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Embarking & disembarking after we leave San Diego


kayr2

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We are in the preliminary stages of planning a Mexican Riviera Cruise on Radiance of the Seas. I now use both oxygen and an electric scooter so we have not cruised for over a year. I need to learn new ways of getting on and off the ship. I have read on this board that there will be help available at the port in San Diego but what happens in the other ports that we will be visiting? How do I get off the ship with my scooter? In some ports, the access to the pier from the gangplank is pretty steep and like going down a set of stairs. I don't believe my scooter would handle that. Not to mention returning to the ship. I have pretty much decided I probably will not be able to tender to shore as I am unsteady on my legs and wouldn't be able to board the boat. Do any of the tours use buses that store a scooter if there is one we want to go on? Do handicapped people disembark first or even last so that other passengers don't have to gang up behind them and become impatient? I have the name of a company that will deliver oxygen to the ship in San Diego and I will contact them in the near future for more information. We will be driving to San Diego a day or two early so flights are not a problem either. I have read this board trying to find more information and will continue to watch it. In the meantime, I will appreciate anything else anyone can tell me.

Thanks for any help.

Kay

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I assume you are on Holland America?

 

I would strongly encourage you to take a manual wheelchair with you in addition to your scooter, and have someone with you how can push this when you go ashore. In both Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan you will dock, and getting on and off the ship is pretty easy, but if you plan to take tours, it is much more likely you will be able to get a tour that can put a manual wheelchair under the bus that a scooter, and none of the ship's tours are wheelchair accessible with a lift van or bus in any of these ports. If you can easily transfer, you may want to take a cab instead, and will also need a manual chair for this. I assume you already have a wheelchair accessible cabin on the ship.

 

The crew will assist you with getting on and off the ship with a manual wheelchair regardless of the steepness of the ramp...not so with a scooter. Just be sure you bring a large wheeled wheelchair (not a "transport" chair) as the latter is a killer on the cobblestones in Mexico and much more difficult for your "pusher". You can either rent and bring your own, or rent one to be delivered to the ship.

 

Be sure that the company you are using for oxygen delivery is one that is approved by your cruise ship line. Not all are. See if they can also provide a bag to secure your oxygen to the manual chair as well as your scooter.

 

For Cabo San Lucas, it is a tender port. Depending on the cruise line, and the conditions, you can go ashore (again, use your manual wheelchair). The crew will help you board the tender unless it is too rough, and the safety officer has the last say as far as you being allowed on the tender or not. Once ashore, again, cabs or just walking around town are your best bet.

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We will be leaving 11/30 on RCCL's Radiance of the Seas for 11 days/ 6 ports. It is our intention to try and take my walker in addition to the scooter. I do have a travel type lightweight wheel chair but we had not considered it. We have been to some of the Mexican ports we will go to on this cruise. It is almost impossible for Ben, who I travel with, to push me around those ports. Both of us are in our 70's. I can walk down the gangplank but it would be slow and would be all my walking for 1 day. The scooter would make it over the cobblestones. I believe I read that someone took his/her scooter on a tender which I don't plan on doing but I would really like to be able to get off the ship in some ports.The oxygen co. name came from RCCL so it is ok

Thanks for the info.--Kay

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Radiance of the Seas has a lift for scooters and wheelchairs that can be used for disembarking onto the tender -- but you have to make sure on the other side that it is fully accessible. What ports do you have? Do your research before the cruise for lift accessible taxis - do not rely on cruiseline -- they will tell you NOTHING IS ACCESSIBLE.

 

The Holiday Inn is directly across the street from the ship in San Diego. However, their accessible rooms are not fully accessible -- low bathtub with a semi-seat. And this room is across an outside patio area. They do have a lift to take you to the ship, but it's so close you can easily ride across the street on the scooter and the other person can ride with the luggage and meet you there (make early morning reservation for this). We stayed there pre-cruise, but booked Hyatt (Manchester)for after cruise --- not much more money -- fully accessible and right in front of Seaport (wonderful accessible area for shops and restaurants) Concierge was very helpful with other accessible plans with scooter. They do not provide free shuttle service, but will call lift taxi for you -- loved it there.

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Hi Vickila:

 

Thanks for the really good news. Are the lifts only for the tenders or are they used to get to the pier also? We will be going to Cabo San Lucas and Ixtapa, which are tendered and to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta. Acapulco and Manzanito which are docked. We have been to some of the ports before and done tours. We will probably like to do a couple on this cruise but we also like to just wander around the town and look at the stores

 

I looked at the Port of San Diego website and liked the looks of the Holiday Inn. Since we will be driving and it has "Snooze and Cruise" (I think that is what it is called), Ben can drive me across the road and drop off our luggage, etc, go park and walk back. That should work. What would we need early morning reservations for?

 

Thanks again for the good info

Kay

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You will have no difficulty riding your scooter when you board the Radiance here in SanDiego - incidentally we, who travel with both a scooter and manual wheelchair are on the same sailing in JS1028. There is an elevator which will take you on your scooter up to the second level and then it just gradual slopes up to the ship's entry deck.

As Splinter has said, a manual wheel chair is really needed to get off the ship in ports of call and it does not have to be pushed far to where you can get a taxi or the ship's excursion bus - but a folding manual wheelchair is essential. There a few if none accessible vans that will take a scooter.

I assume you have booked an accessible cabin on Radiance because a scooter will not fit through the door into a regular cabin; they are not as wide as the doors into HC cabins. But assuming you have an HC cabin, you will find Radiance class just about the most accessible of all the ships of various cruise lines. We have been on all four of the Radiance class - Brilliance, Jewel and Serenade - and speak from multi-cruise experience.

Also when you board here look for the special desk(s) they have set up for walking impaired passengers; they provide special assistance as may be required:)

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Hi Vickila:

 

Thanks for the really good news. Are the lifts only for the tenders or are they used to get to the pier also? We will be going to Cabo San Lucas and Ixtapa, which are tendered and to Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta. Acapulco and Manzanito which are docked. We have been to some of the ports before and done tours. We will probably like to do a couple on this cruise but we also like to just wander around the town and look at the stores

 

I looked at the Port of San Diego website and liked the looks of the Holiday Inn. Since we will be driving and it has "Snooze and Cruise" (I think that is what it is called), Ben can drive me across the road and drop off our luggage, etc, go park and walk back. That should work. What would we need early morning reservations for?

 

Thanks again for the good info

Kay

 

Kay, It's Holiday Inn on the Bay that is directly across from the pier -- there is also Holiday Inn Bayside - about 3 miles away - make sure you book the right one.

 

Holiday Inn on the Bay - ok for one night -- we were not in tower (main bldg.) - we were across the patio area - 1st floor. There was parking there for guests and a lot for others when on cruise (inquire). The room was an accessible one - 2 double beds (small) and the tub was about 2' entry over with an unstable seat -- only room of its kind so book fast. Hotel is oldish but it's convenience of directly across from the cruise ship terminal is a highlight - also free pick up (even accessible) from airport (you call when you get there) and free delivery to ship with luggage (you put your name on list in early a.m. for this). Can transport scooter also, but we were late so very easy ride across street - (2 blocks total). Nice --- Elephant bar and restaurant (inside and outside available).

 

But for comfort, accessibility to Seaport and Gasligt village - I'd stay in a heartbeat again at the Hyatt -- maybe 1 mle further down. (traffic area).

 

Radiance of the Seas is a wonderful ship. The lift they use is at the tender ports -- you go down with scooter or wheelchair - no stairs. We did this in Hawaii so don't know about Mexico. In other ports you should have no problems getting off with scooter - staff sometimes assists you to make sure you come off right or come up (power person behind you).

 

At the seaport in San Diego, we took the "Seal" - similar to the "Duck" (land/water)tour. They also have a lift -- (concierge at Hyatt arranged it - but they are online). It's a few times a day -- wonderful tour. The lift is outside (a little hairy) but worth it. Seaport is wonderfully paved for about a mile - lovely area and starts in back of Hyatt. Also, there is an aircraft carrier opposite the HI that is accessible for touring - looked interesting. Also, don't miss monuments of Bob Hope with the troops (next to good seafood restaurant) -- it's all on that avenue. Make sure you reserve some time to stroll. Vicki:)

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Almost forgot -- on the Radiance there is an activity assistant by the name of Matt who is very enjoyable. He does Trivia and takes his job very seriously. Because Hawaii was 4 days at sea x2 it was trivia rounds - cumulative wins - very competitive and looked forward to at 2;30 each afternoon. I'm sure they'll have it on sea days for you. He's funny and it was the best trivia we ever did (not usually our thing). V

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Vickila:

You people are really being helpful and we need all we can get. It is the Holiday on the Bay that I found on the Port website. That hotel has packages for various length cruises up to l6 days which include parking in a lighted, gated structure. I will be checking that out versus a separate hotel and parking in the garage at the pier for prices. We have a van so we will be bringing a portable concentrator, scooter, walker/or chair (that stuff is for me) plus whatever else Ben feels he needs (such as water) plus our luggage. I will be ordering oxygen delivered to the ship by a local company recommended by RCCL. An interstate move would be less cumbersome.

 

Leo and Hugh:

We have an accessible cabin a little ways down from you. We are booked into 7110. Ben used to complain because I took 2 suitcases for 2 weeks but so far with all the things I mentioned, he is being very agreeable. My scooter is 22" wide and should fit thru the door of the cabin ok. I believe I was told by my travel agent that the door is 30".

 

I am leaning toward giving up tours rather than bring the chair which has to be pushed. My walker has a seat on it so I can walk and rest, etc & it will carry an oxygen cylinder for me. We have already taken some of the tours and Ben is not able to push me in the chair any longer so it is coming in second. We will probably wait until we are on board to make the final decision about which tours.

 

Kay

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I cruise with my mom who uses a scooter. We found the scooter to be useful only on the ship. When we tried to take it into ports we always ran into accessibility problems. (mostly no curb cut outs and stairs) Remember, you're not in the US anymore. The crew always would help mom get on or off the ship if the ramp was steep.

 

No ship tours are really handicapped accessible. No buses have lifts for wheelchairs or scooters. Some tours say they are accessible but you have to have a collapsible wheelchair and be able to walk the stairs up into the bus.

 

We have never tried to take mom's scooter on any tenders. Mom's scooter is only 50lbs but we didn't want to put the crew through all the work of carrying it on the tender and then just run into accessibility problems in port again. When we were on Carnival and Princess they didn't allow scooters on the tenders at all. They did allow collapsible wheelchairs.

 

I'm glad you are in a handicapped accessible cabin. That will help a lot. I hope you have a wonderful cruise.

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Umbarger:

Thanks for the good wishes. I am really looking forward to this cruise because I feel I have been on a very short leash since I started on the oxygen in Nov. of 2007.

 

Ben & I have been to Mexico on a cruise before so we are familar with the differences. I just used a ship's wheelchair that time (no oxygen) but since we are both in our 70's, the times are changing. I don't walk as well as I did then and he can't push a chair any more. My scooter can be disassembled in a couple minutes if necessary so it may be that we can do that to put it on a bus or, instead, I can use my walker getting to a bus. I believe I am able to get into a bus because my house has 4 steps from the ground to the entry doors and I don't have any trouble although I am slow.

 

We'll see how it works out. We'll do the best we can. Thanks again.

 

Kay

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Umbarger:

Thanks for the good wishes. I am really looking forward to this cruise because I feel I have been on a very short leash since I started on the oxygen in Nov. of 2007.

 

Ben & I have been to Mexico on a cruise before so we are familar with the differences. I just used a ship's wheelchair that time (no oxygen) but since we are both in our 70's, the times are changing. I don't walk as well as I did then and he can't push a chair any more. My scooter can be disassembled in a couple minutes if necessary so it may be that we can do that to put it on a bus or, instead, I can use my walker getting to a bus. I believe I am able to get into a bus because my house has 4 steps from the ground to the entry doors and I don't have any trouble although I am slow.

 

We'll see how it works out. We'll do the best we can. Thanks again.

 

Kay

 

My mom used to use her walker before her walking got really bad. If you can use a walker that will be great. We took many excursions with a walker. I think you will be able to do the step up to the bus too.

 

So make sure and take that walker. Nothing like packing the kitchen sink eh? :D

 

Linda

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Linda:

 

As long as I keep doing as good as I did today, the walker will go. I'll keep everything crossed that I can.

 

We're having quite a snow storm in Colorado Springs today and into tomorrow morning. Is it heading your way?

 

Kay

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I have been to Mexico 7 times with a scooter and never had any trouble getting it off the ship, however, it is all but impossible to use it in Mexico. Now that my husband doesn't walk at all we stay aboard ship and don't struggle with it. I can't imagine having to fool with a wheelchair. We have a lightweight 16 pound aluminum chair and I simply would not be able to push even that, but good luck.

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Waverlydoll:

Thanks for the input. If I can walk as good in November as I can now, I should be able to get off the ship if the dock is adjacent to a town and use my walker to get around a little. I don't have to rest long in order to be able to go a little further so here's hoping I can disembark at least once or twice and see some of the shops. If not,that's the breaks--I won't know until I try.

Kay

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