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Best way to get on the Ship at Fort Lauderdale W Wheelchair


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Last year I remember getting on the boat,  the serpentine ramps killed me, I have  a wheelchair for distance d/t back injury, I had to stop several times at the platforms on the way up, passengers where not so lovely pushing past me....I was not sitting in the wheelchair... walking behind..... I assume it will be the same in Feb. 2020 no elevators.... any advice for this year ? I had to take pain meds after getting on the boat...I was in a bad way... I don’t need to be pushed as I can walk short distances for sure,  thank you

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You can take your wheelchair to the wheel chair waiting area and a crew member will push you onboard and get you up to the windjammer, or wherever else you want to be dropped off.  They are working for generous tips, because they are assisting with chairs in their limited time off. Is that what you are asking? 

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You can call the cruise line’s special needs department and they will arrange someone to push you  from the check in area up through all the ramps onto the ship. This can be done either in your own wheelchair or the ship’s one. If using a ship one you will have to vacate it once on the ship so it can be used for someone else. Just let one of the port personnel know you need wheelchair assistance when you arrive and they will seat you in a special area to wait for the next available wheelchair and pusher or just pusher if you are in your own chair. You can arrange for the same service for debarkation too. I have used this service while recovering from a broken ankle even though I could walk some. There is no need to try to negotiate the boarding ramps on your own.

 

Mary Ann

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7 hours ago, Coralc said:

You can take your wheelchair to the wheel chair waiting area and a crew member will push you onboard and get you up to the windjammer, or wherever else you want to be dropped off.  They are working for generous tips, because they are assisting with chairs in their limited time off. Is that what you are asking? 

I'm assuming the poster was pushing her own wheelchair and that it was not battery operated.  In that case, you can have a wheelchair pusher push you onto the ship.  I want to point out however, that they ARE NOT WORKING FOR GENEROUS TIPS!!!!!!!  Whether you tip the or not, they are employees that are willing and able to help with getting you on the ship.  You will find they will help you on and off at ports also if you are in a chair.  They are there to help for you safety.  They are the staff of turnaround day, and they don't "volunteer" to work.  They are employees who don't mind getting a few extra dollars to push people, instead of doing some other job on the ship during turnaround day.

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Call Royal or your TA, whichever you booked through, and tell them you require a wheelchair assist.  My dad has Parkinson's disease and, while he can handle walking around the ship, embarkation and disembarkation are too much for him to walk.  He generally spends most of his time reading on his balcony when we travel.  We've always done a wheelchair assist, and we've had several kind crew members escort him onto the ship during priority boarding.  Some even went so far as to get us all the way to a dining venue for lunch.

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My neighbor/friend works at the port in PC, he is on staff to be available for any wheel chair bound pax to help wheel them on board.  Don't even have to call or email ahead of time, but can still do so if you wish.  

 

I had broken foot when boarding in Ft. Lauderdale, they were quick to come to my assistance and wheel me on board.  No problem.  

Edited by island lady
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There are two different assists:   The first one: Curbside assist is someone who will meet you curbside and take you into the check-in area and then to the waiting area.  These are employees of the port contractor.  The second, Boarding Assist, is a cruise line employee who will help you get from the waiting area to a general area onboard (usually outside the WindJammer).   Both need to be arranged thru the special needs department (ph: 866-592-7225)

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8 minutes ago, stevea36 said:

There are two different assists:   The first one: Curbside assist is someone who will meet you curbside and take you into the check-in area and then to the waiting area.  These are employees of the port contractor.  The second, Boarding Assist, is a cruise line employee who will help you get from the waiting area to a general area onboard (usually outside the WindJammer).   Both need to be arranged thru the special needs department (ph: 866-592-7225)

 

Perhaps some ports/ships are different.  I never called, and my neighbor who worked at the port, was available at a moments notice...as were other port employees that were doing the same thing.  Still...nothing wrong with calling in advance.  

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15 hours ago, nadinenurse1 said:

I don’t need to be pushed as I can walk short distances for sure,  thank you

 

They offer the push so take advantage. No sense in starting out the cruise aggravated and in pain.

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While on a cruise I arranged for a wheelchair for disembarkation. 

We went to the area that was set up and a nice gentleman pushed me all the way down the ramp. He stopped inside the terminal door and left us. After 10-15 minutes a different man took me the rest of the way and we got through Border Control pretty quickly. 

My DH had given the first man $10 so he gave the second one $20 because we went farther. 

$30 is a lot, though it was certainly worth it to me. 

I’m still amazed that he would give that much when he used to carry three suitcases to keep from tipping a bellman!

For me, I think $5 for each guy or $10 if one takes you all the way. 

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5 minutes ago, jagsfan said:

While on a cruise I arranged for a wheelchair for disembarkation. 

We went to the area that was set up and a nice gentleman pushed me all the way down the ramp. He stopped inside the terminal door and left us. After 10-15 minutes a different man took me the rest of the way and we got through Border Control pretty quickly. 

My DH had given the first man $10 so he gave the second one $20 because we went farther. 

$30 is a lot, though it was certainly worth it to me. 

I’m still amazed that he would give that much when he used to carry three suitcases to keep from tipping a bellman!

For me, I think $5 for each guy or $10 if one takes you all the way. 

 

I tipped my wheel chair assist crew member also.  They definitely are happy to get the tips.  😉 

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16 hours ago, nadinenurse1 said:

Last year I remember getting on the boat,  the serpentine ramps killed me, I have  a wheelchair for distance d/t back injury, I had to stop several times at the platforms on the way up, passengers where not so lovely pushing past me....I was not sitting in the wheelchair... walking behind..... I assume it will be the same in Feb. 2020 no elevators.... any advice for this year ? I had to take pain meds after getting on the boat...I was in a bad way... I don’t need to be pushed as I can walk short distances for sure,  thank you

My sister had planned on pushing my mother on the ship in her transport wheel chair. Those things aren't very good going over thresholds and she almost got flipped out by her inexperienced  (my sister) pusher. An employee immediatly put her into a cruise wheelchair and took over the whole rest of the way.

I don't think you need to call anyone. Just ask for assistance at the pier

Edited by cruisinfanatic
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