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Thread: Accessible Cruise Planner Help

  1. #1

    Accessible Cruise Planner Help

    Hello everyone ! Heather and I are thinking about planning a Caribbean cruise. Does anyone have any contacts as far as an accessible cruise planner ? Thanks in advance .

  2. #2
    There are travel agents who specialize in this, but we never used them. I would recommend that you spend some time on the Disabled Cruisers forum at www.cruisecritic.com and find out about the pros and cons of various cruise lines, and ports of call in the Caribbean.

    Try to get mostly ports that do not require tendering (going ashore in a small boat vs. being at a pier) since most cruise lines now days will not let you do this if you cannot walk onto the tender.

    Stick to the major cruise lines (RCCL, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, NCL, etc.), and to ships built in the last 15 years. There are VERY limited number of cabins that are wheelchair accessible; and these tend to book up quickly. We generally planned to book at least 6-12 months ahead of time.

    Had good success in finding accessible cabins for a good price when dealing with travel agents through a website called www.cruisecompete.com You put in the cruise you want to go on, which type of cabin you want, and then put in the comments section that you require a wheelchair accessible cabin. Be sure to get a fully accessible (not a "modifed") cabin which are really not going to meet your needs.

    What port are you planning to sail from? Will you drive or fly to the port?

    We also rarely if ever booked shore excursions through the cruise line, as they rarely offer accessible tours, and really don't understand your needs anyway. I used Google to find other private tour operators who could accommodate us all over the world, and also referrals from CruiseCritic (as above), or we rented a car or took at cab and transferred my mom into the vehicle for our own tours, except in those ports where the sights are within walking distance.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Baldwinsville, N.Y.
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    Colin,
    My wife and I are frequent cruisers. I just came off a two week on Allure of the seas. Feel free to email me for any questions or help. joemonte@nep.net. I know you will have a bigger choice of ships and ease of debarkation from Port Everglades than Texas or Louisana. Free parking too for us at Port Everglades. You will have a blast. There a great time.
    Best Regards,
    Joe

  4. #4
    Senior Member air ohs's Avatar
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    I am also a frequent cruiser .I am a c4/5 quad and we do all our own booking directly with the intended cruise line that way you can make sure you get exactly what you need(as far as room anemities, transfers, etc ) . To many times we got major disapointments when booking thru agents(rooms not what they should have been,transfers not accessible.I could write a book on let downs but since our last 6 or 7 cruises that we did all our own booking NOT ONE PROBLEM.
    A few suggestions go online check out the above mentioned cruise line web sites if you see a particular ship/tour your interested in Call them and ask tons of questions concerning YOUR needs.Feel free to email me as well tzinck@cogeco.ca .
    Oh and Ditto on PORT EVERGLADES. Lauderdale airport is great too.
    Terry.

  5. #5
    Senior Member air ohs's Avatar
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    Ithink between the three of us we can help out a lot.

  6. #6
    AVOID A TRAVEL AGENT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE!!!!!

    Cruises are our vacation of choice. Have been on 7+ in the last 15 years, with 2 more already on the books this year. All have been in the Caribbean (East & West) and Bahamas; Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, & Disney. The first 3 we used a travel agent and were screwed. Found out it's much cheaper, and you can get a lot more info when you book yourself. On one, the ship was chartered out by an organization that was not the best with having a 10 year old boy on board. Didn't know anything about it beforehand and the agent claimed she knew nothing about it either. Yet, when we have booked directly, the cruise line has told us whether or not there are any "special" activities taking place.

    There are a few key questions you have to ask yourself:

    1. Who's traveling? Just the 2 of you, or kids too?
    2. Where do you want to depart from? Lines have multiple ports for Caribbean destinations.
    3. How long?
    4. How much do you want to spend?
    5. When do you want to go?

    I mention those 5 because they lead into a number of other factors:

    1. If it's just my wife and I, the ship and destinations don't really matter. We cruise to "get away" from our daily lives.
    2. We live in Florida, so we are spoiled by not having to fly in. There are a number of ports within a 2 hour drive, and yes, parking is free if you have a plate or placard and have hand controls or a lift. This saves on average $100 or more!
    3. Usually 4 day/3 nights is minimum for Caribbean. Can go 8-10 on some lines.
    4. Money speaks. If you are on a tight budget, go interior. Not worried about cost, get a balcony.
    5. Hurricane season is June - November. Summer seems to be overpriced. Accessible rooms book up fast. We usually have to make reservations a minimum of 6 months in advance.

    Out of the 3 lines we've been on, Royal is our favorite. The rooms are spacious. Easy to get around the ships (have been on 3 different categories). Good entertainment, food, and relaxing. Excursions can be a little nerve racking when trying to figure out fun things to experience OFF the ship, but once you decide where you're going, I'd be happy to throw in my 2 cents.
    C5 Incomplete - 25 years of experience!

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