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raindropsalways

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About raindropsalways

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    Land of 10,000 lakes
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    Travel & family
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    The world

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  1. Some years ago, we were checking out both the Columbia and Mississippi river cruises and was told that they all have to be ADA compliant. Unfortunately, Ruth passed away before we booked one and I did not desire to do it alone. Do not remember which lines we were looking at, however their ships did have cabins for the handicap. One of the ships on the Mississippi even offered tours that that were handicap accessible.
  2. Info copied from deck plans applicable to cabins 4605 and 4607. Two twin beds that convert to Royal King, and private bathroom. Stateroom: 117 sq. ft.; Accessible: 128 sq. ft. Have a wonderful cruise. Betty
  3. We stayed at Doubletree by Hilton San Juan, 105 de Diego Avenue, San Juan and took a taxi to the ship. I do not remember what I paid for a taxi, regardless, I felt it was reasonable. I use a small scooter, thus we did not require an “accessible” taxi. If you require an “accessible” vehicle, just mention to whoever calls for taxis. Sailing on Royal Caribbean, you will probably depart from Pan American Pier, thus not near the Old San Juan down-town area. There are a number of hotels in the Old San Juan area, but I am not familiar with any of them. When we sailed from Pan American Pier, the ship had an evening sail-away which allowed people time to see some of Old San Juan before the cruise. In Old San Juan, I believe the trolley has space for one mobility device, however I have not ever used it. We scooted everywhere on our own. The sidewalks have cutouts with some in strange places. Yes, one has to pay attention when riding on those sidewalks. Most are rather high and in some areas rather narrow. If you stay in the main area shopping area of old San Juan, should not have any problems. You would also be able to get to Castillo de San Cristóbal (fort) without any problems. If you have an American Parks Pass, that can be used for free entry. The map below is about the best I have found for old San Juan (across the harbor from where you will board the ship). Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  4. Likewise, this does not answer your question, however on at least one trip, maybe two, the port's tenders were used and they carried our scooters on and off for us. I'm reluctant to make any positive statements, regardless, recently I've noticed that the cruise lines are sort of going back to putting small (light weight) mobility devices on tenders if the person is able to walk on. In that aspect, they do not commit themselves until everything else (weather, ocean condition) is doable.
  5. Normally I just go through in the standard line and wait my turn. I'm comfortably sitting on my scooter and cannot justify going ahead of the line. Unless the TSA system has a specific designated area for those of us with mobility devices, I do not mind waiting my turn. Many of those standing and waiting line could be experiencing discomfort. Have a wonderful cruise. Betty
  6. Unless things have changed, please do not expect the ship to take care of the scooter. Your are the one renting it, thus it is your responsibility. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  7. My info is not current, however, maybe it will help. In October 2007, my friend and I boarded the train in Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. We both used scooters. We did not have any reservations. There was also a third lady with us, however she does not require a scooter. In October 2014, my friend took Amtrak from San Diego to Santa Barbara without any reservations. I think she scooted from the ship to a station nearby. Also, in September, 2014, we did a number of east coast trips, however I had made reservations on all those. If there was an option for advising we were using mobility devices, I would have checked it, however we did not request any special assistance. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  8. Don - The size of that guy would probably squashed me. I'm not exactly small, regardless, that guy was big. Yes, I can attest that people all over the world are wonderful. Actually in the 60 some cruises I've been, I've only experienced two incidents. The other one was some guy talking to his wife while running across traffic. He actually hit me broad side and apologized and his wife accused me of running over him. In the long run, it is probably better that he hit me. If he would have hit the railing, he might have gone over. It was an upper deck with a banister around the area where we can look down at the decks below to see everything. I fully understand the benefits many can receive from using a mobility scooter and think it is great that they are using them. However, I do feel that those that who are not disabled utilize the standard cabins; most the disabled do not have any options. I can survive in a standard cabin and the hardships are minimal. Regardless, I am not really comfortable in the standard cabins. There are challenges. I am not sure, however Medicare use to have some restrictions on the type of scooter. They did have a negative attitude toward the three wheel scooters. I personally do not want a large scooter. I like the little three wheel. Betty
  9. It sounds like you pretty much have everything under control. The problem with the elevators is the lack of courtesy. At times when the majority are going to some function, it may seem we have to wait forever while the able bodied just walk right in ahead of us. Seems like we just may be below their vision. Also, there are many that are very nice and allow us to have our turn. The worse I have personally experienced was a long legged man that just stepped over the front of my scooter as I was entering the elevator. Not wanting him on my lap, I stopped, but wished I hadn't. One of the cruise lines occasionally lets those of us on mobility devices escape muster before the mob in hopes that we can access the elevators. Excluding the rush times, you should not have any problems with the elevators. Ruth and I would normally head for dinner a bit early to avoid the crowd. Easier to wait at the dinning room door and dodge the mob. If you plan on doing a lot of cruising, I'd suggest you consider purchasing your own scooter. From what I've heard, rental is not cheap. I was in St. Maarten in December and the sidewalk into town was sort of tore up one place and I sort of got stuck. Nothing major, just an inconvenience. In Grand Turk, Carnival's private island type area is totally accessible. San Juan some of the sidewalks are rather high and some are rather narrow. They do have cutouts. If you have a National Parks Access Pass, that will allow you free access to most the sights in San Juan. Castillo de San Cristóbal is close enough to the ships that you can easily get there on your own. I have been told there is one space for a mobility device on the trolley, but have never checked it out. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  10. Your biggest problem on the ship will probably be the elevators. So please be prepared to wait. Other than that, just take your time and you should not have any problems. If you have a very standard scooter, do something unique to make it stand out. I have a kitty license plate on my basket. I also have a cord on my key and always ask the waiter that parks it to bring the key back to me. I'm assuming that you have booked an HC cabin. If not, please verify that your scooter will fit through the cabin door. Also, you should fill out the special needs form. Ask your TA for one. Most ships are very accessible, however some of the older ones have strange routes getting to public places. Thus find the routes that work best for you. The crew is always considerate and very helpful. Just take easy and you should experience a wonderful trip. I assume you are referring to your cruise on the Radiance. You will require transportation to the ship's terminal. Unless they have changed things, mobility devices could not go over the bridge. All the ports of call are fairly accessible. San Juan has a steep hill, but is doable. Just make sure your scooter is always fully charged when you go ashore. You have plenty of time between now and that cruise, thus you should be very familiar with your scooter. I up-graded my batteries to 12V 15AH to get better mileage. At the time I had a few extra pounds and it really made a difference. If you have one with lithium batteries, I believe you have to take the batteries out and carry them on airplanes with you. The airlines will probably ask you to fill out their form when you book. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  11. You mentioned that you have wheelchair assistance to baggage claim. It has been over 10 years since the last time I flew into LAX, however at that time the airline provided assistance to get our scooters and luggage and then escorted us to the shuttles. Other than drive our scooters, we did not have to do anything. Currently, I have gate delivery for my scooter. In December, for my flight home, in Atlanta, I was escorted all the way to my connecting flight and in Minneapolis I was escorted all the way to the exterior door where my transportation was waiting. I do not know if that is a new standard or if those escorting me just enjoyed the walk. I attach my suitcase to the back of my scooter, thus I am totally independent. In both cases it was nice having someone to chat with. I would suggest that you contact your airline and verify what service you are getting. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  12. Well, this is not exactly what you are seeking, but it is the best place I can think of that you could see a multitude of animals up close... San Diego. To my knowledge, San Diego Zoo is still one of the largest in the world. We took my grandparents from Denmark there many years and they thoroughly enjoyed their visit. I also took my granddaughters there in more recent times and they thoroughly enjoyed it. One can easily spend a full day there. The zoo does offer forms of transportation. I believe San Diego port is basically a port for cruise departure or arrivals. Not aware of San Diego being a port of call. To my knowledge, most tours avoid animal places because people fail to abide by the rules. Ruth and I traveled all over the world and I cannot think of any ports where they had wild life nearby. However Ruth was able to ride an elephant in Phuket, Thailand and a camel in Tangier, Morocco (I baby sat the camel's calf). In Dubai, camel rides were available, in stead, I held one of the birds or prey (actually, it held onto my arm). We have also been to the Ostrich Farm in Aruba which was a very nice trip. Think they also had a llama there at the time. One can take a taxi to and from or they still may offer some form of transportation. I have also been to the donkey refuge in Aruba. Confiscated apples and pears from the ship to give to the donkeys. The donkeys sure enjoyed the fruit. Booked a round trip taxi, except we had him drop us off at Wilhelmina Park so the gal with me could see all the wild iguanas. It is approximately 1 km back to ship from the park. Nassau has the Ardastra Gardens, Zoo and Conservation Center. We scooted to and from the ship, however it is recommended that one takes a taxi. The route we took was not considered safe. Some of the other Caribbean islands have refuges for donkeys or horses. St. Maarten use to have a nice zoo, but gave away their animals to another island zoo after they got hit by a hurricane. The monkeys in Gibraltar are very friendly and out right thieves. They will take anything they can get away with. The Norwegian Fjords has goats and birds plus a slim chance of seeing a Norwegian Fjord horse. I do not recall seeing any of the horses, but we saw a lot of goats and birds and a lot of snow. One of the early spring cruises. Both Ruth and I require the use of a mobility scooter. At the time we visited many of these places, there was not anything “wheelchair accessible”, thus I sent dimensions and weight of our scooters to most of the private tours verifying that they could transport our scooters. I was told that the Zoo in Washington, D.C. was the largest in the world. Well, that may be land wise, however when I was there they had very few animals. That was in the mid 50s. Hope you can find something that you can thoroughly enjoy. Betty
  13. There are too many unknown factors. It is not the cabin as much as it is the width of the door to get in and out vs width of scooter. As soon as you have that info, you should be able to determine exactly what would work for you. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
  14. Most the Scandinavian ports are real easy to get around. Yes, they have the cobble stones and many bumps, regardless if you look at a map and predetermine what you want to see, chances you can get there without too much problem. I am not familiar with Kristiansand or Skagen. For Oslo, since you will be on foot, I would suggest taking the Ho Ho bus. Oslo is spread out, thus that could entail a lot of walking. We both used mobility scooters and used the metro to get to the further most point and scooted back toward town. Copenhagen will depend on the ship you are on. If it is small ship, chances are that you will dock at Langelinie. The advantage there is the fact you would be closer to the center of Copenhagen. However, if it is a medium to large ship, you will be docked Nordhavnen. I understand that the metro has been completed, thus you can get from Nordhaven either on the metro or a bus. You will definitely require transportation out of Nordhaven, where as, Langelinie is within walking distance of some sights. Both Copenhagen and Oslo have excellent transportation systems, however using the Hop on buses might be the easiest. You will find that most of the sights let the “helper” in free of charge. This is because it is up to the helper to assist the disabled person. That includes getting them up and down stairs if need be. Very few of the historical buildings have elevators. If you are fond of “fish & chips” make a stop at Torvehallerne. Right in the midst Copenhagen and very close to many sights. I have had great fish & chips in London, but these are the best. Also, Tivoli Gardens is in Copenhagen. Too bad that the ships do not spent the night in Copenhagen. That is the best time to go to Tivoli Gardens. Have a wonderful cruise. Betty
  15. I have been to all. Basically, we just put together a map with the places we wanted to see within scooting distance from the ship and saw things on our own. The routes are not necessarily the smoothest, but were doable. No worse than the cobble stones in Europe. Since I've been to all, the last few trips plus the up-coming trips, I just have things shown in basically scooting distance and use the maps to avoid getting lost. If this is of any interest to you, I can send you my .doc files for each. Just email me at bettysworldnow@yahoo.com with a note in subject “from Cruise Critic board”. I have a tendency to dumb strange email. Have a wonderful cruise, Betty
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