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Thread: Finding a Travel Agent for a Cruise?

  1. #1

    Finding a Travel Agent for a Cruise?

    I'm looking at an Alaska cruise in 2007, possibly on HAL's Oosterdam.

    Any ideas on how to find a travel agent who actually knows something about travel for someone who is wheelchair bound, that is, who can't manage "just stand up for a second and we'll help you climb that step?" One knows how to find out well ahead of time whether a ship will dock or transport will be via tender (is that actually known ahead of time?)? And all those problems which a disabled cruiser who must stay in her power chair must face?

    Or should I just book my own and get an internet discount? We've never been on a cruise before.
    - Richard

  2. #2
    if you look down the forum list there is a topic titled "cruise help" with helpful links.

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Richard,

    My wife and I did the 7 day Inside Passage, Alaskan Cruise on Royal Caribbean's Vision of the Seas last June. The ship docked at all but one port, Icy Strait Point wher it uses tenders. Royal caribbean was not much help when it came to what was accessible. My wife is a travel agent and we did a lot of research online and booked shore excursions on our own in advance. We also saved a good deal of money doing that. We went wail watching, took a helicopter to the glaciers and took the White Pass Scenic train ride.

    I am a C-5 and use a manual chair with power assist wheels. I had no problem getting on and off the ship. The crew where always willing to lend a helping hand. It is a great cruise, the scenery is incredable.

    Try to book early because there are not that many accessible cabins and stay with the newer ships they are also more accessible.
    Here is a good site for information: http://www.cruisemates.com/

    Riz
    C-5 incomplete

  5. #5
    Riz, how did you manage to get into the helicopter?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfbdorf
    I'm looking at an Alaska cruise in 2007, possibly on HAL's Oosterdam.

    Any ideas on how to find a travel agent who actually knows something about travel for someone who is wheelchair bound, that is, who can't manage "just stand up for a second and we'll help you climb that step?" One knows how to find out well ahead of time whether a ship will dock or transport will be via tender (is that actually known ahead of time?)? And all those problems which a disabled cruiser who must stay in her power chair must face?

    Or should I just book my own and get an internet discount? We've never been on a cruise before.
    - Richard
    Just do not assume, like we did, that because the agent is disabled they will not overcharge you ridiculously or know squat about the cruise or cruise line you want to go on. We switched to a travel agent, able bodied, for executives after that first disaster.

    Couple things, most shore excursions offered by the cruiselines are not accessible; always buy pre-existing conditions insurance when you book the cruise for the disabled cruiser ( it must be bought within 15 days to be valid. I did have to cancel one cruise due to a hospitalization and it saved us a ton of money) and most websites will tell you if you will tender or dock. And if you do not like sscreaming kids do not book during school vacations. And repositioning cruises are cheaper.

    I use www.cruisecritic.com for a lot of ideas.

    Sue<---who will be doing a 14 day R/T Rome to the Black Sea this October. Hey, I could die next year and I still haven't been east of Brindisi Italy. Romania and Ukraine will be fun to figure out how to get around.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  7. #7
    Thanks, Sue, I've found cruisecritic.com to be very helpful.
    BTW, I like your signature line. My wife brought a copy of that to her hospital room.
    - Richard

  8. #8
    Hi Richard,

    We booked the helicptor

  9. #9
    Richard,

    The helicopter company was great. I wheeled out to the helicopter and these two big guys just picked me up and put me in, they said that they have done this many times before. At no time did I feel unsafe. Once on the glacier I just stayed in the helicopter. Here is a pict. of me in the back windof of the helicopter.

    We found this great company in Juneau, (ORCA Enterprises) they do the whale watching trips. A woman by the name of Pam was terrific. She arranged for the helicopter trip as well and had an accessible van to pick us up and drop us off . At the time that we went the whale watching boat was not accessible so they picked me up and carried me and my chair onboard. They have since gotten a brand new totally accessible boat.

    If I need any further info please let me know, you can always e-mail me at
    jjrizzi49@optonline.net

    Good luck

    Riz

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