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Old 12-09-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
tigger_ttfn
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Question Wheelchair Question

Anyone taken a wheelchair as a "backup"?

My DH has MS and walks with a cane. Sometimes too much walking makes his legs give out. He used a walker on our last cruise in July to Alaska. He had back surgery in August for a bulging disk (a result from a fall he had). From the surgery he now has a wheelchair but has never used it.

We are going on the Magic out of Galveston on 12/29, so we will be driving instead of flying. I was thinking of bringing the wheelchair just in case, but didn't know if that would be alot of trouble since he doesn't need it all the time.

We have been on lots of cruises, but this would be the first time with a wheelchair. I know there are accessible areas since I've seen ECVs and wheelchairs on the cruises, but I just didn't know how easy it would be get around.

He probably wouldn't take it on the excursions since they will be small boats (snorkeling and beach trips). So, it would be mainly for the ship.

Thanks for any advice or ideas that I haven't thought of.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:28 PM   #2
jdb in AZ
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The biggest issue we had with DMIL and her wheel chair was a place to store it in the room. When she was in a handicapped room there was plenty of space and accessibility. In other rooms the wheel chair kept getting in the way.

We did use it in port when we didn't have to tender. Sometimes the gangway was so steep the crew escorted us to a different entrance on a lower deck, near the crew's quarters. They have also offered to help push her up/down the gangway. Going down can be as difficult as going up.

On our last cruise with the extended family DMIL didn't want to inconvenience anyone by having them push her wheel chair. With her memory problems, she had no idea how far the dining room was from her stateroom and insisted on walking. The grand kids escorting her to dinner weren't familiar with her limitations, and thought the exercise would be good for her. She had a nasty fall which could have been prevented if she'd just allowed us to help her.

Some of the main dining rooms have stairs at the entrance, but they also have an alternate entrance for guests (including wheel chairs) who can't do stairs.

In the theatres, the back rows are available for wheel chair guests and family members who sit on folding chairs. DH and I are more comfortable back there anyway (more leg room.)

When it's time for the muster drill, make sure you're already on the deck where you need to be, since the elevators will be turned off. In case of a real emergency the crew carries handicapped guests down the stairs.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
chris31997
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If you are worried about DH and needing a backup.... I would bring it. I would also have it noted on your cruise that he has MS and might need assistance.

My Aunt has MS and when it hit her on her cruise, she was glad she had her wheelchair. It laid her out. She does not usually have issues.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:05 PM   #4
cris0809
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I have brought my chair as backup in a non-accessible room several times. As someone who suffers with chronic pain/ flaring conditions there are times where walking is no issue and others when having the chair is great.

The ship can be quite a long walk from forward to aft. I'd bring it if you even think he *might* need it.

We have checked it to our room using a luggage tag at the port and it is always brought up separately and has been treated nicely. When having a regular (non-accessible) room I store it either behind the chair, pinned to the wall or wedged behind the sofa (depending on category) so it's not in the walking path. Keep in mind that with a non-accessible room you will have thresholds and things to worry about in the room. No easy transitions. My chair is very light (25lbs) so this makes moving it around pretty easy.

Hope this helps!
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
SuperDry
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Consider getting a folding wheelchair like this one:

http://wardray-premise.com/images/pr...heelchair2.jpg

It should be easy to store in the closet or some other out-of-the-way place, and might even fit under the bed lying on its side.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:35 PM   #6
cris0809
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I wouldn't count on a folding wheelchair fitting in the closet, they are usually not deep enough.

If you were going one of the newer ships where the beds are raised it would definitely fit under there. Not sure about the classics.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:07 PM   #7
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I cruised with a friend who walks with braces and a crutch or cane at home, but uses a chair for long distances. Her adult daughter and I "ganged up" on her and told her that she would use the chair on the cruise. Before the cruise was over, she agreed that this was by far the best idea. Her comment was that if she started at the front of the ship in the morning, she "might" make it to the dining room in time for dinner.

We had an HA cabin as she needs the special bathroom facilities, so there was plenty of room for the chair.

Thoughts if you don't need it--on the Dream and Fantasy, there is a lot of room under the bed. People store strollers in the bathtub when not in use....the chair could go there. Do not leave it in the hall; it will be in the way for the stateroom hosts, people needing to use a chair or ECV, and possibly be subject to abuse by some ill supervised youth.
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:35 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone! I think we will take it. It does fold up so it would probably fit behind a chair or against the wall. Yes, I'm concerned with him walking the length of the ship several times in a day for various activities. We always try to stay in a room mid-ship near an elevator.
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