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raindropsalways

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About raindropsalways

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    Land of 10,000 lakes
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  1. Yes, I am fully aware of booking early. Ruth and I traveled together over ten years and 40 cruises and yes we booked many cruises when the bookings opened or occasionally we would find a deal we could not resist. Fortunately, if the price dropped before final payment and we brought it to our TA's attention, she would get the better price for us. If we booked a special deal we might end up in a standard cabin, which did happen a few times.. If you think it is tight with a scooter in a standard cabin, try two scooters in a standard cabin. Ruth passed away two days before we were to start one of our five cruise marathons. Yes, we created our own b-2-b on multiple cruises. My up-coming cruises, Cathy had already booked and I joined her. Fortunately, she was able to switch to an HC cabin on one cruise, but the other one we will be in a standard cabin. Cathy and I have cruised together and she is aware of the challenges. However, for the cruise we booked together, it is not until 2021 and we booked it some months ago through my TA. And yes, we have an HC cabin. Also, when a sale popped up, we got the discount. And yes, I agree it would be great if there were more accessible cabins on the ships. However, I believe it is on a percentage basis as demanded by ADA. However, if the able bodied did not book them, it would give a few more of us an opportunity to take more cruises in comfort. So in stead of fighting among ourselves, lets do what we can to eliminate the problem. I believe there have been some statistics regarding the increased numbers of disabled, get the ADA to increase the required number of accessible cabins. May not solve the problem, but sure might help. The space and special accommodations cost the cruise lines money. They will not voluntarily change. Let's all have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  2. Jim, I believe you may truly be handicap, but since it is a “nasty” word you will not admit it. I suggested the placard because it is only issued to people that cannot walk specific distance without possible harm or death. Handrails are a form or aids. I can also walk, I just lack the ability to breath.... with or without hand rails, thus I use a scooter and yes, I have HC plates on my van and my placard in my purse. And I do walk without places or distances I feel safe doing. Being stuck with a mobile device is no fun. To my knowledge, none of us have any desire to prevent someone who truly needs the accommodations in a HC cabin. Regardless, there are many who abuse the system, thus those of us that need it are deprived. Personally, I do not want to know why a person may need the accommodations, however we need some was to prevent those who do not need said accommodations from depriving those who do require the accommodations. Preferably a legal non-intrusive way. Could you be so kind to share some constructive ideas. Thanks, Betty
  3. The route into town and the sidewalks in town are not the best in the world, however it is only about 1 ½ miles into the center of town from the ship. On one trip, as we were headed to Blackbeard's Castle, the police stopped us and told us it was not safe due to crime rate. So we just wandered around town. We have made the trip a number of times. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  4. I think my age is showing. Back in the 40s, someplace in the Riverside area there was an annual parade mainly of Arabian horses with riders appropriately dressed. We had stables in the Los Angeles area and my dad attended or participated in most parades. Yes, I have also attended a Rose Parade.
  5. Athens is fairly accessible. When they hosted the Special Olympics, they up-graded many things. I do not know if the elevator for the Acropolis is working or not. It has been a few years since we were there. We took a taxi form the cruise ship into town and visited a number of sights. Then we took the metro back to the harbor. There was a ramp in the first metro car however, we made a running leap into another car before we knew about the ramp and the people assisted us. . If there are specific places you wish to see, I'd suggest writing (email) to them and ask about accessibility. There has been numerous modifications through out Europe. Over the years I have written to various city Visitors or Tourist offices of a city and they have been very helpful. Have a wonderful trip, Betty
  6. My memory is not good enough to answer your question. We took the ship's shuttle bus to Blankenberge to catch the train, however I do not remember if it was wheelchair accessible or if they could just transport our scooters. We were planning on taking the tram because it had two wheelchair spaces. The train was very accessible. You could contact the ship's service for the handicap and ask if their shuttle bus is wheelchair accessible. If you require a lift or ramp, please make that clear to them. Also, it appears that they may have a shuttle directly into Bruges now. I know the trolley was accessible, however there is a distance between it and the terminal. Also, there has been some changes since I was there. It appears that you may have a few options, https://zeebrugge.net/en/cruise-terminal.php#map I did not notice any “contact” info the cruise terminal, however here is the port's email address: mbz@zeebruggeport.be. I have found the Ports to be very helpful. Here is another link that looks promising: https://zeebrugge.net/en/cruise-terminal.php When you get into Bruges, visit the Basilica of the Holy Blood. We had to ring a door below below and they sent an elevator down to us. Here is there email address if you wish any further info: info@holyblood.com And, if you are traveling with someone, please take your parking placard. Many of the sights in Europe will let your “helper” in free if you have the placard. Sometimes they ask and other times they just let the person with you in free. If you could get a round trip shuttle direct into Bruges, it would save you hassle and time. Ruth and I traveled before there was much of anything accessible, thus I sent an abundance of emails. Fortunately, people were very good at responding. If they could not help, most offered suggestions. Have a wonderful cruise. Betty
  7. For both Barcelona and Rome, I looked at Google maps and found hotels near where I wanted to go, places I wanted to see or location near public transportation (buses or metro systems). Then I would write to the hotels and ask about accessibility. Seems like in more recent times, most have accessible accommodations. If you just click on the hotel name on the map, it will normally provide link to that hotel. Barcelona has excellent public transportation and was able to use both buses and metro to see the sights and get to the ship. It the ship is docked at the main terminals, there is a shuttle bus at the port entrance to get you over the bridge and to the ship. In Rome we found a hotel near the train station since we used the trains to and from the port and used the Ho Ho buses to see the sights. It has been years since I've been in your area. Do they still have the parade with all the Arabian horses? Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  8. Unfortunately, my memory is not as good as it once was and due to computer problems, I dumped all my old trips. Regardless, I do remember a few things. I did check your itinerary and noticed that you will be sailing in and out of Rome. I would suggest that you spend a few days or at least a couple days in Rome before the cruise. Their ho ho bus has space for one mobility device. You could basically see all of Rome in two or three days. From Rome it is an easy train ride to Civitavecchia (departure port). It was just a short distance from the train station to the shuttle buses to ship. If I recall correctly, Royal Caribbean docks close enough that one can scoot to the ship. With four of you, a private transfer might be less expensive. For two of us, the train was the most economical. Ruth and I traveled to most of the places before “accessible vehicles” were in, thus we based our plans on anything that could transport our scooters. In Ephesus I found a source that would transport our scooters so we visited a local museum and mountain village. I had visited the Ephesus Archaeological Museum when I was still playing able bodied and it really was not something for mobility scooters. However I do believe that it is very possible modifications may have been made making it accessible. Definitely worth checking out. Athens if fairly accessible. Ruth and I took a taxi into town and the metro back to the port. We both had been to the Acropolis, thus did not venture up there. I do not know if the elevator is working or not. They built the elevator the year they hosted the Special Olympics. Accessing the metro was a running leap due to the gap. However we were informed that there was a ramp in the first car. People are wonderful everywhere, others on the metro helped us getting in and out. Naples is fairly accessible. Depending on what you want to see in town, you should be able to either scoot to and from or use public transportation. I've never had and desire to see Pompei, thus no idea of what would be involved. I think Messina is the port we got rained on; more like a continuous cloud burst that would not stop. We were using the local ho ho bus and gave up and went back to the ship... two mighty wet gals regardless of the fact we both had excellent rain gear. On an overall basis, we found transportation that could transport our scooters. At the time of our visits, “accessible” vehicles really did not exist. However, from what I have seen in more recent times, any company with an accessible vehicle is rather pricey. We both used the small travel scooters, thus they would fit in car trunks or in a van without too much effort. Yes, we gave driver a couple extra dollars for handling our scooters and still do. My experience has been that most tour companies with the “accessible” vehicles charge an out-rages price. If you can get in and out of a vehicle on your own, I'd suggest just asking if source can transport your scooter. Also, most shuttle buses now offer limited space for mobility devices or at least a few in their fleet that can. If you are flying out the same day you disembark, there was not any train service directly from Civitavecchia to the Rome airport. We had a very late departure, thus took the train to a small community south of Rome with many sights. Visited all the sights and took the evening train to the airport. If you decide to book any trains in Italy, please use Trenitalia. https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html. If you are already there, just purchase them at the station. Do not use Rail Europe or any of the American companies. There mark-up beyond real. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  9. I believe you may have a misunderstood the parking permit. The placard (Badge) is what a person hangs in the window regardless who is driving. It is what a handicap person uses to make his or her trip easier by using a space designated for the handicap. I have the HC plates on my van and keep my placard in my purse so when I am with someone else, the vehicle I'm in can park in the designated parking spaces. Just something a tad bit easier for us. To my knowledge, all cruise lines offer some form of recognition based on the number of days a person has cruised on their line. Bloodgem – You are 100% right. There is not any basic HC cabin that will take care of everyone. However, at lease one cruise line has addressed some aspects. They have equipment that can be put in cabins for the death and blind. Also, more and more cruise lines are creating a designated area for mobility devices outside of their cabins. However the extent of services may vary. It seems like most cruisers have favorite lines for what ever reason. Thus it would be logical that the disabled would start selecting lines that best service their specific needs. Of course, those individuals might have to give up their special diner, cocktails, entertainment or something else. In other words, determine which is more important, their life/health or that special dinner, extra cocktail or show. I have not noticed anyone openly selecting a cruise line that best provides for their specific medical needs. Regardless, I'm sure most of us have determined that some cruises seem to make things more pleasant for us. I definitely prefer one cruise line for their accommodations, however it happens to be a bit more expensive than my budget normally allows. Fortunately, I can occasionally find a deal, thus enjoy one of their cruises in comfort. .
  10. Yes, I also wear glasses, less apt to run over anyone with my scooter if I see what is in front of me. And just to make things complete, I'll try to remember to put in my hearing aids. Oh, I have to get batteries for the hearing aids. And no, I am not joking. Regardless, all the broken down parts are the original. Betty
  11. SeaBurd - Why on earth would you assume that those of us on small mobility scooters do not need the other aspects of an accessible cabin? Unfortunately, it seems that the many fail to understand that most of us on mobility scooters are there due to serious medical issues, not necessarily a problem with the legs or inability to walk. If I could breath when I walk and my heart would simmer down on the drum beats, I would not need a mobility scooter to start with. Plus a few other issues require most of the things in the HC cabins. However, in the past 15 years there has been minor improvements and due to the quality of air on the cruise ships, I no longer have to tote a POC along. Regardless, I still have to limit activities, which are becoming less and less every year. In my case, and I would also assume others, the physical exertion prevents me from breathing normal and grasping for air becomes a challenge. On the realistic side, just how many people do you think enjoy being stuck on a scooter the majority of the day. It is no fun. True, there are some that are using scooters to assist, not necessarily a medical requirement. I do not know if those individuals are booking standard cabins or HC cabins. Regardless, I have a tendency to believe that they are booking the HC cabins on the assumption that is what they should book. Also, if they are experiencing difficulties walking, it seems the grab bars would be very essential. A logic question. When a person is operating a motor vehicle they have to abide all the local laws and the vehicle has to be on compliance with the local laws of that country. Why wouldn't a ship sailing in that country's waters be compelled to abide by that country's laws? That just does not make any sense. Gut2407. Please do not even try one of the small mobility scooters. Even down to the 130 – 140 lbs, the small scooters will tip very easily. I can guarantee you that I would not be able to pick you up. Betty
  12. Thanks you for the address. That will be a great help. You have a very valid point about the small scooters. However, many of the people that use small mobility scooters is because of another more serious medical condition. In my case, my legs work, my lungs is the problem, plus a few other contributing issues. I never leave home without inhalers and nitro. And yes, BP is also a serious issue for me, along with breathing. I also travel with proper equipment to check my BP. Ruth had Charcot-Marie-Tooth. All her physical movements were limited. We struggled more than once getting her up off the floor. Both our scooters were the small ones for our own convenience. And yes, we sailed in many standard cabins because no accessible available. Not only is the doorway small, the cabin is small and where do you park a scooter? Two scooters in some accessible cabins can even be tight; very tight. Even the shower is cramped with a shower stool in a standard cabin. The riser does not make much of an impact on overall space. We made it work. Fortunately, neither of us spent much time in the cabin. We wanted to see the world, the cabin a place to sleep and bathe. For my up-coming cruises, I submitted my forms for Carnival and Princess in June and both required signature, not my doctor's signature and it only covers my needs. There is nothing on the form that indicates what is physically wrong with me. For my NCL cruise in 2021, I also submitted my form for my needs in July, once again, signature is required and I only had to indicate my needs. On the bottom of all the forms, it indicates signature required. Nothing even suggest doctor's signature. Basically the exact same forms I've been submitting for over ten years. I do not remember where I read about the ADA applying to all ships sailing from U.S. ports. The only comments I heard about NCL's ship is the fact that they have to pay the US minimum wages. Take notice sometime of the various European lines that offer transatlantic cruises; excluding Cunard. Most of those ships do not dock in the US. Yes, there are a few ships in those lines that do dock at US ports occasionally. Really doubt that it would matter if a doctor fills it out as long as he or she did not include your illness.... the “personal” information. The letter I travel with from my doctor is for my safety As I stated in another post, I carry a letter signed by my doctor at all times. It is basically for my own protection and has served me well. I had an emergency and was not exactly coherent at the time. That letter covered the major issues and aided all the doctors I saw along the way.
  13. Cruises are not the only place this attitude appears. https://www.yahoo.com/news/kristen-walbieser-wheelchair-stands-up-disney-world-115843330.html And in regards to disabled abusing the system. The numbers there are not in the masses. It is very rare, regardless it should not happen. Regardless, the point I'm attempting is the fact that it is not the major problem plus they would not have to do it if the major problem was stopped.
  14. I agree with you, however, that was declared a “no no” by the handicap many years ago. Their logic was that such a letter included “personal” information that was none of the ship's business. And as I understand, those individual won their quest to prevent such a letter. In my personal opinion, I think they were crazy. The more people that know my problems, the safer I am. I travel with a letter indicating my problems and my needs and my doctor up-dates it every year, thus kept current along with a complete list of my prescriptions. In my particular case, I did have an accident on a cruise where I broke my hip and was sent to Grenada General Hospital. The doctor on the ship, the doctor at Grenada Hospital, the doctor at Broward Hospital (Fort Lauderdale) and the doctor at the nursing home in Minneapolis all thanked and complimented me on my documentation. Also, I do always have travel insurance. NOTE: There is a private hospital on Grenada that the ships normally send cruisers to. However, one of the ship's tours was involved in an accident and all those injured cruisers ended up filling that hospital. In addition, the problems they are having with support animals has proven that various doctors will falsify letters, whereas, the majority of doctors will not falsify government documents. That is the reason I suggested using the HC parking permit. At present, I think there is just too many that would preferred there was no way to prove handicap. For economic purposes, the cruise lines will probably continue to provide the minimum number of cabins possible as long as possible. As long as they keep filling the ships, there is no need to add the additional cost and decrease the number of cabins by increasing the size of a few. Yes, it is very disheartening, but it is business and the profits is what the cruise lines are looking at.. Actually, it sounds like a few that posted on this thread are more interested in preventing the ship from being able to verify need. Regardless, I'm doing what I think will help. As a random individual, I doubt that I will accomplish anything, but at least I've tried. Regardless, I am still open to feasible suggestions that are aimed at stopping the non-disabled. The few disabled that abuse the system are not the problem. I'm not sure as to the time element, however at a specific number of days before the cruise departure date, any cabins for the disabled not booked are released into general bookings. I really doubt that the cruise lines would violate the rules by giving to the elite before that date.
  15. I think it is pretty much a disaster when any of us fall. Please do your best to avoid falling. Yes, I know that we do not always have control of things regardless of how hard we try. However, please take care.
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