Hello, I am traveling soon on a cruise that I will be flying 6 hours to get to. I am slightly disabled-bad feet problems. If I stand in one place for not very long even, they ache and will eventually cause painful cramping. I don't use a cane or a wheelchair, the only evidence is my oddly shaped ugly shoes that I have to use for support. Would I be taking advantage to get on the first plane seating for disabled and kids? The idea of standing in all the lines etc, exhausts me just thinking of it. However, I know plenty of people have aches and pains and NO one likes the lines. I just don't want to be in pain when I get to Hawaii and I will if the cramping starts on me.
I already spoke to the cruise line and basically unless I am in a wheelchair, the person I talked to indicated that I could get no special consideration there.
I would speak to the gate people at the airline. I think if you ask for "early boarding" you will not be turned down. That or wait until the end to board the plane when everyone else has boarded - there won't be a line then.
As far as the cruiseline - just speak to the purser's desk and explain your situation. If you have a note from your doctor - that would also help.
Truthfully - I think cruiselines go out of their way to help those who are disabled. I don't think they will tell you that you are not "disabled enough".
It is difficult for a layman to determine what constitutes a disabled person especially since some of the opinions on the subject by the United States Supreme Court makes one wonder. According to Sureme Court O'Connor not all disabilities are subj ect to ADA.
May I suggest you read all you can about the subject by:
Using keyword bring up either of the following:
Department of Jutice ADA Home Page. If this does not get you into what ADA is all about then try
You might get a letter from a doctor attesting to your foot problem as a basis for receviving ADA Treatment.
Sorry I cannot be of more help. If and when you get around to reading the availble information, you are concerned with Title III. Incidentally the airlines are exempt from having to comply with the Americans With Disability Act in that it is is pre-empted by another ADA, the Airlines Derugulations Act.
if you have painful feet, and you are required to wear special shoes, i would get a letter from your doctor and present it when/if needed in order to prevent having to stand in long lines. the letter should also stated the exact medical problem and how it affects you.
i am permanently disabled and am a part-time power wheelchair user, altho it is slowly becomore more full-time here lately. i often look around me and see lots of people taking advantage of some of the services offered to the disabled.
i have found that there are a lot of disabilities that are "invisible" (heart problems, arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, circulatory, etc). regardless of whether a disability is visible or not, does not mean that it does not exist.
as the baby boomers age, we are going to see more and more people with disabilities -- because of that, if your foot condition causes you pain, and if you can't figure out a way to prevent the pain, i would go ahead and board first with my letter from my neuro.
it is also a good idea though to do what the other reader stated which is to just sit and wait to board after everyone else has boarded which would prevent you from having to stand and wait in line -- but still take your letter from your doctor in case there are other situations that require standing in long lines.
Hubby and I have both had heart attacks so standing in lines are hard on us . We cruised on the Carnival Pride 2/2/02, my TA called Carnival Special Needs desk and they were most helpful. Got us a room close to the elevators, had us use special boarding, so no lines to wait in. They also checked in with us once we were on board to see if we needed anything. I would contact your cruise line and see if they have such a department and if so tell them your problems and concerns. I am sure they will be most helpful. Donot wait until you are on board, the Pursers Office is not always as helpful as they should be.
The note from your doctor is best thing. I went to Alaska last May and the was a major delay because of Customs. After standing in line for over an hour, the NCL people brought a few folding chairs out. There were quite a few much older people that needed them. After another hour, we finally got upstairs to the boarding lines where it was obvious we would be waiting for quite some time. I asked one of the "guiders" if there I was any way I could sit down because I was feeling kind of shaky. I have diabetes and a (very) stressed shoulder. Whipped out my note and she immediately routed me to the special line that crew members were using. Took about ten minutes. I wished I had said something earlier. Also, I usually board early on the plane because it takes me longer to lift my carry-on. The airline people will help me, but I do like to try.
I think many people feel ashamed that their bodies don't work as well as they once did. I was like that until I messed up my shoulder even more trying to be a "macho" woman. No longer. The cruise folks are usually very helpful (that's their gig). Make them happy by letting them do their jobs. I'm just happy that I'm still here; diabetes, bad shoulder and all.