We will be traveling on our first cruise ever April 10th from New Orleans on the Conquest. DH, kids....15, 13, 10 and 7 will be with us as well as our mother (82 ) which is in a wheelchair 90% of the time.
I am excited, but extremely nervous to be going somewhere far away with difficult circumstances. I can only say that Disneyworld two years ago wore us out and it took my mother 6 months to recover....we need time as a family and to relax. Any ideas of shore excursions...or even to get in a taxi or van and visit an area? Western Caribbean is where we will be. Nana lives with us and has for 10 years.....this is not her first cruise and what inspired us to set sail with her.
Any helpful hints for our gang of seven? We have booked rooms already and mom is set up with a handicapped modified room.
How about having your mother rent a scooter to use on board? You can rent one from CareVacations.com, or Scootaround.com, and it would give her more independence, and you wouldn't have to push a manual wheelchair over those acres of carpeting. You'd still need a folding manual chair for ports, but you could bring your own, or rent one of those, too. Whatever you rent would be waiting in your cabin for you, and you would leave it there when you leave, and the renting company will pick it up. She could practice at a supermarket or Walmart, where they have those little electric scooters to see how she'd do............. My Mom is 88 and loves those little carts! They allow all of us a lot more freedom. I take mine on cruises, and it's wonderful.
Have a great cruise!
Take a folding manual chair for ports. Plan on hiring cabs or cab vans. You may have to lift Mom into the latter, but if you use car cabs you will need two if everyone wants to do the same thing. Another option is to have you and your husband trade off spending days with Mom, and the other parent take the kids for more active trips (beach, etc.). This might satisfy the kids more, and make transportation and sightseeing with Mom easier. I agree with the scooter on-board idea....just don't plan for access ashore for a scooter in most ports, and on tenders they may not allow them.
It is not a disaster to have to stay aboard at a tender port if it is rough, or if others want to do something more active. For example, this last fall when cruising to Hawaii with my foks (my mother uses a wheelchair full time), she stayed aboard ship at Kona while my dad and I went snorkeling. I gave her a surprise manicure at the spa, and she always enjoys talking to other people and can get around with her power wheelchair easily. In the afternoon we went back to the ship, transferred her to the manual wheelchair and took her ashore with us for lunch and some shopping. Be creative, and be flexible.
Here is my .5 cents Kathi,
Great suggestions about your mom by others.
Regarding your kids, I am reasonably sure that there are supervised programs
for children three yo and older. I know, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess
have excellent programs from morning to dusk, and most likely Carnival has it also.
I guess the 15 yo can be on his own, but for the other three, I suggest you call your
TA or Carnival directly.
Have a wonderful cruise!