Cruising is a great choice of holiday for those people with disabilities.
All the major cruise lines have specific cabins for passengers who are dependent on a wheelchair or scooter for mobility issues or the blind and visually impaired.
When booking your cruise holiday, request an accessible stateroom. The cruise lines will keep this type of cabin open for booking to make sure it remains available for the disabled passenger.
Besides adaptable cabins, several cruise lines have revamped their excursions to accommodate their disabled passengers and help them fully enjoy the ports of call.
When booking be sure to inform the cruise line or agent of your full requirements.
Take a look below to see what the top cruise lines offer for those who thought that a cruise would be too complicated for them.
Their fleet contains some of the largest cruise ships in the world, which are perfect for getting around in a wheelchair. Each one of the Quantum, Freedom, Oasis, Radiance and Vision Class ships have over 30 different types of staterooms.
Many consider Royal Caribbean to be the best cruise line for those with disabilities. They have several items that other ships do not have such as portable room kits, assisted listening devices and even interpreters available for those that are deaf.
There are 28 accessible cabins on every one of their Vista class ships, with 4 inside cabins, 5 outside cabins, 13 balcony cabins and 6 deluxe balcony cabins. The wheelchair accessible tender service is a highly requested feature and Holland America has made it considerably easier for embarking and disembarking the tender.
The Window-Eyes software, available throughout the ship, reads text for those that have impaired vision.
Their latest ship, MS Koningsdam, will have special areas and cabin features to help mobility, especially for getting in and out of the cabin.
Image courtesy of Holland America
P&O caters to clients in a similar way to Holland America. Their accessible cabins contain wider doorways as well as special ramped access to the balconies.
The bathrooms contain wet room showers as well as grab rails and a shower chair. There are over 70 cabins suited for disabled people as well as elevators with floor buttons at easy reach for those in a wheel-chair.
P&O Cruises also offer special services for those hard of hearing. There are wireless visual systems and special text phones for those that want to communicate around the ship as well as to inform people in case of an emergency situation.
Special hearing aids are also available when you first embark. There are even closed captions available on television.
Image courtesy of P&O Cruises
Cunard offers plenty of cabins that are suitable for disabled people. The Queen Mary 2 for example has cabins that are very spacious and feature extra large balconies for maximum viewing pleasure. The cabins also contain Braille signs and audio descriptive emergency warnings.
There are also 36 staterooms equipped for those hard of hearing. All ships provide complimentary assistive listening devices for hard of hearing guests. They are available upon request for use in the theatres and the planetarium. Cunard does have a limited number of wheelchairs available for hire onboard their ships.
Princess Cruises began their Access program in 1992 and today, their fleet has more than 350 wheelchair accessible cabins. They contain larger doorways, shower rooms, low closet railings and no thresholds in some parts. Special gangways allow for easy access to and from their ships.
The ships also contain easily accessible restaurants, theatres, spas and lounges. Elevators are equipped with arrival sounds and all theatres have infrared listening assistance systems. The portable room kits feature visual alert systems for door knocking, telephones, and smoke detectors. The ship libraries also contain a large amount of Braille books and books on tape.
Image courtesy of Princess Cruises
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Written by Veronica Shine
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