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Tips for First Time Disabled Cruisers

12 Feb 2018 | by Helen Williams

The best accessible cruises for disabled passengers ensure all guests are comfortable and well taken care of. If you have a disability there are a number of things that should be considered before embarkation. Whether you have impaired vision, hearing, or mobility restrictions, there are some brilliant cruising opportunities out there – you might just need to spend some time researching destinations and ship facilities to find the perfect disabled cruise.

Read on to find out our top tips for first time disabled cruisers!

1. Notify your travel agent of any disabilities at the time of booking

One of the first and most important things you should do before a disabled cruise is inform your travel agent of your disability, or about a disabled member of your group, when you first enquire about a cruise holiday. This will take out half the hard work for you, as our knowledgeable team are likely to already be aware of what kind of ship, accessible cabin and itinerary is suitable for you, ensuring the journey is as smooth as possible from start to finish.

2. Research your destinations

Some ports can be less accessible than others, with tender boats required in certain destinations, and service dogs unable to disembark in others. Chat to your travel agent if you're not sure which ports of call will be best for you, and they'll be able to let you know of the best possible itineraries for a disabled cruise.

3. Travel with a trusted companion

When booking accessible cruises, it's important to consider who will be travelling with you should you require assistance during your cruise. Depending on individual needs it might be necessary to book a place for a personal assistant to accompany you, for anything from help getting in and out of the pool, to retrieving your meal in the buffet restaurant. While cruise stewards will generally make the effort to be as helpful as possible to all guests, it’s important to remember that they are not trained to offer care assistance onboard.

4. Remember to bring all necessary equipment

Try to think about what you might need to support your disability in any given event. Whether this would be spare batteries for a hearing aid, a travel walking stick, a portable seat, or even a mini toolkit for a temperamental wheelchair, nothing would be more unfortunate than missing out on an excursion or some onboard entertainment because of a problem with your equipment. While it might be possible to buy items such as batteries in ports, it’s not advisable to rely on this on an accessible cruise.

5. Ask questions

Don’t be afraid to ask your travel agent as many questions as you like – remember, this is your holiday and it should be perfect! The tricky part can be remembering what to ask, but our travel agents are just a call or email away to assist you with any queries you may have. Here are some question ideas that are worth considering:

  • How wide are the cabin doors?
  • Are there ramps situated across the ship?
  • Is onboard literature available in Braille?
  • Does anyone onboard know sign language?
  • Is there audio-aid for excursions and entertainment?
  • How wide are the corridors onboard?
  • Are there hoists or ramps to get in and out of the pool?
  • While the prospect of searching for the right disabled cruise might be somewhat daunting, rest assured that with the help of our well-informed team, you'll find the perfect holiday. Get in touch with us to find out more about your choices, or if you have queries about an existing booking.

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