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Tender Ports Not Wheelchair Friendly


Worldcrzr
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We are taking this cruise because we have been home quarantined for over a year. My husband is disabled and uses a walker and a motorized scooter chair. In looking at the ports, most use tenders. Many do not have motorized scooter chair access and it weighs almost 200 pounds so cannot be lifted. I can take an additional travel chair but I would have to push it. So, we are trying to figure out what would be a good way to see as much of the islands as possible. We spent 19 days in French Polynesia visiting islands back in 2004 but my husband was in good health. We walked the islands, went ashore by Zodiac and had a wonderful time. Many of the islands we have already been to but still want to get off the ship in as many ports as we can. Most of the excursions say "Wheelchair Access Limited". He has Parkinson's disease and his balance is very unstable. Does anyone know what the Zuiderdam does to accommodate handicapped passengers who want to go ashore and the tender is the only option? I fully understand in rough waters, the crew would not be able to assist. When we visited the islands before, the waters were very calm which we hope will be this time. All HAL can tell us is that my husband has to be able to walk down the stairs to the tender. I read somewhere that the ships now have lifts to help with wheelchairs. Any information you can give us would be most appreciated. 

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On 6/6/2021 at 2:14 PM, Worldcrzr said:

We are taking this cruise because we have been home quarantined for over a year. My husband is disabled and uses a walker and a motorized scooter chair. In looking at the ports, most use tenders. Many do not have motorized scooter chair access and it weighs almost 200 pounds so cannot be lifted. I can take an additional travel chair but I would have to push it. So, we are trying to figure out what would be a good way to see as much of the islands as possible. We spent 19 days in French Polynesia visiting islands back in 2004 but my husband was in good health. We walked the islands, went ashore by Zodiac and had a wonderful time. Many of the islands we have already been to but still want to get off the ship in as many ports as we can. Most of the excursions say "Wheelchair Access Limited". He has Parkinson's disease and his balance is very unstable. Does anyone know what the Zuiderdam does to accommodate handicapped passengers who want to go ashore and the tender is the only option? I fully understand in rough waters, the crew would not be able to assist. When we visited the islands before, the waters were very calm which we hope will be this time. All HAL can tell us is that my husband has to be able to walk down the stairs to the tender. I read somewhere that the ships now have lifts to help with wheelchairs. Any information you can give us would be most appreciated. 

I suggest you call the Accessibility Department 800-547-8493.  They will be able to give you all of the correct information for the Zuiderdam.  I know for the last cruise on the Amsterdam that I was on, Tales of the South Pacific, the lift for wheelchairs was not working and therefore, unless one was able to walk down the stairs, there was no other way to board the tender.  I did manage to do that once (I am also in an electric wheelchair) and the crew was positively wonderful about getting me and my wheelchair onto the tender and off.  

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