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. It’s not cheap, but the classy atmosphere, excellent food and unusual destinations are a winning combination, so it’s no surprise customers rated value for money as outstanding.
, or read our full Viking review for more information.
Top Accessible Western Mediterranean Cruise From Rome
Although this 7 night Royal Caribbean cruise can also be boarded in Barcelona, I gave this itinerary my nod for the Top Western Mediterranean Accessible Cruise.; You can easily spend 3 or 4 days before or after your cruise visiting the ancient, Renaissance, and Vatican sights in Rome.
Since the cruise departs every;Thursday, it is a good idea to arrive in Italy on Thursday to board the boat, and then spend the weekend after the cruise in Romes city center. ;the Sage Accessibility Guide for Rome is included in our trip planning services. ;Learn more
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* Get;50 off each accessible excursion if you book your cruise through Sage Traveling
Contacting The Cruise Lines
If you have special needs or a disability that you think requires special consideration, the best thing to do is contact the cruise line well in advance of your sail date. By contacting them, not only can they answer any questions, but they can also prepare accommodations to make your cruise more comfortable.
Depending on which cruise line you sail, we recommend the contacts below.
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Holland America Pinnacle Class
In February 2019, I sailed on Holland Americas MS Rotterdam, which is the second oldest ship in the lines fleet. Ill admit I had low expectations for a ship that was launched in 1997. It was heavily refurbished in 2017 to include many of the features in newer HAL ships, like Americas Test Kitchen. The accessibility was surprisingly fantastic, so I couldnt wait to learn about the accessibility on HALs newest ships.
The Pinnacle class includes the MS Koningsdam and the MS Nieuw Statendam ; the MS Ryndam will be joining them in May 2021. Theyre HALs newest and largest ships, but still have a passenger capacity of less than 2,700 people. HALs demographic leans heavily towards seniors, so the ambience on HAL ships is luxurious, but mellow. Activities end by midnight and food service tends to end early as well. However, the accessibility on HAL ships is fantastic, as youll have many fellow wheelchair, scooter, and walker users on board. Another fantastic thing about Holland America is that most of its ships have an accessible tendering system, allowing wheelchair users to disembark at tender ports .
The Stats: 27 fully accessible staterooms, 13 ambulatory accessible rooms , no-threshold bathrooms and balconies, roll-in showers with fold-down benches, grab bars, lowered roll-under sinks, open bed frames, lowered closet bars, lift at main pool , reserved wheelchair seating in main theater.
Vacations For Handicapped Seniors: The World Is Your Oyster
With a little advance research and planning,;vacations for handicapped seniors can be easy to arrange. Whether its a long-married couple on their second honeymoon;or a multigenerational group, many tourist destinations do their best to make it easy for everyone to have an enjoyable time.
The best tip is to call ahead to your cruise line, hotel, or travel agent and let them know your needs. You want to make sure before you get there that you and your loved ones;can enjoy everything the destination has to offer.
For more information on travel or getting the most out of life, check out our lifestyle blog.
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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 Alzheimer’s disease. Some of these accommodations can include: early boarding, boarding & departure assistance, early disembarkation and special dietary needs. Please contact our Access Department.
Disabled Access Provisions By Cruise Line
Disabled access provisions differ from cruise line to cruise line, so its important to know exactly what facilities are offered before making a booking. Here, we provide a breakdown of the disabled friendly services available on the worlds most popular cruise operators. Please be aware that each of the cruise lines listed reserves the right to change their policies at a minutes notice, so its vital you check with your selected tour operator before making a reservation.
|Tactile alert system & hearing packs|
*Dry cell batteries only **Service dogs not permitted to disembark at any port of call
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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 don’t 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 ship’s 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 it’s 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. Celebrity’s 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.
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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Disney Cruise Line’s Dream Class
Disney Cruises are also favorites among wheelchair users, as this company emphasizes its commitments to passengers with special needs. Disney has made improvements to its Dream Class of ships, making this a wonderful option for families with kids who use wheelchairs. These ships also have counselors on-board that have experience with working with kids who have special needs. Dream Class ships have a couple dozen accessible cabins that have automatic doors and sleep four or five people in each room. Its also convenient for Disney cruisers in wheelchairs to visit the Castaway Cay private island because the boat docks at the island and features paved pathways on the main promenade.
The Most Accessible Cruise Lines Sailing The Seven Seas Because Travel Knows No Limits
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Travelling with a disability or impairment can be daunting and stressful. Questions fly: Are there accessible rooms? Will I need to bring a carer to assist me? Are service animals allowed?
Dont stress! Many major cruise lines are accessible to make your sail as smooth as possible. So whether you have reduced mobility or are hard of hearing, ramps to board the ship, wheelchair-accessible cabins and captioned movies can be available so you wont miss out on a thing.
Searching for the best liner to look after you? Try these out:
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Wheelchairs And Scooters On A Cruise Ship
If you have trouble walking long distances, you may want a wheelchair. The major cruise lines are happy to provide you a chair during boarding and debarking, however, you must bring your own chair or scooter if youd like one during your entire cruise.
Note: If youd like a chair or scooter during the cruise but dont already own one, you can rent one from the following companies:
One important rule about chairs and scooters is that they should ideally be to less than 21 wide. That limit is so that they can fit within your cabin. Cruise lines dont allow the devices to be stored in hallways as they impede the walkway, creating a danger in case of emergency. If your device is larger, dont panic, its still allowed. Its just better if they can be stowed in a smaller space.
Best And Worst Cruise Lines
Whether you’re a complete novice, or an experienced cruiser keen to get back to the seas following the coronavirus pandemic, it always pays;to do your research into the best and worst cruise lines.
Our ratings are driven by thousands of cruise line guests rating their experience of the facilities onboard, the cabin, food and drink and customer service so you can avoid finding yourself queuing for the restaurant every morning or being ripped off over tips.;
From luxury small-ship cruises to big name brands with full entertainment and leisure facilities we know from guests that the cruise lines rated best are always those that have the best passenger to space ratio onboard something that will be more important than ever as cruise lines look to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. See the full results below to find out which cruise lines give you room and which ones pack holidaymakers onboard.;
Find out how to find;the best cruise deals.
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Most Accessible Cruise Lines
If you have accessibility concerns and youre planning to take a cruise, its important to know that youll be able to comfortably get around. According to Accessible Journeys, an accessible travel provider, Cruise ships are an ideal way to see the world on vacation while having wheelchair-specific comforts onboard.
An emphasis on accessibility wasnt always the case among cruise lines. In 2015, however, the U.S. Department of Justice mandated that cruise ships that sail in U.S. waters no matter where they originate from must be compliant with the American Disabilities Act.
Even so, not all cruise ships are equal when it comes to these accommodations. Take a look at these six cruise lines that are dedicated to providing some of the best accessible experiences and facilities to their guests. Although not all accessible cruise lines are featured here, you can gain insight into what many of the largest and most popular ones provide.
Prescriptions On A Cruise
Nothing can make a person feel more uncomfortable than bringing loads of medication through a security checkpoint. There is just something about carrying pills that feels like you are asking for trouble. The good news is that cruise lines, which often cater to older crowds, are used to seeing people bringing medications in large quantities.
The best idea is to bring your prescriptions in their original bottles. That way there is no trouble identifying pills, and your pharmacy contact information is right on the bottle should anyone question the prescription. In practice, medication rarely causes a problem.
It is smart to always carry your medication in your carry-on luggage. If you need access, your prescription will always be right by your side.
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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 Line’s policies and procedures regarding children with disabilities and how we can assist you in making your child’s 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 Alzheimer’s 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
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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Saga Review Which Recommended Provider
Saga, which offers small-scale ocean cruises exclusively for the over-50s, is a new WRP for 2021. In the past, concerns over the transparency of its excursion prices have prevented us from recommending it, but it has made significant improvements in this area this year, without losing any of what makes its cruises so excellent. Customer service, quality of food and value for money are all second-to-none.
, or read our full Saga review for more information.
Top Cruises For Disabled Passengers
Cruise lines, along with the rest of America, have come a long way since the Americans with Disabilities Act passed July 26, 1990. Although most American cruise lines offered wheelchair accessible cruises before the ADA passed and between 1990 and 2005, it wasnt until 2005 that the law as extended to foreign-flagged cruise ships. The law required that all foreign-flagged ships that carried passengers to and from U.S. ports must be wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair accessible means, the ship must be equipped with handrails, accessible furniture and closets, wide door frames, wheel-in showers, and low sinks.
Today, disabled passengers can travel on any major cruise line with ease. However, disabled passengers prefer some cruise lines to others. Among the best cruises for disabled passengers are Royal Caribbean cruises aboard Independence of the Seas, Liberty of the Seas, or Freedom of the Seas. These massive ships feature ample space to move about, 32 wheelchair accessible cabins, portable room kits, Braille and large-print menus, Braille-equipped elevators, close captioned TVs, assisted-listening devices, and sign-language interpreters. The ships even have pools and whirlpools with a lift.
Other Royal Caribbean ships that are perfect for disabled passengers include Brilliance of the Seas, Jewel of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas, and Radiance of the Seas.
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Regent Seven Seas Review Which Recommended Provider
For a luxurious, all-inclusive ocean cruising experience, it’s hard to beat Regent Seven Seas. Almost every cabin has a balcony, staff are friendly and helpful, and the port excursions are consistently enjoyably and well-organised. The only real downside is the cost.
, or read our full Regent Seven Seas review for more information.
Ruby Princess Princess Cruises
The Ruby Princess is another accessible cruise ship by Princess thats worth checking out for your next trip. You can find a very detailed list of accessible routes by deck on the Ruby Princess on the companys website. For example, the Botticelli Dining Room is wheelchair-accessible via lifts at the stern, the Dolphin Deck has two long wheelchair-accessible hallways, and the Terrace Pool at the stern is on the Riviera Deck is wheelchair-accessible. The Princess Grand Class is another great option because of its wide doorways, showers you can wheel into, and lowered sinks and closet bars. In total, the Princess fleet offers over 350 wheelchair-accessible cabins with at least 31 on each vessel.
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