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Erich September 12th, 2009 01:13 PM

partially disabled and thinking of Med cruise
My wife uses a walker and has little stamina but wishes to take a Med cruise with Princess Lines in 2010. We get mixed opinions about the practicability of such an idea: vis-a-vis lengthy and slow lineups to embark/disembark at various ports of call, shore transportation, handicapped "friendliness" of places such as Venice, Florence, Rome.

A few years back we cruised to Bermuda but found the island to be an extremely difficult place for someone with a handicap - no ramps, lots of steps and positively ill-natured attitude of bus and taxi drivers to someone with a walker.

Have heard that some lines offer wheelchairs for rent on board but at astranomic prices ($150.00 US per day!)

Has anyone with a handicap done a Med or similar cruise and have they any observations, suggestions? We would be extremely grateful for any information. Thanks

green_rd September 14th, 2009 09:17 AM

Hi Erich,

Good luck on your search. Those beautiful ancient cities where built with aesthetics in mind not accessibility. Another thing to be cautious of whether the ship docks in port or weighs anchor and tenders you to shore. This might create additional difficulty for your wife.

katlady September 14th, 2009 09:32 AM

There are websites to explain how accessible each country is. Livonro (Florence) is not a tender port. The Rome port isn't a tender port either. You made be able to find tours (not run by the ship) that was suited for wheelchairs. I would look into these things and find the cruise/shore excursions that suit you. I think it's possible, but requires a good deal of research.

Mike M September 14th, 2009 09:37 AM

Bob is right. The cities are built for aesthetics and not accessibility. I use a cane in many places and with uneven walkways, cobblestone streets and many cities have very uneven and hilly streets and sidewalks, it can be a of a challenge to get around in these places.

The places I had the most problems were; Athens (Acropolis), some parts of Rome and Ephesus. I actually had the least problems in Egypt.

I wish I had paid more attention to see if and where there were handicapped access areas to major attractions.

I do think that a walker or wheelchair will limit your options but not eliminate them. If she does have a walker make sure it is one with wheels and brakes.

Take care,

Erich September 15th, 2009 11:43 AM

Thanks to everyone who has responded. Thelma (my wife) and I are still exploring the possibilities and your replies have proved very useful pointers to further sources of info as well as being good discussion points for us.
Now would anyone care to give us the benefit of their experiences in the business of embarking and disembarking at the various stop-overs: the time it takes; the amount of waiting-around; the lineups? Thanks again

katlady September 16th, 2009 04:48 PM

Here we go. I was in a hurry the other day and I don't find the websites I would looking for. The last one has links to site for each country. I hope this helps you. I found Venice nice because no cars are allow so I didn't have to worry about getting hit. However, the vaporetto (waterbuses) are crowded. We had a nice hotel near the train station. It didn't have an elevator, my mom has bad knees so we got her a room on the ground floor it worked out great.
Embarkation can take a while if you get there are at the regular boarding time. Some people arrive later and the have less of a wait time. I get there early and wait about an hour or so. For disembarking you get a color wait for your color to be called. Once your color is called you get in line to leave the ship. These lines can be long. We drive to port so we don't disembark when our color is called. We hang out in the lounges until everything dies down that we leave. That way we don't have a long line to stand in.

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