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1st timer: scooter & wheelchair???


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My sister & I are going on our first cruise. She is disabled due to advanced breast cancer, so I have been reading these boards & getting lots of helpful information. She has rented an electric scooter for the cruise. She can walk short distances with a walking stick, but will need the scooter for distance.


My question is: should we also take her manual wheelchair? Will she need this if she decides to get off at ports? She has used the wheelchair assistance at airports, but has never flown with her own wheelchair. Anythying we should know about traveling with a wheelchair?


If she should take a wheelchair, should she take one with large back wheels, or the lighter one that has 4 small wheels? Both fold up.


Thanks for your help.

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Hi lunasea1,

I think it would be helpful if you also took a folding wheelchair if you want to get off the ship and explore some ports. You don't say where you are going, but if there are any ports where you don't dock, and instead take small boats from the ship to the shore, your sis will not be able to take her scooter on the tender. (tender=small boat)

I think that a chair with large wheels is much easier to push, or to push myself in, than one of those transport chairs. My Dad had one of those, and he was truly stuck if someone parked him and walked away.........plus, it was hard to push. It's also easier to get the big wheels up over a curb if you have to.

If you travel by air with a wheelchair, the airline transports the chair at no charge. We always take "the feet" off and bring them in the cabin with us. You can request someone to push her to the gate, if you have stuff to carry, and they will take her to the door of the plane, and then stow her chair either in a closet on board (rarely), or down underneath. When you arrive at your destination, they will bring the chair up to the door of the plane, and if you have requested a pusher, they should be there to push her to baggage, or wherever you need to go. If you don't want to mess with her chair, you can check it when you check your bags, and use one provided by the airline. Be sure and call ahead of time, and let them know that you will need this assistance.

Here's hoping you have a great cruise!

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DesertDrmr in the post above has given you excellent advice and summary of what to expect.

we always travel with both the scooter and foldup wheelchair (with large rear wheels) you really need the wheel chair for getting off the ship; some gangways have steps which are not compatible with scooters, but can manage a wheelchair with assistance available from the crew. also ashore you can seldom find any transport that will take a scooter, but a foldup wheelchair can usually fit in the trunk. large wheel chairs are best because most of the public areas are carpeted and small wheels are hard to push.

your scooter will go as baggage with the rest of your luggage. you can use her wheel chair right up to the door of the plane. just be sure when you check in at the counter to ask for a "gate check" for the wheelchair and be sure to tell them you need early boarding

with the scooter they may ask you whether the battery is a dry cell or wet cell (most are dry cell) but they may tape over the battery terminals to prevent any possibility of the scooter moving or the battery being run down. we always carry the booklet for the scooter listing the weight and dimensions and the fact that it is dry cell:)

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Thank you so much for the good advice. Our ports are Key West, Cozumel, & Coco Cay, so there is a chance we will have to tender at least once. The scooter is a rental that will be waiting for us in our cabin, so we don't have to worry about flying with it.

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How do you all manage being on a tender with the chair? Is it a major hassle? My DH has limited mobility and uses a walker here at home, rides a scooter at the grocery ( bless em for making em available) and I bought a transport chair for our next cruises thinking he would be less tired than walking all those distances.


I am now of 2 minds about it...take the walker too ( a nice wheeled one with a seat that folds) or leave it home.


Any advice about the tenders would be welcome since I've never had to deal with em before.



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Yes, tenders are a pain with a wheelchair, but the biggest problem is getting down/up the tender stairs so if your husband can stii walk, it will not be as much of a problem for you. Crew members will carry him down/up in his manual chair If he can not walk the stairs.

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oh dear lol he's a big guy 6'4 I think they would have a rough time toting him.


Is it a lot of stairs? He really doesn't do stairs well. Sorry to be such a newbie but never having tendered really makes for more questions.


However....we won't be all that unhappy at not getting off if it works out that way...we love the ships :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

When my DH used a walker, we always brought it on the ship. He found it gave him freedom on days that he was feeling stronger. Now he uses a cane(on good days) but we rent a scooter and take our own wheelchair just to be safe. You'll have a great time.....so much to do on a cruise, and just doing nothing sometimes is so wonderful. We tour with taxi's and private guides so that we can create our own schedule and timeframe without distrubing others. The manual wheelchair is great for this.

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I travel with a small scooter only. I am on my own and there is no way I can manage more than scooter, small ramp, crutches, voltage converter, one small suitcase and small tote. I have figured out how to attach all but suitcase to the scooter. Ramp, crutches and tote go into plane with me and the rest goes in the belly of the plane.


I have never been refused tender service. Crew carries scooter down steps when necessary ... sometimes with me on it and sometimes escorts me down separately. It is a small hassle, but definitely worth it. I purchased a relatively light scooter (73#) to make it easier for all concerned.


Have a wonderful cruise! There are wheelchair taxis available in Cozumel. I would suggest Parque Chanakaab (sp?)... even though it was devastated by a hurricane, there was still lots to explore there on my scooter in Oct 2005.

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I checked into renting a scooter before my last cruise. It was $250 approx for 4 day cruise. I can buy one for 1k that suits my needs. I am seriously thinkig of buying one. It would give me some independence since I cant push my wheelchair. I can but it increases the pain in my arms (I have neuropathy both arms and legs from B12 deficiency). Someone told me to watch advertiser papers for used ones so am watching those too. That rollatator (?sp) looks really nice too. I didnt' notice but now wonder if they fold up? If they can I may take one on my next cruise since some days I can walk just a bit farther than others.

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