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Old December 6th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Default Alaska cruise

Hi:
Going to Alaska on Holland America either next August or September. I have a few questions.

First some background on me. I use a power wheelchair, can't transfer on my own. Of course plan to get a handicapped cabin and to bring an attendant. (I also have a friend i'm travelling with, but he won't be doing my care, lol.) i will be cruising from Seattle, and I will be flying from San Francisco. I think on both of our cruises, we have to be on the boat by 3. Now my myriad of questions.

1. Would it make sense to come the night before? What are the accessible transportation options in Seattle?

2. Is there a hotel very close to the pier?

3. Will there be someone there, to help me embark and disembark? Does it make sense to wait as long as possible to disembark, so I can avoid the crowds. (Have heard horror stories about the elevators on disembark, and have no desire to run over anyone to get on one.)

4. In terms of the muster drill, which I have also heard horror stories about, do you know HAL's position on that for disabled folks.?

5. I am debating whether to do excursions or just eplore the ports. Since Alaska is in the United States, (I picked Alaska partly because I know the ADA would apply there.) I assume it is pretty accessible. I am trying not to spend a ton on this trip, so is there one excursion that is a must do? (Feel I will end up eploring Jeauni (sp, I know) the most since we will have the most time there.)

6. Is it worth it to bring my manual for some ports, or should I just plan to stay on the ship that day? (I do like my alone time at times.)

7. Is it less money if I book excursions on my own, or would it be worth it to book wirh HAL, so I can continually check to make sure the transportation and whatnot is accessible? (I get VERY irratated when people say something will be accessile, and they don't follow through. The activist in me comes out.

8. And finally, For formal nights, if I wear a long, very nice shirt skirt (with a shirt of course, lol) or dress, can i get away with my comfy shoes? (that allow me to stand up with help.) I love the idea of formal evenings. (love Titanic, and the grandour of it, lol.) but formal shoes just kill me. and don't provide any support. (plus I have small feet, so I can only get very youngish looking formal shoes.)

I know that these are a lot of questions, but if you know the answers to even a few that wold be great. I'm very excited about the trip, buit don't want any major mishaps. Thanks!
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Old December 31st, 2008, 11:33 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default Re: Alaska cruise

Quote:
Originally Posted by sassy73
Hi:
Going to Alaska on Holland America either next August or September. I have a few questions.

First some background on me. I use a power wheelchair, can't transfer on my own. Of course plan to get a handicapped cabin and to bring an attendant. (I also have a friend I'm traveling with, but he won't be doing my care, lol.) i will be cruising from Seattle, and I will be flying from San Francisco. I think on both of our cruises, we have to be on the boat by 3. Now my myriad of questions.

1. Would it make sense to come the night before? What are the accessible transportation options in Seattle?

2. Is there a hotel very close to the pier?

3. Will there be someone there, to help me embark and disembark? Does it make sense to wait as long as possible to disembark, so I can avoid the crowds. (Have heard horror stories about the elevators on disembark, and have no desire to run over anyone to get on one.)

4. In terms of the muster drill, which I have also heard horror stories about, do you know HAL's position on that for disabled folks.?

5. I am debating whether to do excursions or just eplore the ports. Since Alaska is in the United States, (I picked Alaska partly because I know the ADA would apply there.) I assume it is pretty accessible. I am trying not to spend a ton on this trip, so is there one excursion that is a must do? (Feel I will end up eploring Jeauni (sp, I know) the most since we will have the most time there.)

6. Is it worth it to bring my manual for some ports, or should I just plan to stay on the ship that day? (I do like my alone time at times.)

7. Is it less money if I book excursions on my own, or would it be worth it to book wirh HAL, so I can continually check to make sure the transportation and whatnot is accessible? (I get VERY irratated when people say something will be accessile, and they don't follow through. The activist in me comes out.

8. And finally, For formal nights, if I wear a long, very nice shirt skirt (with a shirt of course, lol) or dress, can i get away with my comfy shoes? (that allow me to stand up with help.) I love the idea of formal evenings. (love Titanic, and the grandour of it, lol.) but formal shoes just kill me. and don't provide any support. (plus I have small feet, so I can only get very youngish looking formal shoes.)

I know that these are a lot of questions, but if you know the answers to even a few that wold be great. I'm very excited about the trip, buit don't want any major mishaps. Thanks!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the chances are really slim that you will be even able to get a handicapped room now, those are usually the first ones booked, because people that are not handicapped take many of them (which I think is wrong), but check with Holland ASAP and get a room booked if they have any.

Answers to your questions,

As for me being handicapped also, it was easier for me to get to Long Beach the night before and rent a motel room, that way I got to the terminal at 9:30 and was onboard by 10, so I would recommend that.

For help to embark, you need to call Holland America Disabled services and make the arrangements with them, I know when I did that with Carnival, there was someone waiting for me when I got out of the cab.

In terms of the muster drill, if they did it like they do on Carnival, they put people who are in walkers, power chairs or scooters in an area by themselves near a door. I really liked it, when the muster was over they let us back into the ship first so we did not have to beat the crowd.

About ports, when you talk to the Holland Representative ask them what ports are easy to get off and on in and what ports are using tenders, because you will have a problem with the tenders and also if you book excursions on your own, lets say for some reason you are late getting back to the ship, they will leave without you, but if you book through them they have to wait for you to get back to the ship, so for me, it was worth the few extra dollars for the assurance that the ship would wait for me.

On formal nights you can wear whatever shoes to make you comfortable, especially if you are in a power chair, so I would not worry about it at all.

I know that you mentioned you chose an Alaskan cruise because of the ADA, well I went on one to the Mexican Riviera and I worried about the same things you have and I did not find any real obstacles in the 3 ports that I was in. I even swam with the dolphins and they had a lift to lower me into the water so I could enjoy it also, so what I am trying to say is that many foreign ports have made it easier for us with limited mobility to be able to travel.

I hope these answered some of our questions. BTW, do you live in the SF Bay area, I used to live there, now I am in Medford Oregon.
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