help me plan a first cruise for me and my grandma?
Hi everybody !! I'm planning to give my 86 yo grandma a cruise this year (just me and her) and I need some direction on what kind of trip to plan considering her limited mobility. Neither one of us has been on a cruise before so I'm sure it'll be a great adventure no matter what.
Although she can stand and walk short distances without much trouble, she really needs to sit most of the time, and this is probably the biggest consideration for the entire trip. Because of this limitation our priorities are...
1) Good views from the ship as we won't be getting off for sight seeing
2) A ship made for easy access for wheel chairs
3) Good weather
4) A cruise in the Western hemisphere, excluding S. America
5) Something in the 3-6 day cruise range
Those are about it really. She's really not so much outgoing so I doubt she'd want to participate in too many of the planned boat activities.
From my research so far, depending on our budget, personally I'd like to get a room with a great sea side view.
Thats all for now. Thanks for your time, I'm all ears.
PS. Any links to cruise FAQs would be greatly appreciated.
Most of the ships have great access for wheel chairs. They also have handicap accessible rooms that might make mobility a little easier for Grandma. Like having a zero entry (no step into the bathroom) a seat in the shower, etc... I would get a balcony. You might want to consider renting a scooter for her if she can navigate it.
There will be ports where you will dock that you can get off the ship if to just go around to the shops and look around the cruise terminal fairly easily in a scooter or wheel chair I am thinking like Cozumel and a few others.
You might want to avoid hurricane season, but of course there's no guarantee with regard to weather.
Even though she may not be outgoing, there will be all sorts of shows and entertainment she may enjoy and there will be handicapped spaces available in most of the venues. There is usually Bingo and other fun stuff like the newlywed game and that sort of stuff.
How sweet of you to want to take her on a vacation! I would tell you that if she wants to be able sit and watch the sea go by that you should get a balcony cabin. The Freedom does a six day cruise to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Ocho Rios. The Freedom does have handicapped accessible balcony cabins, so you can look into that. You could also get Grany a rental scooter so you can get around a little eaiser as the ship is BIG. A cabin close to midship near the elevators would be ideal no matter if her mobility is good or she needs a walker/wheelchair, or scooter.
The beauty of this route is Key West is a port you can get off and within a max 2 block range have a whole host of things to see and do (Mallory Square). If she doesn't want to do much, then don't but Key West is a great place where you can get off and spend several hours within full view of the ship(s) from where you are located.
Good luck planning your trip, and do remember to get health and trip cancellaton insurance!!!!
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The 3-6 days will get you to the Caribbean, with a younger set onboard, which may not be the best for your Grandmother.Go to 7 days and your choices multiply. A balcony cabin, will allow her the ability to go outside and enjoy the views. Getting a handicappped cabin is really your best best, if it fits in your budget. All the ships make it easy im most cases to get around. The Caribbean will also get you the most consistent weather...Usually if it rains, it's for a short time.
If by chance you do get off the ship, in many ports there is shopping close by..keep in mind if San Juan is on your itinerary, the streets are cobblestone..although in this port there is really not much close to the pier, and the cobblestones are futher up in old town...
Finally, I would arrange for your own wheelchair rental, and keep the chair in your room at night. Since there is a limited amount of chairs onboard...doing it this way, you know she will always have hers. I know someone, who kept the chair outside the cabin door, and boom it was gone! I hope you come back and let us know what you have decided...
Your Grandmother has a very nice Grandson.
Trip, with her book & tea!
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Definately use a Travel Agent that has been around for awhile. It does not cost you one penny (the cruise line pays them a commission).
Also if your Grandmother wants to get off the ship at every port....you should know that Grand Cayman and Half Moon Cay are both TENDERED
(you get off the big ship onto a little boat that takes you to shore).
Now this does not mean that a less mobile person can't go...it is just more difficult.
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