wheelchair user's guide/cruise, Phoenix, ArizonaIf you happen to use a wheelchair or are a slow walker, don’t hesitate to book the cruise you have in mind. Recent developments have made booking an accessible cruise vacation much easier. The Passenger Vessel Operators Non-Discrimination Rule recently became effective, with regulations to make your trip easier.

Cruise lines must now offer access details for their ships and travel tours. Furthermore, disabled customers can’t be charged higher rates if they’re bumped to a higher class or level of service in order to get an accessible room. Take a look at this wheelchair user’s guide to planning and taking a cruise.

  • Detail your needs: Don’t assume that a cruise line or travel agent’s idea of an accessible cabin is the same as yours. If something crucial isn’t supplied, consider renting from an outside company. Make sure the cruise operator can accommodate the special equipment you’re bringing.
  • Plan for all travel segments: Don’t forget accessible transportation at the airport, on the dock, at the hotel (before and after the cruise) and during side trips.
  • “Tender port” planning: In these ports, the cruise liner uses small boats to transfer travelers. Check the cruise company’s rules on allowing wheelchairs on transfer vessels.
  • Bring a power strip: Cabins often have just one electrical outlet.
  • Power scooters: Using one may help you move around better on a large ship. However, bringing along or renting a manual wheelchair for ports may be wise.
  • Reserve a roomy table: Tables near an entrance or aisle may be easier to get to and maneuver around.
  • Written instructions: You might ask your doctor for a written report of your health condition and treatment plan. Instruct the cruise operator to send it to the ship’s health-care facility, and carry a copy with you.
  • Book through an expert: A travel agent specializing in accessible vacations can arrange details, giving you peace of mind.

Have questions about wheelchairs and power scooters? The experts at Power Mobility & Lifts can provide friendly, professional advice. Visit our informative website – or just give us a call.