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Old 08-14-2013, 05:48 AM   #1
kriswin1
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help with older peolpe getting on and off ships

my parents just booked a cruise for Oct. My mom uses an oxygen machine at night and has oxygen bottles for the day. this will have to go on ship as carry on. she will also be on a motorized scooter. does the cruise line have porters to help people on and off?
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:55 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kriswin1 View Post
my parents just booked a cruise for Oct. My mom uses an oxygen machine at night and has oxygen bottles for the day. this will have to go on ship as carry on. she will also be on a motorized scooter. does the cruise line have porters to help people on and off?

Here's the info from the DCL website, i've bolded the part I think I answers your question.


Guests with disabilities have access to comfortable staterooms and suites, along with a full range of services, facilities and amenities, including auxiliary aids, on every Disney Cruise Line ship and Disney's private island paradise, Castaway Cay.

Most Guest areas aboard ship—including theaters, restaurants and shops—are accessible to all our Guests. In some cases, such as when utilizing tender services or in pools, Guests may need to transfer from their wheelchairs to utilize the facility, and this transfer may require the assistance of a member of their party. Therefore, we recommend that Guests plan to sail with someone who can physically assist them when necessary. Please also be advised that in certain situations, it may be impossible for Guests using wheelchairs to transfer to the tenders due to safety concerns.

Special Access, Seating and Entrances
Special viewing areas at scheduled onboard activities are set aside for Guests using wheelchairs while on their vacation. Assistance with accessible seating at the Walt Disney Theatre can also be arranged by contacting a Crew Member outside the theater entrance at least 10 minutes prior to show time.

At any time during your cruise, Crew Members can answer your questions about wheelchair-accessible entrances to restaurants, lounges, common areas and restrooms.

Staterooms
All Disney Cruise Line ships offer accessible staterooms and suites. These staterooms are equipped with the following features for Guests with disabilities:

•32" (minimum) doorways

•Ramped bathroom thresholds

•Open bed frames

•Additional phones in the bathroom and on the nightstand

•Bathroom and shower handrails

•Fold-down shower seats

•Hand-held shower heads

•Lowered towel and closet bars

•Emergency call buttons

Personal Transportation Equipment
Safety regulations require that all Guest personal equipment—including wheelchairs, electric mobility scooters and electric convenience vehicles (ECVs)—must be stored inside Guest staterooms when not in use. To ensure the safety of all Guests, it is strictly prohibited to park personal equipment in Guest corridors or stairwell landings.

If you are traveling with a wheelchair, scooter or ECV, consider a wheelchair-accessible stateroom, which has a 32-inch entrance door and features a wider path of travel inside the stateroom to accommodate the device. Typical staterooms have a narrower entrance door (25.5 inches) and may not have the necessary interior space for the device.

Once onboard, Guests who find that their device will not fit inside their stateroom will be asked to park their equipment in an alternate location that may be several decks away from their stateroom location. Guests are responsible for parking their device in one of these designated areas when not in use.

Special Equipment
Disney Cruise Line offers special equipment for Guests with disabilities. The following is available upon request for use in any stateroom:

•Bed board

•Bedrail

•Portable toilet

•Raised toilet seat

•Shower stool

•Transfer bench

•Refrigerator

•Stateroom Communication Kits containing door knock and phone alerts, phone amplifier, bed shaker notification, a strobe light smoke detector and a Text Typewriter (TTY)

Disney's Castaway Cay
On Disney's Castaway Cay, provisions for Guests with disabilities include the following:

•Paved pathways throughout the main promenade, providing access to shops and restaurants

•Sand wheelchairs, available free of charge and on a first-come, first-served basis

•A tram equipped to allow Guests in manual and electric wheelchairs to board

•Accessible restrooms

Hearing Disabilities
Guests with hearing disabilities have access to a number of provisions to ensure enjoyment of their vacation, including:

•Assistive listening systems at theaters and other performance venues

•Guest Assistance Packets containing show scripts, available at the Guest Services Desk

•Stateroom Communication Kits containing a base unit with alarm clock, bed shaker notification, door bell and phone alerts, phone amplifier, smoke detector with a strobe light and a TTY. Guests can arrange to receive this kit at the time of booking, or through Guest Services onboard

•Open captioning on a Guest's stateroom TV may be activated for the duration of the cruise by contacting Disney Cruise Line Special Services prior to sailing or contacting Guest Services once onboard the ship. In addition, common area video monitors may also be available with captions. However, Guests should be aware that due to satellite limitations, not all video sources or television signals are available with a caption playback option.

Children with Disabilities
Youth Activities are open to children ages 3-17 that are fully potty trained, able to interact comfortably within our counselor-to-child ratio groups and with peers of their own physical size. Teen and tween activities are also available in separate areas away from younger children.

Parents may make a request with the Youth Activities team onboard to have a child with disabilities partake in modified participation for a limited time period during the cruise. Our ability to fulfill the request will depend upon the child's needs, the availability of counselors, program participation and other applicable considerations. Disney Cruise Line cannot guarantee that all special requests will be accommodated.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accommodate anyone with a contagious disease or who shows symptoms of illness; children who require one-on-one care; a child or adult who wishes to participate in an age group much younger/smaller than their physical age/size; children who need the attention of a counselor with special training; or children who need counselor-assisted medical attention.

More Information and Special Reservations
If you would like to request accommodations for Guests with disabilities, please discuss your needs with the reservationist at the time of booking.

For questions and more information please call (407) 566-3500 [voice] or (407) 566-7455 [TTY]. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have your parent or guardian's permission to dial this number.

An electronic brochure for those with a visual impairment is available by clicking here.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:56 AM   #3
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I have never seen porters or other CMs helping people on and off the ship but that doesn't mean they don't exist. I would call DCL's special needs department and see what help is available. They will want to make their needs know in advanced. It has been our experience that DCL will do all they can to make a guest comfortable and help if they can.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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A call to the Special Needs department is required to make sure they have what you need and are able to provide the help that may be required. The ship also has to be notified of the oxygen needs and what you are bringing on board. My daughter is in a wheelchair and although we have never needed assistance with her assistance has always been offered by the CM's at the pier and on board. Disney has always been very accommodating of my daughters needs.

A call to Special Needs and a follow up email outing the needs will do the trick. Here's the email address ~SpecialServices@disneycruise.com
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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Special needs will tell you yes there is someone available at the port to help you onto the ship but that's not really true.

When we sailed in October 2011 on the Dream, the tide was high and so the ramps to the ship were very steep. My dad and I struggled with my mother's wheelchair right up to the point you get it onto the ship but we just couldn't get it up the final ramp (it was really, really steep!). Thankfully, one of the officers in white noticed and the 3 of us pushed and pulled the chair up the last ramp and got her on board.

Fast forward to April 2012 - I was concerned about the same thing happening so I contacted Special Services and asked if we could have assistnace in getting my mother on board (I'd expanded my cruise experience enough to know that on other lines, there are people who are designated to assist with wheelchair boarding). They said that there would be someone available to help my mother board and just alert the check in person at the port.

When I checked in - the woman behind the desk looked at me like I had two heads. And then told me that if we needed help, she "guessed" that we could come back and get her. No offense but she was about 70 and petite - I don't think she would have been much help.

Thankfully the tide was right and we had no issues as the ramps were low and easy to navigate.

I will say that DCL is the only cruise line we've had this experience with - both Carnival and RCCL readily offered assistance in helping get my mother on board.

We were on the Carnival Dream after the delay from Hurrincane Sandy where they docked the ship backwards so it was a very long (very, very, very, long!) walk to board the ship and one of the waiters who was in the port area pushed my mother all the way! On RCCL Explorer of the Seas, the person who came out to offer assistance after we got off the bus insisted on taking my mother all the way into the buffet, finding us a table and getting us silverware and calling over the server to make certain we got beverages right away (and that was by far the shortest distance we've ever had to board the ship).
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessTrisha View Post
Special needs will tell you yes there is someone available at the port to help you onto the ship but that's not really true.

When we sailed in October 2011 on the Dream, the tide was high and so the ramps to the ship were very steep. My dad and I struggled with my mother's wheelchair right up to the point you get it onto the ship but we just couldn't get it up the final ramp (it was really, really steep!). Thankfully, one of the officers in white noticed and the 3 of us pushed and pulled the chair up the last ramp and got her on board.

Fast forward to April 2012 - I was concerned about the same thing happening so I contacted Special Services and asked if we could have assistnace in getting my mother on board (I'd expanded my cruise experience enough to know that on other lines, there are people who are designated to assist with wheelchair boarding). They said that there would be someone available to help my mother board and just alert the check in person at the port.

When I checked in - the woman behind the desk looked at me like I had two heads. And then told me that if we needed help, she "guessed" that we could come back and get her. No offense but she was about 70 and petite - I don't think she would have been much help.

Thankfully the tide was right and we had no issues as the ramps were low and easy to navigate.

I will say that DCL is the only cruise line we've had this experience with - both Carnival and RCCL readily offered assistance in helping get my mother on board.

We were on the Carnival Dream after the delay from Hurrincane Sandy where they docked the ship backwards so it was a very long (very, very, very, long!) walk to board the ship and one of the waiters who was in the port area pushed my mother all the way! On RCCL Explorer of the Seas, the person who came out to offer assistance after we got off the bus insisted on taking my mother all the way into the buffet, finding us a table and getting us silverware and calling over the server to make certain we got beverages right away (and that was by far the shortest distance we've ever had to board the ship).
Guess everyone's experiences are different. We have sailed with DCL, Carnival and RCCL and find that Disney has always been more accommodating than the others to include special requests such as egg crate padding for my daughters bed.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by kriswin1 View Post
my parents just booked a cruise for Oct. My mom uses an oxygen machine at night and has oxygen bottles for the day. this will have to go on ship as carry on. she will also be on a motorized scooter. does the cruise line have porters to help people on and off?
A related comment but slight OT from the original question...make sure they have an accessible cabin booked. An ECV will not fit through the regular stateroom doorways, and it cannot be parked in the hallways. They may or may not allow parking near the elevator, but I have heard of people indicating they had to park it with Guest Services and send someone down to get it each time they wanted to leave the room. Best option is an accessible stateroom!

Enjoy your cruise!
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