|Tips: Cruising With Special Needs|
" People with a Special Needs can’t go on or enjoy a Cruise"
The above statement can’t be further from the truth. In fact it is quite the opposite.
Ever since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1992 and its revision in 1998 many things in the Cruise industry had to change. The most important of the changes is that all Cruise Lines doing business in the United States had to make their ships ADA compliant . What does this mean? It means that the ships had to be assessable to people in wheel chairs/Scooters. All public areas had to be redesigned so as to permit people with a Special Need full access to the entire ship. Handicapped staterooms needed to be available. Hearing impaired people can now listen to the shows in the main theater using a amplified head set. Public rest rooms are now handicapped accessible. Braille signage is now available by every elevator and on every stair hand rail. We can provide all the accessibility features on every ship regardless of the Cruise Line. Please note that the ADA only effects those ships doing business in the United States. Foreign country Cruise Lines companies are not subject to the ADA provisions.
Tips: Taking a Cruise with Special Needs.
1. BOOK YOUR CRUISE EARLY - The first State rooms to book up first are the handicapped and suites. Allow at least 12 months in advance to book your staterooms.
2. Tell us everything about yourself including but not limited to your age, Special accommodations needed, diet restrictions, type of disability, traveling alone or with someone, any handicapped equipment needed. ( Please remember that we take care of all your needs from the beginning of your booking to its end.)
3. Never ever feel embarrassed about telling us or any staff on the ship that you have a disability and may need assistance. Many staff members on the high seas today have been trained to assist people with disabilities.
4. Carry on as little as possible because your stateroom may not be ready when you first arrive. Instead go up to the buffet and have some lunch.
5. Before you arrive at the port make sure you have your passport, cruise ship documents and ship luggage tags affixed to your luggage.
6. When first arriving at your stateroom the room steward should come and introduce themselves to you. At this time ask them for extra towels (they never give enough), soap or anything else that you may need (if available). Remember that if special equipment is needed we can arrange for the equipment to be available to you. All we need is 3 weeks notice.
7. The dinning rooms as well as the specialty restaurants have tables available to accommodate people in wheel chairs. Ask to speak with the Maitre de to make the arrangements. Once in the dinning room your waiter will be able to either supply you with a large print menu or if you prefer they will read it to you. In addition if you have trouble cutting or seeing your food the wait staff can have your meal cut up for you and placed by food group on your plate.
8. If wanting to gamble in the casino just ask for the manager and they will set you up at a table. Dealers will read the cards to you if you need them to they will also slow down the game if you so desire.
9. Remember have fun and eat, eat, eat.