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Old 05-09-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
dumbox2
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Power chair on DCL

Hi. Has anyone ever taken a power wheelchair on a Disney cruise before? Pros? Cons?

We are going on cruise at the end of the year with family. Due to a SCI I am a quad and use a power chair to get around. On vacation I tend to take my manual chair and rely on others to help push me around. On the cruise I will want more independence so considering bringing both power for sea days and evenings and manual for excursions. Just wondering if I am missing something that might help me confirm it's a good idea or some point I'm missing to know its a bad idea. Thanks!!
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:01 AM   #2
goofieslonglostsis
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Haven't done the newer ships, so can't comment on them. The Magic however? Didn't run into any big things with my powerchair. It is important to know there is no pool lift, as not knowing can be very disappointing for some.

There is one door out to deck that doesn't have an auto push button, but you'll very soon learn not to use that backdoor but use the other door instead that DOES have the auto button. Some lips, but nothing that is of "interest" with a proper powerchair. Easy to navigate without any problems.

If booked a verandah, be aware that the door is VERY heavy to open, odds are you will not be able to do that yourself. By the way, you do have an accessible stateroom booked, right? If not you are in a serious problem . If indeed booked; you'll be fine. I've done a cat 6 acc. stateroom with my friend. I use my powerchair to get around, had my manual chair with me in case of troubles and friend uses a manual chair with powerassisted wheels. We had PLENTY of space to move around between all of those chairs. Only thinking point would be moving passed the footend of the bed, since it is only as wide to fit 1 chair and no passing traffic.

Restaurants, theater, you name it, no problem where-ever. Including public bathrooms. I've been in one that I still call "the ballroom" so much room it had. One could've done a 360 with an ECV in there. With seating arrangements; by all means communicate what fits YOU. They're more then willing to work with you. For instance, we had a 8 person table for the 5 of us (me, friend and a DIS-family). This left enough space for not only the chairs, but also gave me the option to best suit my needs. My chair is much better suited for me seating, so I would stay in there as much as possible. It is too high for the table (caused by some extra adjustments I have on the chair) and would make eating uncomfy. So for eating I'ld transfer to a regular chair, eat and transfer back.

First night they looked at our turning radius, quickly made space where we needed it and since then the space would already be there before we'ld get into the restaurant. Not sure about all of the restaraunts but I do know for sure that at Lumiere they had to move some things around (first night). This was already altered on our 2nd and 3rd night there to accomodate properly.

At castaway cay; be warned that there is no access. entry onto the adult beach. So you'll need someone to help you out with one of the beach wheelchairs if you want to actually get onto the beach beyond the entry.

Hallways; most stateroom hosts were very aware of not blocking it with their carts. Within no time not only our stateroom host would know we were using chairs, but all the other stateroom hosts in our hallway knew and all ver soon learned our patterns to be prepared for us to move around freely. Worst moments are when baggage is brought to staterooms after embarkation and the night before disembarkation when baggage is out in the hallways. Guests were a bigger problem in this than CM's. Have to say though, there would always be someone around already or within no time and get right onto moving stuff to make space for us.
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Does it really work that way? Doors closing, windows opening, can you really allways count on that? I'll just continue to wish, hope and pray to make sure. Knock on wood, one, twice and trice. Still can't believe it, I really get to visit Mickey again..........


Always keep wishing, dreaming and hoping.

Beyond greatfull for so many WDW trips, dear friendship and even a dlrp wish trip in october 2014 to close the Disney chapter. Lifes come and go, memories last for ever.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:01 AM   #3
dumbox2
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thanks so much for your detailed response! we were on the magic 10 years ago for our honeymoon. i used my manual on that trip, but cant remember details to know if my power chair would have issues. this time we will have our 2 boys with us so i want to be able to get around quickly and have my independence. yes, we do have an accesible room though not sure which one. another family member made the reservation for us.

did the salty air cause your power chair any issues?
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:15 AM   #4
goofieslonglostsis
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You'll be fine! If on previous cruises you "downgraded" to your manual chair and had a limited ability to move yourself around, I would reckon you will find this experience much more freeing and with more independance.


Salt? Let me put it this way; you would have to have a cheapo cr*p piece of cardbord box chair to let a cruise negatively impact your chair. I have lived all my life with the sea in my backyard. You'll see a bit more wear and tear on for instance cars after years and years compared to those in other areas but it takes years of constant exposure. Same with a wellbuilt powerchair. I respect my chair and if covered in mud my help will clean it but beyond that I use it as the comsumer article it is. That includes full on exposure to rain, navigating big puddles or snow, dragging through the salt used to keep streets ice free during winter, you name it. The chair now is almost 7 years old and no sign whatsoever of damage or wear or tear due to/worsened by the salty air, water etc. Absolutely wouldn't wory about it unless you are planning on going HAScuba diving with chair and all. (tip; if you happen to do the eastern 7 night carribean, there is a good HAscuba school on St. John)
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Does it really work that way? Doors closing, windows opening, can you really allways count on that? I'll just continue to wish, hope and pray to make sure. Knock on wood, one, twice and trice. Still can't believe it, I really get to visit Mickey again..........


Always keep wishing, dreaming and hoping.

Beyond greatfull for so many WDW trips, dear friendship and even a dlrp wish trip in october 2014 to close the Disney chapter. Lifes come and go, memories last for ever.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
dumbox2
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I would LOVE to try HAscuba some day. but unfortunately for this trip we will be going the western cruise. plus, my two boys arent old enough to give it a try yet. maybe some day.

thanks so much for your responses. you have convinced me to go power. now i just need to figure out best way to get down there. time to start researching. thanks again!!
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