Cruise holidays for disabled people
A journey from booking a cruise to arriving at the cruise terminal,boarding your cruise ship & more
Is it possible for people with disABILITIES to go on cruise holidays? ABSOLUTELY!
Cruise holidays are a fantastic way for people with disABILITIES, as well as their families, friends and/or carers to enjoy a relaxing (or otherwise, depending on how you like to enjoy your holidays).
“How do you know?” I hear you ask. I have three reasons why I can say, hand-on-heart, that cruise holidays are fantastic for people with disabilities:
1. I worked in the cruise industry between July 2007 and November 2011 – that was until ill health took me back from Southampton to Peterhead in the north east of Scotland.
(This is a 12-hour drive, but only 90 minutes by plane. I will explain the different ways you can get from your home to your cruise ship, irrespective of where in the world you live, a little later.)
2. I have conducted cruise ship tours for travel agents as well as members of the public. some of whom have/had a disability of one kind or another
3. I have been on a few cruise holidays, myself.
You may be asking yourselves, “What do you know about disability, and how do you know cruise ships are fully accessible to people with disabilities?” That is a very good question, so, to answer this questions, please allow you to give my full, honest answer: I, myself, am a full-time wheelchair user, having had Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus since birth.
However, cruise holidays are not just accessible to able-bodied people. No! They are accessible to EVERYBODY! Let me give you some examples of how this is possible:
Let me start with getting to your cruise ship. There are many ways you can do this:
1. If you live close to the cruise terminal, you may have a couple of choices. One of which is to take a taxi. There are accessible taxis in many towns and cities, and there is no need for wheelchair users to “transfer” from your wheelchair once you are inside the taxi. You just stay in your wheelchair, and are “fastened” to the floor of the cab using specifically designed clamps or straps, thus ensuring you do not go for a spin while you are being transferred to/from the cruise terminal.
2. You can drive to the terminal, and either be dropped off by relatives/friends right outside the cruise terminal. Or, on specific cruises, you can park your car in a secure car park – for the duration of your cruise holiday – in the knowledge that your car will be looked after by highly trained security staff. If you want to drive to the terminal and use the car parking facilities, but there is no promotion to give you free car parking, you can pay to have your car looked after during your cruise. One word of caution here – it can be rather expensive, but your car will be totally safe.
3. If you live further away from the cruise terminal, you can always take one of the many coaches, whose companies have contracts with the main cruise lines. These coaches will pick you up from specific points around the country, take you directly to the cruise terminal, and at the end of your cruise, they will pick you up at the terminal, and take you back to your original point of boarding. Again, if there is no promotion for your specific cruise, giving you free coach transfers, you will have to pay to hitch a ride.
These coaches are fully wheelchair accessible, and can accommodate a small number of wheelchair users at a time. Please check with the coach company for availability.
4. If you live, for example, at the opposite end of the country, or in a different country from where you will be boarding your cruise ship, you can always take your standard schedule or charter flight to get you to the nearest airport, then take a taxi to the terminal.
You can read more from Doug by going to his website where he continues to take you on a journey from initially booking the cruise through arriving at the cruise terminal and boarding your cruise ship to what happens on board