12 day med cruise ok for limited mobility folks?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by PopsAndHis2Dwarfs, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. PopsAndHis2Dwarfs

    PopsAndHis2Dwarfs Earning My Ears

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    Looking at possibly booking the 2014 12 day med cruise. Will have two 70 year olds with me. There not in wheel chairs or walkers but tire somewhat easy. Looking for cruisers who have taken this itinerary before, thanks
     
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  3. StephenKay

    StephenKay DVC Member VWL 2001

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    Hi there,

    I would say that I think you would get a lot of answers on the Main DCL board rather than the cruise meets.

    I haven't done a 12 Med although have done a 10 night DCL and a few 7 night Meds DCL, these are by far the hardest of the cruises because they have so many good ports that you shouldn't miss, however if you are to survive in the heat I would look at the ports (and that's why your paying top dollar) I would save and do the organised DCL tours, many are for those like myself who have mobility issues, and do those. It's easier but dearer. If you want a chill cruise try the transatlantics, these are more of a relaxing cruise with a few ports just to break up the journey.

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    One thing to keep in mind that a lot of Europe is not covered by ADA laws. There are a lot of cobblestone roads and bathrooms are far and few in between. Take Rome and walking just in St. Peter's is and undertaking for just the sheer size and lines. Check out the excursions to see how strenuous they are. I do remember some easy excursions where you travel by bus and see some selected spots at predesigned stops.A large number of ports are away from the city proper and you need to get to the sight seeing areas somehow. Unless you do excursions it still is a longer process than say St. Thomas where you step off the ship and you are there. It is long days off the ship so you can be the judge of their endurance. Hope it works out.:)
     
  5. PopsAndHis2Dwarfs

    PopsAndHis2Dwarfs Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction
     
  6. PopsAndHis2Dwarfs

    PopsAndHis2Dwarfs Earning My Ears

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    aren't there ways to curt around the long lines, such are pre buying tickets for st peter's square?
     
  7. carpenta

    carpenta DIS Veteran

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    Yes but everyone still has to go through security much like the airport. As StephenKay stated go to the boards and check out others and their physical conditions to give you a sense of what is to be expected. Also check out Cruise Critic board site that can give you more info. They even have a Handicapped section on the tours. You can buy most tickets for most attractions over the internet.:) With a little planning I'm sure you can go.....for today 70 is the new 50.
     
  8. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    There are no tickets for St Peter's, and there's no way around that 1 hour long security line unless you've already gone through the Vatican museum and you're going through to St. Peter's that way.

    If you list the sites you're interested in here, I can tell you what I know about avoiding long periods of standing, etc since we had mobility issues in our group.

    For the long miles of walking which were unavoidable (like in Florence), some of us split up and simply didn't take that tour.

    For places like Paris (dunno if you're going there, but we did), we had to seek out disability doors and speak enough French to convince them to let our group in due to my dad's health condition. They had a hard time w/it since he wasn't in a wheelchair, but he (and I) are not well enough to stand in line for hours at a time.
     
  9. PopsAndHis2Dwarfs

    PopsAndHis2Dwarfs Earning My Ears

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    I'm looking at the sites listed on the 6/14/14 med cruise. Villefranche, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Sicily, Corfu, Dubrovnik, and Venice...It would be with my DW, DD (6), DS (4) and mother and fater and law (both 70). Thanks in advance for your time Pooh:yay:
     
  10. ImprovGal

    ImprovGal <font color=green>No animals were harmed in the ma

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    Venice and Dubrovnik haven't yet been visited by DCL. The first cruise that visits those ports departs this Thursday.

    I would look at the full descriptions of the Port Adventures on the dcl website. The tours are rated as either Mild, Moderate, or Active and full descriptions indicate where there may be concerns for those with limited mobility. If you want to so a lot of historical sightseeing, then as a previous poster suggested, your inlaws may want to opt for a tour that's mostly on a bus rather than on foot.
     
  11. PopsAndHis2Dwarfs

    PopsAndHis2Dwarfs Earning My Ears

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    Thanks Improv and your photo is hilarious
     
  12. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    On my phone typing, so hard to go into detail. I'll look at my notes and post late tomorrow. :)
     
  13. sabrecmc

    sabrecmc DIS Veteran

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    I think it would depend on how much your mobility is limited. If you are wheelchair bound, I do think Europe in general is going to be hard. However, if you are just limited, but can move around some, then DCL offered a number of basically bus tours that would've worked fine. My aunt has mobility issues due to knee and hip replacements, and I couldn't get her to come with us in 2010, but I honestly feel she would've been fine.

    All that being said, we had a family with a wheelchair bound son onboard our cruise who was out and about doing just fine, apparently. We saw them at a number of sights, including places like Pompeii where you wouldn't necessarily think that would be easy.
     
  14. MandyGirl

    MandyGirl DIS Veteran

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    We returned from a 12-night *non* DCL Med cruise last week that had Civitavecchia, Naples, Dubrovnik, and Venice for some of our ports. This was after our DCL EBTA to get to Europe for this cruise. Hope I can answer your question without rocks or flames since the Med portion was not DCL. :goodvibes We had me, DH, DD (6), DD (turned 3 in Rome), and DMIL (turned 66 in Mykonos). Even with cobblestone streets, I still used our "ready to throw away" umbrella stroller for when the youngest got tired, or just folded the stroller when necessary. DMIL would need breaks going up stairs or hills, which was often in several of our ports (we also had Toulon, Florence/Pisa, Mykonos, Istanbul, and Ephesus).

    Of your ports:
    Rome - we did a private tour for just the five of us for the day, so we had less walking with our driver being able to drop us close to spots and less walking (although we did walk to the top of the Spanish steps, had the skip-the-line for Colosseum and walked all around those three sites there, etc)

    Naples - took the public bus to archaeological museum (uphill) and followed Rick Steves' walking tour to eat pizza and then back to port - no stops needed to rest except to eat our pizza and later gelato

    Dubrovnik - was a last-minute substitution for Athens (having a major union strike) and since I had not researched Croatia at all, we just booked a ship tour (we were on NCL Spirit - great itinerary). The semi-comparable tour would be this one on Disney but the one we took on NCL was actually this one called Ultimate Taste of Dalmatia- which included a full lunch in Ston (in addition to the boat/oysters and olive oil stop) plus a guided one-hour walking tour of Old Dubrovnik (no breaks needed during walking tour). It ended up running long overall but that was fine - it was probably our favorite day of the NCL cruise.

    Venice - to avoid too much walking, take the Express Boat for 8 euros to St Marks and meander your way back. However, all the bridges are made with steps up and down. If disembarking in Venice and taking the train for post-cruise fun, the St Lucia station is walking distance to the port... but you still have to haul your luggage over a large bridge. We had an early disembarkation since we were overnighting there and were off the ship at 6am, prior to people mover opening, and were docked at furthest spot away. Having DMIL we chose to just get a cab to P.Roma but still had to walk over the bridge to catch our train to Milan.

    I know we cannot advertise other forums, but I will say for my NCL Med cruise, we found tons of information on a different forum I have been on for about 13 years. For DCL specific things, this forum was great. We had a 3-night stay in Barcelona between the two cruises and post-cruise time in Italy in Iceland. Would most definitely repeat the trip again! But the Med portion was packed full for us, by our choice. :thumbsup2
     
  15. aaklang

    aaklang Mouseketeer

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    Villefranche, La Spezia, Civitavecchia, Naples, Sicily, Corfu, Dubrovnik, and Venice


    If they aren't using wheelchairs, then most of these ports can be done, you just won't see as much as someone who could get around easily. Some have a lot more walking than others.

    In Villefranche, you would probably just want to spend time on the beach at Nice. There were a couple of small museums that you could take a cab to. We also took a public bus up to some very pretty gardens (blanking on the name, of course) but I wouldn't recommend that for your in-laws as there were many hills and lots of walking.

    La Spezia is a tough one. You'd probably want to book a ship excursion that drove you out to Florence and back. Within Florence, there are museums and art all around. Some people in the group might do a lot of walking. However, if your in-laws get too tired, they could probably relax in a town square with some gelato and have a wonderful afternoon people watching and admiring the beauty of the city.

    Civitavecchia - either book a tour or stay on the ship. There are so many amazing sites to see in Rome but to get from one to the other isn't easy. We booked a private driver (shared with some people we met online in our cruise meet) who took us to most of the major sites - Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and the Vatican, along with a few drive-bys where he pointed things out but we didn't get out of the car. There wasn't too much walking at the fountain or the steps. We chose to walk all around the Colosseum but your in-laws could just go in the main entrance and admire it without circling the whole arena. Vatican is a lot of walking inside and there's no way around it.

    Naples, we did another private tour with a driver who drove us all down the Amalfi coast. He'd stop every now and then so we could get out and enjoy the views. It was a kind of foggy day so the views weren't great, but it would have been really nice if the weather was better. None of these stops had much walking at all. They also took us to a really delicious lunch. We toured Pompeii that day as well, which is a ton of walking all over uneven pavement. If you are able to do this, it was the highlight of the trip for me. I was amazed. Your in-laws probably couldn't, but maybe you could split up for part of the day.

    Dubrovnik's main attraction is to walk atop the castle walls. It's a long walk, though you could stop and rest as often as you wanted. Other than that, it's just one main street - about the equivalent of 3-4 blocks - with smaller alleys (often hilly) going up.

    Venice is doable because you can see the canals and old buildings everywhere you go. They won't have to stray too far from the ship and can spend time just sitting in St. Mark's Square watching the people (and the pigeons). They could probably handle a short tour of St Mark's Basilica as well. Take a gondola ride down the canals to enjoy a view of the city's interior.

    Haven't been to Corfu or Sicily so I have no advice.
     
  16. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    It's so nice to see other's posts. We personally plan on being back next year on the transatlantic and will still have mobility issues, so it's nice to see so much information.

    To the OP, here's our info regarding walking/line standing. I did the 7 night med so I don't have some of your ports. For Venice, the info is from a separate trip I did a few years ago.


    Villefranche
    We did the Disney Monaco, Monte Carlo, Eze tour.

    Mobility-wise, Monaco was "easy" because the coach bus parked in a structure, there's escalators up to the top level and there's about a 0.5 to 0.75 mile walk to the Palace Square. The walk is leisurely. You have time to slowly walk back and there are benches to sit on in the Palace Square.

    Monte Carlo--- difficult for those with problems. Coach dropped at the bottom of a hill and there are steps and a steep incline (think San Francisco). Monte Carlo itself wasn't all that interesting, so this might be a good point to rest or just take in the marina area rather than walking up.

    Eze -- difficult for those with problems, but lots of little shops and cafes to stop in during the free time here. The incline is steep but the walk is broken up (unlike Monte Carlo).


    La Spezia
    Florence was out of the question for us due to the description -- 2.5 miles of walking. We split up at this port. Some did Florence & Pisa, and we (the mobility issue people) did another excursion. The Florence/Pisa people said it was a LONG hard day, with tons of walking. They said that we (the mobility people) couldn't have done it without holding up the entire group.

    If you parents are interested in Pisa, sign up for the Disney "Easy Pisa" excursion. This includes a ride to Pisa, a tram ride from the parking lot to the square (this cuts about a mile of walking). We tried to sign up for this on the ship but it was full.

    Instead, we did Portofino & Santa Margherita. Highly recommended. Very little walking (just on sidewalks and near the marina). Lots of free time to sit, etc.

    Civitavecchia

    We hired a private van which dropped us very close to Trevi for pictures, then in front of the Roman Forum entrance.

    At this entrance, there are elevators so they can skip walking down a steep hill to the bottom (this was helpful for us). The walk through the forum is about a mile from this point to the Colosseum exit, but you can stop along the way if you tour yourself.

    Colosseum---- skip the LONG line by buying tix ahead of time. If you tour yourself, it's an easy walk from the entrance to the level where you can see the colosseum floor. We did the underground tour which was great.

    Vatican--- I DO NOT recommend this for people with mobility issues. There is about 1.5 miles of walking through the museum itself and the hallways/galleries have no bench seating along the way or anywhere to truly rest. It was tiring for our group.

    My father and I skipped this portion and did another tour. We also took cabs from the Colosseum to the Vatican/St. Peter's area to save from walking to the Metro. Fare was about 15 Euro.

    St. Peter's--- unless you go through to St. Peter's after your Vatican tour, St. Peter's requires a security screening which has a huge line. If you do decide to visit St. Peter's, there are no seats/pews in the general area inside the church. There are seats/pews for those who would like to pray to the saints, but they do not allow just sitting/resting in those areas.

    ***If your cruise arrives on a Wednesday, there is the Papal Audience in the morning. Arrive later than 1pm in order to avoid the street closures/crowds so that your cab can drop you off closer.

    Disney has a coach bus Panaranmic Rome tour for those with mobility problems. Essentially, you sit in a large coach and they drive you past all the sites and explain it while you're in the bus. We had considered this but decided Rome was too important to miss.

    Disney also has group tours that do the sites in Rome. I don't recommend this since the coach buses cannot drop people off very close to the sites and there will be alot of walking (and standing around/waiting) involved with these group tours.

    Naples
    We hired a private driver and did Pompeii & Positano. Positano was easy to walk (lots of shops, cafes to stop in). Highly recommended.

    Pompeii was very very difficult. Steep inclines, cobble stones. If your parents take it easy it might be do-able.

    I would consider going to Herculaneum instead. There is a TR on here where the poster went to Herculaneum instead and it is less crowded and the paths look less steep.

    Venice

    Buy skip the line tickets for the Basilica of San Marco.

    Buy skip the line tickets for Doge's Palace. I recommend the "Secret Itineraries" tour which is a separate tour that comes with tickets. You take the tour, then you can go back in through the Palace at your own speed. There's no real benches to sit on during the tour, but it's not long and it's fascinating.

    Good luck, and have fun :thumbsup2
     
  17. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    We were on the same cruise as MandyGirl, and visited Dubrovnik earlier this month. We did the mile-long walk atop the city walls, which was vey scenic and wonderful. Just note that there are lots of steps, some without handrails.

    Woody
     
  18. nxb

    nxb Earning My Ears

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    We just got back from the the eastern Med 12-day cruise. This was our first time in Athens, Kusadasi and Mykonos.

    These are not ports listed by the OP, but the archaeological sites in all of these (Acropolis, Ephesus, Delos) have some tricky spots with slippery uneven marble paths and uneven stone stairs without hand-rails and could be an issue for anyone with mobility limitations. They all also require 1-2 miles of walking.
     
  19. aaklang

    aaklang Mouseketeer

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    Good reminder - I had forgotten about all the steps. The walls are along the top of the castle so yes, it's a lot of climbing. It's been 7 years since my cruise (exactly... I was on the ship at the end of June!) and I still think about it all the time. It was an amazing trip!!
     
  20. Melcatfish

    Melcatfish <font color=990099>In full planning mode!<br><font

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    Somewhat incorrect.... NONE of Europe is covered by ADA laws because American laws apply on American soil and not the rest of the world!

    To the OP, many of the ports and cities you visit on a Med cruise have hundreds and hundreds (in many cases thousands) of years of history to them and as such were built before mobility aids were used so are not typically wheelchair friendly.

    However, Europe is filled with a wide variety of people and approximately the same proportion of which are disabled or have mobility issues as in America (one would assume - I don't have exact demographic data to hand)

    It is common place here in the UK and in many places on the continent to make every possible, practical effort to make sites accessible to all citizens including those with limited mobility. (We too have our own disability act) However there will no doubt be some areas where access is not possible - I'm thinking city walls in Dubrovnik, *some* parts of different cities featuring narrow windy cobblestone paths etc....

    My suggestion would be that if it is viable for you to do private excursions in places like Rome then a driver will be able to get you up close to the main sites and to varying degrees (depending on how limited your mobility is) you can then go inside without expending valuable energy traipsing from place to place.

    DCL tour information explains how much walking is involved in each tour so it may be possible to select excursions to suit this way.

    I am sure you will have a wonderful trip, America is not alone in recognising the rights of people with differing abilities and I am sure you will find most Europeans keen to show you the very best of their countries.

    Happy Travels!
    Mel
    x
     
  21. woody73

    woody73 <font color=darkorange>Enjoyed the Pumpkinmen<br><

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    Good advice. We've been on private tours in mini vans that go right up to the main entrances and other places that would be impossible for a 55-passenger motor coach to reach.

    Woody
     

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