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Free Limited Mobility Excursions


OrpingtonT

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It was suggested that a new thread should be started concerned with problems associated with mobility and I am happy to open this thread.

Firstly may I say that in my experience, the staff on RSS Mariner and Voyager are faultless in their attitudes. From waiters to pool staff to the security staff, they go out of their way to be helpful. We have never had problems with other guests either, all have been most kind, helpful and understanding.

Our big problem however is the lack of suitable excursions in ports of call. Time and time again we read on the excursion lists that tours are not suitable for those with walking difficulties. As we have paid within our fare for “free excursions” this is a let-down to say the least. Occasionally there is a “Panorama” tour on the list and this is gratefully received. Otherwise we stay on board and select our itinerary where there are plenty of sea days. The difficulty is not confined to out-of-the-way places but also major ports of call in the Med for example. I know we could avail ourselves of a van or car for private sightseeing but as Regent advertise free excursions widely perhaps they should offer such free excursions to all their guests.

We would hope that Regent management, who have been made aware of this problem through comment cards and recently the good offices of Col Wes, would investigate how this situation could be improved. Short sightseeing trips perhaps even on small coaches would help, though I suspect the take up might be greater than a small coachload . This would relieve the difficulties on the other trips of able bodied folk being delayed by those less fit.

A side issue is the difficulty experienced by many in boarding coaches most of which have a high step. A simple step stool or wooden block would help boarding and deboarding and perhaps the Regent people who negotiate with ground agents could promote this idea as a necessity.

 

Over to you Mr Del Rio and Mr Kamlani. Gentlemen, we await your thoughts.

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We are also in need of more suitable excursions for the mobility impaired. Not necessarily a shorter tour, but one that give folks the time needed to walk and navigate stairs etc. An extra step on/off the bus would be a godsend. It is a sad fact that 80+ year old joints sometimes find it hard to step up/down that far.

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For our September 2012 cruise I had requested a step stool be provided for excursions. My travel agent duly noted that and that request was stated on the Regent invoice.

 

When we arrived on board, the Destinations Desk told me that it is"illegal" to provide them in Europe and is "against regulations" so this was never done throughout the 24 day cruise.

 

Seems very dubious to me. This issue jeopardizes my willingness to travel and cruise any more.

 

Carolyn

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Thank you for starting this! The step stool is critical! Plus, it is important to have some one at the door of the coach to offer a hand! Frequently, there is no one there. Remember Col. Wes, the workout king fell!

 

We usually end up getting a taxi! It works, but a small shorter excursion would be great! We often watch what I call the bus rodeos where 20 buses line up to accommodate tours. Surely, one could be for us with limited mobility! They are hiring buses anyway!

 

Certainly this is worth exploring by Regent!

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For our September 2012 cruise I had requested a step stool be provided for excursions. My travel agent duly noted that and that request was stated on the Regent invoice.

 

When we arrived on board, the Destinations Desk told me that it is"illegal" to provide them in Europe and is "against regulations" so this was never done throughout the 24 day cruise.

 

Seems very dubious to me. This issue jeopardizes my willingness to travel and cruise any more.

 

Carolyn

 

Although being in Europe, I know of know such regulation. We can assume that such a regulation is not in force in the USA, can we?

 

On 19 March this year, I will arrive in Miami and as our flights are with Regent Air, we will be met at the airport and taken to the Hyatt Regency, Coral Gables, our nominated Hotel for the night. Next day we will be taken to Miami port for boarding RSS Mariner. I will report to you whether a step stool is provided.

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A few years ago, my husband and I took an AMA river cruise. AMA provided "Gentle Walkers" tours. It was a very welcome option for those who wanted and required touring at a less demanding pace. The touring also offered some additional transport from site to site, rather than just walking. I'd like to suggest Regent consider doing the same.

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Hi, Tom...

 

Good move. I think this might get their attention about this issue..

 

I'm probably way up on the Regent loyalist's list and will do all I can to remain so, but loyalty works both ways.

 

The tour needs along with the ever rising costs and diminished perks are coming to the fore. I hope the responsible executives are paying attention.

 

You can't push a car uphill with a rope..:rolleyes:

 

burris

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In the US there is no such regulation that I know of. On our Disney cruise in Alaska there were indeed step stools to enter the bus.

 

I would be interested in hearing about experiences in Miami. I can't believe that a stool wouldn't be provided if requested.

 

This is such a simple thing too. Shouldn't take an act of Congress or Parliament.

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Just a story our Mariner trans Atlantic a couple of years ago. In Bermuda, minivans were used for they worked well for our adult disabled son.

 

When we got to Madeira, all excursions used large buses with the normal steps up to the bus. We left the ship and were standing close to the bus wondering how we were going to get our son up the steps to a seat on the bus. While we were discussing things and before we knew what was happening, the bus driver came to our son, picked him up out of his wheelchair, put him over his shoulder and carried him up the steps to the bus. The driver carried him on and off the bus at a stops along the way.

 

This is probably not a RSSC approved method and you could not depend on it but it worked at the time. Our son still talks about and shows people the pictures of him being carried on and off the bus (usually laughing about it the whole time).

 

In other ports along the way, we had problems getting him on and off the buses but with enough time and effort, we managed.

 

We have been on several different cruise lines and none have any real handicapped tours available. It seems that it would be a big selling point for a luxury cruise line like Regent which had a lot of older people with more mobility problems (and money) than most cruise lines.

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It might be helpful to Regent if someone started a poll to see how many CruiseCritic Regent passengers would take advantage of this type of excursion. Numbers mean a lot to them (which is why the poll on CC helped get the dress code changed 2-3 years ago).

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I'm surprised that someone hasn't looked at this from an ADA point of view. Regent as all inclusive is taking payment to cover shore excursions yet is excluding those who fall under the ADA umbrella.

 

ADA is not valid except in the U.S. (to my knowledge). When we get off the ship in a foreign country, we are governed by their laws -- not visa versa. And, if you read the Regent contract, they are not liable for people who fall on an excursion. Since Regent ships are registered in the Bahamas, the laws they are required to follow are quite fuzzy (as well described in the news articles on the Carnival Triumph). Even with my 20 year H.R. background, I find it difficult to decipher what, if any, U.S. laws cruise ships must adhere to. Heck, they don't even have to pay U.S taxes. How nice it would be to claim citizenship in the Bahamas and live in the U.S.

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I'm surprised that someone hasn't looked at this from an ADA point of view. Regent as all inclusive is taking payment to cover shore excursions yet is excluding those who fall under the ADA umbrella.

 

It seems that since all cruise lines register in foreign ports, they seem to be able to avoid most rules and regulations that we have here.

Maybe even taxes. ;)

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Yes, these ships are registered in weird foreign countries for a reason. I'm sure there are stringent EU regs similar to the ADA.

 

So it's really a moral responsibility that they have to live up to, since the majority of their pax are from the Americas and Europe.

 

Come on Regent, step up to the plate!

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Yes, these ships are registered in weird foreign countries for a reason. I'm sure there are stringent EU regs similar to the ADA.

 

So it's really a moral responsibility that they have to live up to, since the majority of their pax are from the Americas and Europe.

 

Come on Regent, step up to the plate!

 

There are many things that cruise ships company owners should do that is morally right...... workers' rights for instance............ paying taxes, etc. The list goes on and on and on. I assume that the cost of a cruise would double if they followed EU, Canadian, U.S. Australian, etc. regs. In terms of excursions, I seriously doubt if Regent could get a tour company in Asia, Africa or the Middle East to agree to regulations from other countries. The U.S. is still working towards meeting all ADA regulations. It has taken decades. As lovely as the idea is, IMO, it ain't gonna happen! The most I can see Regent doing is purchasing 30-50 steps (the kind used to assist getting into a bus) for each ship that can be borrowed by tour operators at each port (which really isn't a bad idea).

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............. The most I can see Regent doing is purchasing 30-50 steps (the kind used to assist getting into a bus) for each ship that can be borrowed by tour operators at each port (which really isn't a bad idea).

 

I do not see Regent doing this as it create a liability issue for them. Right now, once you leave the ship you re the tour operators responsibility. If

Regent were to give the tour operator any equipment and a passenger get hurt, they would look to Regent.

 

I don't even see Regent Staff help passengers with wheel chairs anymore. Whether it is true or not, I have overheard staff saying were not allowed too.

 

As much as I am in favor of the idea of more limited mobility tours, in many parts of the world the tour operators as just not set up for this. So I do not know how this would work out even if Regent wanted to do it.

 

 

j

29/403

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Are you saying or implying that Regent couldn't supply step stools as it creates a liability for them? If this is true, that's disgraceful.

 

What if they required the tour companies to provide the step stools? Would this give them shelter?

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Good point JMARINER!

 

bissel: IMO, you simply cannot require a tour operator in a third world country to provide step stools, nor could you make them liable for anything. If you trip (regardless of your physical condition), it is not anyone else's fault -- you cannot sue anyone.

 

To be clear, I am not against ADA, having excursions for disabled persons, etc. However, having worked in the industry that attempts to comply with ADA, it is a constant uphill battle -- one that I do not believe Regent (or any other cruise ship company) would want to adopt. IMO, Regent already goes above and beyond what is required by providing rooms that accommodate wheel chairs, handles to help get into and out of the bathtub, etc. I do not believe that embarkation or disembarkation of the disabled on Regent would meet ADA requirements. Access to and from tenders are way out of compliance.

 

As part of the Baby Boomer generation, I have no doubt that all of us will be hearing more and more on this subject. It is an important subject but is not one that I expect to be resolved in my lifetime.

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I really do not know why we should involve ourselves in the legality or otherwise of providing step stools. All I would say is that we ask Regent to look into the possibility, that is if they have not already done so. Leave the legalities to them.

 

IMO, Regent already goes above and beyond what is required by providing rooms that accommodate wheel chairs, handles to help get into and out of the bathtub, etc. I do not believe that embarkation or disembarkation of the disabled on Regent would meet ADA requirements. Access to and from tenders are way out of compliance.

 

 

Regent, I believe, does no more and no less, in providing facilities for disabled guests. I do not know what ADA requirements are, especially in regard to cruise ships. Regent staff have always been most helpful and even the senior officers help when they see a need. Long may it continue.

 

Meanwhile an excursion at each port suitable for those with limited mobility would be received gratefully, at least as long as plenty of "free" excursions are offered to those guests with full mobility.

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The Supreme Court decided in 2005 that cruise ships must conform to ADA requirements, this includes foreign flagged ships that stop in US ports.

 

Now, being the sensitive types, the court also realizes that these are sometimes difficult things to achieve on a ship, so they waffled all over the place.

 

According to the article (link to follow), Regent and most others have done the basics; some cruise lines have solved the tender problem for disabled guests. http://candyharrington.com/clips/cruise.php

 

Anyway...this discussion is veering off, I think what most of us are asking is for consideration when taking "free/included" excursions. I would like to solve one little problem at a time!

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