If you have never vacationed on a cruise ship, now is the time. Cruise lines are more accessible than ever. Newer, larger ships commonly feature two dozen or more wheelchair-accessible staterooms with wider door frames, handrails, low sinks, roll-in showers and more.

Choose from thousands of worldwide itineraries, then relax and get pampered for days.

To find a ship that offers amenities you need, visit www.cruising.org.  Depending on your disabilities or preferences, the ship may have Braille signage, accessible gaming (casino), oxygen, staterooms, decks with ramps, or even a “dipper” (hoist) to lower you into the swimming pool.

When you know what you want, look for a travel professional trained or certified to work with those with disabilities. They know the questions to ask to make your vacation easier.

You should know:

  • There are a limited number of accessible staterooms, so book early.
  • Ask to see the ship’s deck plans or view online. Locate accessible staterooms and reserve one that works best for your individual needs; perhaps near elevators or the lounge.
  • Review shore excursions to see if any include wheelchair-accessible tours. If a port only has small boats to ferry you to shore – they can’t handle wheelchairs.
  • Let the cruise line know you are using a wheelchair so staff can make an appropriate table assignment in the dining room, including easy access to restrooms and elevators.

Which ship is best for you?

The Cruise Lines International Association web site offers a “Special Interest Guide for Wheelchair Travelers” that details ship information for passengers with disabilities. It includes such information as the number of wheelchair-accessible staterooms, the number of decks with ramps, whether the traveler must be accompanied by an able-bodied companion and more.

Good advice:

  • Always have your electric scooter or chair serviced before you go.
  • Take a battery charger that is adaptable to a 110 volt electrical outlet.

This mobility safety update has been brought to you by NMEDA – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Need some information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features? Contact a NMEDA dealer in your local area. Your local NMEDA member is an expert in mobility equipment and accessibility!

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