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Resources for South America for Disabled Cruisers


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Please use this thread to copy over from the old forums (and add to) information about disabled cruising in South America. Please do not use it for posting questions.

 

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Cool Cruiser

 

posted 05-04-04 12:39 PM

Wish this had been available when we were in Argentina on our Cape Horn trip!!!!

Latitud Sur accesible - Asociación Civil

Avda. Santa Fe 830 - Piso 2º

C1059ABP - Buenos Aires - Argentina

Tel: (5411) 4312 5858 - Fax: (5411) 4315 0030

http://www.latitudsur.org.ar[/Quote]

 

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Cool Cruiser

 

posted 01-03-02 10:26 PM

There is a new report on a South America Cruise at this URL:

 

South America (HAL Ryndam):

http://www.geocities.com/Paris/1502/sacruise.htm[/Quote]

 

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Cool Cruiser

 

posted 12-03-01 10:55 PM

Here is a quick report on this ship/cruise that we took 11/14-12/1/01:

 

Prior to our departure, we found Katy Ludwig and Jennifer McCloskey (Manager), at the HAL Access & Compliance Office most helpful and willing toboth answer questions about access and to provide us with unusually good information. We often find that information about the specific accessibility features of a modified cabin is lacking on both cruise line web sites and in their brochures. When we inquired about the bathroom features on the Ryndam (cabin 704) Ms. Ludwig arranged for someone on the ship to take digital photos of the bathroom set up and e-mail them to us the next day. Ms. McCloskey was also able to answer questions about HAL policy on access to/from the ship in ports and use of the new HAL tender lift which we were able to use.

 

On arrival at the ship we were provided good (although a bit disorganized) assistance to our cabin #704, which accommodated 3 (using a roll-away bed). The bedroom set up does not allow sufficient room around the beds for wheelchair transfers or the use of a lift if set up for one queen sized bed, with with the beds set up as two twins with the beds against the wall it was

workable. This left a grab rail over one bed which was helpful for turning in bed. All room lights could be controlled from the bed, but it was impossible to see the TV from one of the two beds. The bathroom was accessible, although the sink cut-out was limited and their was no trap

insulation. The bathroom was small, so the turning radius was not up to ADA standards, and to use the sink the bathroom door had to be left open. The toilet (18” high without toilet seat) was set at an angle to the wall and grab bar (one side only) which was limiting and a little scary in rough seas. We used both our wheelchair and our lift as additional supports for safety while using the toilet. The shower access was good. Our main complaint was the drainage system which did not work well at all, resulting in a wet floor throughout the bathroom whenever the shower was used. Due to poor maintenance the tiles leaked through to the underlayment, and stepping or rolling on the floor resulting in water being squeezed from the saturated underlayment to the floor. This could be dangerously slippery. In addition, the mirror was too high for good use from the wheelchair, and their was limited shelf space that was accessible from the chair. The closets had good access and appropriate height shelving and clothing rods, which could be adjusted into different configurations as needed. The desk was accessible as was the small love seat. This cabin has only small portholes and is very far forward on the ship, resulting in more noticeable motion in rough seas.

 

All public areas on the ship were wheelchair accessible, although this was someone limited in the Crow’s Nest (our favorite area) bar. This is at the top of the ship at the bow with glass windows all around but because the couches are screwed to the floor, there were several areas where path of travel was too narrow for wheelchair use (using an 18” wheelchair with no

camber). This was also somewhat of a problem in the showroom, which has not specially reserved wheelchair seating. If you plan to arrive early for shows, you can move chairs to get access all the way to the front row of the showroom if desired. All other areas where either ramped or level with the exception of the observation area on the roof of the Crow’s Nest. The Promenade area is fully covered and allows easy wheelchair access all the way around the ship. The pool offers very limited access with no lift, but could be used by someone with assistance for lifting and transferring.

 

HAL does not use room service carts at all, so we never had problems with blockage of hallways as experienced on most other cruise lines.

 

We had two tender ports and a chance to use the new wheelchair tender lift on the Ryndam (opted not to get off ship in the Falklands). We had not been informed that reservations were necessary to use this lift, which delayed our departure by an hour. The lift is like a modified platform stair-glide system and lifts you onto a hydraulic platform on the special tender. It was easy to use and could accommodate either power or manual wheelchairs of 18” (no camber) or less. There is no tie-down, so have someone ride with you on the lift platform in the tender to provide protection from tilting during the ride on the tender. If you will need the tender lift in any port, be sure to arrange this well ahead of time (at least the day before) through Michelle Clomos (Customer Relations aboard ship). Unfortunately the dock-side set up at Punta Arenas was a nightmare of inaccessibility and I would not recommend getting off the ship at this port for anyone who cannot walk or stand at all. Our delay resulted in us missing our tour and having to wait an additional hour to arrange another van (not accessible, requiring lifting my mother in and out of a standard van).

 

The only place we found true accessible transportation was from Santiago to Valparaiso, Chile. Otherwise the "accessible" transport we had arranged for us was a standard van (no lift or ramp) or minibus that required lifting up several steps for access. We did find most people in the tour companies willing to do this lifting, but it was very scary. HAL provided assistance at all ports up/down the gangways, although there was much complaining about what a burden we were esp. by the chief of security on the ship. You must be VERY insistant about what is safe for chair handling as they were poor at taking any direction in spite of their unsafe routines.

 

South America would not be the first destination I would choose for any disabled cruisers, as there are more challenges ashore than on cruises to destinations such as Western Europe, Australia/New Zealand, Alaska or Hawaii. It can be an interesting destination for anyone who has sufficient assistance and is not afraid of a challenge (with some risks, too).[/Quote]

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Cool Cruiser

 

posted 08-15-03 10:51 PM

No wheelchair lift-vans in Puerto Montt, so we hired a private car and guide for $150USA for the 3 of us for 6 hours. We went around Puerto Montt (including a lovely view of the entire bay and our ship), then drove to Frutillar and Puerto Varas where we had lunch (wheelchair accessible bathrooms in the hotel where we ate). We also drove to Puerto Octay on the north shore of Lake Llanquihue through lovely countryside.

 

We then drove back around to the south side of the lake to Petrohué Falls (most buses got there earlier than us...it was nearly deserted when we arrived), then back to Puerto Montt for some shopping. The falls themselves require a short but rocky hike that is not wheelchair accessible, but the drive there was nice.

 

This is the company we used: http://www.chile-travel.com/eureka.htm

 

For other ports in South America we were able to get a lift van in Santiago only. The rest of the areas we used regular vans and had the driver and guide help lift my mother in/out of the backseat and stow the wheelchair. They were always willing to help with this. We booked all of these tours through http://www.southstartours.com[/Quote]

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