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eaglerockers@msn.com

1st Time Using a Walker...Advice?

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My DH’s doctor just ordered a walker/rollator for him to use due to a worsening walking disability. The walker should arrive in a week, which gives him about 10 days to get use to it before our cruise. Do I need to notify Princess Cruises that he’s using a walker? I think we’re good to go as far as being on the cruise itself.  When it comes to getting on and off the cruise, are there any special arrangements I should be making? We’re not taking any shore excursions.

Thank you all for any advice….and happy sailing!

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No.  You may want to ask for wheelchair boarding but otherwise, you’ll be fine on board

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You might want to check out this link from the Princess website.   Click on Accessible Cruising:

 

https://www.princess.com/learn/faq_answer/pre_cruise/prepare.jsp

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Rather than a walker, I would use a rollator which serves as a walker and additionally serves as a seat on long walks where benches/chairs do not exist!  I rent a scooter when on board because of the distances. It's incredible and gives me freedom - which is precious. I have used wheelchairs before but that makes the wheelchair pusher (DH) go where I want to go!  Also - the ship carries wheelchairs and will assist getting you on and off the ship - you just need to ask.

 

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1 hour ago, Balboa79 said:

Rather than a walker, I would use a rollator which serves as a walker and additionally serves as a seat on long walks where benches/chairs do not exist!  I rent a scooter when on board because of the distances. It's incredible and gives me freedom - which is precious. I have used wheelchairs before but that makes the wheelchair pusher (DH) go where I want to go!  Also - the ship carries wheelchairs and will assist getting you on and off the ship - you just need to ask.

 

What great advice; thank you! I should have said he's using a rollator. He's just getting the hang of it now and hopefully, by our cruise in 2 weeks, will be a pro. Happy sailing, Balboa 79!

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On 4/13/2019 at 7:27 PM, eaglerockers@msn.com said:

 I should have said he's using a rollator.

 

It is much easier using a rollator especially on grass, cobblestones etc (make sure you have your hands on the brakes!)

The rollator is probably better for balance problems as I usually had to use both hands on a walker and the rollator, being heavier and with four wheels, could be manuvered with one hand.

The advice about a (rented) scooter on the ship is good advice too - and handy on tours if the bus can handle it

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2 minutes ago, tommui987 said:

 

It is much easier using a rollator especially on grass, cobblestones etc (make sure you have your hands on the brakes!)

The rollator is probably better for balance problems as I usually had to use both hands on a walker and the rollator, being heavier and with four wheels, could be manuvered with one hand.

The advice about a (rented) scooter on the ship is good advice too - and handy on tours if the bus can handle it

Thank you! It's going to be a rollator.

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On 4/14/2019 at 9:32 AM, Balboa79 said:

In two weeks he will be a pro!!  Have a great cruise!!

 

Thanks for your encouragement, we had a wonderful cruise. No problems to speak of, my hubby handled his rollator very well. I wish I had asked for a wheelchair at disembarkation, but other than than things went smoothly. Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Great news!  Glad it went well! Yes, asking for wheelchair both boarding and disembarking is important - that's a very long walk to get off the ship - and then no benches, etc to grab.  And standing in lines, etc. If you are assisted off, it's quick and easy - usually through luggage pickup, Customs and out to your bus area, pick up waiting point, taxi, etc.  Makes life much easier!  I have a scooter at home and rent one for the ship - and it has completely changed my life. I don't need it in the house as I can walk 10 steps or so, but going to a store, a show, restaurant, etc are impossible.  As much as I hate to admit the age and disability - these aids make life so much more pleasant for BOTH my husband and me!!  I'm glad we have them!!  Keep in touch!

 

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As long as a rollator was mentioned, I'd like to ask a question. We are going on the Tundra Wilderness tour in Denali. They use a school bus. When I asked the princess accessibility office about storage of the rollator on the bus I was told to fold it and keep it in front of me. Does anyone have experience with this? I'm very apprehensive. Thanks! Joyce

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The Tundra Wilderness Tour in Denali is on an actual school bus. There is no under the bus storage. I barely had room for my small backpack in front of my knees. You do not need to get off the bus to see anything if you sit by a window. There are  stops to stretch your legs and wash station stops. It is a great tour but I am not sure I would want to set in a bus seat with my rollator in front of me.

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It might be possible to do that if you are very short. As this is a school bus there is very shallow knee room. If you are 5 ft 2 inches or less you should be OK. I am 6 ft 2 inches and my knees were stuffed against the metal back of the seat in front. Luckily our bus was not full so my DH (6 ft 4 inches) and I each took a separate seat. There was a small area at the back of the bus where you could put the walker IF it is not used for supplies. I would write the park service at Denali and see what they advise you. I would not take Princess word for this tour as it is a park service tour.

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Thank you Maxmann65 and Katisdale for your responses. I was on this tour several years ago and am familiar with the school bus they use. I'm hoping the rollator can be stored by the back door. Maybe there will be an empty seat in back. I'll cross my fingers. Joyce

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 We've rented a rollator walker for my husband for our next cruise.  I have 2 questions.

If we choose to get off the ship at ports will there be some personnel to carry the rollator down the ramp or stairs or will that be my problem?  If so we'll probably stay on the ship.

If we do take a Princess tour will the bus be able to store the rollator?  When he used a cane there was no problem, but a rollator is too big to keep by our seat on the bus.

We've been on many tours, but I never really paid attention to how people with disabilities get on or off the ship in ports.  Now I realize how difficult this can be.

 

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1 hour ago, gunnywife said:

 We've rented a rollator walker for my husband for our next cruise.  I have 2 questions.

If we choose to get off the ship at ports will there be some personnel to carry the rollator down the ramp or stairs or will that be my problem?  If so we'll probably stay on the ship.

If we do take a Princess tour will the bus be able to store the rollator?  When he used a cane there was no problem, but a rollator is too big to keep by our seat on the bus.

We've been on many tours, but I never really paid attention to how people with disabilities get on or off the ship in ports.  Now I realize how difficult this can be.

 

Regarding accessibility getting off or on the ship, the Princess website states: Special gangway mechanisms on most ships simplify embarkation and disembarkation for wheelchair guests in many world-wide ports.    This mentions wheelchairs but it may work for rollators, also.  You can check with Princess' Access Office to confirm assistance:   accessofficeprincess@princesscruises.com     My husband rents a scooter for cruises and he has always received assistance getting off the ship and back on; the crew either helps him while he drives the scooter or if he walks they get the scooter on or off the ship for him.   He also has a rollator and the times I have assisted with getting it up or down the ship's ramp for him have been extremely easy.

 

Regarding taking bus tours, if it is an actual tour bus most of them have storage below where people stow wheelchairs, rollators, luggage, etc.   When you book your tour, Princess can confirm with the tour operator about being able to stow a rollator.

 

 

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Thank you kokopelli-az.  You were a big help.  I appreciate it.  Sounds a lot easier than I thought.

Lynn

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On 5/16/2019 at 2:49 PM, eaglerockers@msn.com said:

Thanks for your encouragement, we had a wonderful cruise. No problems to speak of, my hubby handled his rollator very well. I wish I had asked for a wheelchair at disembarkation, but other than than things went smoothly. Your support is greatly appreciated.

 

 

The wait for wheelchair disembarkation be long, but it can be worth it when you need it.   Glad you had a good trip.  Shore excursions with a walker aren’t too bad if he can lift the rollator over a curb or up 2 steps.  

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On 5/25/2019 at 5:40 PM, jr8934 said:

As long as a rollator was mentioned, I'd like to ask a question. We are going on the Tundra Wilderness tour in Denali. They use a school bus. When I asked the princess accessibility office about storage of the rollator on the bus I was told to fold it and keep it in front of me. Does anyone have experience with this? I'm very apprehensive. Thanks! Joyce

 

We did the short trip and the bus wasn’t full so I think we had separate seats and hubby had it.  We always have a tie down strap on it. Several busses we’ve been on needed to really be secured.  And when I get in gravel or sand hubby lifted the front just enough so I’m not plowing sand.  Now on snow on top of Blue Stone required he lift the walker and I walk to it, but that was Zermat! 

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On 6/15/2019 at 2:07 PM, gunnywife said:

 We've rented a rollator walker for my husband for our next cruise.  I have 2 questions.

If we choose to get off the ship at ports will there be some personnel to carry the rollator down the ramp or stairs or will that be my problem?  If so we'll probably stay on the ship.

If we do take a Princess tour will the bus be able to store the rollator?  When he used a cane there was no problem, but a rollator is too big to keep by our seat on the bus.

We've been on many tours, but I never really paid attention to how people with disabilities get on or off the ship in ports.  Now I realize how difficult this can be.

 

 

There is help, too much usually!  They want to hold the walker while you walk.  I told them that if they’d take the walker I promised to use the handrail and meet them at the bottom.

 

On one trip our gangway went to a metal platform which was a full flight of stairs.  I was alone and the line was quite long because of waiting to get a stretcher off.   I could have waited for help but decided to close the walker and carry it down myself, holding the handrail.   An officer saw me as did 2-3 of the crew, could see them talking and motioning but there was simply no way they could stop me!  When I got to the metal platform 2 guys were right there offering help.  I told them that would be lovely as I couldn’t easily reach the handrail.  I was not prepared to do those last steps anyway, which is why I noticed them, I was scanning for help.  

 

All of this is to say yes, help is available and usually right there!  They normally insist. 

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On 6/3/2019 at 5:18 PM, jr8934 said:

Thank you Maxmann65 and Katisdale for your responses. I was on this tour several years ago and am familiar with the school bus they use. I'm hoping the rollator can be stored by the back door. Maybe there will be an empty seat in back. I'll cross my fingers. Joyce

 

Have you considered using trekking poles (walking sticks) for the bus?  I am able to use these almost as well as a walker and they fold up to nothing.

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7 minutes ago, Tsdcruiser said:

 

Have you considered using trekking poles (walking sticks) for the bus?  I am able to use these almost as well as a walker and they fold up to nothing.

 

Live used hiking poles too, but they don’t have a place to sit!   I used them when I needed to get into a cathedral etc, but then it no one brings my rollator ther isn’t much standing I can do at the top.

 

iirc, we got off the bus to listen to a potlatch story.  I enjoyed sitting through that.  I don’t mind sitting on the ground, but it isn’t likely I’d be able to get up! 

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