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Resources for Eastern Caribbean for Disabled Cruisers


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Let's use this thread for copying over resource and review information critical for disabled cruisers in the Eastern Caribbean from the old message board before it disappears. Please don't post questions here.


I'll start with the following information:



Cool Cruiser


posted 05-04-04 12:45 PM

Got this from Global-Access:

Wheelchair lift cabs available for private tours in Jamaica. Contact:

"Jango" Wilson phone number 1-876-870-6545

Would be great to get feedback from anyone else who uses them.[/Quote]


St. Thomas:


Cool Cruiser


posted 02-03-04 03:34 AM

Here's a link to an article about access at Coral World


Personally i thought it ws pretty cool.



Here is some more info:


Cool Cruiser


posted 03-08-04 11:58 AM

No, David, the van we reserved in San Juan was through Wheelchair Getaways. This is a franchise so please do not expect this at each place they do business. I know the owner so this was unexpected.

I had also checked on the rain forest through the Paralyzed Veterans of America (I'm a member). It is a long trip by bus and the trails even for the most fit wheeler are rough. It is possible for your bus to circle the forest area though. The PVA held their annual convention in San Juan 2 years back. We spent so much time waiting for the van that we didn't get to hit the steeper part of old town but with decent weather and not trying to go straight line you could make the forts on your own. But I would grab a taxi. I got the following from the PVA but didn't use them (wish I had). Might give them a call.."For tours around the area call Castello Travel and Tours. Irene Castello 787-726-5752."


Knock Labadee off your schedule until further notice. Due to political unrest RC is not stopping there but spending the day at another private islnd or other island.


I would definitely book the accessvi through the ship now, if posssible or email them and reserve a seat that way. You will get a great tour of the island, the good and the not so good, for about $35. They take you all the way up to the top where they helped build a ramp to the level where you can look over to St John's and down on Magen's Bay. It is locally operated and run and the bus and trams ARE wheelchair accessibble and have tie downs. If you need a chest belt, bring one. Those are some sharply curving roads up there. You'll have time to check out some shops, have the world famous banana daiquari and check out the view. There are also two accessible bathrooms on the tour.


If RC decides to go to St Marteen instead try and find the post about the Duck Tours. I was very much looking forward to that romp but we arrived very late due to a medical evacuation. We went to Bobby's Marina instead for dinner. I have learned to make back up plans..




And more:


Cool Cruiser


posted 01-31-04 11:11 PM

Hi David,

St Thomas has both an accessible air conditioneed bus and a few tram type tour buses that are open to the air that have lifts and tie downs. Check them out at:



You get a decent tour of the island with stops for camera shots at good points and the bus did two stops for everyone. The first had just been added and if you plan on having a banana daiquari at the top of the mountain make your drink at the first stop a virgin or you'll be asleep before noon. :-)

I had spoken to the woman who worked to help make this possible and they are currently working to make an accessible base at Magen's Bay for wheelers who wish to snorkle, swim or scuba dive.


They do recommend booking their tour through your ship if at all possible or they spend half the day finding individuals at the dock. They also offer to drop you at the shopping area or take you all the way back to the ships.

San Juan, you dock, normally, right in Old San Juan. There are curb cuts in that area although not necessarily at corners. I am a low level quad and was using a manual chair and hubby power to get around and had no problems in this area. Directly across from the dock is a shopping area within the Wyndham complex and it also has an open courtyard cafe. We did hit the one shop Mi Tierra for a rather expensive memento (but well worth it!) from our first Caribbean cruise. They shipped it to our home for us and did take care of insuring it. We had a very reasonable lunch at Carli's which is just a few more blocks to the left (facing away from the dock). Also accessible. The tram that goes through Old Town is also ramp equipped although I did not use this they are marked. We hope to go back soon because of all the stops we enjoyed San Juan the most.


One caveat: the ramp equipped van we had arranged ahead of time did NOT show and when another van called them for us we just got excuses. Kid of glad now he didn't show because we were able to get around on our own. You may need help with some curbs or cobbblestone street areas if you're heading to the Forts so bring a companion or you can see if any of the vans at the dock will take you. If you can transfer they do have exoerience in taking chairs apart for the ride. And taxis and taxi vans are licensed and are marked on the doors.


We found Nassau rather a waste as the straw market had burned down and had yet to rebuild. There is a dolphin adventure there that will take the disabled in the pool but the times were too close to the ship leaving. We were on a Celebrity ship so if RC offers that to disabled cruisers I'd take it with the ship so they have to wait for you. The Dolphin thing did sound fun...

No experience yet with Haiti. But please post about it when you return! Also if the Magen's Bay area is finished I'd love to hear details.[/Quote]

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Here is another resource:




Cool Cruiser


posted 11-16-03 02:25 PM

I just wanted to let you know of a wonderful guided tour of Ocho Rios and it's surrounding area. Our guide Luniano, who has the only wheelchair accessable vehicle in the area, gave us a off the tourist track tour. We toured through "Fern Gully", enjoyed the beauty of Jamaica on the back roads coming down. Luciano then took us to the Tajmahal Shopping Center, we were there by our selfs, the regular tour buses were not there yet. We mainly shopped at "Tropical Gift Shop", we were given discount tickets for touring w/Luciano 20% off. From there, we went to Dun's Falls. {Tickets are inculded in price} My friends had a ball, this was their hilight of the whole cruise. Next, we had lunch at Bi Bi Bimp, we enjoyed the view from our table and tasted Jerk Chicken w/fries. Our waiter's name is Ricardo, very nice and pleasent. "No, problem man" If you get the chance to go, tell him we say "Hi". Finally, we went to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, then back to our ship. Luciano only charged $50 each, for the whole time. 8ish to 2:30. He gives a great tour, very knowledgable of the area and plants. We enjoyed our time immesely. If we ever get the chance to go back to Ocho Rios again, I'm booking Luciano. The vehicle is a van with a portable ramp, the w/c person is loaded in the back. The van has a/c, but needs to be turned off from time to time, because of the steep grade of the roads. To contact Luciano 876-974-9779 or e-mail maxitours@yahoo.com. It will be one of my best memories.[/Quote]

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 year later...
Received this information from Global Access http://www.geocities.com/Paris/1502/


I'm a little bit skeptical about that one. He wrote me too, but then when I responded to him, he could not give me details about his accessible tours or even his vans. I've yet to get a return phone call or e-mail from him, (and tour operators are usually more responsive to the media than they are to potential customers). I'd be interested in hearing from anybody who actually talked to him personally.



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  • 5 months later...

I found this post by Dale on the Royal C board. I'd like to refer to it later for an eastern Carribean cruise. Thanks Dale!


December 2nd, 2005, 05:29 PM

I agree with Catmommy that posting your questions on the Disabled board would be a good choice.

Catmommy is also correct that there is a step up into the bathroom. There is also most likely a step up and/or down onto the balcony. Can your mother-in-law handle them? If not, you might want to consider seeing if you can get a handicap cabin for her.



My husband has MS and is a full time wheelchair user. We do not go on ship excursions for two reasons, First, and foremost, he can no longer climb onto buses. In addition, we have come to prefer private tours because they are more personalized and are often less expensive. Suggestions for your ports:


- San Juan. Old San Juan is built on a steep hill, and therefore would be difficult for your mother-in-law. Last time we were there my husband could still stand so we joined a mini-bus tour at the pier. The driver gave us a city tour, took us to the Bicardi factory and then to one of the forts. Note: San Juan, being part of the US, has accessible transportation if you need it.


- Labadee. Labadee was a disaster for us. Getting on and off the tender

was easy, but it was downhill from there. My husband transferred to a sand chair. The man pushing the chair took him to a lounge in the shade and expected him to transfer to it. If he had, it would have taken 4 men to get him out. I went and got his wheelchair for him. After he transferred I offered the man who pushed him a couple of dollars for helping and was treated like I was a cheapskate. After a few minutes my husband decided that it was too hot so I pulled his chair backwards over the sand to the tender. We then had lunch aboard ship which was a lot better than the barbeque ashore.


- St Thomas: There are several choices in St Thomas. If your mother-in-law can take the heat and can be helped onto one of the open air buses, an island tour would be my first choice. Other choices: Coral World which is mostly accessible. The downtown shopping area is also mostly accessible, but it does tend to get crowded. There is also shopping at the pier which might be a better choice for your mother-in-law than going downtown.


- St Maarten. I suggest you hire a taxi for an island tour. The French side of the island is particularly interesting. Like St Thomas, the downtown area is somewhat accessible; however, there is a step up into most stores. Like St Thomas most sidewalks are crowdwd. To get downtown from the ship you can also take a water taxi (not wheelchair accessible) or a minivan taxi. You can also walk, but your mother-in-law would need her wheelchair as its about a 10 minute walk


Its a bit pricey, but even though your mother-in-law does not need a wheelchair fulltime, you might want to consider renting her a scooter. Doing so would not only give her mobility and independence aboard ship, but would also be safer for her if you encounter rough weather. If you do, just make sure that the scooter is small enough to fit through a regular cabin door. Companies like Carevacations will deliver them to, and pick them up from the ship.


Contact RCCL's special needs desk about the booster and shower seats. I know that most ships have a limited number of shower seats, but have never heard of one providing a booster seat for the toilet. And taking one along may not work. I did so once and the one I brought did not fit the toilet.







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  • 2 years later...

We need some help.

In Feb 2009 we are planning to visit Aruba, Curacao, Port of Spain (Trinidad), Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, La Romana (Dom Rep), Grand Turk on the Grand Princess. We would like to rent a wheelchair accessible van (with or without driver) in three or four of these ports.

Does anyone out there have any contacts or know of any places I can try.


You are welcome to contact me directly at shopping@ca.inter.net


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  • 2 months later...

hI everybody, I've been facinated reading messages for hours to get info for our next week cruise that sails to Labadee, casa de Campo, St Thomas and San Juan. My hubby is a complete T4 and this is his first vacation , 3 years post spinal infarct and I want to do anything to make his dream possible.

He would like to go on the pool with the lift Anybody has an experience with this? I have no clue what his legs would do in the water, going down versus floating... Could you use the ships life jacket for safety in the water? I contacted special need department, they couldnt give a streight answer.

Do you think a commode in the shower will work well instead of a shower chair he uses at home? Special needs department couldn't tell me either if the arm can be lifted for him to transfer...

What is your experience with meals, could you make it to breakfast after bowel regime, shower , dressing and so on ?

sorry for the lenghly message, any suggestion are very much appreciated


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there is a lift for the pool. give it a try you'll love it and do fine. there is a life jacket in your stateroom you can take to the pool. as for the commode chair that is provided by the Explorer I'm not sure what it's like. you can rent a nice commode shower chair with padded seat and removable arms from a company called cruise ship assist, web site www.cruiseshipassist.com. They will deliver the commode to the ship and pick up. 24 hour room service for food so don't worry about trying to catch breakfast after morning bowel routine - they can bring it to you. Don't worry just go and have fun. We were on the Explorer in 2006 and Brilliance in 08. loved them both and can't wait to go again on explorer in 09 from New Jersey!

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  • 5 weeks later...

Copied to the appropriate thread:


My wife (AB) and I (power WC) recently took a wonderful tour of Bermuda provided by Keith Simmons. Keith has a lowered floor 2008 Chevy Uplander with a ramp. His associate, Genetta, drives and provides descriptions of the sites. She is very capable and always made sure I was positioned comfortably and securely. She had a patience and gentleness in securing all of the tie-downs, belts, etc. which she had to do each of the many times we got in and out of the vehicle. We arrived on the NCL Dawn (5/11/08 sailing) which docked at King's Wharf. We took Keith's 5-hour tour which covers most of the sites in the Western and Central areas of the island. The Bermuda ferries are very accessible and we used them to go to St. George's and several times to Hamilton. Keith's tours are described on his website www.access.bm and it seemed easiest to contact him by email keithsimmons@logic.bm . I also spoke with him once by phone at 441-295-9106. I reserved the tour about 2 months ahead. Keith told me 3 weeks notice is usually enough but less is hit or miss. His vehicle can handle up to 3 tourists with 2 in wheelchairs or 4 tourists with one chair.

-- Bob

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  • 11 months later...
  • 1 year later...

A recent contribution:



Two pieces of information.

We used Joyce Prince for a private tour. My Mom can walk a little and we took a Pride GoGO travel scooter (I broke it into 2 pieces for loading). We enjoyed our tour and Joyce was very nice.


As we went to meet her I spotted a van loading wheelchair passengers. I asked for a flyer. I do NOT know whether the experience was positive. I am simply giving contact numbers.

Accessible Ventures

cel (599) 524-9204

(599) 588-4343

fax (599) 542-6086


email accessiblrventures@hotmail.com

website www.accessibleventuresofsxm.bravehost.com

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  • 2 years later...
We need some help.

In Feb 2009 we are planning to visit St. Thomas


Dear Lutz,


I am a wheelchair user who can take a few steps at times, depending on pain and energy level. I will be going to San Juan, Puerto Rico, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas in early February. I know you've been in St Thomas. How did it go and what would you recommend in terms of touring this(these) island(s) based on your experience?


Thank-you very much!

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