For mobility impaired to ask re ship

This item appears on page 28 of the May 2010 issue.

ITN asked for those who are mobility challenged and enjoy cruising to write in (Feb. ’10, pg. 68).

My husband, Leon, and I have taken many cruises, on both large and small ships, the most recent one a Mediterranean cruise in October ’08. Leon uses a wheelchair and we normally book a handicapped cabin.

In our experience, so far as space available in which to move around, the cabins on Celebrity and Princess ships were more wheelchair-friendly than Carnival’s.

Here are the things to look out for:

• distance from your cabin to the dining room (people with walkers or canes will tire out very quickly).

• public rooms, especially restrooms, that are accessible.

• doorways wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

• steps into the cabin and bathroom.

• on river cruises, accessibility to all decks via an elevator.

Here are some of the things to check for regarding shore excursions:

• accessible buses (these are mostly nonexistent).

• help up and down ramps (this is usually available).

• accessible ports. (In Belgrade, the port was okay, but there were lots of stairs to reach the street.)

• Cobblestones (this prevented us from leaving the ship in Greece and at most ports in Italy).

We have found that cruising is the best way for us to travel and we encourage others to try it.


San Diego, CA