.


    (KLD)

  3. #3
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    My wife and I just came back from a cruise on royal. We enjoy the larger ships. Allure , Oasis are massive and the Freedom class are excellent. All the pools on Allure have a lift as well as many others. They work great. I watched a woman use the lift this time. I was surprised to see a lift for the hot tub too.

    Just make sure you get a handicap room and you will be fine. The staff is always willing and helpful. Sci nurse mentioned all the items you may need for the cruise. Also try to get a handicap room close to an elevator. It's much easier . I am very loyal to Royal and Celebrity. They have been great to us over the years. It's easy to bring any equipment or items you need. I always bring a big box of catheters seperate from our suitcases and never had a problem with damage or loss of items. What is nice about Royal C ships is the Royal promenade on Deck 5. Its a massive area to navigate yourself anywhere on the ship. Also if you go out of Port Eveglades, parking is free for us if your vehicle has hand controls. We drive down and park the car right next to the terminal . Its the easiest and most convenient port I have ever been in. The ships are really upgraded from ten years ago. You will be amazed, especially the newer ships from a few years ago. I wish you well.

  4. #4
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    Anyone ever take a river cruise in Europe. We need to be able to take a power chair on and off at each stop.

  5. #5
    European river cruises are notoriously inaccessible. Many times on popular routes the boats are rafted up at the pier, and you must cross from one boat to the next to get to the pier (via an inaccessible gangway). At most ports there are steps to go from the pier level to the street level, due to the changing river water levels. In addition, most boats do not have elevators, so you would be confined to one deck.

    You might want to check out a river cruise in the USA (Columbia River or the Mississippi system) instead. They have accommodations which better meet the needs of the wheelchair user.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    European river cruises are notoriously inaccessible. Many times on popular routes the boats are rafted up at the pier, and you must cross from one boat to the next to get to the pier (via an inaccessible gangway). At most ports there are steps to go from the pier level to the street level, due to the changing river water levels. In addition, most boats do not have elevators, so you would be confined to one deck.

    You might want to check out a river cruise in the USA (Columbia River or the Mississippi system) instead. They have accommodations which better meet the needs of the wheelchair user.

    (KLD)
    Thank you,
    My son is a WWII history buff and was hoping to see some of the battlefields. Ocean cruises and U.S. River cruises would not be his preference right now.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tara's Avatar
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    Has anyone booked a regular room on a cruise? A friend and I got a great deal for a mediterranean cruise, but they wanted $1K more for an accessible room.
    I googled room plans and specs and everything looks doable. When I phoned Royal Caribbean they said room door ways are typically 23 inches wide. When I phoned back to confirm, I was told the room doors are actually 28 inches wide. My chair is 22.5"... so we've booked it.
    I'm T-4 and can usually be pretty creative (out of necessity), but just wondering if anyone else has tried this.
    Thanks!

  8. #8
    They only have accessible cabin in certain cabin categories. The first door measurement is likely correct. It is unlikely you will be able to get through the door, or move around in this cabin in your chair. In addition, the bathroom will be a 6 inch step up, is tiny, and not at all accessible. You need to call back the RCCL Special needs dept, find out if you can get an accessible cabin still, or cancel this booking.

    (KLD)

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Hello Tara,
    My wife and I cruise often . I am a T-10 complete. I use a tilite Manual wheelchair. There is no way you will get in a regular room. You might squeeze thru the entrance door but will not get into the bathroom or be able to turn around in the room , unless it is a high end balcony. I am a small frame too. If you are going to cruise spend the money on the correct room or dont go. I wouldn't want to see you struggle thru your vacation.

  10. #10
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    Hi,
    My wife and I just started cruising in 2013 and it's been great. I use a manual and the two most difficult parts of cruising is the accessibility in some of the ports and the deep plush carpet on the ship. I'm a C7-8 and pushing over that carpet is a challenge!
    I've been on RCCL, Celebrity, and am going on Princess for the first time later this year. The newer the ship, the better the accommodations. My RCCL Oasis trips were great - big rooms, nice bathroom set up. Celebrity was nicer experience, but an older boat so not quite as accessible. Going on Princess's newest so I'll let you know about that. So far, Princess has been very communicative - proactively sending me pictures of the bathroom set up and asking if I needed anything special.
    I prefer to only cruise now. Unpacking once, but getting to visit different places is just awesome! Travel, in general, has gotten better for me since I invested in a travel shower/commode chair. Collapses down into a rolling suitcase - nice and portable.

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