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About SeaBurd

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Leesburg, FL
  • Interests
    Handicapped travel, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, NCL, Royal Caribbean
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We are also going in August on the Regal Princess. My husband is in a wheelchair and we are arranging for an 8 person tour designed for those with limited mobility. I'll be posting more info on the Roll Call.
  2. Thanks. That makes it just about $2.25 USD so I think I'll save myself the trouble and just get the $2 Princess cans.
  3. Thanks for the info on canned coke. Glad to know it will taste the same. Now, does anyone know the price? Need to compare it to the ~$2 per can on board.
  4. We are boarding the Sky Princess in Civitavecchia on Nov. 10. Is there a place to buy canned soda within walking distance of the port? Anyone know the price and if it tastes the same as that purchased in the US?
  5. We did use it on some cobblestone streets in Stockholm. Not too bad on the "smoother" ones but challenging on the rough ones.
  6. No. We have a van and just lift it in through the side door. We have lifted it to put it in the back also. It weighs 46 lbs. which is not a big deal for the younger folk. If I really work at it, I can manage to get it into the car by myself but it is so much easier if my husband helps. Technique? I'm not young enough or strong enough to just lift it by myself, so if I have to do it alone, I pad the edge of the car (so I don't scratch the car) then lean the folded Zinger up against it, tilt it back, and push it in. To get it out, just reverse the procedure. One trick, the wheels can tend to get in the way so we use a bungee cord to hold them in place.
  7. Yes, that is a drawback. For our purposes, the benefits far outweigh this inconvenience. Being able to fold it and transport it in just about any vehicle is great. In addition to using it on cruises, we also took two trips on the AutoTrain (Florida to Washington, DC) with it in a handicap sleeper!
  8. Mr. Mobility, 1520 S 14th St, Leesburg, FL 34748 - (352) 323-8585 We were in to buy something else and showed them our Zinger. Next time we went in we noticed they had 2 on the floor!
  9. Thank you, shel003. I have looked at them and they have some excellent options. The prices take into account the use of fully accessible wheelchair vehicles so the cost is higher. Fortunately, we are able to use standard vehicles when there is room to also transport a mobility device. My husband uses a folding electric wheelchair but the same issue exists with manual wheelchairs, light weight folding manual or electric scooters and even rollators. When looking at some shore excursions (currently booking them at Mediterranean ports in Italy, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal) I am reading "no wheelchairs" and when I question some of the tour operators they tell me that they have no way to transport the wheelchair, even if it is a small, lightweight, folding one. Making progress by working through the city tourism divisions to find help. Not finding as much help as hoped for working with the shore excursion group at the cruise line itself.
  10. As the population ages more people will find themselves with physical challenges and need some of the accommodations provided in a fully accessible cabin. While ADA regulations prevent asking for details about one's disability, it seems to me there could be a checklist asking if each of the accessible elements are necessary. Necessary meaning the person would not be able to function without it. Example: a person who is unable to stand and step into a shower or tub with a transfer bench would require the roll in shower. Then, with ships having different levels of accessible cabins, a person could be assigned to the level that would accommodate his/her needs. Holland America and Carnival (at least) have addressed this issue, in part, by providing 3 different levels of accessible cabins. The definitions that follow are from Carnival. HAL has the same designations. Fully Accessible Cabins (FAC): These staterooms are designed for use by guests with highly limited mobility, who require the regular use of a wheelchair, scooter or other similar assistive devices. Fully Accessible Cabins contain accessible elements including turning space, accessible routes throughout the stateroom and an accessible bathroom. Additionally, the bathrooms contain grab bars and shower seats. Fully Accessible Cabins - Single Side Approach (FAC-SSA): These staterooms are designed for use by guests with highly limited or no mobility, who require the regular use of a wheelchair, scooter or other similar assistive devices. Fully Accessible Cabins - Single Side Approach are a type of FAC that provide an accessible route and clear floor space on only one side of the bed, in staterooms configured to provide only one bed. In a stateroom configured to provide two beds, the clear floor space will be between the beds, with one side of each bed getting an accessible route. Additionally, these staterooms have an accessible bathroom that contains grab bars and shower seats. Ambulatory Accessible Cabins (AAC): These staterooms are designed for use by guests with mobility limitations, who do not require the regular use of a wheelchair, scooter, or other similar assistive devices. For example, Ambulatory Accessible Cabins are ideal for guests who only use an assistive device (like a cane or a walker) for traversing longer distances, and who may benefit from certain accessible features like grab bars, to assist with balance. As someone whose husband is an above the knee right leg amputee, we have no option other than a fully accessible cabin. In my opinion, most people who may not need them are currently booking fully accessible cabins because there is no other option available for them. I believe they would be more than willing to be accommodated in anther cabin that suits their needs, freeing the FAC for someone who truly needs it. Hopefully all cruise lines will do more to address the needs of this growing segment of the cruising population.
  11. My husband uses a Zinger and we are very pleased with it. We have used it on 2 cruises with no problems. Both were newer, big ships (Oasis of the Seas and Regal Princess). By remembering to charge it each night (or during the day if just sitting in the room) and turning it off when not moving we have not had an issue with the battery. No problems with the gangways. In fact, the crew is always there wanting to assist. It does have a very tight turning radius which makes it very easy to use the elevators, pull up to a dining table, get situated at the entertainment venues, etc. The only place I noticed a drawback was in the buffet. Since the Zinger requires both hands to operate it, it's challenging for him to serve himself and balance a plate on his lap. Of course, most times a crew member will assist if needed. Sorry, there is another drawback: at times I find it difficult to keep up with him. The chair can go much faster than I am able to walk! I see you are in Central Florida. So are we. If you haven't seen one in person, I can give you the name of a company in Leesburg that carries them.
  12. Thank you, GC. I have outstanding inquiries to several tour operators along the way. In fact, I just booked one with ItalyTours EU after several emails back and forth. Here is part of my final response to them: Let me address the 3 issues you raised as detrimental for taking the small group tour: 1. That person may not access all sites and they might be asked to wait at some points for others to complete the walking part of the tour for example (sorry we can't tell in advance where and when). Understood. We have dealt with this issue on previous tours. 2. That person will have someone to help them physically as our staff may not be able to help 100% of the time. I am his assistant and have been his primary support on other excursions. 3. The person will have to seat as others in the van and we will fold the wheelchair and store it in the luggage space He is able to transfer and does not remain in the wheelchair when riding in a car, van, bus, train, plane, etc. The other issue you raised is: "We would normally recommend going on a private tour in order to avoid holding back others (the type of tour that you have chosen)" On other excursions we have taken, this has not been an issue. (Don's chair can go faster than I can comfortable walk!) He has also chosen to remain behind when the terrain is too difficult. As I read your description, both the small group and private tour have the same amount of walking - 2 hours. Bottom line, ItalyTours EU accepted our booking for its BEST OF FLORENCE & PISA --- Full day shared tour from the port of Livorno. Still working on the other ports of call on our upcoming excursion!
  13. Hopefully some day tour operators will recognize there is a, large, basically untapped market for affordable, organized tours for people with limited mobility. I'm not talking about needing a vehicle that can accommodate a person while seated in a wheelchair but someone who can transfer to a car, van or bus seat yet must have a wheelchair or other mobility device for stability and/or endurance. With our limited cruising experince, most ship sponsored tours that are marked accessible are either immediately sold out or are nothing more than a "drive by". And, many that are marked "easy" say they are not wheelchair accessible or there is no way to transport a mobility device. Almost every port offers a private tour option but the costs are often prohibitive! And, the response I've gotten from some tour operators is to use the Cruise Critic Roll Call to organize an appropriate private tour so the tour can be more cost effective. I don't know about you but signing up for a tour costing hundreds of dollars and then hoping to get enough people that we don't even know to share the cost along with collecting their portion sounds a bit stressful. We are going on a cruise to relax, not to stress out or be the tour organizer. We were lucky in St. Petersburg and had an extremely affordable, well organized, small (only 8 of us) and comprehensive tour with TJ Travel. Now, we are going on a 21 day transatlantic from Rome to Ft. Lauderdale and we will actually have to do our own sightseeing excursions in several of the ports. Wish I could find a TJ in every port of call! Thanks, everyone, for letting me vent!
  14. As I read your post, it appears you must have missed the first thing I said; "If mobility is the issue and the other accommodations in an accessible cabin are not needed,..." Obviously, if someone has medical issues that require the accommodations found only in the HC cabins that is what they need, no matter what the size of their mobility device.
  15. We got forms from both RCI and NCL for recent cruises. Neither was to be completed by a medical doctor. The one from RCI had a checkbox following this statement: "I require an accessible stateroom because I have a mobility disability or other disability that requires the use of the accessible features that are provided in the stateroom." The NCL form was much more extensive and asks if passenger has mobility difficulties and if "yes" to specify.
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