Thinking a disability or health concern should keep you from cruising? Think again!
A cruise vacation might just be the perfect choice for you.
As cruise ships that dock in U.S. ports are required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a number of cabins offer wheelchair/scooter accessibility, safety-equipped bathrooms, and specially-designed appointments. And, yes, service animals are permitted.
Once onboard, all areas of the ship are easily accessible via elevators (braille signage) – you can dine in the venue of your choice – and choose from a variety of entertainment options (as well as shore excursions) designed to accommodate your needs. And what could be more convenient than unpacking once and sleeping in the same bed each night while still visiting multiple destinations?
But – before you book – you need to do your homework! Features vary from line to line and ship to ship – some provide braille menus – others, roll-in showers, buttons to open balcony doors, and ramped thresholds. There are even selected cruises with dialysis professionals so you can continue your treatment schedule while onboard (dialysisatsea.com).
To determine the cruise vacation that best suits your needs, explore the line’s website using the search term “special needs” or “accessibility” – most have a department designed to assist you in determining whether a ship can meet your requirements and advise you on the ship’s policy for travel. But DO NOT wait until the last minute! Accessible cabins are limited, and advance notice is required to provide sign-language interpreters, as well as accommodation for service animals.
You can do the work yourself – or better yet, let an experienced travel agent guide you through the process of making the most of your vacation at sea.