Posted January 12th, 2009, 08:34 AM
I only started using a scooter to get around within the last 6 months. So, while I have always had difficulty walking, the vacation we are planning will be my first experience traveling with the scooter. We decided a cruise might be the best way to go as it may be easier than a resort.
However, I am quickly learning there is a lot to think about in order to make the experience as positive as possible. We will be traveling in May. We have been looking at the Carnival Line as they seem to have a lot of cruises in May compared to some other lines as well as the best prices. However, upon reading some reviewed here, I have come across some concerns others have expressed.
Is there anyone who has had a good experience on the Carnival line lately?
Any comments would be appreciated.
First of all, if you really are thinking about cruising in May, the FIRST thing you need to do is find out whether any of the cruises you're interested in have any handicap-accessible cabins still available. Most of us who need those find we have to book months
in advance -- 6 months or more -- so you may not find any. Scooters won't fit into "regular" cabins, unless you get the smallest kind that break down, which you'd have to do every time you re-enter your cabin.
Then, make sure that the cabin truly is "handicap-accessible". Some of the cabins are "modified", meaning they've put in grab bars, sometimes, and maybe a ramp up into the bathroom, but a scooter (or wheelchair) won't fit in them.
Third, make sure you book on a new
Carnival ship. Some of the older ones have been retrofitted -- meaning while there are some modifications, the newer ships are much more accessible. Note that with even some of the new ships, public bathrooms aren't accessible, so you'd need to return to your cabin to use the facilities.
Fourth, depending on where you intend to cruise, note that new regulations imposed by the cruise line may
mean you won't be able to use the tender system to get from ship to shore, should the ship not dock next to shore. So unless you can step up/down into the tender, you won't be able to go to shore at every port, and then of course won't have the scooter to use once you're ashore.
I hope you find something that will accommodate your needs.