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Resources for Europe for Disabled Cruisers, Part 4


Splinter
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This is a continuation of a reposting of valuable Europe information from the old message board. Due to new character limits, this is part 4 of this thread. Please don't post questions here...information only.

Mediterranean

hebeast

Cool Cruiser

 

posted 08-04-03 09:52 PM

I find the best source of private guides is on the PORTS site here on the board. Another guide that we used for Italy was Daniele which is the best for Rome, Naples, and Florence. Max is also very good for these locations. We used Rosie in Siciliy.

I agree that you can find many by searching the internet and then the board helps to see if anyone has used them. Daniele's website also lists a lot of other guides for other areas.

Here are links again:

Daniele and Max -- Italy

http://www.driverinrome.com/ - Daniele

http://www.maxleotta.com/home.asp - Max

Sylvie -- French Riv

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/dicristo/pivot-eng.htm

Debbie - Barcelona

http://castelldefels.com/toursbydebbie/

We would never had been able to see as much as we did without private guides.

Also if you go to the Connections area, we were able to post that we were looking to split the tour with other people on our cruise which brought down the price. We had 8 people on some of tours which made it a faction of the price charged by the ships.[/Quote]

 

Mediterranean:

Splinter

Cool Cruiser

 

posted 11-18-02 09:55 PM

Can you stand or walk at all, or are you totally none ambulatory? If you cannot climb into a bus, forget taking any bus tours from the ship. Tour companies will not lift you in and out of a bus, and it is unknown in these ports to have ship tours that are wheelchair accessible.

 

Depending on what you want to spend, there are tours available in all these ports for people in wheelchairs, but they are VERY expensive. I know people who have done Venice in a chair, and there are more accessible routes around the city than others, but there are many steps along most routes. Some of the water taxis are accessible with help though.

 

In Istanbul we took cabs to the Grand Bazaar (most is accessible), and to some of the larger mosques (accessible with help). Check the cab first though...many had an extra gas tank in the trunk and no place to put the wheelchair. Keep in mind though that they will not allow wheelchairs or shoes into the active mosques (does not apply to Aya Sophia, which is now a museum). I understand you can get into several areas at the Topaki Palace. People here were very friendly and willing to help.

 

Athens is not very accessible, but since they are preparing for the 2004 ParaOlympics this may have changed some since our visit in 1998. It is a ways from the port, so a cab will be more expensive here.

 

In Naples you can walk from the pier to see the old fort on the point (first floor only is accessible) and walk around town a bit. No curb cuts though. We got brave and lifted my mother into a bus here so she could see Pompei.... what a nightmare!!! I would not recommend it unless you have multiple lifters with you and lots of young strong backs available. The drive along the Amalfi coast would be nice if you can get a cab reasonably. Capri is not at all accessible.

 

You can take a cab to the train station and then the train to Florence with assistance. There are steps to nearly all museums and churches in Florence, but you can certainly see much of the outdoor areas and statuary, and it is a great walking city.

 

Barcelona is probably the most accessible of all your listed cities. This is due to having the ParaOlympics there in 1996. This was the only place we found a lift equipped cab (the ship arranged this for us). The main shopping area downtown is fairly accessible with outdoor cafes and shops with only 1-2 steps. Be careful of pickpockets here though.

We did price accessible tours in Italy. They exist, but are incredibly expensive. Here are a couple resources:

http://www.accessibleitaly.com/

http://www.accessibleurope.com/aziende/accitaly/search2.asp

http://www.initaly.com/travel/handicap.htm

Here is some information on Greece:

http://www.disabled.gr/english.html[/Quote]

 

Ephesus:

Cruisin' Crazy

 

Cool Cruiser

 

posted 07-09-02 08:26 PM

Ephesus in wheelchair.

 

 

It can be done! I took my wheelchair bound wife there in 1995. Starting from the top of the hill it was downhill to the Library where the Marble Way is smooth and level. But that downhill section is BRUTAL! Our bus escort was a wonderful young lady who worked in the casino as a cashier. She was from Columbia. As our escort she was always at the rear of the group to sweep us along and not lose anyone. When she saw the huge marble blocks and the chasms in between she offered her help to work the chair over the looming cracks, and between the two of us we got my wife down the hill without tipping her out. It works best to pull the chair backwards with the big wheels bridging the gaps better than the small front ones. And this way too, if the chair tips because of jamming on something, the occupant is pushed against the back of the chair, not in danger of being flung out the front. We lost several of the spokes (an old type of chair with bicycle type spoke wheels)

which snapped at various insults to the wheels as we bumped over the lumpy path. Horrendously hard? Yes, Yes, Yes. BUT, worth every effort to see this wonderful archaeological site. Don't let anyone on the cruise ship talk you out of it. BUT do try to organize some help among friends if you can. Otherwise try ot get the bus escort to help you bring up the rear. You will be in the rear as it takes much time and patience to do this. Once you get down the hill and turn right onto the Marble Way, it's pretty easy from thereon. Good luck!![/Quote]

 

Please add to these.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Scooters can be rented throughout Great Britain from Shopmobility. It seems to be government-sponsored; in any event the rentals are very inexpensive (in the range of $1-$2 per hour, as I recall) and can usually be made by the hour or 1/2 day or so. I don't recall whether there is a website covering the entire country; I think that most towns have their own Shopmobility website -- just do a search using the town name and Shopmobility. Often they can be reserved ahead of time through the website. However, hours of operation may be limited, and they may not be close to the pier. But if you can do it, in our experience the people have been very pleasant and helpful, and it's a great way to do some city sightseeing.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi All,

 

Let me first say thank you for all these wonderful posts and special thanks to Splinter for all the work she did putting this info on the boards.

 

Last year, we did 5 nights in Rome, train to Florence, 4 nights in Florence, train to Rome, Plane to Stockholm, 4 nights in Stockholm, Plane to Rome, driver picked us up at airport to luggage storage place to train in Rome to Bologna, 4 nights in Bologna, taxie to train to Venice, water taxi to Millinium. Millinium, Venice to Ft. Lauderdale, B2B.

 

My husband had a stroke at age 58 in 2002, and this was almost our first travel since then. He is mobile (with a leg brace) but his right arm remains paralized, and his walking and balance have deteriorated since last year. What I wanted all of you to know is that there are handicapped seats in 1st class on all the trains and there are personell who will load up all your luggage, take you to the train, put the luggage on the train, and help you get seated. We had two men to help us. One for luggage and one to push my husband in a chair. There are significant distances to be covered. When you arrive at your destination the same is true in reverse.

 

If you are not mobile, i.e. need your chair lifted onto the train. They do that as well. They use a forklift sort of machine. We saw them do it in Bologna.

 

I hope this will be helpful. With all our hotels, we booked on our own and emailed about our requirements. Some places worked better than others.

 

We found all this out while we were there. Our pre-trip planning on the boards really focused on the cruise. I wish I had known about this section.

 

Hope this helps,

 

Regards,

 

Shannon

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  • 1 year later...
Scooters can be rented throughout Great Britain from Shopmobility. It seems to be government-sponsored; in any event the rentals are very inexpensive (in the range of $1-$2 per hour, as I recall) and can usually be made by the hour or 1/2 day or so. I don't recall whether there is a website covering the entire country; I think that most towns have their own Shopmobility website -- just do a search using the town name and Shopmobility. Often they can be reserved ahead of time through the website. However, hours of operation may be limited, and they may not be close to the pier. But if you can do it, in our experience the people have been very pleasant and helpful, and it's a great way to do some city sightseeing.

 

I looked on their site & found many towns but not London. I'd love to go by scooter to their outside markets, museums, theater, shops, restaurants, etc..

 

Incidentally do you use a scooter that you love & would recommend; one that you've been disappointed in; or, any input that might be helpful in my effort to decide on one? Are there any features you wish yours had? I was about to buy a New Boundries Moxie online but coincidentally saw one & asked the owner if i could sit in it. Wow- I'm 5'8" with long legs & it was Uncomfortable!

 

thanks in advance for any help.

marilyn

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Shopmobility doesn't serve London proper, but does have a lot of outlets throughout the rural areas of the UK (where it's hard to find a rental).

 

In London, you'll have to go to regular med supply rental place for a scooter (most often called mobility buggies in the UK, "scooters" are motor scooter, so watch your language when you make an inquiry). Here is one place that does rental and they deliver. I'm not sure of their rates. Most also require a deposit (CC usually suffices).

 

All Handling (Movability) Ltd

Mobility House

492 Kingston Road

Raynes Park

London

SW20 8DX

 

Tel: 0208 542 2217

Fax: 0208 395 4410

 

Email: info@movability.com

 

Candy

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  • 3 months later...

Copying this over from another thread:

 

travelteam

 

Gibraltar for the disabled traveler

From the Europe Board.........interesting sites about the history of Gibraltar,

the site below has wheelchair accessible information that is very helpful for us travelers who are slow walkers or use a chair.

 

http://www.gibraltar.gov.uk/hol/disabledfacilities.asp

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  • 8 months later...

Copying this helpful information from another thread:

 

4-2-07, 01:08 AM

amstelveenscooter

Cool Cruiser Join Date: May 2006

Posts: 25

 

We did the same cruise last year, with my better half remaining in her scooter throughout.

 

Barcelona: Generally accessible; several good restrooms at restaurants (e.g., Starbucks) on the square. All wheelchair accessible taxis in Barcelona are controlled by AMIC (93 420 80 88). The Hop-on/Hop-off busses can generally accommodate 1 wheelchair / circuit.

 

Villefranche: We had to tender at Nice, due to volumes at the port, so can't advise. Nice is "pushable", but downtown Nice is horribly torn-up for Metro construction.

 

Livorno: Plenty of cabs to Florence waiting at dockside; moderately expensive but similar to tour bus prices for a party of 4. At the Accademia, there's a separate line for wheelchairs that will bypass all the wait. Trying to include both Florence & Pisa might be a bit much for a single day, if you want any time inside the art museums.

 

Naples / Capri: Naples itself wasn't worth walking around (semi-unsafe areas near the port), and the elevator from the port to Capri isn't wheelchair accessible. You can get cabs to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast, but be prepared to pay.

 

Venice: If you dock at the cruise terminal, go around the corner to the City of Venice tourist bureau at the bus station and collect the key to the platform lifts (loaned to tourists). They can give you a route map for walking through much of the downtown area via lift-equipped bridges, and info on which vaporetti can handle a chair. NOTE: Depending on where you dock, your vaporetto can't always reach St. Mark's Square without crossing a stepped bridge. You often want to exit at the stop just before St. Mark's. The public toilet to the west of St. Mark's Square is accessible if you ring the bell. The Rialto bridge is totally inaccessible (steep steps).

 

Dubrovnik: Again, many cabs available for the short drive to town, but they will also give you a more scenic tour as well. Try to arrange to have them meet you at the opposite end of the town for the return trip (by the cruise bus pick-up area). There is only one accessible toilet in one of the coffee shops on the square; check at the tourist bureau office for details.

 

Corfu: "Pushable", but the cabs will also give you a good tour of the island. There's a cafe overlooking the resort area with an excellent accessible restroom, but the lift to the public restroom (underground) is usually broken and the hotels aren't accessible.

 

Civitavecchia / Rome: Taxis are available but expensive because of the distance to Rome (Tour bus fare equivalents will get a group of 4 the full day tour, with the driver meeting you at various areas). Don't wait in line at St. Peter's; walk under the colonnade to the right all the way up to the wooden gate, and the guards will admit you immediately to the lower right entrance where the lifts are. Then, walk around the walls to the Vatican museum, again bypassing the line; the guards will admit the wheelchair party immediately, and have some form of health insurance or disabled placard with you (the ticket fee will be waived). There's a platform lift route to the Sistine Chapel, but expect a waiting line and crowds in the Chapel if reconstruction is still in progress.

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  • 11 years later...
Scooters can be rented throughout Great Britain from Shopmobility. It seems to be government-sponsored; in any event the rentals are very inexpensive (in the range of $1-$2 per hour, as I recall) and can usually be made by the hour or 1/2 day or so. I don't recall whether there is a website covering the entire country; I think that most towns have their own Shopmobility website -- just do a search using the town name and Shopmobility. Often they can be reserved ahead of time through the website. However, hours of operation may be limited, and they may not be close to the pier. But if you can do it, in our experience the people have been very pleasant and helpful, and it's a great way to do some city sightseeing.

 

Please note that Shopmobility is run by volunteers and funded by local stores and the council. It is designed to allow disabled people to get around the local shops and not really for touring, but is generally open to anyone who needs assistance getting around. They would require some form of ID.

 

Here is a link to their website: http://www.shopmobility.org.uk/

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