View Full Version : Help on taking care of grandparents on cruise
January 22nd, 2006, 10:54 AM
My parents and aunts/uncles will be taking my grandparents on a cruise to Bermuda later this year, and I wanted to get your advice on how to make it special and, above all, fun for everyone.
1. I'm concerned about my grandparents having to stand in line for too long. My aunt has reserved a wheelchair for my grandmother "just in case", as she had her hip replaced last year. Are there special check-in lines at Cape Liberty? My parents are Platinum and were thinking about how they can swap their priority check-in, but I'm not sure this is possible.
2. I can't find the excursions on-line yet. Can anyone suggest some low-impact excursions at St. George that everyone in the family could enjoy?
3. Any other information on making a cruise go smoother for my grandparents would be appreciated!
Thank you in advance for your experience and expertise!
January 22nd, 2006, 11:25 AM
Have your grandmother use the wheelchair at check-in. It will go faster and she won't get so tired. Sometimes regular check-in goes really quickly, sometimes it doesn't, but this at least takes the problem off of the table. If she is even a bit unstable if the seas become rough, think about renting a collapsible companion wheelchair to take with them. My m-i-l was ok walking around in steady seas, but when the boat really rocked she was way too unstable. If she's got osteoporosis I'd make doubly sure of this. (While the ship or port has wheelchairs for use during boarding, those chairs are not available for your use during the voyage, so if you want one you need to bring it.)
If they haven't cruised before, make sure that they know that there are no charges for room service. If they're at all like my parents or in-laws, they wake at early hours and would very much appreciate some fruit, rolls and coffee, but might be reluctant to go up to the buffet alone. (A nice present would be to give them a supply of $1 bills for tips, and to suggest a small tip for room service delivery.) My m-i-l ordered coffee and rolls at 4:30 every morning.:eek:
If either of them need special meals (low salt?) you might want to alert the company ahead of time and arrange a time for them to speak with the maitre d. They were very good about this with us.
We did early seating when my m-i-l was with us because she one of those folks who's in bed by 9 every day, which makes sense when you get up at 4:30.
I hope that they have a lovely trip. I know that there are many older folks who are in great health and who are extremely active, so if your grandparents are in this group, there's obviously a lot less about which to be concerned.
January 22nd, 2006, 02:19 PM
I am not able to stand for long times, and my TA told RCI about this problem. They said for me to just tell the people at the check in about this and it would be taken care of. Our ship was late, and we all ended up sitting till well into the afternoon before boarding. My DH went up and told the people letting us on the ship that I have problems, and we were allowed to board in the first group.
About Bermuda, have you checked the Bermuda forum? There might be more information there about excursions.
What a wonderful thing for your family to do together! What wonderful memories they will be making. I am sure they will have a fabulous cruise!
January 22nd, 2006, 02:46 PM
Be sure to do the online check-in about a week before leaving. This helps speed the process up. Definately have your grandmother use her wheel chair checking in. Everyone in the party should be able to get priority check-in if doing so together. Make sure their bookings are crossed referenced via the TA.
For the family member with a Plantinum discount, have them register their C&A account online. They can store their cruise under "my cruises". One of the options when you select the booked cruise is "Preferences and Requests". Then "Reservation Linking". Add all the booking numbers here to tie them together. Do this now as when it comes close to sailing time, they won't let you change it.
Sorry I haven't been on that itenerary before. I'm sure with the wealth of knowledge others have they will be able to assist on good tours. You can still view the ones offered by the ship on the RCCL website for ideas.
January 22nd, 2006, 03:03 PM
If your parents are Platinum and they have the TA cross-reference your grandparents with them they (grandparents) will be able to join them for priority check in.
You've received some very good advice. One of the nicest things in Bermuda is that you can buy a bus pass and ride all over the island for a reasonable amount. If you have the pass you can get on and off as often as you choose. It's also good on the ferry. I don't have a particular excursion to suggest. We did a nice sunset sail in St Georges and enjoyed it a lot.
We picked up some good info on the Bermuda (Ports of Call) board.
January 22nd, 2006, 04:26 PM
Either yourself or your TA should advise RCCL of your grandmother being wheelchair bound, they will upon entering the terminal greet you with a wheelchair and your own personal RCCl employee will take all your documents and come back with in moments and board you...he will push your GM to her stateroom.( and take back his wh/ch). We had reserved a wh/ch onboard thru the vendor that RCCL recommended for my MIL 2 yrs ago and boarding was a breeze...the employee at my MIL's insistance checked in all 6 of us. We tipped the RCL employee after arriving at the stateroom. We also got priority disemabrking, and thruout the cruise the staff fawned over my MIL..
January 23rd, 2006, 08:20 AM
For the muster drill we let the crew know my mother cannot stand for any length of time and alittle unsteady at times, they brought her a lounge chair to sit on. When the drill was over, they made sure we were the first to leave to avoid a rush of people leaving the decks. Have a great cruise. Laura
January 23rd, 2006, 08:32 AM
Not sure if this is of any relevance for your grandparents. If not just forget it.
Depending on the Cabin category the cabin door maybe too small to get the wheelchair through it and if itīs not a big suite it will be hard to move around with the wheelchair in the cabin, so if the wheelchair will be needed in the cabin you should ask for a handicapped cabin for your grandparents. These cabins are much larger to be able to move the wheelchair around in them and especially the bathroom is designed for the handicapped needs. No step to enter it, huge, shower without a step and many rails and handles to hold on.