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CruiseDreamer28

Disabled - sometimes...

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I'm hoping that someone with some experience in this area can help me. I have a connective tissue disorder that causes a great deal of pain and difficulty getting around, but only sometimes. Sometimes I can get around without any assistance but other times I wear braces on my ankles and/or knees and use a cane or crutches. With normal activity, I can get by most days by taping and using small, discreet braces. However, with the amount of activity on a cruise, I expect that I will need more.

Here's my concern - I am in my 40s and don't "look" disabled. If I'm walking around on my own just fine one day and the next day I request assistance, am I going to run into problems? Are wheelchairs/walkers/crutches available to rent onboard (HAL) or should I bring my own just in case? Should I be prepared and have a note from my doctor ready to go?

I just read through a post about how frustrated folks are with "able bodied" passengers taking up the accessible cabins. I will be in a regular cabin, but have to say that reading that post scared me a little!

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there are no items available for passenger use on board except in emergencies.

 

you will need to bring your own mobility aids. a doctor note will be of zero use on board.

 

especially for in ports since nothing that the ship has will be allowed off the ship in any case.

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I have intermittent mobility issues due to spine surgery. Although there are times when I do not require any assistive devices, sometimes I need my leg brace and a walker. Then there are stages inbetween like just needing a cane.. I normally take my own walker on the ship, it helps me get my carry on luggage into the room, and if there are any delays in boarding I can set my bags down and have a seat. Also, with all of the walking I do around the ship and in port it can bring on weakness in the evenings and the walker comes in very handy. You can buy one at Costco, or on line. My issues began when I was 40, I am 62 now. Using the devices allows me to do more than if I just did what my body could do on it's own. I have never needed a Doctors note.

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Great advice, poolreader! Thanks so much. I was thinking a walker might be a good idea. I've been eyeing the ones with a seat since it can be hard for me to stand for extended periods of time. It's good to know I'm not the only one.

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I just read through a post about how frustrated folks are with "able bodied" passengers taking up the accessible cabins. I will be in a regular cabin, but have to say that reading that post scared me a little!

Please don't scared after reading that thread. Did you notice the date on the thread, its an old thread. If there was still a problem with "able bodied" passengers taking accessible cabins, the majority of the thread would be current.

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Please don't scared after reading that thread. Did you notice the date on the thread, its an old thread. If there was still a problem with "able bodied" passengers taking accessible cabins, the majority of the thread would be current.

Ummm there still is with some lines.

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Which lines?

 

 

ALL lines release HA cabins to general population/anyone can book at some point.. including before final payment date.

 

and only a few require proof of need before that.

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Here's my concern - I am in my 40s and don't "look" disabled. If I'm walking around on my own just fine one day and the next day I request assistance, am I going to run into problems? Are wheelchairs/walkers/crutches available to rent onboard (HAL) or should I bring my own just in case? Should I be prepared and have a note from my doctor ready to go?

 

Definitely bring your own mobility device. You will not need a note from your doctor. Ship personnel are available to assist passengers getting on and off the ship. There is a lot of walking on most ships; not only on the ship itself but at ports. Some of the docks getting from the ship to the port itself are very long.

 

Contact HAL's special needs department and let them know your needs:

 

https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/accessibility.html

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Hi @CruiseDreamer28! I've only cruised once but have 2 more scheduled in the next 8 months. I too have a connective tissue disorder (Osteogenesis Imperfecta) and have struggled with trying to figure out what assistive devices I need (if any). Last cruise I went with a scooter on RC. Due to the scooter, we had to have an accessible cabin bc we couldn't fit it into a regular sized cabin. I used it on and off throughout the cruise and even took it off ship into ports and on the excursions. Our next cruise is on RC Oasis and I most definitely will need a scooter due to the size of the ship. I'd say - do whatever feels most comfortable to you. Don't worry about what others may think or say. You know your limitations. Good luck to you and I hope you have a FABULOUS time on your upcoming cruise!!

 

Sent from my SM-N950U using Forums mobile app

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Thanks RachaelBelle! It's good to know that you've had success with a scooter and I appreciate the encouragement! I hope you also have a fabulous cruise (I should say cruises. Lucky!)

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Better to have and not need than to need and not have.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Best to plan for what you need for your lowest level of functioning...if you are doing better on your cruise, that is gravy. Don't plan on "assistance" from the cruise line. They won't provide it, and if you can't provide your own care needs, or have someone with you who can assist you, you could find yourself put off ship at the next port. So if you might need a wheelchair/scooter/rollator, take one with you. If it sits in your cabin the whole trip, fine, but if you need it, you have it.

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Take with you what you need and use it when you need it, don’t worry about what other people think, just rejoice in the fact that you are having a good day!

 

I too have a rare connective tissue disorder, I can on on a good day walk a very short distance, but standing for more than a few minutes is agony. My last cruise was on a large ship and I worked out that I could manage the distance from my cabin to the lift and then to the coffee bar (on a good day) but under- estimated the waiting time at the lifts! I had to sit on the stairs while hubbie went back to the cabin for the wheelchair! Lesson learned.

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As others have said, take what you might need and use it when you need to and leave it in the cabin when you don't. I have back and hip issues which makes it very difficult to stand for any period of time. I travel with my wheelchair. Once on board the cruise ship, if I'm heading somewhere I KNOW there won't be a line or any wait of any kind, I often give it a try if I'm having a good day. If I need the chair, I've got it. If I can walk, I try to do that. Do what makes it easier for you to enjoy the cruise, and don't worry about what others may think.

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