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Scooter friendly ports


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I was just in Nassau a couple of weeks ago. I'm in a powerchair. There's quite a bit of construction in the port area, meaning it is a long and twisty roll from the ship to the port exit. I believe it took me more than 10 minutes to get from the ship to the port exit. In the area just outside of the actual port, the sidewalks vary widely. Some weren't bad. Others were extremely narrow or in very bad condition. Curb cuts were not easy to navigate and didn't exist in several places. The vendors were also some of the most aggressive I've ever dealt with in a port town. One woman actually grabbed my chair, trying to pull me back physically so she could braid my hair. I went back to the ship after about 30 minutes of rolling around. I wouldn't get off the ship if a future cruise took me to Nassau again.

 

I've never been to the other ports you mentioned.

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We have been to all three of these ports with a scooter.  Last time (just last month) we didn't even get off at Nassau and there was a lot of construction on their pier.   

You might take a look at some  reviews of Grand Turk and Amber Cove:

 

https://spintheglobe.net/dir/2019/01/28/cruise-port-of-call-wheelchair-accessibility-review-grand-turk-turks-and-caicos/

 

And John Sage has some good info about Grand Turk accessibility.

https://www.accessiblecaribbeanvacations.com/grand-turk-disabled-access#.Yit0teiM7GI

 

https://accessadventure.net/handicap-guide-to-amber-cove/

 

Here's a video of Amber Cove.   Not taken with accessibility in mind, but it will give you a look at the terrain.   Amber Cove was built by Carnival specifically for cruise passengers and it fairly new and easily accessible.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFGwUMoEoEE

 

 

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On 3/10/2022 at 3:57 PM, beachbride91011 said:

Which Caribbean ports are mobility scooter friendly? We are going to Nassau, Amber Cove, and Grand Turk.

We have been to Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East (Dubai)  and of course the Caribbean all with my wife using a scooter.  You really did not ask the question correctly.  Most people in a scooter can walk so therefore, can you get out of the scooter, and your companion, lift it down a curb?  Or are you full time, by yourself?  

 

Anytime you leave the USA, you can and will run into obstacles.  The question is how you handle them, and whether you can accept that you are not in the USA anymore.  

 

So depending on who you ask, and how you ask, can mean a huge difference.  We never avoid a port, or get off a ship in a port, or restrict our traveling to any country.  Adapt to the area, and enjoy it.  

 

My only other advice is to research the area you are going, look at pictures, and plan items you might like to do, based on your ability.  

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Not sure about now but a few years ago went to Nassau and got an accessible taxi pretty easily took us over to the Atlantis Hotel to roam around for a few hours. If I recall not much at the port other than straw market with vendors that can be very pushy/aggressive. 

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On 3/14/2022 at 10:50 AM, Joseph2017China said:

We have been to Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East (Dubai)  and of course the Caribbean all with my wife using a scooter.  You really did not ask the question correctly.  Most people in a scooter can walk so therefore, can you get out of the scooter, and your companion, lift it down a curb?  Or are you full time, by yourself?  

 

Anytime you leave the USA, you can and will run into obstacles.  The question is how you handle them, and whether you can accept that you are not in the USA anymore.  

 

So depending on who you ask, and how you ask, can mean a huge difference.  We never avoid a port, or get off a ship in a port, or restrict our traveling to any country.  Adapt to the area, and enjoy it.  

 

My only other advice is to research the area you are going, look at pictures, and plan items you might like to do, based on your ability.  

Kind of harsh. The OP is just asking for advice, not a lecture.

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Posted (edited)

Sorry for delay in response. 
 

Grand Turk and Amber Cove are have some similarities worth noting. Both have well-developed port “villages” built/used exclusively by the cruise companies. Both ports also have the remainder of the island.

 

In both built environments, access is quite good. Do be a little careful, especially at Grand Turk, of curbs. There are lots of cuts, but you could drive off if not paying attention. I’m sure that Grand Turk has an accessible restroom . I’m less certain of Amber Cove’s built environment.  Grand Turk has a zero entry pool, but no beach or pool wheelchair (there’s a nice beach). Amber Cove does not have a beach.

 

There are a couple of weird paths  around Margaritaville, in terms of what looks like it should be accessible, but isn’t. (That reminds me- I need to reach out to Buffett again on the subject. I bother him every year as he comes through Austin during concert season).

 

As far as outside the village, there is at least one trolley tour on Grand Turk that can take a wheelchair or scooter- it’s a bit of a steep ramp, but lots of.muscle and spirit to help! There are a couple of opportunities to get off- the first one has a. Good opportunity to get good conch fritters. The second is an opportunity to play with the donkeys.

 

There are t any officially accessible excursions from Amber Cove, but you can rent a car or a minivan/suv and go off on your own. It’s standard drive, same side as the US. A lot of motorcycles/bikes.  And many places you can get to are accessible- some interesting forts and the like, if you drive east. It’s a national rental car station- be sure that you select Amber Cove for the vehicle source and NOT puerto plata. The rate, all in with insurance, should be no more than $175 (US).

 

I should add that we usually take a few gel “emergency” Urinals. they’re plastic  bags with a spout and have a substance that will rapidly absorb any liquid that enters the bag. Very useful, especially with a towel or a car door as cover.

 

 

 

Edited by FOPMan
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Posted (edited)
On 3/18/2022 at 8:04 PM, mets123 said:

Kind of harsh. The OP is just asking for advice, not a lecture.

Being disabled, and using a scooter, outside the USA is very harsh, so as to prepare a person, you got to say it the way it is.  A person needs to be prepared for what will happen, which is lack of curb cut-outs, the ability to navigate obstacles, will they have help, can they get up, and handle curbs, or steps.  Transportation options, taxi options, and this must all be analyzed with the person's disability, which is different for person to person.  There is no easy answer, but yes, the reality is travel with a scooter is harsh, and it is up to the individual to really take a look at things and be ready for it.

 

In over 10 years of traveling with a scooter, I can't tell you how many "upset" people on cruises there are simply because they failed to research what they wanted to do, and know available options.  The other major issue, is "upset" people that the expectations of ADA additions to cities were non-existent.  

 

Plus, how many people booked excursions, that clearly said, no wheelchairs, and still were upset that they couldn't go.   My only guess is they did not read the fine print, or research it, or ask the right questions. 

 

It's extremely important for anyone that is disabled, to do their own research, and even more important to rely on others, that don't fully understand their situation, to give advice.  

Edited by Joseph2017China
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16 minutes ago, Joseph2017China said:

Being disabled, and using a scooter, outside the USA is very harsh, so as to prepare a person, you got to say it the way it is.

…. 

 

It's extremely important for anyone that is disabled, to do their own research, and even more important to rely on others, that don't fully understand their situation, to give advice.  


The OP was asking for pretty specific input, in terms of specific ports, not a broad  “where do I start?” Broadside blow.

 

He/she is doing their research. I’m more than happy to help them along where I can. I’m not saying my

content is perfect. Though I hope it is. I’m pretty sure it’s not terribly wrong.  As it happens, I’ve been to Grand Turk a bunch of times. We just reserved a cruise for the winter, and I just booked a car for Amber Cove  about a week ago, repeating something we did a couple of years ago.

 

I agree traveling with wheels can be complicated. I spend lots and lots of hours investigating options, usually including a second fall-back position.

 

I’ve been pretty successful in planning. The only issue that went slightly wrong was a transfer in Rome about 10 years ago due to an unexpected substitute of a vehicle.

 

The OP’s eyes are open to the challenge- they’re asking if anyone has a map. I do. I’m sharing. 
 

 

 

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On 3/21/2022 at 1:31 PM, FOPMan said:


The OP was asking for pretty specific input, in terms of specific ports, not a broad  “where do I start?” Broadside blow.

 

He/she is doing their research. I’m more than happy to help them along where I can. I’m not saying my

content is perfect. Though I hope it is. I’m pretty sure it’s not terribly wrong.  As it happens, I’ve been to Grand Turk a bunch of times. We just reserved a cruise for the winter, and I just booked a car for Amber Cove  about a week ago, repeating something we did a couple of years ago.

 

I agree traveling with wheels can be complicated. I spend lots and lots of hours investigating options, usually including a second fall-back position.

 

I’ve been pretty successful in planning. The only issue that went slightly wrong was a transfer in Rome about 10 years ago due to an unexpected substitute of a vehicle.

 

The OP’s eyes are open to the challenge- they’re asking if anyone has a map. I do. I’m sharing. 
 

 

 

Why are you so angry?  Sorry, you did not like my response but I did answer with the reality of it and I did not answer you, I answered the OP.  

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1 hour ago, Joseph2017China said:

Why are you so angry?  Sorry, you did not like my response but I did answer with the reality of it and I did not answer you, I answered the OP.  

I don’t think I’m the one with anger issues here. The OP asked a pretty specific question: what are accessible ports in the Caribbean? With the implied clarification about specific ports they were scheduled to visit. 
 

The replies you posted did not appear to share any information specific about any of the ports the OP identified. The OP recognizes/recognized the idea that accessibility may be challenging and wanted guidance regarding opportunities for success. I’m happy to share what I know. I hope it’s helpful in providing ideas to the OP in how to navigate the ports.

 

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