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Thread: Cruise manual chair or powerchair ?

  1. #1

    Cruise manual chair or powerchair ?

    Hi,

    my family is planning a cruise trip. I was at a disability workshop long time ago. The presenter was talking about people with disabilities needs to ask the cruiseship company if the route of the ship is traveling inner ocean or outer ocean because they are afraid of the weight of the wheelchair and the weave will cause the ship to tip. The presenter said you have to use manual chair if you travel the outer ocean or inner ocean(I forgot which one) to prevent the ship to tip. Is this true? I prefer my powerchair.

    Thanks in Advance.

  2. #2
    What?? There is no way that on a regular cruise ship that the weight of a power chair vs. a manual chair will have any impact at all on the balance of a ship! This is regardless of whether or not you are cruising the open ocean or in more protected waterways. Most large cruise ships have MANY people who are on the ship on power scooters, often very large power scooters, with fewer in manual or power wheelchairs.

    The bigger issue for a cruise ship is being sure that you get a fully wheelchair accessible cabin. Most regular cabin doors are too narrow for a wheelchair, have too little floor space to maneuver around the cabin in a wheelchair, and have a full 6-8" step to access the bathroom (which is also tiny and not at all accessible). These cabins book up early, so may limit your choice of cruises, esp. last-minute type trips.

    Whether to take your power or manual wheelchair (or both) is more determined by the ports you will be visiting, and the cruise line you are traveling with. Most now days will no longer allow you onto a tender (a small boat that takes you to shore from the ship when the ship cannot dock at a pier) unless you can WALK onto the tender under your own power, and will not lift you or a power wheelchair on/off the tender. A few ships can accommodate you in your wheelchair (for example, some of the Holland America ships which have a tender lift), but most will not, and in addition weather or sea conditions may also be determined for it to be unsafe to allow wheelchair mobile only passengers onto the tenders.

    In addition, you need to consider what you plan to do ashore. In many ports, there are no curb cuts or other accommodations that would be needed to get around in a power chair, that can be managed in a manual chair with help from your family/friends. Also, there are very few ports where ship's excursions or tours are wheelchair accessible (ie, have a bus or van with a lift), so you may need to transfer to a automobile type cab to get to anything away from the immediate port area. On the other hand, on board the ship, it is much better to have a power wheelchair or at least power assist for a manual chair. There is lots of carpet, and on the bigger ships, long distances to push a manual chair to get from your cabin to the dining room or other public areas of the ship.

    A good place to get more information about cruising with a disability is the Disabled Cruisers forum at www.cruisecritic.com

    P.S. It would be great if you could complete your profile to indicate where you are located, your age, your disability/level of SCI, and gender. It makes it so much easier to respond appropriately to any questions.

    (KLD)

  3. #3
    Are you serious?!!! Are you going in a row boat? That makes NO sense what so ever! The guy had to be making a joke and you missed it. Do you really think a 200lb wheelchair will make a difference? It's is like saying 1 more 200lb man on board and over it goes. I'm sorry but this is thee dumbest question.
    - Rolling Thru Life -

  4. #4
    Possibly the presenter of that travel workshop was, in fact, talking about the tendering boats, not the cruise ship.

    All the best,
    GJ

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Canucks View Post
    Hi,

    my family is planning a cruise trip. I was at a disability workshop long time ago. The presenter was talking about people with disabilities needs to ask the cruiseship company if the route of the ship is traveling inner ocean or outer ocean because they are afraid of the weight of the wheelchair and the weave will cause the ship to tip. The presenter said you have to use manual chair if you travel the outer ocean or inner ocean(I forgot which one) to prevent the ship to tip. Is this true? I prefer my powerchair.

    Thanks in Advance.
    That is almost funny but 100% not true.

    Once you determine when and where your going call the cruise line most have a special needs group.

    Everyone is different and need change based on what you need but explain what works best and they are more then happy to help.

    The moderator posted that these rooms go fast is not 100% true the cruise industry is in a major down turn due to all the issue these ships have had so great deals and room availability should be good plus deep discounts!

    We sound not make it so negative and scare away those that are thinking of traveling??

    If your a power chair user then I would take my power chair. Sometimes people downsize to a wheelchair to accommodate themselves but I would stay with a power chair if its your main form of mobility.

    Rooms, restaurants, bars, theaters, casinos on board are accessible and some of these ships are massive so you may get tired using a wheel chair pushing.

    You can check when you talk to the special needs groups if any of the off shore excursions may be accessible but most are not.

    But we founds lots to do and see just on our own in Mexico, and the Caribbean sometimes you have to roll on the side of the street if no curb cut or roll a little to find one but its not as bad as they made it sound.

    Some of these stops are struggling for money so they can be pretty accommodating. We have had people make us ramps to get in to there stores or restaurants.

    In Mexico we had tour guides lift myself and the power chair in to a shuttle bus to see the blow hole tour so its about how adventurous you want to be.

    In the Caribbean we found a great farmers market and some of the aisles where not big enough so they brought things to us.

    Check to see if they do dock off shore if they have tenders with lifts Carnival has one at half moon bay.

    Also boats like Disney are incredibly accessible and fun even as adult guest

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by RollPositive View Post
    We sound not make it so negative and scare away those that are thinking of traveling??
    Of course we all interpret things differently, but I didn't take SCI Nurse KLD's comments about booking early as being negative or discouraging. You never know from cruise to cruise, season to season, destination to destination what the demand will be for wheelchair accessible ship board rooms. Early booking is just good practice to help avoid disappointment when you are dealing with limited quantity facilities, whether it is a cruise, hotel rooms, accessible rental vans, etc. Accessible rooms on board cruise ships are placed in various locations, some more desirable than others. Booking early may give you more choice of where you would like to be on board a ship.

    All that said, I am always dismayed that some of the upgraded decks and accommodations do not have wheelchair accommodation. NL and I are approaching our 50th wedding anniversary and we were thinking about a cruise, but after looking at a number of them, we would be limited to just a few locations on board and wouldn't be able to upgrade to a deck/accommodation that would be a special treat for such a momentous occasion. Of course, it isn't just cruise ships, hotels are the same way. Want to stay on a "Club or Concierge" floor(s) of a hotel, few have wheelchair accommodations on those levels.

    I recall several times when we were traveling with business associates. All of my associates stayed club floors, many times, we couldn't join them, except possibly as their guests, because there were no wheelchair accessible rooms on those floors. Or we would have to stay on a floor with accessible rooms and pay for the upgrade to be allowed to use the club facilities. When traveling for business, it was always awkward. Sorry to digress and go off topic.

    All the best,
    GJ
    Last edited by gjnl; 12-05-2016 at 07:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Of course we all interpret things differently, but I didn't take SCI Nurse KLD's comments about booking early as being negative or discouraging. You never know from cruise to cruise, season to season, destination to destination what the demand will be for wheelchair accessible ship board rooms. Early booking is just good practice to help avoid disappointment when you are dealing with limited quantity facilities, whether it is a cruise, hotel rooms, accessible rental vans, etc. Accessible rooms on board cruise ships are placed in various locations, some more desirable than others. Booking early may give you more choice of where you would like to be on board a ship.

    All that said, I am always dismayed that some of the upgraded decks and accommodations do not have wheelchair accommodation. NL and I are approaching our 50th wedding anniversary and we were thinking about a cruise, but after looking at a number of them, we would be limited to just a few locations on board and wouldn't be able to upgrade to a deck/accommodation that would be a special treat for such a momentous occasion. Of course, it isn't just cruise ships, hotels are the same way. Want to stay on a "Club or Concierge" floor(s) of a hotel, few have wheelchair accommodations on those levels.

    I recall several times when we were traveling with business associates. All of my associates stayed club floors, many times, we couldn't join them, except possibly as their guests, because there were no wheelchair accessible rooms on those floors. Or we would have to stay on a floor with accessible rooms and pay for the upgrade to be allowed to use the club facilities. When traveling for business, it was always awkward. Sorry to digress and go off topic.

    All the best,
    GJ

    GJ:I think you misunderstood what I was saying...We travel several times a month every month and each year so we will meet people on line, at airports, at hotels, on cruise ships etc that have someone in a wheelchair or power chair that are in complete disbelief that our community can travel and enjoy...

    Just the basics on how to fly with a power wheelchair to ins and outs of cruise ships, to finding ways for hotels to accommodate.

    I talk to people monthly that hear all the negatives or see a post on YouTube or Facebook about the horror stories of how someone got stuck on a plane and had to crawl though the jetway!

    To me SCI's post seemed to be slanted toward negatives that only adds to scaring people away vs how much fun someone in our community can cruise and all the fun you can have!

    How long ago was it that you traveled with co workers and were not able to stay on the same level?

    Because I dont ever recall being turned down at any level due to accessibility. From high end hotels to mid level we have never had that issue and in fact have had some amazing upgrades due to being in a power wheelchair and the GM's wanted to accommodate us.

    For us with a hotel is about being comfortable so we will work with a GM and they text us photos of the rooms so we know what will work and what wont. So by the time we arrive they have been working with us and they are much more accommodating.

    My advice for cruising would be search out the newer ships they are amazing with accessible rooms and features and many times are much larger then upgraded standard rooms.

    For hotel service booking in advance many times you pay higher rates vs last minute discounts so if you book in advance recheck your hotel rates just before you arrive and in many cases can save big money by having the hotel rerate your stay to the last min rate or prepay rate a day.

  8. #8
    I am speaking from having more than 18 cruises "under my belt", and going as an attendant for my mother (who was a full time wheelchair user due to MS) on 15 of those (out of the total 35 cruises she and my father took), and also from being a frequent participant in the CruseCritic.com website discussion forum for disabled cruisers for many years.

    I am not sure where you heard there is a downturn in the cruise market for all areas. That is just not true. In some areas this may be true (for example, the eastern Caribbean) but it is certainly not true for many other cruises, which sell out not only their accessible cabins but their regular cabins on a regular basis, well before the cruise.

    (KLD)

  9. #9
    Hi guys,

    I am a female with CP. I can push myself in a manual a little bit so I need people to push me around. I use my powerchair when I am out by myself because I don't own a wheelchair accessible van. I need to use a transfer bench if the bathroom has a bathtub but I had dealt with showering without a transfer bench in the past( if the tub is not too high). Should I
    book a wheelchair accessible room still?

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    You definitely need a wheelchair accessible cabin. Regular cabins are tiny, without enough room to maneuver a wheelchair around the beds and other furniture, and the bathroom is a 6" step up and tiny. With a roll-in shower most provide a wall-hung seat, or you may need to obtain a shower chair from the cruise line. In addition, most non-adapted cabins have a door that is so narrow you cannot get anything but a pediatric wheelchair through the door.

    (KLD)

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