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Benthayer Gonbak

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  1. As I understand it TAs have a different contact system and often find them better with information. as for questions about the scooter, as I think about it it’s mostly been overseas not knowing even if the battery needs removing! Southwest says no as others have too. The original documentation had only amps and voltage, it was a pilot that wanted wattage. We now have added wattage and how to calculate it on the info sheet😇. The only time I’ve ever had a scooter refused was on the Big Bus in London! They had just received a directive of no lithium batteries on their busses. I’ll take note of Frontier refusing a scooter although I’m not normal where I can fly them. When I travelled a lot, for business I found a lot of regions small planes that I doubt could have handled any scooter. And yes, we can handle the scooter without help although I cannot lift it by myself, we just been on ships that don’t want us to lifting it, or drag it for that matter! I look forward to learning what you finally discover.
  2. What we did with the what is it for etc, for scripts, was cut and paste the info from RxList, at least I thing that’s what we sent. My problem was they wanted copies of the scripts and not all were due for renewal. The pharmacy gave us a few copies but it was a general mess! The requirements also said we needed a doctors note but after emailing 3 pounds of paper the doctors signature, other than on scripts, were not require! The scooter has not been a problem although docked in Greenwich was indeed interesting! The crew loves it as it is light, to them, at 60 pounds. Since I can walk a gangway, usually, getting on and off normally is only slightly difficult. The crew rarely wants either of us dragging it. Thanks for the encouragement, and warning. Some of the information that is requested often seems odd including wanting to know if my walker/wheelchair is motorized after already answering that question! One question wanted to know combined weight of person and scooter, after asking if one would walk short distances. Since I had seen 4 guys carrying a large passenger and scooter in Canada I understood the question, sort of, but they’d already asked weight so they could have added them! I agree that the letters are not free, when we need a note for hubby’s bypass surgery they had just started charging about $25 minimum. We were not charged but would be now. Based on the requirements they had, I would have composed a letter etc just to cut the cost of the number of pages! I wish you luck too, and I’d love to know how things go. I really appreciate the heads up. The airlines have been comical at times mostly not recording all the information they were given! We carry a spec sheet with us, converted to metric, to make their life easier and still are chased down in the lounge for more information. They are getting better about lithium batteries but at one time wanted to know if it was wet, dry, or gel!
  3. I recently booked for Sept 2023 and found there were no handicap ocean view cabins available, and they had not been announce for very long. for what it is worth, cabins are occasionally released when final payment is due so if you are going to lose your deposit anyway I’d try a waitlist. and, as others have suggested, see if they’ll give you a cruise credit for a future cruise. Not the best solution but I’d think it was worth a try.
  4. We were a bit surprised about the meds, as I mentioned. I did opt not to take my “special” pain pills, but was surprised about things like anti anxiety meds, and a few others you might not want to stop taking. Of course the meds to make meth like cough syrup were no no’s too. ive never had meds questioned and have only listed meds for my nebulizer. If I were diabetic I might mention those too, because of refrigeration. And maybe heart meds? for the yacht they moved my room so I’ve climb fewer stairs, which was nice although I’m not convinced it cut too many out! good luck and I’d love to hear if you find out what they are looking for: my Dad now wears an eloquis bracelet, which I’d think they might want to know. But he cruised for years with Coumadin with no notices to anyone.
  5. We recently went with friends on an MSC cruise where the rooms were exceedingly small but it was last minute, sort of. In order to navigate at night my hubby had to lift the scooter over the beds as there ” scooter by because of the desk. We did that only at nigh and left it in the way during the day. Our friends who weren’t dealing with a scooter thought there was so little room that they actually arranged their room so that the beds were in a T shape, basically along the bathroom wall and the adjoining wall. It would have given us more room but was more of a hassle for us due to the CPAPs needing night tables. And of course the extension cord going across the room, and it was only 7 days! when I just had the walker we chose an interior room on the Enchantment. That was when we learned to separate beds as that gave us the most floor space. If there are pull down beds it also keeps your head safe. The particular room did not have space for a sofa, and we joked that the bathroom door hit the bottom of the bed! When we packed to leave we couldn’t pack at the same times as there wasn’t enough space to stand between the beds and I doubt that there was more than 16 inches. My point is only that I was surprised that such small rooms existed on commercial vessels! And that, with some practice many problems can be solved enough to be doable. I want to reiterate what someone else pointed out and that was some accessible cabins don’t have the hall space to easily turn into the room and even the automatic doors can close too fast. Since I walk short distances we freewheel the scooter and hand guide it through the doorway.
  6. your question is more complex than it sounds. Depending upon the port the tides can change enough that the boarding deck is different from when you got off. I also remember, at times the Equinox separated the ramps for off and on, seems like as far as midship and aft. Several ports have wheelchair service, or shuttles to get you down the pier but not always. nevertheless, with a bit of checking you may be able to find a way to leave you chair near where you will need it when you return. You’d be surprised about how much the room stewards can tell you if they’ve been going to that port recently. The problem is that COVID has kept them from gaining that information and storing something that isn’t sanitized may also have a raft of rules no one knoe how to handle, yet. I do wish you luck. I now have a scooter, but I remember getting frustrated with my rollator that I needed to walk to the other end of the ship to get back on, in some ports. Remember Celebrity in the afternoon sets up a covered area with chairs, cold water and cold towels. Assuming they are trying too much distancing you should be able to sit and rest for several minutes (15-30) before boarding perhaps giving you enough energy to get back to your cabin. The getting off still remains though as the sitting area isn’t there just after you get off. And tours are notorious of meeting in the theater and then getting off at the other end, or so it seems!
  7. on one of our trips when I had a rollator, we got a fairly small taxi. The luggage went in the trunk but the driver tried to put the walker in the front, the door wouldn’t close as I warned him, but it would fit in the back with me, hubby sat in front! I now have a folding scooter which would actually fit even better. we toured in Japan and taxi drivers would go weird until the guide assured the driver the scooter folded. Only one Camary did the trunk not completely close and we tied it down as we weren’t traveling too far. Almost all the taxis were Toyota’s. fwiw, our suitcases are 28 inch, or nearly cases. We also have 3 carryons, on fully of medical equipment. While we didn’t regularly have then on tours we did have to get from the hotel to the port in Toyko. I now worry more about vans being too high to step into!
  8. interesting observation! I was on a ship that in port had a power failure for the elevators. That meant I would have to climb 3-4 flights of stairs. I was offered the option of being carried but declined. I wanted reserve that option for a real emergency. And, at the time walking down 3-4 flights of stairs was easily done. Had I tried to climb them I could have made it but I’d have been done for 3 days. Since I was stuck in the lobby I was offered room service, complete with white wine, to where I was sitting! A nice gesture, for sure. it took less than 90 minutes for the elevators to work, and yes they even considered the crew elevators which were also out. I still think without an emergency I made the right decision. edit: There are indeed pax that are identified to be carried down stairs, at muster time. Some processes are more obvious than others. Also if handicap is in the back of the theater they go to the closest lifeboat, normally. My biggest complaint is that most are not taught how to help, at least on tenders! If I were to fall they’d drop me without even breaking a fall. The best help I had was an officer that reached out with one hand to help me out. I grabbed his wrist where he could also get mine and poof I was up and out. Although surprised he commented that that was the way to grab ahold. I so wanted to stop, in the way, and tell him to teach the crew! If I pull on most of them they’d land in the bottom of the vessel! Getting in they don’t want me to hang on to the tender. I tell them they can only have 1 hand I get to hold on with the other. I am strong enough to hang on until someone can help me get my feet back under me.
  9. on a president’s cruise, Celebrity, the president was directly asked why there weren’t more accessible rooms. She claimed that their overall averages showed they often sailed with them unused. Of course, most of us had never seen that, but depending on how you average I can imagine how I could make it true. We were told that they were doing more things with dates and ships as newer ships were built. But since we prefer smaller ships that doesn’t fix much other than move some people off the ship we want accessible rooms on. .
  10. i had someone do that on the hall to the handicapped room. I had a rollator at the time.p and could get past the scooter. The can steward told me there was no problem, so I told him to show me, he didn’t know I’d been through there once before. He moved and moved the scooter and discovered it was too wide for me to pass. The occupants said but there’s no other place to put it but gave the steward the key so he could move it to where the elevators were. It was never there again! I had seen stewards, in the past, take the scooters in the evenings to charge them for guest, but I believe those were rentals. I believe the steward told the folks to call and he would bring it, which was above and beyond imho! I must admit I’ve left a scooter in the hall when I just want to pop in and out to get something, like glasses. Many times that was because the turning radius wasn’t good for that ship and made it a hassle. On one cruise the steward could get in trouble if he allowed it, in part because there were storage cabinets that couldn’t be blocked, or shouldn’t. I behaved if I couldn’t get in and out before the door slammed. Also moved the scooter where it wasn’t a safety issue, or not as much. I was delight to see the stewards enforcing the clear hall!
  11. if you try to book some Royal Caribbean cruises, onboard, they will tell you that the room is fully accessible but the doors on that ship have not been modified to the wider widths. Been there done that, although for me width was not a problem. Unfortunately I had to cancel that as DH had bypass surgery shortly before ailing. as others have mentioned you need to book early and then change fares as needed. But even that doesn’t work for all situations. I booked my Africa trip for 2021/2022 in 2019 when it was first released. 2 weeks ago it was cancelled and the 2022/2023 replacement does not have a replacement handicapped cabin! And the specific ship changed too! I’m waitlisted as I need some of the access but not all. Their rooms have been changed to be inset, for turning, as well as automatic doors, which are really nice. be careful with NCl, or at least the Epic, their public restrooms have a threshold high enough that I turned a scooter over trying to drive over it! And yes they had to carry me to the infirmary .. no external bleeding but I did hit my head hard!
  12. I haven’t done a river cruise but found 2 nations where what medicines and how much needed special permission and still some wasn’t allowed. We never got an answer bad from Abu Dhabi, but managed to leave the luggage checked overnight so that one of the medicines was never in the country. Japan approved the list but had a 90 day supply allowance for most of it. Abu Dhabi was 30 days, iirc, and they didn’t allow even Tylenol PM. while I doubt that’s the issue with the river cruise there are countries that have some serious restrictions. To put a smile maybe, on your face, I had a rollator when I arrived for a Galapagos cruise. It stayed behind the sofa on the yacht. They were a bit UN nerved but told be that they’d had people show up with larger scooters when it’s clearly posted there are no elevators! I now have a folding scooter, and so far have only had to answer whether I can transfer and the dimensions and weight of the scooter. I’ve yet to be denied tender access. I still want to do a river cruise. let us know whether you get an answer.
  13. There are washable underwear that are supposed to be goo for 200 washings. The handle leaks and are for men and women styles. Wish I could remember the name right now. I wouldn’t rely on them completely, bit several pairs might make you feel like you can handle emergencies wher you are running short either because of more usage or delayed returns home. I carried bladder pads for a 2 month cruise and found a cheap duffle, online, about the same size as the box. Since I was allowed 2 pieces of luggage, internationally, I just shipped the box as luggage. May have had some soft items too, but not many. Did something similar for a trip to Australia for 6 weeks of cruises. I also carry a bag with CPAPs, extra scooter batteries, and a nebulizer as a carry on, it has a medical equipment tag on it. The only time I was concerned about it was an flight internal to the UK. There was a smaller than normal size for the overhead bin. I was also worried about item count and so counted that item as one of our carryons. Normally, like flying on emergency home from St Maarten I’ve had no trouble with an extra carry on. As for bedding, it’s heavy but Joann’s Fabric carries the rubberized sheeting used for changing tables etc. we have friends who carry the soft memory foam like padding for their bed because they are too hard. The room steward then is given it for their own beds, they always love it. It makes up for having to remake the bed the first day although there’s always a bit of a tip to go with the unusual setup. good luck. If I find the name of the cloth like underwear I post it. They aren’t particularly cheap, but a good backup I’d think.
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