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Old January 9th, 2005, 12:19 AM
mendi
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Default Shore excursions for disabled

Hi. We are taking my parents on their first cruise this year. My Mom has MS and uses a motorized wheelchair most of the time although she can manage on crutches for a short time. I need some advise as to what excursions she could do in Cozumel and Jamaica. I don't want to see her sitting on the ship while we are out having fun. Oh...she also cannot stand too much direct sunlight.

If anyone can help, it would be very much appreciated!
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Old January 15th, 2005, 02:02 PM
Vladimir
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Default Re: Shore excursions for disabled

Hi Mendi,
here is what my wife and I did in Cozumel a year ago.
First about my wife. She is also in a wheelchair, an amputee below l. knee.
We know from our experience, that one does not have to sign up shore trips
with the ship. Way back home I did a research, as to what to do in Cozumel,
our second visit. This time I've selected the famous Mex. Nat'l Park called:
" Parque Chankanaab:" We took a cab over to the Park ( the wheelchair
foldet in the trunk) and if I remember $8.- one way. Then to enter the park
a ticket, I think $10.- PP. Inside, there are many choices. First, the park crew
insisted to take my wife on to the pier and watch the Dolphin Show. That
worked really well. Next, after a cool drink in the Cantina, they gave me
a "walk" plan to follow a path and visit areas with exotic birds and most
beautiful plants and flowers. Another $8.- or $9.- got us back to the ship
and wife was quite happy with our second time in Cozumel. (Shopping,
the first time!). If you have kids, or you are interested, there is a nice sandy
beach - next to the Dolphin show, and they have an inside facility to change
and your mom would have planty shady spots under the palms.
Regarding Jamaica, I cannot help you, never' been there. BUT, what I
hear from others, do not take any shore trips on your own, much safer-
stick to a group or a tour guide. Oh yes, another thing, if your mom has
to keep her el wheelchair (instead of a folding one), you would have to find
a taxi-van, but there are not to many to pick from.
Have a great and a safe cruise!
Kind regards,
Vladimir
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Old January 16th, 2005, 08:52 PM
KLD KLD is offline
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Posts: 304
Default Re: Shore excursions for disabled

I would take a manual wheelchair in addition to the power chair. Plan to take cabs when possible since it seems she should be able to transfer.

It can be quite hot, and of course very sunny in the Caribbean. If it is too hot we plan only trips for air conditioned cars and places or at least beaches with some shade, or she stays on the ship. We take a Misty Mate and battery powered fan too. I also make sure she wears a 40 SPF sun block whenever outdoors as her meds (MS) make her burn more easily.
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Old January 25th, 2005, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Shore excursions for disabled

My parents and I just got back from a Royal Caribbean cruise to Labidee, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. I am the one in the wheelchair and I can't walk AT ALL. I am in a powered wheelchair, which weighs appx 450 lbs with me in it. Now, no one on the ship got to see Labidee, as the weather was bad and no one had a chance to go. We moved on to Jamaica. An interesting tidbit with this destination, I had forgotten (or rather, we lost) some chains that are used for a lift I use to get in and out of bed. My dad got a taxi driver to help him get to a hardware store in Jamaica, so he saw the "real" Jamaica. Mom and I stayed behind and went to a shopping village called the Village Island or something like that. They have many many interesting shops, it's within walking distance of the pier, and they have a Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville there, and it was very very nice. All the people were friendly and items were very inexpensive. One warning, if you choose to drink a margarita there, be warned... they're VERY powerful and I got very drunk totally without meaning to!!! !! Anyway, to get back to the point, the restaurant has a beach and a pool so, it's kind of like being out farther, but you're really very close to the ship. Dad indicated that the "real" Jamaica was very impoverished, but the people were still very friendly. Ok, next we went to Grand Cayman. Supposedly, the tenders used by RC have lifts on them to get you into port. The problem in our case, the lift on our tender didn't work, and no one bothered to tell us that until we got all the way to the port. So, we had to come all the way back! One suggestion, ask before you get on if the lift is working. Also, since I didn't get the chance to even try getting off, I don't know for sure, but it looks very unstable getting off the tender, so you may want to re-think getting off at this port (if your ship is going here). I also heard there wasn't much to see here. Lastly, we went to Cozumel. This was our best distination, although we learned it all the hard way. We got into port and wandered around a little in the initial port area. We looked at some shops etc and got bored. We were near the taxi area and looked around for a van that had a lift. There weren't any in sight, so we decided we'd attempt to walk. Well, turns out our dock was 3 miles from town (there are 2 other docks much closer to town, so you may get lucky and get one of those), so walking really wasn't an option. Luckily, we ran across a guy who helps tourists. He spoke english well and told us there are taxi vans with lifts. He did tell us it would be about $20 for the trip, even though everyone else only paid about $6 for their trip, but we decided it was worth it. They called a taxi for us and he was there in about 10 minutes. We went into town and had a blast. We ate a restaurant called Pablos or Padres (not sure which off hand) in the Garden (again, something like that.... could be wrong). I highly recommend this restaurant because the food was great, it's easily accessible in a wheelchair, and the service was good. Most of the shops were also accessible with ramps (some of the ramps are quite steep, so be careful!)... the ones without ramps... tough tooties! They didn't get any of MY money! HAHAHAHA! All was well, until it came time to go back to our ship. We went to the area the taxi driver told us to go to to ask for a taxi, but they didn't speak English well and had a tough time. We finally got it worked out to have a taxi sent but they said it would take about 2 or 3 hours!!! WHAT??!!! They told us they'd just have to call one and they'd send it..... nope! Apparently they only have 3 taxis with lifts (he did say they had ordered 6 more (thank GOD!)), and they were all busy. We told them our ship left soon and we had to get back. They managed to find one and we ended up waiting (in the long run, from beginning to end) about 1 hour, but we did get back, and they tried their hardest to help us, which was nice. Also, interestingly, the taxi going BACK to the ship was $14 instead of the $20 we paid to get there, so obviously the price isn't set in stone. We rarely venture too far from our ships because of these types of complications. If that doesn't worry you, then doing some of the tours might be worth it, but I don't take that chance. If you do choose to venture farther, give yourself a minimum of 2 hours to get back to the ship. The sun in all of these places is hot, so I would recommend you take an umbrella, sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat with a wide brim. With all of this, you should be fine. Also, in Jamaica, at the Village I mentioned, it was all in the shade. In Cozumel, the sun was behind the buildings most of the time, so we weren't in the sun much at all.... when we were, we used the umbrella. Ok, well, I hope this helps! I attached a picture of me playing bongos in Jamaica, for funs sake (hopefully it'll come through!). I hope you have a great trip!!!!

Post Edited (01-25-05 14:27)

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