Viking Ocean Cruises Review Which Recommended Provider
Yet again, Viking has held onto the number one spot in our survey, earning an outstanding five stars in every category. It specialises in small to medium, adult-only ocean cruises, with all of its ships carrying fewer than 1,000 guests. Its not cheap, but the classy atmosphere, excellent food and unusual destinations are a winning combination, so its no surprise customers rated value for money as outstanding.
, or read our full Viking review for more information.
Are Disney Cruises Handicap Accessible
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE STATEROOMS Disney Cruise Line offers wheelchair accessible staterooms and suites, equipped for Guests with disabilities. TENDERING Whenever possible, Disney Cruise Line docks its ships at each port of call so that Guests may travel directly from the ship to the shore via the gangway.
Are Handicap Rooms On Cruises Bigger
Fortunately, accessible cabins are bigger by necessity because wheelchair users need enough space to maneuver around beds, and into and out of the bathroom. That being said, the actual size of a cruise ship accessible cabin can vary widely between cruise lines, and even ships in the same class within a cruise line.
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The Best Cruise Destinations For Disabled Passengers
Choosing a destination for your luxury cruise is just as important as the ship and stateroom. Get it wrong and you could be stuck on the ship for days, unable to disembark at each port of call.
Cruises departing from the UK are a popular choice, as you can avoid the hassle of flying and any luggage restrictions that come with this. Of course, if you want a return trip from Southampton, this does limit your choice of destinations to mostly Europe and the Mediterranean.
If you want to travel further afield and dont mind flying, taking a luxury cruise which departs from one of the many ports in the USA may be another good option. Every ship which docks in a US port us required to abide by the Americans with Disabilities Act, which can be reassuring.
Its also important that you think about excursions. Whichever destination you choose, booking excursions with your luxury cruise line, rather than a third party, will ensure that youre well looked after. Whilst excursions are available with other providers, and these may be listed as suitable for wheelchair users, booking with your cruise line is the best way to guarantee that you receive the same high level of service during your excursions as youre used to on-board.
You can book the official excursions with your cruise line when you first book your cruise, or add them on at any point up to departure.
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Cruising Tips For Seniors To Make Your Trip More Enjoyable
If you are a senior citizen and have never visited a cruise before, the best thing to do is research.
Its best if you visit different sites that offer advice for seniors. A lot of them even provide tips.
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Mobility Restrictions Onboard And Limitations Ashore
Outside of the USA, not every river ship is able to fully cater to guests who bring their wheelchair. Of course you can bring your wheelchair but its important to know that some older river ships may be difficult to maneuver around the decks.
Guests with disabilities are of course welcomed by river cruise companies but challenges do exist onboard and during shore excursions. Some ships have elevators but some do not. Ships with split-level decks or significant thresholds could make it difficult to get around.
Many times river ships must dock side by side in port. In these cases when multiple ships dock side by side, depending upon your ships position, it may be necessary for passengers to walk up an outdoor flight of stairs, cross the sun deck and even other ships sun decks, then down another outdoor narrow flight of stairs again to reach the gangway. By November you can count on some wind, rain and even ice and then youve got a tough combination.
Some guests bring their electric scooters or wheelchairs onboard, but shore excursions with cobbled roads, railing-less staircases and uneven sidewalks may make getting around very difficult. If you and your scooter are able to easily exit the gangway when it is even with the shoreline, high or low tide when you return could make getting back on board a challenge.
Dont get discouraged. Crew and staff onboard a European river ship always go above and beyond to help their guests to ensure their safety and comfort.
Learn About The Rest Of The River Cruise Lines
If you’re considering a cruise on one of the major cruise lines, here’s how they stack up when it comes to accessible travel. Feeling overwhelmed? Ask a knowledgeable travel agent — particularly one who specializes in river cruising or cruise travel for people with disabilities — to help you find the ship and trip that’s right for you.
AmaWaterways: Passengers are recommended to bring collapsible wheelchairs that can easily be stored in the cabin. All stateroom doors are wide enough to allow access, and AmaSerena, AmaSonata, AmaReina, AmaPrima and AmaCerto have specially designed cabins that have slightly wider doors and modified bathrooms that allow wheelchair access. These cabins also have an emergency access door leading directly out of the ship, which can accommodate a wheelchair during emergency evacuation. Every ship in the fleet has an elevator that serves all floors except the lower deck and sun deck. Crewmembers will assist any passengers with disabilities to the top deck, and help them at any other time onboard, subject to availability. It is strongly recommended that disabled passengers travel with a caregiver who can assist them on tours and with getting on and off the ship. Many shore excursions are accessible for passengers with limited mobility.
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Other Needs Andadditional Assistance
Norwegian Cruise Line welcomes guests with medical, emotional or any other challenge to Freestyle cruising. If you have a need that has not been discussed, we encourage you to contact us at the Access Desk regarding your special requirements or requests and our policies and procedures.
Children with Disabilities
Children with disabilities are welcome on all Norwegian Cruise Line vessels. Please contact the Access Desk to discuss Norwegian Cruise Lines policies and procedures regarding children with disabilities and how we can assist you in making your childs cruising experience safe, fun and comfortable.
Cognitive, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Guests with cognitive, intellectual and development disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Alzheimers disease are encouraged to contact the Access Desk to discuss your cruise. Upon request, every effort will be made to meet your cruising special requirements, including:
- Boarding and disembarkation assistance
Storage For Mobility Aids
With most river cruise ship cabins too small to store a wheelchair, and equipment not being allowed to be left in the corridor for health and safety reasons, the storing of mobility aids can cause an issue. It is for that reason that most river cruise lines have stated that any wheelchairs brought on board have to be collapsible so that they can be stored under the bed when not in use.
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Cognitive Intellectual And Developmental Disabilities
Upon request, every effort will be made to provide reasonable accommodations that will meet the needs of guests with cognitive, intellectual and development disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Alzheimers disease. Some of these accommodations can include: early boarding, boarding & departure assistance, early disembarkation and special dietary needs. Please contact our Access Department.
Awful Facilities If Youre Not Able Bodied
I made an initial enquiry regarding facilities for a family member that had mobility issues and may have needed to take a wheelchair on board. I was appalled at the response which was along the lines of, staff will not help you with moving the chair down the stairs even though the on-board lifts dont travel to all the floors. Also, it may not be possible to leave the ship on excursions in certain ports as you would have to disembark across several moored ships due to the way ships are moored to each other. Sounds like Viking are only interested in able bodied guests. Having read some of the other reviews Im more than happy to spend my money with another operator that has a more positive attitude to less able bodied customers.
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Last Minute Cruises Can Sometimes Be The Cheapest Cruise Deal
Sometimes, but not always, the cheapest cruise deal is a Last Minute Cruise. You wont get a wide selection of stateroom categories or a chance to select your stateroom location but if your schedule is flexible you just might find a cheap cruise price on a last minute cruise. Last minute cruises are cruises leaving in the next 90 days. The cruise line really wants to fill those last few staterooms and sometimes will offer them at a discount cruise price in exchange for you giving up your right to a full selection of cabin categories or deck locations. CruiseExperts.com makes it easy for you to poke around and see whats available in last minute cruise deals. View our Last Minute Cruise Deals by clicking here and give it a try. This is one of our most popular website features.
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Whats The First Thing I Should Do When Looking For A House
The first thing you should do before searching for rental homes is decide on an ideal budget. Consider how much of your income goes towards bills and what you have left over at the end of each month. Also, remember that when first moving in, you will need to account for at least a deposit and first months rent.
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Discover Truly Accessible River Cruising
While most river cruise lines offer accessible travel only with major caveats, one ship stands out from the rest. Catering mainly to the British market through the tour operator Shearings, the 100-passenger MS Alegria is the only river vessel that offers totally accessible facilities. Cruising on the Rhine and Dutch waterways, the vessel can accommodate up to 10 disabled passengers per sailing. Manual and electric wheelchairs, foldable electric scooters and walking frames can be used onboard. Passengers can also bring larger electric scooters for use ashore.
Cabins for wheelchair-dependent passengers feature large doorways and “wet room”-type bathrooms, with seats in the showers. Other cabins have wheelchair-accessible doorways, and shower stools can be provided on request. Travelers can elect to rent ceiling-mounted hoists and other mobility equipment, such as walking frames to use on the ship and stools for showers that are not already equipped with them. Items available do not include medical equipment, although small oxygen cylinders can also be taken onboard with prior arrangement.
Three elevators link the passenger decks, and two chair lifts take disabled passengers to the sun deck. The ship has wide corridors and offers a collection and return service for mobility aids that are not stored in the cabin. Alegria moors at wheelchair-accessible dockings and offers excursions suited to wheelchair users.
Adaptations For Those With Hearing Impairments
Some accessible staterooms have been designed with hearing impaired guests in mind, including innovative adaptations like vibrating alarm clocks, and doorbells, telephones, smoke detectors and fire alarms with indicating-light systems. Staterooms without these facilities feature alert kits which can be fitted to any cabin these include visual-tactile smoke detectors, door-knock alerts, wake-up systems and telephone alerts.
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Top Accessible Grand Mediterranean Cruise From Barcelona
100% of the Ports of Call on this cruise have accessible shore excursion options, and the cruise visits 5 countries. What a great way for disabled travelers to explore Europe! Your 12-night wheelchair accessible Princess cruise starts in the modern city of Barcelona where you can dine on tasty tapas in the Gothic Quarter. The enormous Sagrada Familia basilica, which has been under construction for more than one hundred years, is one of the most impressive churches in all of Europe. Arrive a few days early and you can relax on a wheelchair accessible Mediterranean beach! Scenic drives through Provence and Tuscany are followed by visits to world-class attractions like the Colosseum, the Vatican, and Pompeii. Ancient Greek ruins in Athens, ancient Roman ruins in Ephesus, and ancient Byzantine ruins in Istanbul give you a taste of European history going back 2500 years. The windmills on Mykonos and the bridges & canals in Venice are some of the most iconic sights youll find anywhere in Europe. And this wheelchair accessible Mediterranean cruise travels on the Regal Princess which is one of the newest and most accessible ships on the seas! Show Cruise DetailsHide Cruise Details
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How Does The Travel Industry Meet The Need For Accessible Travel River Cruises
What if you wanted to take a river cruise? You would have several choices. However, what if you wanted to take a river cruise and you have physical limitations? What affect would this have on your options?
Scenic Sapphire is just one of five ships to undergo extensive refits. Photo courtesy of Scenic Tours
Accessible Travel refers to being able to meet the needs of individuals with physical impairments. This includes hearing and visually impaired as well as those with mobility issues, which tend to be more complex, particularly for those passengers who are wheelchair-bound. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on travelers with limited physical mobility.
There are some options that can make river cruises possible for almost anyone. So if you or someone you know has physical limitations, you will be glad to know that some of the cruise lines have cabins that are wheelchair accessible, wheelchair lifts, wide corridors and wheelchair accessible excursions.
Surprisingly, many of the major river cruise companies do not have accessible cabins on any of their ships. This includes AmaWaterways, Avalon Waterways, Uniworld and Viking River Cruises. Most of the river boats do have elevators but are not otherwise equipped for passengers with limited mobility.
River Cruise Companies that Offer Accessible Travel Options
CroisiEuropes Botticelli is a sister-ship to Seine Princess. Photo courtesy of CroisiEurope.
Seine River Ships: MS Botticelli and MS France
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Choosing The Right Cruise Ship
Accessible features vary from one cruise line to another, and even ships within the same class can be different. When choosing a ship, newer and larger is generally better, but dont discount older vessels. Many cruise lines use the opportunity to make ships more accessible to travelers when they undergo major renovations and upgrades. While oceangoing vessels tend to be more disability-friendly, some river cruise ships are also able to accommodate passengers with disabilities, but with limitations.
Most lines also have dedicated departments to assist passengers with disabilities. They can advise the size of a ships stateroom doorway and whether you will need a collapsible wheelchair or scooter. This department can also notify passengers which areas, if any, will not be accessible by wheelchair or scooter and if its possible to travel with a seeing-eye or hearing-assistance dog.
For example, Celebrity Cruises will help arrange for transportation from the airport to the pier and then assist with boarding. Celebritys customer service and reservation agents are also Certified Accessible Travel Agents with Special Needs at Sea, a company that rents mobility and medical equipment to cruise passengers. With this knowledge, they can assist in getting the appropriate equipment onboard the ship for their passengers.
Accessibility Information By Cruise Line
AmaWaterways does allow mobility scooters onboard the cruise line prefers foldable scooters, and they must be notified in advance of any arrangement made with a third-party supplier.
Europe: Wheelchair accessibility is very limited on our European ships. We do have an elevator between the two main decks, however it does not reach the Sun deck or Piano deck. They would be able to move around the dining room and lounge in their chair, however the rooms are not able to accommodate a wheelchair, so while in their stateroom they would need to be able to move around on their own. Their chair would also need to be stored in their stateroom, due to limited storage on board. Getting on and off the ship, could be a challenge, as the planks are narrow and cannot accommodate a wheelchair or scooters width. They would have to be able to get on and off the ship without their wheelchair and the wheelchair would have to be light enough to be lifted off and on the ramps. It is common to tie up to other river ships in port. When this happens we would sometimes need to travel through another ship to disembark, with many ships requiring we do so from the Sun deck, where there is only stair access. There are no medical facilities on board. However medical services can easily be called from shore if required.
Viking River Cruises
American Cruise Lines
Accessible Charter River Cruises
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