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I will be on a cruise to st Thomas and st marten early next year. My question is, how is the accessibility for wheelchairs over there? I have a manual chair and my buddy coming with me has a power chair. We don't plan really on doing excursions in either island, we just want to go explore the islands. I would like to know if there are any places near the port or would we need to catch a taxi to go eat or shop? I don't know how doable that would be with a power chair. How are the shops and restaurants in these islands? We both really want to experience local cuisine. Any help is appreciated.
They just recently introduced an accessible vehicle to take persons in wheelchairs to the downtown area of St Thomas, but the big problem is that the vehicle is usually booked by a ship. The downtown area is extremely difficult because the sidewalks are extremely narrow, have lots of holes and bumps and some of the curb cut outs are very steep. I now avoid the downtown area because of this. If you dock at Havensite, there's a large shopping mall right there, so no need to go into the town.
St Martin can also be a challenge in the town area because again, the sidewalks are very narrow. And, many of the places have steps to get into the building.
You are going to find things pretty hard going on St. Thomas unless you are content to just visit the shopping areas around Havensight or Crown Bay which are the two terminals that cruise ship dock at. On St. Maarten, Phillipsburg is quite accessible and the board walk is really very nice.
St. Martin should be very easy for you, but not so easy in St. Thomas. I use a mobility scooter and usually take a taxi where we want to go. If you can get a taxi and the chairs in, then you shouldn't have any issues.
Husband travels in power wheelchair. Have been on many cruises tons of ports. The only island we had difficulty with wheelchair cab was St. Thomas. Catching a cab was simple just go to boarding area in main district (may have to wait for short time for van to come that has a lift). Once we were getting off cab driver wanted to charge husband extra due to weight of his chair. Cab driver insisted on calling police because we refuse to pay extra. Police showed up and sided with us and even charged the cab driver with discrimination against the ADA act. Do not be afraid to fight for your rights.
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