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lharry

Visually impaired questions

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Looking for some advice please. 

My adult son has just recently lost his vision, after having booked a cruise with us for September next year. 

  1. Do I need to let Carnival know that he's disabled?
  2. is there anything specific that he needs to know or do in regards to boarding or immigration? (Probably a stupid question, but I just want to be sure)
  3. is there anything we could do to help him to recognize his cabin door?
  4. is there any excursion that would be particularly good for someone who cannot see? Right now he's bummed knowing he cannot see the beautiful sights and colors, but I'd love for him to still have an amazing time, regardless.  FYI - we are cruising to Bermuda

 

Thanks so much!

 

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Definitely let Carnival know.   They will also be available to help or direct you to the correct department regarding any suitable shore excursions.   When checking in at the terminal for your cruise, there will be plenty of Carnival employees to direct you to the correct line.   Although not on Carnival, we have been on a couple of cruises with passengers who looked like they were having a great time and had their seeing eye dogs with them

 

The cabin doors have Braile signage.   And many passengers put items on the outside of their cabin doors.

https://www.cruisehive.com/what-you-need-to-know-decorating-your-stateroom-door/23436

 

Take a look here for contact information:  https://www.carnival.com/about-carnival/special-needs.aspx

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Thank you Kokopelli-az.  I feel quite sure Braile is out of the question at this point - it's all so new.  He literally went from seeing fine in October to now not being able to see - and no cure or treatment is available.  He's still trying to wrap his head around the whole idea.

 

I do appreciate the links.  I will check them out.  And I will give Carnival a call as well.  

 

Another question that I just thought of - he won't have a need for an accessible room, right?  I'm assuming they are more suited to the physically handicapped, versus the visually handicapped.  Or, is there something I'm not thinking of.

 

Thanks again!

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I can’t see any advantage in a handicap room, I’ve had a few and haven’t noticed anything that might help the blind.

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Actually on second thoughts the extra space may save him a few bumps and bruises, standard cabins are pretty squeezey even with full vision, room to move without turning sideways may help him.

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The accessible cabins will not have the step up into the bathroom, which would be a trip hazard for a non-sighted person.  EM

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Oh - GREAT to know!!  Thank you for that!

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On 12/31/2018 at 6:38 PM, GUT2407 said:

I can’t see any advantage in a handicap room, I’ve had a few and haven’t noticed anything that might help the blind.

 

 

I can.  the standard cabin bathroom has a step up.. which can be pretty steep.   and I can see and have still stumbled/banged my toe  in the middle of the night having to hop

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On 12/31/2018 at 3:09 PM, lharry said:

Thank you Kokopelli-az.  I feel quite sure Braile is out of the question at this point - it's all so new.  He literally went from seeing fine in October to now not being able to see - and no cure or treatment is available.  He's still trying to wrap his head around the whole idea.

 

I do appreciate the links.  I will check them out.  And I will give Carnival a call as well.  

 

Another question that I just thought of - he won't have a need for an accessible room, right?  I'm assuming they are more suited to the physically handicapped, versus the visually handicapped.  Or, is there something I'm not thinking of.

 

Thanks again!

Handicap room also has door bell and phone in bathroom also. It’s a larger room and the bathroom is larger. For a person without vision easier to move around.

 I requested one after back surgery. I went onboard with walker and cane. I was very thankful for the shower size as I could not bend over at all. 

I requested the room only if no one with wheelchair or severe disabilities needed it.

Now that I’m recovered I’m much more sympathetic and understanding of all disabilities.

Request a handicapped room it will help you with your son.

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My wife of 30 years has been completely blind for the past 47 years (since she was 10). We cruise on Princess and she enjoys it very much. I have never let them know that she is blind as there is nothing special that she needs. I am always with her, so although she reads braille, the signage on the doors and elevators is moot. They do not provide menus in braille, so you will need to read it to your son even when he learns. She can do everything except drive (at least my car), so I book whichever excursions we want to do. My wife enjoys the "sights" as I have become quite good at describing the colors, actions, vistas or whatever is around us. We do quite a bit of hiking, so she will switch from her roller ball cane to an off road cane. She has not had a guide dog for several years but when she did have one we would leave him home when we cruised as he would limit the excursions we would be able to do. 

Sorry about your son losing his vision, but he should have a wonderful time on a cruise with you.

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Thank you very much Milldonkey!  I appreciate your insight.  We are adjusting to our new way of life.   And thanks about the excursions!  I will not limit him from doing anything based on his lack of vision.  He's young and very active, so we will find the perfect excursion for him.  :classic_smile:

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I recently met a blind woman traveling alone, and blind.  It was the first spray or so and she asked me which was to the schooner bar, which was the direction I was heading.  Along the way she recognized sounds and asked if certain things were near, they were.  I was on a scooter so she walked with her cane and talking along the way.  I warned her og

f a threshold that was wider than most, more as a landmark, and gave her verbal directions to get to sit at the bar.  I left outone step which she seemed to know was missing it was a turn or a step.  She scolded me and we laughed about it.  

 

I didnt see her again until debarkation.  She looked relaxed and enjoying herself.  Yes, she had been at it a few years and I’m not sure she was totally blind although with my directions I suspect she might have been.  While this was not a carnival cruise I can’t imagine your son not enjoying the music venues, the excursion venues and smells and a host of other things that make up for not seeing.   

 

I had a girlfriend in college that was born blind and had CP. that put her primarily in a wheelchair.  She taught me a lot about how to lead and what information she needed to function successfully.  There is a lot to learn especially on how to walk on uneven pavement. 

 

As for the room identification the doors are metal and many place magnets with items they recognize beneath them.  The door handles have an open end so even hangtags don’t stay on them!    I am in a scooter now, but walk in the room.  I trip over the side of the inclined floor near the bathroom, but then the step up is no better!  

 

A word of caution, sighted or not, only use the door handle to close the bathroom door. By the third day you will notice several with bandages where they forgot and pinched their had, it’s easy to do! . 

 

Since both of you are learning be patient with each other and you will discover that he hears things that you’ve never noticed.  However, you will be expected to identify them at least at first.  

 

Ave a great trip. 

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Benthayer - thank you so much for this information.  This was greatly helpful.  And thank you for being helpful to the blind woman.  I am quickly learning that the majority of people are "uncomfortable" with people who are "different", and it makes me sad.  I myself, am learning to be helpful to others and to treat everyone, no matter who or what, just like I would treat anyone.  Thanks for your advice!

Linda

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Yes, unfortunately people do get uncomfortable when there is no need to be.  I was waiting for a mother following her son down the hall to clear the entrance as he was walking as if he had a balance problem, in port.  She apologized and thanked me to which I told her I was in no hurry and if I were I could have gone down the other hall! Turned out he was one of the group of autistic kids on that trip.  He looked at least 18!  I spoke to him several times and his Mom told him I was talking to him!  Nice kid.  There is no reason I can think of not to be helpful when it cost you nothing really!   The gal on the ship seemed to have travelled before she asked about whether she was near places like the center atrium where she could hear music.  I told her yes the deck was open to a lower deck so you could hear the noise/music!   I assured her there were railings although she didn’t ask! 

 

Im so glad to see your son traveling.  I’m told it’s harder for those that have seen before but I met a guy years ago that said he was glad he had once seen things as it helped him understand better.  He was running a snack shop in an office building.  He asked me if I had the large package of whatever I had purchased but I couldn’t tell so I handed it to him so he could tell me!  Really nice guy in his perhaps 40s or 40s.    

 

 

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On 7/22/2019 at 4:26 PM, Benthayer Gonbak said:

  There is no reason I can think of not to be helpful when it cost you nothing really!  

 

 

 

Amen to that!

 

I used to have a lovely friend who lost her sight as a young adult and lived alone after her husband died too soon. She did all sorts of things after losing her sight, including learning to ride a horse and abseiling (She said she couldn't have done the latter when she was sighted as it would bother her seeing how far away the ground was!). At one time I used to take her line-dancing. She also travelled widely and generally lived a very full life.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, Slugsta said:

 

Amen to that!

 

I used to have a lovely friend who lost her sight as a young adult and lived alone after her husband died too soon. She did all sorts of things after losing her sight, including learning to ride a horse and abseiling (She said she couldn't have done the latter when she was sighted as it would bother her seeing how far away the ground was!). At one time I used to take her line-dancing. She also travelled widely and generally lived a very full life.

 

 

Absolutely love it!  

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On 12/30/2018 at 12:45 PM, lharry said:

 

  1. Do I need to let Carnival know that he's disabled?
  2. is there anything specific that he needs to know or do in regards to boarding or immigration? (Probably a stupid question, but I just want to be sure)
  3. is there anything we could do to help him to recognize his cabin door?
  4. is there any excursion that would be particularly good for someone who cannot see? Right now he's bummed knowing he cannot see the beautiful sights and colors, but I'd love for him to still have an amazing time, regardless.  FYI - we are cruising to Bermuda

My mom is completely blind (been so for almost 40 years).  She loves cruising. We go on trips about every other year, and my daughter(s) usually stay in her cabin with her.  She is also a type 1 diabetic, but that's a different story. To answer your questions:

1. YES, let them know.  The more they know about you before you get on the ship, the better.  You can call and also when you fill out your info on the website, note something there.  Especially with this being "new", having them know will help him along the way.

2.  Nothing specific, same as a sighted cruiser.  If you're lucky, sometimes they will escort you to a shorter line; keep that cane visible!

3.  I don't know how far along he is, or his progression, but you can totally decorate your door!  If he can see shadows, some dark paper or other items to contrast the door could help him find it.  Or, especially if you are celebrating, some balloons that stick out a tiny bit in the hall could help him find the cabin along a long hallway, again, depending on how much he can see.

4.  Excursions: something where you can feel the "adventure" is great.  Maybe a small boat ride, or the dune buggies, or even just renting floats to float along the shore.  I think my mom's favorite excursion was one we did where we got to swim with the dolphins; it was fun, interactive, and the only thing she couldn't see were the photos.  

 

A couple of other sight-challenged tips.  Have assigned seating in the dining room.  The wait staff is amazing!  Once they realize that someone is blind, I've always seen them go out of their way to help; whether it be cutting the meat up, explaining where the extra sauce is, or even just being a friendly hand.  The best thing about cruising with someone who is blind is they can familiarize themselves with the cabin, and still be able to go to cool places!  If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me.

 

Liz

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Just wanted to let you all know that we had a wonderful cruise!  My son had no problems getting around the ship - finding his way back to his stateroom, knowing which bathroom to enter, etc.  

 

One thing that was fantastic is that the Hub App works with voice over, so he was able to have it read everything to him, including the menu at night.  

 

As I had mentioned, this is a new thing for him and for us, and I still find myself pointing to things for him to look at, forgetting that he can't see it.  That is so frustrating for me, his mom.  One of the absolute coolest things that happened on the cruise was a "fly by" by a couple of US fighter jets.  They buzzed the ship probably 4 or 5 times.  When we saw it the first time, I sent him and his wife a message, saying come up to Lido - you gotta see this.  And then I broke down in tears because I realized he wouldn't be able to see it.  Just Damn!

 

Anyway, we are all adjusting to this new way of life, and we had an amazing cruise.  Thank you all who helped with your responses to my questions!  :-)  We've already booked the next cruise!

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4 hours ago, lharry said:

Just wanted to let you all know that we had a wonderful cruise!  My son had no problems getting around the ship - finding his way back to his stateroom, knowing which bathroom to enter, etc.  

 

One thing that was fantastic is that the Hub App works with voice over, so he was able to have it read everything to him, including the menu at night.  

 

As I had mentioned, this is a new thing for him and for us, and I still find myself pointing to things for him to look at, forgetting that he can't see it.  That is so frustrating for me, his mom.  One of the absolute coolest things that happened on the cruise was a "fly by" by a couple of US fighter jets.  They buzzed the ship probably 4 or 5 times.  When we saw it the first time, I sent him and his wife a message, saying come up to Lido - you gotta see this.  And then I broke down in tears because I realized he wouldn't be able to see it.  Just Damn!

 

Anyway, we are all adjusting to this new way of life, and we had an amazing cruise.  Thank you all who helped with your responses to my questions!  🙂 We've already booked the next cruise!

 

Sounds like you had a great time!  Bravo!!!   

 

Did I tell you about a deaf gal on a cruise visit to a ballet in Russia?  One of the ballerinas fell and hurt herself.  She was an abundant resource for knowing what really happened as her sight was greatly sharpened.  Similarly your son will develop greater hearing and you’ll be asking him about some things you missed.  

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I’m so glad he had a good cruise. At some point if he decides to apply for a guide dog, there is a world-class nonprofit in Florida called Southeastern Guide Dogs, and they provide trained dogs at no cost. Their modern campus is spectacular and tailored to people with vision loss, and some of their employees, including the admissions director, have visual disabilities themselves.

 

I was invited to their Commencement luncheon and ceremony in Sarasota last Friday, launching a crop of graduates who lost their vision due to various reasons with their new canine partners, and it was one of the most moving events I’ve ever had the honor to attend.

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That sounds amazing!  We have talked to him about a guide dog but he already has a dog and feels like she would be so jealous if a "new" dog comes into the house, and gets to go everywhere he goes, and his current dog doesn't.  But maybe at some point.  I would love to visit them.  And I will certainly look into donating to them.  What an amazing gift they are providing!!  Love it!

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Thank you for coming back to let us know how you all got on. I'm glad you had a great cruise and hope it is just the first of many.

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Thank you for the update. My wife and I are so happy for all of you. Only the best.

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