A cruise ship at Willemstad

A cruise ship at Willemstad
Photo by: Paul Jursa (Stock Exchange)

Hi, all! As you’ve definitely noticed around here, Disabled Travelers hasn’t touched on the subject of accessible cruises very much.

And in all honesty, good information on the topic still seems to be pretty scarce!

However, since it’s been quite a while I thought I’d offer what I’ve been able to put together since our last go-around, many moons ago.

There are some new resources and a couple of tips I want to emphasize so handicapped travelers will get to enjoy voyages at sea just like everybody else! It’s not to be missed …

The biggest news on the accessible cruise front is Cruise Critic. Cruise Critic is a comprehensive resource for cruising, which also happens to include a bevy of facts and articles pertinent to disabled travelers. Reviews encompass pretty much every major cruise provider and give you the pros and cons, do’s and don’ts, and insider information you need to make the best cruising decision. Though there are pieces offered by writers and editors, much of the real “golden” information is provided by recent passengers.

Holland America is still going strong as the best travel option for handicapped passengers, hands down. Though this article from Sealetter Cruise Magazine is several years old now, it demonstrates a real commitment to accessibility that has only grown in the years since. Just check out the amazingly detailed accessibility info on the Holland America website that covers virtually every access topic imaginable.

Also bear in mind that in some cases, deaf travelers may have even more cruise options than folks requiring mobility impaired access; as I’ve pointed out before, deaf travelers love cruising. Deaf organizations and tour operators are known to keep their fans and friends sailing as much as possible. Just about every installment of our deaf travel series, released monthly, has at least one cruise operator especially for the deaf.

For a lot of great travel tips, including further resources and in-depth articles on accessible cruises, visit our unofficial “top tour operator”, Accessible Journeys. Most “travelers with wheels” will probably find that their best bet in cruising is to partner up with a reputable tour operator, but if you choose to go solo, be sure to check out some crucial points: If you need travel equipment, will you have to bring it or does your cruise line have a designated medical provider? What accommodations are available for your specific needs, including room, shipboard movement, and getting on and off the ship?

Accessible cruising is a challenging subject, but Cruise Critic makes it much easier than it was before. Also don’t forget travel community sites like Lonely Planet where you can connect with other travelers who’ve had positive (and not-so-positive) experiences like the ones you’re seeking! Many major cruise lines have a whole host of destinations, so once you find a line that works for you, you may never wish to switch!

Thanks for tuning in to today’s blog. See you soon, on land or water; and adventure on!


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