I am trying to get info from people (caregivers) who have traveled with a wheelchair bound STROKE pateint on a cruise.
A few years back I heard on OPRAH of a cruise line that had disabled cruising and now I cant remember the line. ( a specific ship I think)
My dad & mom were avid cruisers until her stroke 7 yrs ago and now Dad brings her on 'regular' cruises where she cant get off the ship and there isnt much for her to do except stay in the room or be wheeled around.She cant walk on her own and cant truly comprehend what is going on - but yet Dad isnt ready to leave her at home so he will bring her and our nurse along...
I distincly remember this line offering land trips and other stuff specifically for the wheelchair challenged and their caregivers.
Can anyone help me out?
if you have traveled on the ships , what were your thoughts as a :
caregiver- non disabled
The availability of accessible tours ashore is less a function of the cruise line than of the ports. The cruise lines do not provide these trips...they contract with shore-side companies. If you want fully accessible transportation (lift equipped vans, etc.) then they pretty much need to stick to American or Canadian ports, as you will rarely find this in other countries. This would include large ships that do Alaska (next summer) and a few fall color trips along the St. Lawrence, and a few of the larger American river trips such as the Mississippi Queen (which has a couple wheelchair accessible cabins).
I travel with my parents as my mother's caregiver. We have been all over the world on cruises, but we know that in most ports we will either need to push around the port area (this works for many ports with shopping and sightseeing near the ship) or transfer to regular cabs. The latter is not easy, but my mother cannot stand at all, so it has to be done with either some strong men lifting (some cab drivers will help) or by "quad pivot" transfer. We have gone on RCCL, Celebrity, Crystal, Princess and HAL, which all have at least some ships with wheelchair accessible rooms and public areas (not all have wc accessible public restrooms though).
I wonder if you mother is really benefiting from these trips if she has significant cognitive disabilities from her stroke. My mother can talk and loves to visit with people, even if she stays on board while we go ashore. If your mother cannot do this it must be somewhat confusing for her. Perhaps your father would want to travel with a friend and arrange for you or another family member to stay at home with your mother and her caregiver instead?
St Thomas does have accessible tours. With Jamaica if you book throught Peat Tayor or another one I don't recall the name you can get tours that are suitable but you must state exactly what you need ie can not walk at all confined the the chair.
Cruised June 2002 on Carnival Fascination with son who has a severe CP and MR diagnosis. He had a ball! He enjoyed watching the shows and the people, laughed through dinner, enjoyed the feel of the ocean breeze his face, etc... My son is nonverbal and nonmobile but his smile told me that he was aware and enjoying his vacation!
In December 2003 we are sailing on Mariner of the Seas (RCCL) and expect it to be even better than the last cruise. Mariner has pool and jaccuzi lifts for the wheelchair user. The Eastern Carribean has stops in St. Thomas which has accessible island tours (van/trolleys have lifts), and St. Maarten has a Zoo that is accessible. RCCL is actualy inthe process of putting together an accessible shore excursion brochure but my talks with them indicated tha the Eastern Carribean is more accessible than the western.
I say do your research and keep the family together. Everyone will benefit.