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My aunt is paralyzed on one side and needs assistance 24/7. We are considering taking one of her aides that stays with her on the cruise with us. She has mentioned taking 2, but of course that would be even more expensive.
My biggest question is how do we pay them? If we only take one then I am assuming we would have to pay her for 24 hours a day, even though the family would be responsible for her some time. If we take 2 I guess we would just pay them 12 hours a day each. But what about the time they are sleeping? She does get up at night so they would have to assist her then.
It just feels complicated so I am hoping someone else has had to do this and can offer some advice. Does the fact that they are getting a cruise with meals paid count toward any reimbursement for the week? If we give them 8 hours a day off to do their own thing should we pay them for that time too?
Bahama Star-1969 (yep, that's not a typo)
RCCL Voyager of the Seas-2001
RCCL Mariner of the Seas- Spring 2004
HAL Zuiderdam- Summer 2004
HAL Westerdam-February 2007
Disney Magic-April 2007
Carnival Liberty-May 31,2008
Disney Fantasy- May 2012
CCL Freedom-August 2012
DH has high level quadriplegia and we always take a personal carer with us when we cruise on the basis that they will do personal care morning and evening and I will do anything else required during the day or at night unless we choose to have the carer do it.
We pay their cruise fare (in a separate cabin), travel insurance, petrol expenses to drive to/from the port and then pay them for 3 hours care each morning, 1 hour care each night and any extra hours that we may need along the way (ie giving lunch if I'm not available, staying with DH while at a tender port etc etc).
They pay all other expenses - drinks, specialty meals, port excursions etc etc. We always take one of DH's regular carers so we know they will fit in easily with us as well as knowing DH's routine's, requirements etc. We do count the fact that we are paying their travel expenses to count towards reimbursement and always go through exactly what our requirements will be and what they will be paid for prior to booking the cruise so that we're all on the same page and no hassles arise.
Not sure what things are like in the USA but in NSW, Australia we are able to access some flexible respite funding to assist with these costs so perhaps a similar scheme would be available to you?
When my father was alive, I traveled with them to do my mother's care. My dad paid my cruise and airfare, I paid the rest. My mother's live-in caregiver stayed home or went on her own vacation and we paid her usual salary while we were gone.
Now, I do all my mother's care when we travel (I don't live with her), but we did take her live-in care giver with us a couple of times. Both times we gave her the cruise as a gift (birthday or Christmas). She and I both did care for my mother, and the 3 of us shared a cabin.
We pay her a weekly rate (not hourly) so we just paid her what she normally gets during the cruise. We paid for the shore trips that she did with us...those she did on her own, she paid for. We also did not pay for her drinks or other optional extras. We paid her tips.
It really comes down to what you negotiate with the individual caregiver. If you are using agency staff, then the agency is likely to dictate what you pay.
1986 HA Constitution: Hawaii 7 day
1988 NCL Skyward: Western Caribbean 7 day
1992 Crystal Harmony: Transcanal 15 day
1994 Golden Princess: Mexican Riviera 7 day
1995 HA Independence: Hawaii 7 day
1997 Celebrity Zenith: Transcanal 15 day
1999 Grand Princess: Mediterranian 14 day
2000 Regal Princess: Alaska Inside Passage 7 day
2000 Crystal Harmony: SF to Sydney 20 day
2001 HAL Ryndam: Cape Horn/SA 17 day
2003 HAL Statendam: Hawaii RT San Diego 15 day
2003 RCI Vision of the Seas: Mexican Riviera 7 day
2004 HAL Ryndam: Sea of Cortez 10 day
2004 Island Princess: Hawaii RT LA 15 day
2005 Island Princess: Hawaii RT LA 15 day
2006 Celebrity Mercury Mexican Riviera RT San Diego 10 day
2009 Sapphire Princess Mexican Riviera RT Los Angeles 7 day
2010 Sapphire Princess Mexican Riviera RT Los Angeles 7 day
2013 HAL Westerdam Alaska Inside Passage RT Seattle 7 day