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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 16th, 2001, 04:28 PM
Sequim88
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Default Disabled Cabin - Toilets

My partially disabled wife (paralyzed right side from head injury) and I are planning a cruise (our first) to Alaska for our 25th anniversary next June. Although she can walk pretty well with a cane we take her wheelchair for anything involving longer distances. We have been advised to look into a disabled modified cabin but her big fear is that the toilets will be too high and she won't be able to stand up after using it. If this is the case we will opt for a mini-suite.

We have always wondered if it is an ADA specification for the toilet to be so high (and why - it sure seems to be harder to deal with). Are all the disabled cabins outfitted this way? At the moment we are in a toss up between HAL and Princess so is there any difference in this respect between these two lines?

Thanks.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 17th, 2001, 11:37 AM
Dave Graham
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

There is a very good reason toilet seats for disabled are higher than average. Many paraglegics in wheelchairs have trouble lifting themselves up to the height of their wheelchairs from a lower toilet seat. In fact with some of us it is impossible. I find that even a difference of couple of inches is hard to overcome. Most traditional (not sports) wheelchairs are about 18 inches seat height and so here in Canada for example toilet seat are recommended to be up to 18 inches in height. Wall mounted toilet seats usually only go up to 17 inches at the highest (something to do with the brackets).

I had thought that higher seats also made it easier for those with canes as they wouldn't have to lift themselves to stand from a lower seat position to a standing position. Most toilet seats for disabled come with an arm on one side (and sometimes a movable arm on the other) that are there to help one rise.
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Old July 17th, 2001, 02:22 PM
Sequim88
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Thanks Dave for the explanation. We wondered if it had something to do with chair height. If there is a grab bar on her left (functional) side she can make it work but she is pretty short (5'2") and her balance is so messed up that hopping off (feet don't reach the ground) and trying to stand up gets tricky. If it's a standards compliance thing then I guess that answers the second part of the question (all adapted rooms will be this way) so I'll leave it up to her to decide.

Thanks again.
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Old July 20th, 2001, 12:36 PM
FrankM
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Sequim88,

Your comments about your wife's inability to reach the high handicapped toilets brought to mind a possible solution. Your wife might benefit from a short step in front of the toilet that she can step onto to reach the toilet. I am thinking of a wooden box type step, about 4 to 5 inches high, made out of 3/4 wood and about 12 inches wide and 15 inches long. This frame would have a 1/2 inch plywood top to step on. Something like this would allow your wife to step onto the box and then pivot around to sit on the toilet and vice-versa. The box would be open on the bottom.

This box could travel in your luggage on the bottom turned upside down and in a plastic bag. Travel clothes would then be able to fit inside the box in the luggage. The plastic bag will keep the clothes clean from the box. This box would not take up much space since it is open and clothes can be packed in it. You can take this device with you when you and your wife fravel and carry it in a bag.

You might consider fabricating such a box or having someone fabricat one for your wife. It seems like this might do the trick.I am only guessing on the required height. You would have to verify what height is appropriate for your wife's 5'-2" height.

Hope this is a possible solution.


FrankM
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Old July 20th, 2001, 05:33 PM
KLD KLD is offline
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Also, keep in mind that non-adapted cabins often have a step up AND a lip going into the bathrooms...easy for even someone AB to trip over during the night. In addition, there is usually a pretty good step into the shower or worse yet a tub, and the bathrooms are tiny with limited grab-bars. Also, since the ADA does not still officially apply to all ships, you will find differences in toilet heights from ship to ship. Contact their Special Needs office to get the specifics for the ship you are looking at. We have seen them vary from 15" to 19" even on the same cruise line.
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Old July 20th, 2001, 07:21 PM
Peggy Schreur
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Thanks for explaining that your wife is very short. I was terribly puzzled about why a high toilet would be a problem, since my own challenge is extreme difficulty rising from ANY chair and thus "the higher, the better."

Your wife needs to find out whether there is a grab bar on the LEFT side for the particular cabin you choose. An adapted toilet may be provided with only one grab bar and it could be on the wrong side for some rooms and on the right side for other rooms.
pjkds
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Old July 27th, 2001, 02:27 PM
Sequim88
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

The lip going into the bathroom could be a real problem. Her right leg and foot are pretty well "fixed" in place so she does not lift that leg very well. She tends to catch her toes on just about anything sticking up. This, combined with paralysis in the right ear that causes pretty poor balance, means she trips and falls a lot. Do most (or all) ships have these lips at the bathroom door in regular cabins or mini-suites? Are newer ships or a particular cruise line less likely to have them?

Speaking of balance is ship motion at all noticable? Not so much up/down or roll from wave action but acceration/deceleration in response to currents, etc... We used to ride the Washington state ferries a lot and that was the motion that gave her the most trouble walking.

My thanks to all. We are in research mode so we can try to book our cruise intellegently January (for Alaska next summer) and this is the only place I have been able to get straight answers on disability related cruising issues.
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Old August 21st, 2002, 12:22 AM
ddawnwisn
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Default Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Dear Harvey:
My Mom, sister and myself took a cruise a couple of years ago to Alaska. Mom has a pacemaker and sometimes tends to be unsteady on her legs. Think about booking a trip through the inside passage because then you have less chance of having turbulance (we only had one day of it as we traveled to the passage). Mom had a tough time that day moving around and so was a little more tired the next day.

Although Mom needs the higher toilet, I have been told the same as others that have posted here, they differ from ship to ship and cabin to cabin. We are going on a new cruise 4/03 to the Caribbean and this time we are booking a handicapped room for Mom and Dad. She has gotten a little less "athletic" and most doors do have that lip that makes it hard for her to get over.

Good luck on your cruise, and Enjoy!

Debbie
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Old August 18th, 2003, 01:10 PM
Another shorty
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

I would really appreciate it if someone could post the height of toilets in not only disabled cabins, but any cabin on any ship you have sailed or will sail. Tall toilets cause me a great deal of discomfort. (So do tall dining room chairs). The Grand Class of Princess ships (Grand, Golden, Star) seem to have particularly high toilets.

Thanks in advance.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old August 20th, 2003, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

I see that we will have to add a piece of equipment to our packing lists........a measuring tape! That would be good information.

I, too, am 5'2", but my particular challenge is that my knees don't bend and my legs don't move very well. We were on the Star earlier, in a Mini-Suite, and the toilet was fine, but it was difficult getting into the tub to take a shower. The tub had about a 10" side to step over. There were a couple of grab bars which were fairly convenient, but being short, it was a bit of a reach for the one on the back wall to help in climbing. My Mother and I are going on the Star this Fall, but we have booked an accessible balcony cabin instead of the Mini. I thought that my Mom would not be able to manage the tub. Also, there was a step up to the bathroom, in the mini, and it was something I really had to be careful of. By the way, on the Star, in an AB mini, there were no bars next to the toilet at all. I could steady myself on the counter, but nothing to pull up on.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 08:28 PM
CJH CJH is offline
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Default Re: Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

DesrtDrmr I remember seeing that you are in B301on the Star Princess. That's the cabin I was in with my 13 year old. We also had the handicap cabin next door B303 with my 5 year old in her wheelchair and my Dad.

I don't think the toilet was any higher then any other toilet. My 13 year old didn't have any problems going from her wheelchair to it and she can't stand at all. You won't be able to reach the counter from the toilet in that cabin the bathroom is very big. There are grab rails on the right side and back side of the toilet.
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Old September 3rd, 2003, 07:23 PM
Grammom
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Hi Harvey,

I can't speak for HAL, but the Princess Grand class ships have regular toilets in the accessable cabins. Being under five feet, I can empathize with your wife! She'll find those cabins very comfortable.

Grammom
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Old September 24th, 2003, 02:15 PM
Lynncruiser
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Default Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Grab bars in h/c rooms are not readily available and we haven't found the toilets too high. In the US there is only about a 2” difference in them. The h/c rooms have a ramp into the bathroom rather than the step. My husband was very unsteady and needed grab bars more that other stuff and sometime I worried about it on the various ships. I think you’ll be fine, sometime you have to make your own adjustments. Good luck.
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Old September 25th, 2003, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Hello,
We are just off the Star Princess, and I took my measuring tape!!
We were in H/C cabin 301 that CJH was in, and the toilet was 18 1/2 inches high.....floor to seat. The door into the bathroom did not have a step, and the entire bathroom floor was the same level...........a roll in shower, with a seat, if you wished to transfer. I can stand, so don't have some of the same issues as those in a chair full time, but the only problem I saw was that we didn't have any low hanging rod in the closet. There was a ramp onto the balcony, which was corregated metal, and at the high point was about 6" tall over the door track. It was 32 inches wide. We were able to step over the door track, so we asked our cabin attendant (stewardess??? What DO you call a woman cabin steward?) to remove the ramp. It was left on the patio, and there was another one there as well. There were plenty of drawers and several shelves to store stuff, as well as the closet for hanging clothing. Our big bags fit quite easily under the beds.
There were a lot of bars in the bathroom, on the right side of the toilet, and the back, and there were bars around the shower on two sides............there was only a curtain dividing the shower from the toilet, as the whole bathroom was one big room, with a level floor with some drains around the shower floor.
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Old September 25th, 2003, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Hello,
We are just off the Star Princess, and I took my measuring tape!!
We were in H/C cabin 301 that CJH was in, and the toilet was 18 1/2 inches high.....floor to seat. The door into the bathroom did not have a step, and the entire bathroom floor was the same level...........a roll in shower, with a seat, if you wished to transfer. I can stand, so don't have some of the same issues as those in a chair full time, but the only problem I saw was that we didn't have any low hanging rod in the closet. There was a ramp onto the balcony, which was corregated metal, and at the high point was about 6" tall over the door track. It was 32 inches wide. We were able to step over the door track, so we asked our cabin attendant (stewardess??? What DO you call a woman cabin steward?) to remove the ramp. It was left on the patio, and there was another one there as well. There were plenty of drawers and several shelves to store stuff, as well as the closet for hanging clothing. Our big bags fit quite easily under the beds.
There were a lot of bars in the bathroom, on the right side of the toilet, and the back, and there were bars around the shower on two sides............there was only a curtain dividing the shower from the toilet, as the whole bathroom was one big room, with a level floor with some drains around the shower floor.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old October 1st, 2003, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Sorry for the double post.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old October 2nd, 2003, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

Something else to consider, just in case the bar is on the wrong side of the john. Take along a foldable walker to put on the required side. Those tend to make any bathroom adaptable, I found that out about a year ago when my hips went on hiatus for all ambulatory purposes. I still keep the walker around, just in case.

Steve


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  #18 (permalink)  
Old October 10th, 2003, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Re: Disabled Cabin - Toilets

That's a great idea about the walker , and reminded me that we also put a walker next to the bed, so my Mom would not fall out. Her bed was right up against the wall on one side, and with the walker on the other side, she was pretty comfortable. She uses a walker for that at home, too, after having a bad fall a few years ago.
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