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  #21  
Old August 26th, 2012, 05:45 PM
jodicarmi jodicarmi is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nashville
Posts: 8
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Hello Jimice, I did the Epic Cruise in May 2012 to all those ports. I am in a manual wheelchair (paraplegic), I don't use an electric chair and can't walk at all. You will have an easier time in the ports with a manual chair (getting transportation) than an electric if you can transfer to regular taxis. Barcelona its port is right in the heart of town, you just pay 5 euros to take the blue bus to Columbus monument because its too long of a walk to get from port to town (there is a good website http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...-disabled.html) Barcelona alot of the underground is accessible but NOT ALL, the buses I believe are all accessible. I recommend doing the Turista bus (can't remember if that was the one) but you can get on and off of it and their accessible and it takes you to all the tourist spots. Cannes you are right in town (although you have to do the tender in.) So you don't need transportation. Epic has a lift that brings your chair down a few steps to get you on the tender boat although they don't like to do it til around 10 am but you should just book you tender time as soon as you get on the boat. If its really rough weather, they may not allow you off. You should get assigned a person in customer service that can help you with that stuff. If you prefer, you can give me your email and I can give you my number so you can call and I can tell you all my details. Marseille you can take a taxi into town - about 20 euros (you can try to share with others.) They have buses that take everyone else but they may or may not have 1 bus that is accessible (Epic reimbursed me my taxi fare to and from marseille because they didn't have a bus with a lift.) Rome I don't believe you can take the train there. I did a private car (better if you can find another couple to share the cost.) But the private car service can take you places that the buses can't and you can go everywhere you want. Livorno port and Naples I also did a private car service. Naples I suppose you can do a taxi into Naples if that is all you want to see because you port right in town but I took a car service to Pompeii (there is an accessible entrance but it was closed the day I was there because it was flooded out), we then had the driver take us throughout the Almafi coast (Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, and some other city starting with an R.) A little dificult to roll around those cities but I preferred just driving around and seeing it. Rome you can't just take a regular taxi as that would be really expensive so you will need a car service.I think I heard there was steps to get to the station but I am not sure and you may miss the ship taking the train. Livorno, the ship has buses that take you to Livorno but they may or may not have an accessible bus. Frankly you will want to go into Pisa and Florence though as Livorno I don't believe is very nice (Pisa and Florence are wonderful and you wont want to miss that.) I am more than happy to talk you through all my planning as I did alot of research and may still have some of my cheat sheets to help me when I was in the areas. Sage Travel has alot of tips for people in wheelchairs. I went through Fashion Travel and negotiated a lower rate for a private car because I guaranteed 3 days, I negotiated 1 rate for just 2 people and then another rate if I could find another 2 people on the cruise to share although since I wasn't guaranteeing 4 people, I wasn't getting a wheelchair lift (I was fine with just riding in a 4 door Mercedes for those 3 days.) They may want to charge more for a guaranteed wheelchair lift. I did get the cards of the actual car services that Fashion travel used if you want to negotiate directly but I think you may have an easier time just dealing with Fashion Travel. On Epic, you can't get to either the 5th or 6th floor from the elevator on 1 side of the ship so you may want to have your room on the side of the ship that has the elevator that takes you to all floors.
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  #22  
Old August 26th, 2012, 10:41 PM
Clochette Boréale's Avatar
Clochette Boréale Clochette Boréale is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Northern Ontario
Posts: 10
Default Thanks a lot

Quote:
Originally Posted by jodicarmi View Post
Hello Jimice, I did the Epic Cruise in May 2012 to all those ports. I am in a manual wheelchair (paraplegic), I don't use an electric chair and can't walk at all. You will have an easier time in the ports with a manual chair (getting transportation) than an electric if you can transfer to regular taxis. Barcelona its port is right in the heart of town, you just pay 5 euros to take the blue bus to Columbus monument because its too long of a walk to get from port to town (there is a good website http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...-disabled.html) Barcelona alot of the underground is accessible but NOT ALL, the buses I believe are all accessible. I recommend doing the Turista bus (can't remember if that was the one) but you can get on and off of it and their accessible and it takes you to all the tourist spots. Cannes you are right in town (although you have to do the tender in.) So you don't need transportation. Epic has a lift that brings your chair down a few steps to get you on the tender boat although they don't like to do it til around 10 am but you should just book you tender time as soon as you get on the boat. If its really rough weather, they may not allow you off. You should get assigned a person in customer service that can help you with that stuff. If you prefer, you can give me your email and I can give you my number so you can call and I can tell you all my details. Marseille you can take a taxi into town - about 20 euros (you can try to share with others.) They have buses that take everyone else but they may or may not have 1 bus that is accessible (Epic reimbursed me my taxi fare to and from marseille because they didn't have a bus with a lift.) Rome I don't believe you can take the train there. I did a private car (better if you can find another couple to share the cost.) But the private car service can take you places that the buses can't and you can go everywhere you want. Livorno port and Naples I also did a private car service. Naples I suppose you can do a taxi into Naples if that is all you want to see because you port right in town but I took a car service to Pompeii (there is an accessible entrance but it was closed the day I was there because it was flooded out), we then had the driver take us throughout the Almafi coast (Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, and some other city starting with an R.) A little dificult to roll around those cities but I preferred just driving around and seeing it. Rome you can't just take a regular taxi as that would be really expensive so you will need a car service.I think I heard there was steps to get to the station but I am not sure and you may miss the ship taking the train. Livorno, the ship has buses that take you to Livorno but they may or may not have an accessible bus. Frankly you will want to go into Pisa and Florence though as Livorno I don't believe is very nice (Pisa and Florence are wonderful and you wont want to miss that.) I am more than happy to talk you through all my planning as I did alot of research and may still have some of my cheat sheets to help me when I was in the areas. Sage Travel has alot of tips for people in wheelchairs. I went through Fashion Travel and negotiated a lower rate for a private car because I guaranteed 3 days, I negotiated 1 rate for just 2 people and then another rate if I could find another 2 people on the cruise to share although since I wasn't guaranteeing 4 people, I wasn't getting a wheelchair lift (I was fine with just riding in a 4 door Mercedes for those 3 days.) They may want to charge more for a guaranteed wheelchair lift. I did get the cards of the actual car services that Fashion travel used if you want to negotiate directly but I think you may have an easier time just dealing with Fashion Travel. On Epic, you can't get to either the 5th or 6th floor from the elevator on 1 side of the ship so you may want to have your room on the side of the ship that has the elevator that takes you to all floors.
This is very informative. It will help a lot when I take my 17 y.o. daughter in a manual wheelchair. She is mobile though. She just cannot walk more than 15 minutes.

Au plaisir and thanks for sharing that much
__________________

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  #23  
Old August 27th, 2012, 08:07 AM
jimice87's Avatar
jimice87 jimice87 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 118
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jodicarmi View Post
Hello Jimice, I did the Epic Cruise in May 2012 to all those ports. I am in a manual wheelchair (paraplegic), I don't use an electric chair and can't walk at all. You will have an easier time in the ports with a manual chair (getting transportation) than an electric if you can transfer to regular taxis. Barcelona its port is right in the heart of town, you just pay 5 euros to take the blue bus to Columbus monument because its too long of a walk to get from port to town (there is a good website http://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.c...-disabled.html) Barcelona alot of the underground is accessible but NOT ALL, the buses I believe are all accessible. I recommend doing the Turista bus (can't remember if that was the one) but you can get on and off of it and their accessible and it takes you to all the tourist spots. Cannes you are right in town (although you have to do the tender in.) So you don't need transportation. Epic has a lift that brings your chair down a few steps to get you on the tender boat although they don't like to do it til around 10 am but you should just book you tender time as soon as you get on the boat. If its really rough weather, they may not allow you off. You should get assigned a person in customer service that can help you with that stuff. If you prefer, you can give me your email and I can give you my number so you can call and I can tell you all my details. Marseille you can take a taxi into town - about 20 euros (you can try to share with others.) They have buses that take everyone else but they may or may not have 1 bus that is accessible (Epic reimbursed me my taxi fare to and from marseille because they didn't have a bus with a lift.) Rome I don't believe you can take the train there. I did a private car (better if you can find another couple to share the cost.) But the private car service can take you places that the buses can't and you can go everywhere you want. Livorno port and Naples I also did a private car service. Naples I suppose you can do a taxi into Naples if that is all you want to see because you port right in town but I took a car service to Pompeii (there is an accessible entrance but it was closed the day I was there because it was flooded out), we then had the driver take us throughout the Almafi coast (Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano, and some other city starting with an R.) A little dificult to roll around those cities but I preferred just driving around and seeing it. Rome you can't just take a regular taxi as that would be really expensive so you will need a car service.I think I heard there was steps to get to the station but I am not sure and you may miss the ship taking the train. Livorno, the ship has buses that take you to Livorno but they may or may not have an accessible bus. Frankly you will want to go into Pisa and Florence though as Livorno I don't believe is very nice (Pisa and Florence are wonderful and you wont want to miss that.) I am more than happy to talk you through all my planning as I did alot of research and may still have some of my cheat sheets to help me when I was in the areas. Sage Travel has alot of tips for people in wheelchairs. I went through Fashion Travel and negotiated a lower rate for a private car because I guaranteed 3 days, I negotiated 1 rate for just 2 people and then another rate if I could find another 2 people on the cruise to share although since I wasn't guaranteeing 4 people, I wasn't getting a wheelchair lift (I was fine with just riding in a 4 door Mercedes for those 3 days.) They may want to charge more for a guaranteed wheelchair lift. I did get the cards of the actual car services that Fashion travel used if you want to negotiate directly but I think you may have an easier time just dealing with Fashion Travel. On Epic, you can't get to either the 5th or 6th floor from the elevator on 1 side of the ship so you may want to have your room on the side of the ship that has the elevator that takes you to all floors.
Thank you so much for all this information! Here is my e-mail : lalande.melissa@gmail.com Because English is not my first language, I would be more confortable if we can chat together maybe by Facebook...

I have a few questions :
- I didn't find Fashion travel on Internet. Do they have a website?
- For Marseilles, how long is it from the port to town (in taxi)? How did you get reimbursed by NCL?

Thanks.

Mélissa
__________________
Jimice87 (Mélissa & Jimmy)



Past cruises:
  • December 19, 2009 - 7 Day Bahamas & Florida From New York on Norwegian Gem
  • August 20, 2010 - 7 Day Bermuda on Norwegian Spirit
  • February 26, 2011 - 7 Day Bahamas & Florida on Norwegian Gem
  • July 31, 2011 - 7 Day Bermuda on Norwegian Gem
  • January 01, 2012 - 7 Day Western Caribbean on Norwegian Star
  • May 13, 2012 - 7 Day Bermuda New York on Norwegian Star
  • October 14, 2012 - 7 Day Western Mediterranean on Norwegian Epic
  • October 21, 2012 - 13 Day Transatlantic From Barcelona on Norwegian Epic
  • November 04, 2012 - 10 Day Southern Caribbean From Miami on Norwegian Sun
  • April 30, 2013 - 7 Day Transatlantic on Norwegian Breakaway
  • August 23, 2013 - 7 Day Bermuda From Boston on Norwegian Dawn
  • December 14, 2013 - 9 Day Eastern Caribbean From New York on Norwegian Gem
  • April 6th, 2014 - 7 Day Bahamas & Florida on Norwegian Breakaway From New York
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  #24  
Old August 28th, 2012, 11:46 AM
jodicarmi jodicarmi is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nashville
Posts: 8
Default

The contact for Fashion Travel is below, Silvia helped me. If you don't speak italian then conversing my email is probably the easiest (although she does speak English.) Marseille was probably a 15-20 minute drive into the heart of town. On Epic, their was a customer service person who reached out to me about the tendering process for Cannes and she asked if I was doing any Shore Excursions for Marseilles. From what I recall, they had buses for everyone (for a flat rate) but I think she said that they may not have a wheelchair accessible one so she told me to get her my receipts and that they would reimburse me (they just credited my account by the amount I told them I spent for the taxi to and from Marseille.) Not sure if they would do that for everyone, I suppose it depends on if they have an accessible bus or not. Its probably about 20 euros there and 20 euros back.

Below you could find the links (available only in Italian, so you could translate it with Google) of the accessible itinerary in Pompeii
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Mediagallery.jsp?idGalleria=173&idFilmato=376
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp?idSezione=2310&idSezioneRif=302
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp?idSezione=2309
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp?titolo=Friendly%20Pompei,%20scavi%20pi %F9%20facili%20per%20tutti&idSezione=2309&idSezion eRif=722&lookfor=friendly
The entrance for disabled people is in Piazza Anfiteatro(I got in free and so did my companion - bring your handicap placard to use to get in free).
Rome:
Coliseum: you could access to the main entrance. There is a lift to access at the second floor (Free for handicap and companion.)
Vatican Museum: you could skip the line going directly to the Vatican Museums Hall at the desk "Permessi Speciali – Reception" (Free for handicap and companion).

Florence:
Uffizi Museum: you could access to the main entrance. There is a lift to access at the floors (check Sage Travel as I don't believe I went into the museum but I think I recall its accessible and probably free.)
Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral: the wheelchair accessible entrance is at Porta dei Canonici (southern entrance, not the main entrance) (I believe this was free as well for handicap and companion.)

I believe for a private car its usually 500 euros or more each for Rome, Florence, Naples/Amalfi Coast. I negotiated with Fashion Tour guaranteeing them all 3 cities for Total 1275 euro (mercedes car) – 4 people 1495 euro Total
If I would have guaranteed the 4 people in advance she would have guaranteed a minivan (wheelchair accessible.) Not sure if she will give the same deal but you definitely can negotiate with these companies. I found it easier that you reach out to them and tell them what you are willing to pay BEFORE they quote you a price because they don't like to come down off an original quote. Best to advise that you can get the package for a certain price elsewhere and ask if they can beat the price. Don't mention I posted this on the internet please Silvia was wonderful, very responsive, followed up to make sure everything was occurring. I believe I saw a listing for an agency that could help book cars for people in wheelchairs and it gave me this travel agency (although on their own website they don't mention anything about booking wheelchair accessible tours but she was very informative.)


Silvia Testa
FASHION TOUR
Vicolo del Fosso di Tor Pagnotta, 41 C
00134 Roma
www.fashion-tour.com
info@fashion-tour.com
Tel e Fax 0671357501
Skype: fashion-tour
Blog: www.fashiontour-italia.blogspot.com
www.fashiontour-holidayinitaly.blogspot.com


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  #25  
Old August 28th, 2012, 12:06 PM
jodicarmi jodicarmi is offline
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Nashville
Posts: 8
Default

The contact for Fashion Travel is below, Silvia helped me. If you don't speak italian then conversing by email is probably the easiest (although she does speak English.) Marseille was probably a 15-20 minute drive into the heart of town. On Epic, their was a customer service person who reached out to me about the tendering process for Cannes and she asked if I was doing any Shore Excursions for Marseilles. From what I recall, they had buses for everyone (for a flat rate) but I think she said that they may not have a wheelchair accessible one so she told me to get her my receipts and that they would reimburse me (they just credited my account by the amount I told them I spent for the taxi to and from Marseille.) Not sure if they would do that for everyone, I suppose it depends on if they have an accessible bus or not. Its probably about 20 euros there and 20 euros back.

Below you could find the links (available only in Italian, so you could translate it with Google) of the accessible itinerary in Pompeii
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Mediagallery.jsp?idGalleria=173&idFilmato=376
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp?idSezione=2310&idSezioneRif=302
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp?idSezione=2309
http://www.pompeiisites.org/Sezione.jsp?titolo=Friendly%20Pompei,%20scavi%20pi %F9%20facili%20per%20tutti&idSezione=2309&idSezion eRif=722&lookfor=friendly
The entrance for disabled people is in Piazza Anfiteatro(I got in free and so did my companion - bring your handicap placard to use to get in free). I didn't get to go in though as the handicap path was closed that day due to flooding/rain. I didn't book a guide to take me, I was just going to do it with my husband.
Rome:
Coliseum: you could access to the main entrance. There is a lift to access at the second floor (Free for handicap and companion.) Just need to be careful navigating inside and outside the coliseaum with all the cobblestone.
Vatican Museum: you could skip the line going directly to the Vatican Museums Hall at the desk "Permessi Speciali – Reception" (Free for handicap and companion). Overwhelming and lots to see so I didn't make it to the Basilca because there was so much.

Florence:
Uffizi Museum: you could access to the main entrance. There is a lift to access at the floors (check Sage Travel as I don't believe I went into the museum but I think I recall its accessible and probably free.)
Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral: the wheelchair accessible entrance is at Porta dei Canonici (southern entrance, not the main entrance) (I believe this was free as well for handicap and companion.)

I believe for a private car its usually 500 euros or more each for Rome, Florence, Naples/Amalfi Coast. I negotiated with Fashion Tour guaranteeing them all 3 cities for Total 1275 euro (mercedes car) – 4 people 1495 euro Total (since I can transfer to a car from my wheelchair I didn't need an accessible van guaranteed so it made it cheaper.)
If I would have guaranteed the 4 people in advance she would have guaranteed a minivan (wheelchair accessible.) Not sure if she will give the same deal but you definitely can negotiate with these companies. I found it easier that you reach out to them and tell them what you are willing to pay BEFORE they quote you a price because they don't like to come down off an original quote. Best to advise that you can get the package for a certain price elsewhere and ask if they can beat the price. Don't mention I posted this on the internet please Silvia was wonderful, very responsive, followed up to make sure everything was occurring. I believe I saw a listing for an agency that could help book cars for people in wheelchairs and it gave me this travel agency (although on their own website they don't mention anything about booking wheelchair accessible tours but she was very informative.)


Silvia Testa
FASHION TOUR
Vicolo del Fosso di Tor Pagnotta, 41 C
00134 Roma
www.fashion-tour.com
info@fashion-tour.com
Tel e Fax 0671357501
Skype: fashion-tour
Blog: www.fashiontour-italia.blogspot.com
www.fashiontour-holidayinitaly.blogspot.com


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