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I can’t walk very far without pain.  Does the cruise ship shuttle handicapped passengers to the bus stops for Bus Tours booked through the cruise ship?  I have my own ECV, but have no idea how it would be stored.  What have any of you done?

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No, they do not shuttle to the tour buses and sometimes the walk is quite long. I used my scooter to ride to the buses and then it was loaded into the luggage compartment beneath the bus. However, my scooter was a travelscoot and very lightweight and completely collapsible. My post-polio has progressed and I have "graduated" to a fold and go wheelchair. It is also lightweight and collapsible so as long as I can manage the bus steps with my half-step assistance I can continue to use the bus tours. I haven't taken the wheelchair on a cruise yet but will have it with me in December.

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Contact the special needs department of the cruise line you are sailing with, about wheelchair friendly tours. 


I can only speak about my  experience with Royal Caribbean.

When I contact RC about wheelchair friendly tours, as my son is confined to a wheelchair, they normally request information about my son's chair: 


Wheelchair Information. 
Is the guest a wheelchair/ scooter user? 
Can the guest do minimal walking? 
Can the guest climb up and down the steps of a coach? 
Is guest able to transfer out of the wheelchair into the seat of a car?  

Is the wheelchair manual or electric? 
Is the wheelchair collapsible or non- collapsible? 
Is guest travelling with someone capable of assisting them?  

Wheelchair dimensions: 
Combined weight (guest seated on wheelchair):  
Combined height (guest seated on wheelchair):  
Wheelchair length:  
Wheelchair width:  
Wheelchair Height:  
Wheelchair Weight:  


RC then send me a Accessible Shore Excursion Brochure with details of excursions that are suitable for my son.  


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Posted (edited)

It sounds like you're taking your ECV on the cruise.   Are you planning on taking the ECV on tours?  We have been on ship tours that are wheelchair/scooter accessible, meaning they use a vehicle with a lift to get the equipment onto the bus (which has never been a big tour bus, only a smaller bus) but you do have to get to where the transportation is parked.   Does your ECV break down so it could be stowed beneath one of the large tour buses?   


One of the accessible ship tours we took was in St Maarten (Celebrity) and my husband drove his scooter to the waiting lift bus and the scooter was lifted into the bus.  There was a lady on this same excursion who was confined to a wheelchair and could not transfer so she sat in her wheelchair as they used the lift to get her onto the bus.   People got to where the tour bus was waiting using their own mobility equipment. 


In May we were in Hilo on a ship tour (Celebrity) and the tour company came specifically for us using a van with a lift for my husband's scooter.   Everyone else on this tour was in another non-accessible van. 


So, depending on what your ship offers for tours, you may or may not be able to take an ECV with you on tours.  And you will have to get from the ship to where the tour transportation is parked. 


And definitely speak to the Access Department of your cruise line.   You might need an accessible stateroom for the ECV.   They can also direct you to their accessible tours department; however, if it is too far in advance of your cruise, they will not have much information on what will actually be available for tours on your cruise.   (We have been sent shore excursion booklets by the cruise lines that are specifically for people who need accessible tours.   And there are sometimes tours in the accessible tour booklets that are not on the regular list of tours being offered by the ship.)


If you have a wheelchair (or can rent one for the cruise) you will have more tours to choose from because the wheelchair can be folded up.  


Edited by kokopelli-az
added word

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Most cruises I have been on they do not have much as far as excursions, and for some they still expect you to climb a few steps into a bus. When they see a wheelchair they think of a lift in a van, most don't think of you transferring to a car seat. Also if it is a lift equipped van it can be very expensive

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