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jennincincy February 2nd, 2005 01:04 PM

Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info wit
 
We are taking a RCC cruise in September on Vision of the Seas. I am aware that this is a smaller ship than our most recent cruise on Mariner, but otherwise, we've been told the wheelchair accomodations are similar in the rooms. Is this true? All of the ports on this cruise will be docked, which is AWESOME! but we were wondering if there are things to do right at the dock area or if we will have to get any alternate transportation to get into the towns. I went to a website for Juneau and the map on the website makes it appear as though the town is right there and everything would be within walking distance. I read on another posting that the trolley is accessible but you can't see out of it from the wheelchair seating. Is that because the walls are too high, or is there another reason? I am able to raise my seat so I am appx at a 5' level. Any info anyone might have about all these ports would be greatly appreciated. I can't get out of my wheelchair and it is a power chair. It can't be carried (it weighs appx 450 lbs with me in it). Do you think it would be a good idea to have a manual wheelchair instead at any of these ports? Realize, however, if I have the manual, I won't be able to do the raising function, which may or may not be an advantage. Basically, what I want to know is which would be the wiser choice? The ability to raise up (and be more independent) or have the manual so I have the ability to get into more places. Seeing as how these are US ports (with the exception of Victoria) I would think they'd all be fairly (if not completely) accessible. Is this true and if not, what are the exceptions to this?

KLD February 4th, 2005 10:03 PM

Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info
 
We went on the Vision to Mexico last year. Nice ship, although there is one area of the buffet that is inaccessible to wheelchairs, and the seating for wheelchairs in the show room sucks (all the way in the back, poor sight lines, can' t sit with the rest of your party, etc.). The cabin we had was very nice for 3 people with a great accessible design and lots of storage space (we had a balcony) and was right by the elevator.

Definately take both your power and manual chair. A power chair can break down, and if you do have to tender (sometimes unanticipated) you will need the manual chair.

We went to Alaska with Princess, which usually is totally worthless for helping you find accessible tours, but they managed in all our ports. What other ports do you have beside Juneau? We had a very nice tour in Juneau that we arranged through the cruise line (1/2 day) which included the Mendenhall glacier, the Alaska State Museum, a native plant botanical garden (not accessible) and the salmon hatchery. You are right that the town (at least the shops, etc.) are right at the pier so an easy walk. Mostly we found curb cuts and ramps into shops. It is the cable car (not a trolley) that has problem wtih seeing out. It goes up to the top of a mountain near the pier, and yet, the walls are too high to see out from a seated positon. You can get out at the top and see the view there though.

We had no problems getting an accessible cab in Vancouver...I would guess that Victoria would be similar.

jennincincy February 5th, 2005 11:02 AM

Re: Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise
 
Thank you very much for your advice on the Vision. We still may end up cancelling the trip due to cost, but it could still be useful information. One question about Vancouver.... did you have to call ahead and orde the cab or did they just happen to drive by?

KLD February 6th, 2005 09:18 PM

Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info
 
In Vancouver we had arranged the cab ahead of time through Princess, but I know we could have just called once we arrived at the airport (from others who did this).

I noticed you are also going to Skagway. From the pier it is about 1 mile into town. There are shuttle buses here and about every 4th one is wheelchair accessible. Ask the shuttle operator at the pier to call and see when the next one is coming. We took the Whitehorse Pass train ride here (1/2 day). It comes right onto the pier, and one car is accessible with both a life and a wheelchair accessible bathroom. No tie-downs, but space for wheelchairs (and it never goes very fast). We booked this through Princess as the ships often take all their tickets.

mslvp March 20th, 2005 05:38 PM

Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info
 
Don't bother taking a 2nd wheelchair. Where you pwoer chair won't work, the cruiseline has chairs you can borrow-we took them off ship every day for my mom most days.

In Juneau, we docked right in town...also Ketchikan...Skagway was a ways out & since my parents went on a tour we they didn't go into town.

But, different ships have different docks & tender areas - best check with your cruise line or have TA check.

Have fun.




[greatcruisinghome.com]

mslvp March 20th, 2005 05:38 PM

Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info
 
Don't bother taking a 2nd wheelchair. Where you pwoer chair won't work, the cruiseline has chairs you can borrow-we took them off ship every day for my mom most days.

In Juneau, we docked right in town...also Ketchikan...Skagway was a ways out & since my parents went on a tour we they didn't go into town.

But, different ships have different docks & tender areas - best check with your cruise line or have TA check.

Have fun.




[greatcruisinghome.com]

mslvp March 20th, 2005 05:38 PM

Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info
 
Don't bother taking a 2nd wheelchair. Where you pwoer chair won't work, the cruiseline has chairs you can borrow-we took them off ship every day for my mom most days.

In Juneau, we docked right in town...also Ketchikan...Skagway was a ways out & since my parents went on a tour we they didn't go into town.

But, different ships have different docks & tender areas - best check with your cruise line or have TA check.

Have fun.

Candy Harrington April 3rd, 2005 10:51 PM

Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info
 
Actually the cruise company policy is that their manual wheelchairs are for boarding and disembarking only. They don't let you keep them on the ship or on shore excursions. Now some folks may be able to sweet talk (or tip) the cruise folks into doing otherwise, but since the policy is "no cruise line wcs" on shore excursions/ashore you should bring or rent one to take ashore.

Candy Harrington
Editor, Emerging Horizons
***edited to remove commercial reference***
The only accessible travel magazine

KLD April 11th, 2005 07:25 PM

Re: Juneau, Skagway, Victoria, and San Francisco cruise info
 
We would never depend on a ship's wheelchair.

Most have non-removable arm and leg rests, which would make transfers nearly impossible for us. They are heavy E&J "clunkers" for the most part. If you truely are dependent upon a wheelchair for all your mobility (not just for convenience) you cannot depend on a ship's wheelchair. In addition, most people who use wheelchairs full time need a fairly custom manual wheelchair that is designed to meet their needs for posture, function and pressure reduction...to use a borrowed chair risks pain, decreased independent and the risk for pressure ulcers. Leave these to the partially or part-time ambulatory.


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