for Special Needs Accommodations
If you are disabled or have certain special needs, you can still have
a cruise ship adventure. If you fall into this category, your best bet
is to consult with a travel agent to find the best cruise line that
will accommodate your needs.
No two cruise lines are quite alike, so comparison shopping is required
when choosing your options. Your particular disability could be the
deciding factor on which cruise to take. For instance, not all cruise
ships can accommodate wheelchairs easily. Cabins are notoriously small,
so you must get dimensions to determine if your wheelchair will even
fit inside your room.
Luckily, some of the larger cruise lines have specially designated cabins
that have wider doorways. The bathrooms are large enough for a wheelchair
to roll right inside. The closets are built for a lower reach and the
elevators have controls easily accessible for those people sitting in
wheelchairs. Some cruise lines will have collapsible wheelchairs available,
but it is highly recommended that passengers bring their own. If motorized
wheelchairs are in use, you must bring your own charger that is adaptable
to a normal 110 volt plug.
Part of going on a cruise is experiencing the various ports of call.
Small boats called tenders are used to carry the travelers from the
cruise ship to shore. Every effort is made to ensure that wheelchair
bound passengers get to experience these ports of call. However, the
tenders that take passengers to shore are not always accessible or safe
for the disabled. If the wheelchair bound does manage to safely get
to shore, certain ports of call may not always be equipped to handle
Hearing impaired passengers can also request special accommodations.
Some cruise lines will offer ADA (American Disabilities Association)
compliant rooms. They will have tele-typewriters (TTY) or telecommunication
devices for the deaf (TDD). These cabins might come with ADA approved
kits which include visual smoke alarms, door sensors so you know someone
is at your door and even alarms that vibrate.
Travelers with guide dogs or other service animals will have a tougher
time finding a suitable cruise. Each port of call has different rules
and regulations regarding animals. Your travel agent can check with
the Department of Agriculture for each port of call to determine their
guidelines. Sometimes the services animals could be denied permission
to leave the cruise ship.
Special nutritional needs are also accommodated on many cruise lines.
Vegetarians have options as do those passengers who require low fat,
low salt or low cholesterol diets. Guests with lung impairments that
require oxygen can cruise too, but must ensure that they have a plentiful
supply of oxygen for their travels.
One of the caveats for disabled guests or those with special needs is
that you should be autonomous and travel with another companion in case
any support during the cruise is required. No matter what infirmities
you may have, the cruise line should be notified upon booking. However,
with special planning for your special needs, you should be able to
have an extra special adventure!
About The Author:
Peter Dobler successfully operates several web sites on the topic of
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