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Old April 21st, 2003, 04:19 PM
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Default Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

Hi Everyone,

Once again I am turning to the best source of information I can think of. My 10th anniversary is in August and I'd love to celebrate it on a cruise....

but - which one? Add to that - when I returned last week from the Grand, my father expressed with such interest that he would *love* to go on a cruise with us. Well- we would love to have them along! I would love for them to relive their honeymoon - they sailed to Bermuda from NYC aboard the old Queen of Bermuda. They've done short day trips to the Bahamas - and it's just not the same!

Cruising has changed so much since their honeymoon and I would love for my parents to be able to experience it now. They both have health problems. My dad has a chronic lung condition that requires him to use oxygen and his mobility is limited because of it.
My mom is severly arthritic - and might also require assistance.

Is this possible? Is there a cruise out there for me to take my parents on? Does anyone have experience with how the various lines handle people on oxygen?
Would we be able to put them in wheelchairs when walking would be too much for them? Is one cruise line better than the others in dealing with situations like this?

I know the itinerary would be a factor - I'd want ports where no tendering would be required. Decisions, decisions.... I'm just not that experienced with all this - yet!

Thanks everyone - *your* experience and expertise always comes through ...

Deja
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Old April 21st, 2003, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

Deja I saw some super photos of wheelchairs tendering. It looked like they had a great game plan for that circumstance. Check out the photo gallery. This is really a sweet thing you are planning, good luck. Denise

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Old April 21st, 2003, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

What a great daughter you are. I'm sure you'll get plenty of advice from these boards but my best advice would be to get with a cruise professional. And probably to take a shorter, less active cruise.

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Thomas
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Old April 21st, 2003, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

I'd take them back to Bermuda, deja. Not just for the sweetness of it.

Nice sea days on the way and back, low-impact in the port, highly civilized and disabled-friendly. I pushed my mom around in Bermuda in her "chair" and it was fun for all involved.

The oxygen thing is something that I am not totally familiar with. Ask Y2C (Steve) ... he's my expert on that. You may not be able to "bring your own."

I think that all cruise lines offer chairs for on-board use, but won't let you take them off. So, you would went to rent porta-chairs for Mom and Dad. We took our own for my mom.

E-mail me if I can help more. I have a bunch of sources.

Happy Sails!

pamda
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Old April 21st, 2003, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

Great idea Denise! Although I have no experience with wheelchairs or oxygen tanks, I have seen both on cruises, and having celebrated my (2nd) honeymoon onboard Holland America's Maasdam, I would highly recommend it for their wonderful pampering service, and relatively calmer activities.

donna

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Old April 21st, 2003, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

aww Thoms, thanks - I just love them and would love to share this experience with them. Ever since I started cruising my Dad's expressed more and more interest. When it came up last week my mom wasn't that excited about it - until she realized that we wanted to go *with* them - not send them off packing on a huge boat alone -

A cruise professional is a great idea - now where would I find one of those? I suppose I should start with my TA - she's been great so far.

It's so hard to watch my parents get old and have problems - and these memories would be *so* cherished!

Deja
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Old April 21st, 2003, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

Thanks Denise! That is a good idea. I know people in wheelchairs can get on and off the tenders - I've seen them! It's amazing. The reason why I mentioned non tender ports is because I don't think my mom would get off onto one- she'd just say she wanted to stay on board! Now my dad on the other hand - it would be an adventure for him- lol - they look at things differently!


Deja
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Old April 21st, 2003, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

Pam,
My first thought was Bermuda! I've done a land based vacation there and loved it. My parents are partial to Bermuda, vacationing there with friends many times over the years. They haven't been there in a long time though.

I've seen some itineraries where the ship is actually docked in port there for 2 days then moves to the other side of the island for another 2 days - then back to where you started. It certainly would be the best of both worlds.

Thanks for the suggestions! I knew I could count on you guys

Deja
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Old April 21st, 2003, 05:42 PM
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Default Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

Deja - I would definitely consider Bermuda - maybe on Celebrity (their ships are smaller and somewhat easier to get around size-wise). You can easily contact a home health agency to rent wheelchairs for your parents; contact the cruise line's special needs department to see what requirements they have for O2 use....but I do know what O2 and supplies have been delivered to ships on the day of departure. Plus - Bermuda has no tendering!

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Old April 21st, 2003, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

Deja,
As you said start with your TA and let them know. The best item is to do it yourself or dad instead of going through a third party as a TA. Also you will need to inform the cruiseline concerning oxygen. Each cruiseline varies, and they will need some documentation.
As Lisa commented is to contact the special needs desk, they will be able to tell you the type of oxygen you can bring, as liquid, gas or a O2 concentrator.
Also ask the needs desk if you can bring your own. The other item is to see if the local supplier for your dad can help.

If you will be flying the airlines will need to know, and you will not be able to bring your own. Not all airlines will provide oxygen and there is a fee.

There is a company that specializes in medical needs aboard a cruise ship "Care Vacations". http://www.carevacations.com/. Give them a call to get some information. This company provides oxygen around the world. The fees are paid by the individual then it is up to that person to get reimbursed from the insurance company. Check with the insurance company to see if it is covered, the fees depending on the choice can get up there in cost depending on the oxygen form, liquid, gas.
.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Need Your Suggestions- taking parents on a cruise?

What a wonderful idea. I agree that Bermuda would be great. Talk to your TA - tell her all your needs and concerns and let her do all the work for you. I would consider Celebrity, HAL or Princess for cruise lines.
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