Having a mobility scooter doesn’t mean you have to put the brakes on your next cruise. Today, the vast majority of cruise lines can accommodate guests with mobility needs. In fact, using a mobility scooter on a cruise ship is much more common than you may think. Mobility scooters can give you access to all the excitement of sailing the seas, without the stress and discomfort of having to be on your feet all day – plus, just driving a scooter onboard can be loads of fun! If you are considering taking to the sea, here’s what you should know before taking a mobility scooter on a cruise.
Bring Your Own Scooter or Rent One Onboard
While nearly all cruise ships will allow guests to bring their own mobility scooter onboard, for some it may be more convenient to simply rent one before boarding. While the cruise lines themselves do not rent scooters, they are still easy to get – and can save you some of the hassles of transporting the scooter to the ship. If you are looking to rent a scooter, make sure your travel agent is an SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate, who works with equipment providers to deliver a mobility scooter directly to your stateroom.
Some cruise liners impose certain weight and width restrictions upon wheelchairs or scooters, or they do not allow customers to bring their electric wheelchairs or scooters on board. This is especially true of most European river cruises, who do not allow guests to bring their own scooters on the ship. For this reason, it is crucial that you contact your cruise line and learn all of their terms and conditions before you travel.
Staterooms for wheelchair or mobility scooter users vary from cruise line to cruise line and ship to ship. Carnival, for example, offers four different types of cabins for passengers with mobility needs. These include fully-accessible cabins (FAC) for those with highly-limited mobility; fully-accessible single side approach (FAC-SSA) cabins, which offer clear floor space on only one side of the bed; ambulatory accessible cabins (AAC), which are designed for guests who have limited mobility but do not require regular use of a wheelchair; and standard cabins. Royal Caribbean also offers guests accessible staterooms, with a five-foot turning radius for easy maneuverability. Before you travel, you should contact the cruise line to get the specifics of their accessibility
When traveling aboard a cruise ship you should understand that not all shore excursions will be mobility scooter or wheelchair accessible. This is especially true at ports of call where tenders or gangways are required to leave the ship. While access and elevators may be available at the departure point level, they may not be when arriving at a port. Many cruise lines will not allow passengers on mobility scooters to leave the ship via tender, especially if they cannot climb steps. Gangways are also troublesome, as they may be too narrow for scooter or chairs to navigate. Before you travel, carefully research the access restrictions of the ports of call and communicate any mobility issues with your cruise line to ensure any available help is open to you.
Taking a cruise is an excellent way to relax – and mobility issues don’t have to keep you from experiencing the peaceful wonders of the sea. If you are looking for hassle-free exploration on your next cruise, call Yellow Scooters today at 1 (855) 274-3363 to learn more about our impressive range of mobility rentals.