Accessible Cruising with Mobility At Sea
Author: Chris Palmer - Mobility At Sea(i) : Contact: www.mobilityatsea.co.uk
Published: 2014-10-10 : (Rev. 2018-10-27)
Synopsis and Key Points:
Mobility At Sea offer advice and mobility equipment on board cruise ships for persons with disabilities.
Holiday makers living with a disability usually stay well within their comfort zones - they know exactly where they can travel without complications and tend to stick with the safest options. Even so, there are often issues sourcing adequate and accessible accommodation, restaurants, bars and even the streets themselves.
Travellers sometimes don't think of a cruise holiday as being a suitable choice. Although everyone knows that cruising is a luxurious and relaxing way to travel the world, they often don't realize that a cruise holiday is often better suited to those with mobility troubles than most other holiday types with less limitations than flying.
Modern cruise liners have everything a passenger could possibly need and have been designed with accessibility in mind. These include everything from modern casinos and award winning entertainment to five star restaurants and luxury spas - all without having to tackle a single flight of stairs or cramped conditions found elsewhere. Not to mention cost effectiveness and a different view from their balcony each and every day - thus enabling passengers to see more locations without the need for continuous travel or inconvenience.
A primary problem with planning an accessible holiday is that travelers often have to provide their own mobility equipment. Anything from a wheelchair to an adjustable bed. Transporting this equipment can be impractical, expensive and stressful - None of which are included in the criteria for that "relaxing" holiday. This equipment (or lack thereof) can often be the deciding factor or restriction when planning a holiday.
Mobility At Sea are a UK based company specializing in mobility equipment on board cruise ships. We have spent many years building a close relationship with cruise providers and have successfully made cruising more accessible. By enhancing cabins with a range of products and equipment we have alleviated some of the concerns associated with cruising and enabled passengers to cruise who would otherwise be unable to do so. These living aids: from toilet raisers and crutches to adjustable beds and hoists can be delivered to the cabins prior to embarkation and simply left on board at the end of the cruise. It's that simple. Passengers can be met in the cabin or inside the cruise terminal to demonstrate the equipment as appropriate and if required. Mobility At Sea strives to provide a service which makes cruising easier, less stressful and therefore more enjoyable.
Left: Transfer hoist in cruise ship cabin - Right: Wheelchairs on dock next to moored cruise ship
Tips for Accessible Cruising
- Watch out for ports which only offer embarkation/disembarkation by tender (which transports passengers from the ship to the shore when the ship cannot reach the dock, such as in shallow waters) as there are generally steps involved. Some cruises include more tenders than others so make sure you triple-check before you book to avoid being stranded on board!
- Get to know your equipment. All mobility equipment may vary slightly. You should take time to get to know yours, especially if it is a model you haven't used previously.
Happy man in mobility scooter on cruise ship deckIf you use a mobility scooter, power chair or wheelchair DO NOT leave it unattended outside of your cabin at any time. There is a chance that housekeeping will remove it and store it (adhering to health and safety regulations). Finding exactly where it went can be time consuming and frustrating.
- Charge your mobility equipment every night without fail if required. It is easy to underestimate how often you use or travel in a single day whilst on board - it can be miles and miles.
- Accessible cabins may be compulsory to anyone with a hired scooter or power chair. Fire and safety regulations often prevent any equipment being stored in the corridors (some smaller cabins may have narrow cabin doors or walkways restricting access into the stateroom). Bespoke products (including the Di Blasi R30 and the Cruiser 12A power chair, designed specifically to fold small enough so that storage in a non-accessible cabin is possible) can be used to ensure that you can book the holiday of your dreams.
- Watch your speed. Cruise ships have lots of blind corners and twisting corridors.
- Don't worry if you're not completely confident with any embarking/disembarking procedures whilst using your equipment. The ship's crew can assist you on and off of the ship so you don't have to worry.
- Always bare in mind that the crew are there for you 24/7 - even more so on a cruise than any other holiday. If there's something they can do to make your cruise more comfortable just ask, they will be happy to oblige.
- Always keep the "helpline" number readily available - sometimes a quick phone-call can solve any potential issues.
Mobility At Sea can enhance your cruise making the less able - more able.
If you have any questions surrounding disabled cruising or wish to find out more about or services call Mobility At Sea today on (+44) 0800 328 1699 or visit our website: www.mobilityatsea.co.uk
(i)Source/Reference: Chris Palmer - Mobility At Sea. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.
- 1 - Accessible Cruising with Mobility At Sea : Chris Palmer - Mobility At Sea (2014/10/10)
- 2 - Accessible Cruise Booking Tips : Connie George (2009/01/09)
- 3 - Cruise Ship Internet WIFI Guide and Pricing : za.cruise.co (2012/07/09)
- 4 - Disability Cruise Ship Facilities Guide : www.cruise.co (2012/06/24)
- 5 - Online Wheelchair and Scooter Rental Booking for Cruise Travelers : Special Needs Group, Inc. (2011/02/08)
- 6 - Toronto Cruises : Amy Nutt (2008/12/29)
- 7 - Maritime Passengers with Disabilities Rights : Disability Rights (2010/07/09)
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