Mobility impaired travellers shouldn’t rule out cruises as a viable option for a holiday.
With accessible cabins, lift aids for swimming pools and roomy elevators, modern cruise ships can make it easy for passengers with special needs to get around. For those that use mobility scooters or wheelchairs, a cruise holiday can be more hassle-free than land-based travel. Here’s why.
Accessibility and Facilities
For a start, you can get a good idea of where you can go with your mobility scooter or wheelchair before you even get on board due to size and weight limits of the ship. Modern cruise ships are usually designed to meet international accessibility standards. They cater for mobility impaired passengers with wider corridors and doorways to accommodate wheelchairs, mobility scooters and other mobility devices.
Accessible cabins are available on board cruise ships, giving you up to 50% more room than standard cabins to accommodate mobility devices. These provide extra facilities such as ramps, rails and wider spaces for movement. It pays to book early if you require an accessible cabin as you will need to fill in a form outlining your requirements, so the cruise line has time to provide for your needs.
Cruises often involve organised shore excursions, and often some of these are tailored for passengers with limited mobility. A mobility scooter or wheelchair can be taken off the ship for use in the port and on excursions, with ramps making it easy to enter and leave the ship.
Cruise lines have quite strict safety regulations which give peace of mind for the mobility impaired traveller and their loved ones. Some of these also apply to accessible cabins, for example, you can’t store your mobility scooter outside the door in the corridor or have it blocking a doorway. But you can charge it in your cabin and staff will be able to supply an extension lead if necessary.
Decks and public areas are designed to be accessed by mobility aids. However, while cruise staff are usually trained to be aware of the needs of passengers with reduced mobility, they cannot be relied upon to be on hand constantly. As a result, some cruise lines may request that passengers with limited mobility travel with a carer to ensure that all of their needs are being met.
Hiring a mobility scooter
If you’re planning a cruise and but your mobility scooter isn’t quite portable enough, or you think you’ll need extra assistance when it comes to mobility, consider hiring a scooter. At MacRae Rentals, we have a range of wheelchairs and mobility scooters including the Ultra Light Portable Scooter. This scooter disassembles into four pieces and has anti-tip wheels, making it ideal for taking on board and storing on a cruise ship. Always check with your travel agent regarding your mobility needs before you book a cruise so you can be sure that you’re fully accommodated.