Shore Excursions for Wheelchairs

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#1
San Antonio
186 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Hello -
How do find out information on Shore Excursions for someone who has an electronic wheelchair? He is completely immobile.
Thanks much.
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Kerry
#3
AR
2,718 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by Wheeling_family_of_3
Did you go on any excursions? We are in the same situation, going to Western Caribbean in July.
IMHO
You will not be able to use the tender.
Very few, if any tours from RC will be WC friendly.
I have found 3, one in St. Thomas one in Boston and one more.

Google the name of the port and "accessible tour" and pray a lot
that you find a private tour is your best bet. also accessible taxi.

ASAP after boarding Freedom, visit with the excursion desk and see
what they have to say.
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Jack






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#4
6,343 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Wheeling_family_of_3
Did you go on any excursions? We are in the same situation, going to Western Caribbean in July.
Generally speaking most cruise lines do not offer wheelchair accessible shore excursions as the tour companies in the Western Caribbean do not have buses with lifts. Also expect little to no accessible taxis outside the USA. This is not being said to discourage you but rather prepare you for the fact that shores excursions for someone confined to a wheelchair are very difficult to find to find outside the USA as ADA law only applies to the USA.



Suggest the following:
  • List the ports of call for your cruise and perhaps someone could help you with more specific information if a private tour is available.
  • as Jackretired stated google accessible tours for the specific ports to locate private tours if available
  • In addition to contacting the Shore Excursion Desk after boarding the ship, it's suugested that contact RCCL's Shore Excursion Department and or RCCL's Special Needs Department now to determine what if any options might be available to you through RCCL.
Also if any port requires tendering, your husband will not be permitted on the tender. You have to understand it's for his own safety. Suggest you read this linkhttp://www.royalcaribbean.com/conten...d_off_the_ship
#5
North Carolina
183 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Yah, we figured that he would not be able to participate in shore excursions. We knew that he cannot disembark on a tendered port, so we are all planning to stay aboard that day and enjoy a quiet day on the ship. My husband is completely paralyzed shoulders down, so there is no way we can even get in a taxi, it would have to be a lift equipped van, which you can't even find in the US, much less to expect outside the US. Just figured I'd ask since there was someone in the same boat (bad pun sorry lol).
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#6
AR
2,718 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by Wheeling_family_of_3
Yah, we figured that he would not be able to participate in shore excursions. We knew that he cannot disembark on a tendered port, so we are all planning to stay aboard that day and enjoy a quiet day on the ship. My husband is completely paralyzed shoulders down, so there is no way we can even get in a taxi, it would have to be a lift equipped van, which you can't even find in the US, much less to expect outside the US. Just figured I'd ask since there was someone in the same boat (bad pun sorry lol).
Do not give up. The one I did on St. Thomas was via RC and was a bus with a lift. I have done private ones that had a ramp and good tie downs. In Boston it was old town trolley, they got on cell phone and shorty after we had one with a lift.
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Jack






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#7
North Carolina
287 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
You might check out thisiscozumel.com. I found them by googling accessible tours. They had pricing of $100 for a 1/2 day, private guided tour with a van with a lift. We didn't need the lift, just accessible stops along the way, so they are sending a station wagon for us for half the price. But they did have the van with lift and several different itineraries for our day in Cozumel. We are going in February. Check into that site and if you can't find it let me know and I will send the link that I used. Good luck.
#8
6,343 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Wheeling_family_of_3
Did you go on any excursions? We are in the same situation, going to Western Caribbean in July.
Just checked out the port intinerary for your cruise. Though Grand Caymans is a tendered port there is still a high possibility that your husband will be able to get off the ship. Was just there this past december on the Navigator and RCCL did not use their own tenders . Rather the port of Grand Caymans provided tenders and I was surprise that they were wheelchair accessible. I was able to drive my mobility scooter on/off the tender. The men operating the tenders were great in offering assistance. There's a nice area right outside the port to just explore.

Suggest the morning you dock in Grand Caymens you go down to the gangway and check the situation out. I was surprised when security told me that I could just drive right onto the tender.
#9
North Carolina
183 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by hopefulcruiser123
you might check out thisiscozumel.com. I found them by googling accessible tours. They had pricing of $100 for a 1/2 day, private guided tour with a van with a lift. We didn't need the lift, just accessible stops along the way, so they are sending a station wagon for us for half the price. But they did have the van with lift and several different itineraries for our day in cozumel. We are going in february. Check into that site and if you can't find it let me know and i will send the link that i used. Good luck.
thank you!!
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#10
Cleveland, Ohio
1,209 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
As has been said, tendering is a big issue. Since I do not know what ports you are visiting, I do not know what to say. However, I have checked Trip Advisor and am seeing more accessible tours. It just depends. Good luck.
#11
Morris County, NJ
240 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
I just came back from a 4 day trip on Majesty of the Seas. The tender to the private island was completely accessible and the island has beach wheel chairs.

I keep seeing posts stating categorically that no tenders are accessible. While this might be true in bad weather, I have to say that I have never had a problem with my scooter, and I have been on several different cruise lines and many different ships. Some tenders were more difficult than others and I understand that we all have different abilities, but to say that if a port is tendered it won't work at all is not accurate and unfair to the poster.

Just my humble opinion.

Kate
#12
Boston
2,433 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by kerry.johnson
Hello -
How do find out information on Shore Excursions for someone who has an electronic wheelchair? He is completely immobile.
Thanks much.
What islands will you be going to? We have done a few excursions on some of the islands.
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#13
Germany
171 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
For example in Spain you will find handivans with ramps in Barcelona and on Canary Islands ( I am sure - we used them ) In Venice / Italy and in Rome you can also find some. You need to google.
#14
Ontario, Canada
11 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by rangeley
What islands will you be going to? We have done a few excursions on some of the islands.
I am interested in anything you can tell me accessibiity-wise for tours and visiting the towns of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Thank-you very much in advance.
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Newbie Cruiser
Diver with limited mobility; generally use a wheelchair
Booked: 1st Cruise on Celebrity Silhouette - Eastern Caribbean February 3-10, 2013
Ports: San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Interested in:
+ learning the basics about cruises
+ the skinny on port tours
+ kayaking, snorkeling, relaxing on the beach, good food & great fish
#15
Sacramento
31 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
Originally posted by Rienne111
I am interested in anything you can tell me accessibiity-wise for tours and visiting the towns of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Thank-you very much in advance.
I am going on Bernard's tours in St. Maarten. I am using a manual wheelchair though. http://www.bernardstours.com/
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Siggy



#16
Surprise, Arizona
1,999 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
We did his tour and it was wonderful but you do have to be able to get into a van.
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Sandi

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#17
Boston
2,433 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by Rienne111
I am interested in anything you can tell me accessibiity-wise for tours and visiting the towns of San Juan, Puerto Rico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.

Thank-you very much in advance.
We just did a tour in St Maarten, google Shoreadventures.com the tour was 360.00 but we had enough people to cut the cost down. Great tour, went to the french side of the island. The tour included the beach but we chose not to go since we had 2 in wheelchairs. You can customize it to go where you want. We also did an accessible tour in Puerto Rico a few years back. These tours are not cheap but if you can get people to go it cuts down the price. Just google accessible tours and then the island and you will probably get some info. The ships never have anything to offer, yet I can find them online. Seems to me they just don't want to set anything up for people in wheelchairs.
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#18
4,096 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
In St. Maarten, after the water taxi (not accessible) and after the shops, to the right is a parking lot. If you go out there, make a left, (lots of people use this to escape the water taxis charge) there is a FLAT PATH to the beach, shopping area -- approx. 1/2 mile, occasionally shaded and curb cuts. There is a sign that says -- to the beach - go left and this will lead you to the beach boardwalk, flat (some vendors and eateries). Going along the boardwalk a little will bring you to alleyway shopping. If you go into one of these alleyways to the right, it will bring you to the main shopping street -- also flat but at times skinny. Most shops are accessible.

Take the same way back as if you go all the way down on the shopping street it is problematic to cars and traffic. Use the beach boardwalk for a little while to cut this area out. In total it is about a mile away from the pier -- but flat and scenic and safe.

There is also at the pier an information center that does know about accessible taxis -- however, high priced, and lots of traffic at times in St. Maarten -- French side shopping sort of flea market style. Seeing planes ride over beach low is a thrill, but other than that -- not much of great interest on $$$ tour.

In St. Thomas -- Havensight Mall pier before the shops (completely accessible to you) -- across the parking lot there is a Butterfly Museum -- small charge, an outside patio type thing -- flat -- a nature's paradise for butterflies. It is something to do!!!

St. Thomas open air bus does have an accessible one -- ask. However going to town is questionable as curb cuts are questionable and streets are skinny and lots of people. Coral World is a distance away -- we are from NY and did not find it worthwhile for trip distance and admission price. Also, not in the best of areas.

Puerto Rico -- skinny streets, cobblestone but worth the effort. San Cristobal is a few blocks from the pier -- there is a long hill to go up, so questionable for you. Otherwise, accessible. Just being out there in the streets give you true Puerto Rico flavor. Casino at Sheraton is only 2 blocks away and if there at night, Senor Frogs for Nachos and drinks is a must.

Enjoy the ports. Ask at the Excursion desk for ideas, ask the Port Shopping person about sidewalks -- and enjoy. Vicki
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#19
6,343 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by rangeley
What islands will you be going to? We have done a few excursions on some of the islands.
You do know that the original post is almost a year old ?? OP posted this question back in MARCH 2012 .
#20
4,096 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by xxoocruiser
You do know that the original post is almost a year old ?? OP posted this question back in MARCH 2012 .
You are observant -- but info will be there for the next inquiring person!
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