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Shore Excursions Snorkeling, SCUBA, sightseeing - discuss ports and activities

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 26th, 2004, 09:28 PM
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Default Shore excursions for handicapped??

My family is taking the RCCL Rhapsody of the Seas cruise from Galveston in October. My mom is confined to a wheelchair with very limited mobility - climbing stairs is out of the question for her. I am trying to get an idea of what shore excursions would be good for her. This is my parents first cruise and I want them to have a great time.

The ports of call are Key West, FL; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. My mom would really love to see the Tulum ruins in Cozumel. We'll have 4 men in the group so getting her through a few rough areas and a stair or two would be fine. My mom knows we're not going to take her to the top of the temple staircase.

If there is a bus tour with a wheelchair ramp or lift, that would be great. I contacted RCCL and have some good ideas, but sometimes what is advertised as being accessible isn't really.

THANKS!!!!
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Old February 7th, 2004, 10:12 PM
Joe Mogannam
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Default Re: Shore excursions for handicapped??

Hello.Iam having similar problem as the above.I don't have a whhelchair.I wonder if I need to get one with me or can I use one in the ship and around the excursion tours.?If so how and where I can do that?
PS I will be crusing the Jewel of the Seas by RCCL in July and we will visit the cities of Copenhagen,Oslo,Stockholm,Helsinki,Tallinn and St.Petersburg.I will appreciate all the help,suggestions and informations I can get.
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Old February 7th, 2004, 10:15 PM
Joe Mogannam
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Default Re: Shore excursions for handicapped??

Hello.Iam having similar problem as the above.I don't have a whhelchair.I wonder if I need to get one with me or can I use one in the ship and around the excursion tours.?If so how and where I can do that?
PS I will be crusing the Jewel of the Seas by RCCL in July and we will visit the cities of Copenhagen,Oslo,Stockholm,Helsinki,Tallinn and St.Petersburg.I will appreciate all the help,suggestions and informations I can get.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: Shore excursions for handicapped??

Joe,

I've read that some of the ships have wheelchairs for passenger use. I don't know about the Jewel. Have you contacted the RCCL people? If you are planning on doing a lot of shopping/sightseeing and cannot get around well, you should probably consider using a wheelchair for at least the onshore time. If the boat does not have one, many churches or civic organizations have them available. Some medical supply places have wheelchairs available for rental. Be careful with the wheelchair on airplanes and insist that it be stored in the cabin. My mom had one of her chairs placed in the luggage area and it was damaged by someone's heavy suitcase falling over. Fortunately it was on the return from vacation so it didn't ruin her trip.

Have you looked through the shore excursion literature for your cruise? There is usually a symbol next to the excursion to identify the physical stress level. You probably would want to stick to the ones listed as "leisurely". Some of the excursions state that a bus trip is involved. If you have trouble with climbing stairs, you should ask whether it is an actual bus or a minivan. If it is a bus, you probably want to know if it has a lift or not. I haven't been to Europe, but I would imagine it's easier to find buses that are handicapped equipped there than in the Caribbean.

Hope you have a good time!
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Old February 13th, 2004, 04:46 PM
McCall
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Default Re: Re: Shore excursions for handicapped??

Normally the wheelchairs on ships are for limited transport and for any incidents that happen on board and they are usually in crummy shape to boot they usually do NOT let you take them off the ship.
your best bet is to rent a wheelchair or better yet a scooter,[though scooter will require a handicapped cabin in which to keep it] you can rent either scooter or wheelchair from
Scootaround.com as well as some others but that is the one I use. they will deliver it to the ship and pick it up again. the scooter is better because of the size of most of todays ships and the carpeting it is not easy to push a wheelchair on that carpeting.
I always bring my own folding wheelchair for shore excursions and rent the scooter for on board.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 08:18 AM
debp
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Default Re: Shore excursions for handicapped??

Dear Kyriecat,

I would really think twice about Tulum for a wheelchair or person who has diffculty walking. I was there in February and a gentleman was with his family in a wheelchair. There is a tram from the parking lot to the ticket center and a paved road. From the ticket center to the entrance it is paved, but not in great condition. I believe there may have been a couple of single steps as you make your way to the entrance. The wheelchair can navigate this area. The problem occurs right as you enter the city walls. It took 4+ people to get this gentleman up and around the corner because the terrain is rocks and crumbling steps (I am not certain they were ever real steps). It was extremely difficult. Also, within the city, there are many protruding rocks and gravel paths. The paths near the main temples are uneven large rocks. It would be much easier at Chichen Itza, but that is probably not an option for you. You don't really get to climb up on any of the temples at Tulum, so you would not be missing anything there. I don't know if the family felt it was a mistake, but I defintely felt bad for them and I don't think that I would attempt it. I am sensitive to these issues because my father was in a wheelchair the last two years and I know it takes a great deal of planning. If you definitely think you can handle actually carrying the wheelchair with an occupant in it across uneven rocky terrain then go for it because it will be memorable. If however, you think she would be upset by a big fuss (as this gentleman was) don't go.


Have a great cruise.

debp
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Old March 19th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: Shore excursions for handicapped??

when in port- at the pier find a taxi that is a van(make sure its air conditioned) there should be room in the rear of the van for the wheelchair. Hire the driver for a few hours and ask him/her to give you a tour of the island.
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