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Western Caribbean Cruise with a Wheelchair/Scooter?


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Hi, I have a Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean in January planned with my mum, dad, and my younger sister. My mum and sister both are in wheelchairs a lot of the time (thanks genetics!) but my mother can barely walk these days without a ton of pain. But she's willing to get out of the house, and go on this cruise adventure with me! She has expressed interest in riding the ski lift all the way up Mystic Mountain and then see the great view of the island and stuffs.

 

My concern is this: Since she's riding in a scooter or wheelchair, what do we do with it while she's going up the ski lift? I'm wondering if I'd hold on to it and wait for her to come back, or something else? Is there someone at Carnival I can call to talk to about it, once we're closer to January? How soon should I wait? Or is this an "on the boat question"?

 

Question 2: Is there room in an accessible cabin to have both a wheelchair and a scooter? Is there reason to have both? I guess I'm just worried that for excursions it will be easier for us to push my mum and sister in their wheelchairs then putting together all the pieces of a scooter?

 

Question 3: Do yous all recommend any things to do in Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman or Cozumel that are accessible? I'd really appreciate hearing about them. Thanks!

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Carnival has a department for guests with special needs.   You should contact their Guest Access Team at 1-800-438-6744 ext.70025, or email them at access@carnival.com.  If you are planning on taking one of the ship's tours, ask them if they will be having wheelchair accessible tours at your port stops.   Since your cruise is not until January, they may not have all their accessible tours lined up this early but I would still contact them now.   They will have you complete special needs forms, in any event.   

 

These accessible tours fill up fast.  I have not had good luck discussing accessible tours with the ship's shore excursion people once on board.

 

There may be more excursion availability if you take the wheelchairs on the excursions instead of the scooter.   Wheelchairs can be folded up and stowed with the luggage under the bus (assuming it is a large tour bus).   But confirm that the tour is advised for wheelchair users.  

 

Unfortunately, much of the Caribbean is not as wheelchair friendly as many places.  

 

My husband uses a wheelchair; however, we rent a scooter for him to use on the cruise (the scooter is in our room when we board the ship).  His wheelchair is used at the airport and during embarkation and debarkation (the ship will have employees who can push the wheelchair for you from where you check in to inside the ship; when you disembark they have a special area for wheelchair users to meet and the ship's wheelchair pushers will assist getting you off the ship).   The scooter and wheelchair are both in our accessible room.   The wheelchair is folded up and he just uses the scooter during the cruise.  Scooters/wheelchairs have to be stored in your room; they cannot be left in the hallway.

 

Maybe someone else can answer your question about Mystic Mountain at Ocho Rios.  

 

Grand Cayman is a tender port and unless the tender boat is accessible (equipped with a ramp), you will not be able to take a scooter on it.   They do have some accessible tender boats but you will probably not know what kind of a tender boat you will get until you are ready to board it.  Wheelchairs can usually be folded up and taken aboard the tenders but the users would have to be able to walk aboard the tender boat.

 

At Cozumel the Carnival ships usually, but not always, dock at the Puerta Maya terminal.  This is a pretty easy area to get around with a wheelchair.   When your cruise gets closer, Carnival may be able to tell you which terminal they are scheduled to dock at.  

https://disability-cruising.com/2020/01/22/disabled-cruisers-guide-to-cozumel-mexico/

 

 

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!!! That's a ton of great info, @kokopelli-az, thank you so much! I've emailed Carnival's Access email, though I basically just repeated some of what I said here, and I've dug into reading disability-cruising. Guarantee you that's a bookmark I'll keep in my browser for a long time! I really appreciate your long post to help. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/27/2021 at 2:54 AM, Donniss said:

Hi, I have a Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean in January planned with my mum, dad, and my younger sister. My mum and sister both are in wheelchairs a lot of the time (thanks genetics!) but my mother can barely walk these days without a ton of pain. But she's willing to get out of the house, and go on this cruise adventure with me! She has expressed interest in riding the ski lift all the way up Mystic Mountain and then see the great view of the island and stuffs.

 

My concern is this: Since she's riding in a scooter or wheelchair, what do we do with it while she's going up the ski lift? I'm wondering if I'd hold on to it and wait for her to come back, or something else? Is there someone at Carnival I can call to talk to about it, once we're closer to January? How soon should I wait? Or is this an "on the boat question"?

 

Question 2: Is there room in an accessible cabin to have both a wheelchair and a scooter? Is there reason to have both? I guess I'm just worried that for excursions it will be easier for us to push my mum and sister in their wheelchairs then putting together all the pieces of a scooter?

 

Question 3: Do yous all recommend any things to do in Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman or Cozumel that are accessible? I'd really appreciate hearing about them. Thanks!

Question 1: I travel with my wife in a scooter, and when we do things, often times the decision of how to handle something is done on the spot.  I can do anything, my wife can't.  She goes without expectations, and we see if we can make it work.  So our party of 4 is 50/50.  It might be that only half your party can do some things.  But you can also take turns, two go at a time.  Sometimes you can lock it up.  Sometimes the staff will watch it for you.  So it's at the spot decisions get made.

 

Question 2: Accessible cabins have plenty of room.  

 

Question 3: Grand Cayman is a tender, so nothing.  Cozumel we like to walk around.  They also have beach areas etc.  When I traveled with my kids, mostly, my wife stayed behind and did her own thing on the ship, and/or we have a meeting time off the ship, and she would meet us.  Don't really have anything in Jamaica to do that I know of.  But research it, and you might find something doable.

 

Main thing to remember, don't rely on the cruise line off the ship.  Do your own research, and pick what is comfortable to do.  Remember also, not everyone can be pleased, so be ready to split up.

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