Cruising and limited mobility

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 05:52 PM.
#1
241 Posts
Joined May 2017
So my parents have invited themselves along on the cruise I am planning for my anniversary. Dad will be 81 and he has mobility issues. Most of the time he uses a walker. But I think we've got him convinced to use his wheel chair for embarkation and debarkation.
Is there special boarding for mobility issues or should I get them FTTF? Also we'll have separate cabins and reservations, but can we board with the parents to provide extra assistance? Or am I better off getting FTTF for everybody?
We'll be cruising the Mexican Riviera on the splendor. Anything else I need to know? Any tips or tricks anybody would like to share?
#2
21,698 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Having the FTTF will make it certain for you to board together, and make it convenient fo them for its uses aside from embarkation. When you get to the terminal, just approach any staff to ask for wheelchair assistance.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
#3
Homosassa, Fl and Colunbia, MD
2,878 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Link your reservations together. If they are linked, you should be able to obtain the same disembarkation group for the last day of the cruise.

Call special needs and let them know of your father's mobility issues and the need for wheelchair assistance on and off the ship.

Ask in the Disable Cruise Travel section of this board about any hints for traveling with someone with mobility issues and Carnival procedures. Also ask about hints for any of your ports. The folks on that board gave me lots of good advice when I traveled with a couple and the husband used a walker and scooter.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190
#4
241 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by Homosassa
Link your reservations together. If they are linked, you should be able to obtain the same disembarkation group for the last day of the cruise.

Call special needs and let them know of your father's mobility issues and the need for wheelchair assistance on and off the ship.

Ask in the Disable Cruise Travel section of this board about any hints for traveling with someone with mobility issues and Carnival procedures. Also ask about hints for any of your ports. The folks on that board gave me lots of good advice when I traveled with a couple and the husband used a walker and scooter.

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=190
Thank you, I forget how many specialty boards there are here.
#5
Central Ohio
2,951 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
I would encourage you to think about the HUGE amount of walking on the ship and evaluate whether he will be able to do it with just a walker. If he would need additional "help," there are companies that rent both wheelchairs and scooters that will deliver them directly to the stateroom and you leave them behind when you disembark.

DH has mobility issues and we always get FTTF to avoid the embarkation crowd as much as possible and to be able to access our stateroom right away. There is no longer a "special needs" embarkation group, everyone boards with their zone regardless of ability.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
I DON'T HAVE A CRUISE BOOKED
2017 - Carnival Dream
2016 - Carnival Sunshine (CA/NE)
2015 - Carnival Paradise
2014 - Carnival Elation
2012 - Carnival Sensation
#6
241 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by Schoifmom
I would encourage you to think about the HUGE amount of walking on the ship and evaluate whether he will be able to do it with just a walker. If he would need additional "help," there are companies that rent both wheelchairs and scooters that will deliver them directly to the stateroom and you leave them behind when you disembark.

DH has mobility issues and we always get FTTF to avoid the embarkation crowd as much as possible and to be able to access our stateroom right away. There is no longer a "special needs" embarkation group, everyone boards with their zone regardless of ability.
Thank you for the information on boarding, sounds like we'll be doing FTTF. We have a wheelchair, so if it gets to be too much walking we're covered. Otherwise his walker is one of those nice ones with wheels and a built in seat, can be used as a make-shift chair.
#7
Carolina Coast
3,838 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
My DH needs WC assistance for boarding and disembarkation. I notify Special Needs ahead of time he will need assistance and tell the first CCL employee at the terminal that he needs wheelchair assistance. He can get around once aboard but would never make the long ramps/walks boarding and disembarking.
The way it works when we've used it is that DH (with me trailing behind) is taken in a CCL wheelchair pushed by an employee to a check-in counter. We are checked in fairly quickly ... BUT ... we are then taken to a WC waiting area.
The ship normally has 3 or 4 staff members pushing wheelchairs - so you wait your turn. Not sure if platinum etc wait in another area or not but for us red, blue and golds it's first come first come/pushed aboard. We've never beaten folks we entered the terminal with in boarding the ship so this WC stuff is NOT a way to cut the boarding line
If you don't own a wheelchair yourselves You can google to find companies that rent wheelchairs on the ship that will be waiting in your stateroom.
If you don't get FTTF the pusher will drop you off in the Lido or atrium as you wish until the cabins are ready around 1:30
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Smooth Sailing -- Summersigh
HAL–Ryndam–Alaska 2006 Cunard–QM2–TA 2008 HAL–Westerdam–ECarib-Xmas 2009
CCL–Fascination–Bahamas 2010 RCCL–Enchantment OTS–NE/Can 2011 RRCL-FreedomOTS-WCarib-2012 CCL-Legend-ExoticWest-2013 HAL–Westerdam–EasCarib-2013 RCCL-GrandeurOTS-Bermuda-2014 HAL–Eurodam–WestCarib-2015 CCL-Sunshine-EastCarib-Jan 2016 and-May 2016 HAL–Zuiderdam–PC–Dec 2016 ** 2017 cancelled due to health issues :-( CCL-Elation-Eastern-May 2018 CCL-Breeze-Dec 2018
#9
Carolina Coast
3,838 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by riclop
You do not need FTTF just get wheel chair asst. and you will all board before FTTF.
Some ports are picky and only allow one person to accompany the wheelchair passenger being pushed.
In our experience the wheelchairs don't necessarily go before the FTTF or priority passengers ... in fact that's never happened to us. We've never beat the folks we arrive at the terminal with onto the ship.

Not complaining .... without the help boarding DH couldn't cruise. and a few minutes isn't going to make or break a trip
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Smooth Sailing -- Summersigh
HAL–Ryndam–Alaska 2006 Cunard–QM2–TA 2008 HAL–Westerdam–ECarib-Xmas 2009
CCL–Fascination–Bahamas 2010 RCCL–Enchantment OTS–NE/Can 2011 RRCL-FreedomOTS-WCarib-2012 CCL-Legend-ExoticWest-2013 HAL–Westerdam–EasCarib-2013 RCCL-GrandeurOTS-Bermuda-2014 HAL–Eurodam–WestCarib-2015 CCL-Sunshine-EastCarib-Jan 2016 and-May 2016 HAL–Zuiderdam–PC–Dec 2016 ** 2017 cancelled due to health issues :-( CCL-Elation-Eastern-May 2018 CCL-Breeze-Dec 2018
#10
Baton Rouge
901 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
Call the Special Assistance Desk. Tell them your concerns, and they should flag his reservation. Carnival will provide a WC and will push him on to the ship. However, after that, he'll be on his own. I would strongly consider renting him a scooter because the ships are very large. You can have it delivered and picked up from either the terminal or his cabin.

A note of caution: scooters are NOT to be parked in the hallways, even at night. They have to be stored inside the cabin.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Upcoming Cruises:
7/28/18: RC Majesty of the Seas (KW, Cuba)
11/18/18: NCL Breakaway (Coz, Belize, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya)
5/23/19: NCL Jade (European Cruise)

Past Cruises:
6/10/18: Carnival Dream (MoBay, GC, Cozumel)
11/19/17: Carnival Dream (KW, Freeport, Nassau)
6/3/17: NCL Escape (St Thomas, Tortola, Nassau)
5/28/16: RC Adventure of the Seas
10/26/14: Carnival Dream
11/9/13: Carnival Conquest
10/1/11: Carnival Ecstasy
5/15/11: Carnival Victory
2/7/10: NCL Spirit
3/2/08: NCL Spirit
5/20/07: RC Adventure of the Seas
5/30/04: Carnival Conquest
7/7/02: Carnival Elation
5/27/01: Carnival Destiny
#11
5,249 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
Originally posted by riclop
You do not need FTTF just get wheel chair asst. and you will all board before FTTF.
Not anymore.
Our recent experiences have been that Special Assist boards after FTTF and before General Boarding.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Magic - 2/19 Eastern Caribbean (401 days to go!)
Carnival Dream - 11/18 Western Caribbean (537 days to go!) MILESTONE!
Carnival Fascination - 2/18 Southern Caribbean (327 days to go!)
Carnival Glory - 11/17 - Eastern Caribbean (99 days to go!)
Carnival Miracle - 04/17 Mexican Riviera (225 days to go!)
Carnival Splendor - 02/17 Eastern Caribbean (355 days to go!)
Carnival Vista - 10/16 Transatlantic (629 days to go!)
Carnival Pride - 5/16 Caribbean (290 days to go!)
Carnival Breeze - 2/16 Western Caribbean (173 days to go!)
Carnival Legend - 7/15 Alaska (329 days to go!)
Carnival Conquest - 2/15 Southern Caribbean (298 days to go!)
Carnival Victory - 11/14 Bahamas (62 days to go!)
Carnival Legend - 8/14 Panama Canal (362 days to go!)
Carnival Magic - 4/14 Western Caribbean (64 days to go!)
Carnival Breeze - 10/13 Eastern Caribbean (435 days to go!)
Carnival Glory - 6/13 Canada (23 days to go!)
Carnival Liberty - 4/13 Eastern Caribbean (150 days to go!) Platinum, the old-fashioned way!
Carnival Pride - 10/12 Exotic Eastern Caribbean (225 days to go!)
Carnival Glory - 6/12 Canada (373 days to go!)
Carnival Dream - 4/12 Exotic Western Caribbean (409 days to go!)
Carnival Destiny 10/11 Western Caribbean (106 days to go!)
Carnival Splendor - 4/11 Mexican Riviera (441 days to go!)
Liberty of the Seas - 11/10 Eastern Caribbean (221 days to go!)
Carnival Miracle - 10/09 Exotic Southern Caribbean (360 days to go!)
Carnival Liberty - 7/08 Western Caribbean (348 days to go!)
Adventure of the Seas - 2/06 Southern Caribbean
Carnival Victory - 2/04 Eastern Caribbean
Rhapsody of the Seas - 2/02 Western Caribbean
Carnival Paradise - 2/00 Western Caribbean
#12
248 Posts
Joined Jun 2015
Just off the Vista last month. Here is some facts:
1. FTTF for disabled guests are a joke DONT DO IT! I have been screwed over by CCL 3 times now. JH promised me that we no longer get dumped in the Atrium if you have FTTF. You do. I was told I could NOT access my cabin until 1:30.

2. If you do not have FTTF you have general boarding with everyone else. As long as you have assistance you are better off not wasting your time.

3. Departing another joke 3 separate staff to wheel one person off. FTTF general guests were off the ship by 8:00, I got off at 9:30 WITH FTTF.

So unless you like throwing money away don't bother. They said there were going to refund me in 3 weeks well its been 4 weeks.

My complaint about Matt being discriminative and rude about disabled guests in general has gone unanswered still. No surprise there.

CCL has lost all credibility when it comes to disability in my books, good luck.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
#13
Central Ohio
2,951 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
Originally posted by summersigh
Some ports are picky and only allow one person to accompany the wheelchair passenger being pushed.
In our experience the wheelchairs don't necessarily go before the FTTF or priority passengers ... in fact that's never happened to us. We've never beat the folks we arrive at the terminal with onto the ship.

Not complaining .... without the help boarding DH couldn't cruise. and a few minutes isn't going to make or break a trip
Originally posted by stargate fan
Not anymore.
Our recent experiences have been that Special Assist boards after FTTF and before General Boarding.
Carnival no longer has a "special needs" boarding group. That group used to board just before or just after FTTF, depending on the port. NOW, all guests with special needs board with their assigned zone during general boarding (or with the appropriate priority group, if they qualify for that).
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
I DON'T HAVE A CRUISE BOOKED
2017 - Carnival Dream
2016 - Carnival Sunshine (CA/NE)
2015 - Carnival Paradise
2014 - Carnival Elation
2012 - Carnival Sensation
#14
Carolina Coast
3,838 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by Schoifmom
Carnival no longer has a "special needs" boarding group. That group used to board just before or just after FTTF, depending on the port. NOW, all guests with special needs board with their assigned zone during general boarding (or with the appropriate priority group, if they qualify for that).
If you have wheelchair assistance you must wait until there is a pusher and a wheelchair available. That may or may not be with your "assigned group" as there are normally only 2 or 3 pushers working at any given time. We've never been in a special needs boarding group on Carnival but were taken on board in the order we checked in with regular check-in and with a Special Needs representative.
Just saying based on our personal experience.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Smooth Sailing -- Summersigh
HAL–Ryndam–Alaska 2006 Cunard–QM2–TA 2008 HAL–Westerdam–ECarib-Xmas 2009
CCL–Fascination–Bahamas 2010 RCCL–Enchantment OTS–NE/Can 2011 RRCL-FreedomOTS-WCarib-2012 CCL-Legend-ExoticWest-2013 HAL–Westerdam–EasCarib-2013 RCCL-GrandeurOTS-Bermuda-2014 HAL–Eurodam–WestCarib-2015 CCL-Sunshine-EastCarib-Jan 2016 and-May 2016 HAL–Zuiderdam–PC–Dec 2016 ** 2017 cancelled due to health issues :-( CCL-Elation-Eastern-May 2018 CCL-Breeze-Dec 2018
#15
241 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by summersigh
If you have wheelchair assistance you must wait until there is a pusher and a wheelchair available. That may or may not be with your "assigned group" as there are normally only 2 or 3 pushers working at any given time. We've never been in a special needs boarding group on Carnival but were taken on board in the order we checked in with regular check-in and with a Special Needs representative.
Just saying based on our personal experience.
We'll be packing our own chair, So I'm guessing we'll just move through like normal.
#16
Carolina Coast
3,838 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Originally posted by mkcurran
We'll be packing our own chair, So I'm guessing we'll just move through like normal.
Will you be pushing the wheelchair up the ramps yourself?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Smooth Sailing -- Summersigh
HAL–Ryndam–Alaska 2006 Cunard–QM2–TA 2008 HAL–Westerdam–ECarib-Xmas 2009
CCL–Fascination–Bahamas 2010 RCCL–Enchantment OTS–NE/Can 2011 RRCL-FreedomOTS-WCarib-2012 CCL-Legend-ExoticWest-2013 HAL–Westerdam–EasCarib-2013 RCCL-GrandeurOTS-Bermuda-2014 HAL–Eurodam–WestCarib-2015 CCL-Sunshine-EastCarib-Jan 2016 and-May 2016 HAL–Zuiderdam–PC–Dec 2016 ** 2017 cancelled due to health issues :-( CCL-Elation-Eastern-May 2018 CCL-Breeze-Dec 2018
#17
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
24,176 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
In Long Beach assistance is given during the regular boarding times. When the Dome is finished, waiting will be inside.


Which itin are you on?

Cabo is a tender port. If he can go up and down stairs they’ll get him and his manual wheelchair into the tender. The Marina is wheelchair friendly but the restaurants have a few stairs.
As of November they’re redoing the PV port, so less to see right there. Lots of taxis at port. The Malecon is ok for wheelchairs.
Mazatlan has a tram to go thru the port for everyone. The tram goes from the ship to the shoreside shops and has a way for wheelchairs to go into onboard. (They look like the old Disneyland parking lot trams.) lots of shops in here and a Flea Market just outside Small taxis available. Most of Mazatlan isn’t too wheelchair friendly.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature








#18
241 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by summersigh
Will you be pushing the wheelchair up the ramps yourself?
Yes. My husband needs the exercise.
At the very least it sounds like it would be quicker and easier to do it that way. But we won't turn down help. Chances are Dad will want to walk once we get on the anyway.
#19
241 Posts
Joined May 2017
Originally posted by SadieN
In Long Beach assistance is given during the regular boarding times. When the Dome is finished, waiting will be inside.


Which itin are you on?

Cabo is a tender port. If he can go up and down stairs they’ll get him and his manual wheelchair into the tender. The Marina is wheelchair friendly but the restaurants have a few stairs.
As of November they’re redoing the PV port, so less to see right there. Lots of taxis at port. The Malecon is ok for wheelchairs.
Mazatlan has a tram to go thru the port for everyone. The tram goes from the ship to the shoreside shops and has a way for wheelchairs to go into onboard. (They look like the old Disneyland parking lot trams.) lots of shops in here and a Flea Market just outside Small taxis available. Most of Mazatlan isn’t too wheelchair friendly.


Sent from my iPhone using Forums
Dad will most likely use his walker for the ports. He can do a few steps. But we are hitting all three of those ports.
I don't know that the parents will get off in Cabo. I'm thinking they'll stay on the boat. So hubby and I will be hitting up a resort where we can Kayak, drink, and eat.
In PV we're eyeballing a tequila tour. Will try to find one that's accessible.
In Mazatlan, the current plan is to park our butts on a beach for the day and enjoy an all-inclusive. If we can find one where Dad can get around in the bar area.
I'm taking suggestions for tours in all three places if anybody has any ideas.
#20
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
24,176 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Look on the Mexican Riviera board for suggestions. We’re not Beach or resort people.

Look on the Disabled Cruisers board for ideas for your Dad.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature