Its peak summer time and that calls for long vacations, travel excursions, days off from work and a time full of absolute bliss surrounded by family and loved ones.
While most people may plan their vacations without too much planning, persons with special needs need to think of a lot of things before they can finalize their vacation. While it may involve extra planning and organizing, it certainly is possible for people with special needs to travel and enjoy just like everyone else.
One of the best vacations for persons with physical restrictions is a cruise vacation. Many major cruise lines offer accessible travel for persons with limited mobility. From the port to the staterooms and everything in between, each element of the ship is accessible for persons with special needs.
Accessible Travel with Senior Persons
If you are traveling with seniors who may have special needs, then here are some pointers that you need to consider to plan a smooth and fun filled accessible cruise trip:
1. Call ahead – check on the special needs provider for equipment rental, way before your trip, that you may require for you or your senior family member. This gives them a margin to prepare and arrange for the equipment on time – wheelchairs, electric scooters, oxygen equipment, beds, walking aides, etc.
2. Be Clear – clearly mention and specify your needs to the service provider to ensure you get the right kind of equipment and the preferred size (eg electric mobility scooters are available in different sizes).
3. Stock up on Meds – take extra medicines on board, you do not want to miss a dose in case there is a diversion and the trip takes longer than the arrival time to reach the destination port.
4. Special Rooms – when booking your cruise, make sure you ask for rooms that are easily accessible for persons with special needs. Also, they should be large enough so you can easily maneuver using your electric scooter or wheelchair.
Accessible Travel with Children
1. Accessible travel agent – find travel agents who can arrange travel trips for people with disability. Since they have experience with making arrangements for disabled persons of all age groups, they can suggest the best one for you and your child with special needs.
2. Look for bigger ships – when choosing accessible cruises, make sure you choose new ones and larger ones since they have more facilities; Spacious doorways, roll in showers, open theaters, easy pool entrances, etc.
3. Service dogs – if you have a service dog for you or your loved one, make sure you check with the cruise line if they accept them on board. All major cruise lines do accept, but it's always good to check. You may have to get the service dog monitored and keep the documents at hand before booking your trip.
Knowing the details and requirements before planning accessible travel can make traveling enjoyable for both the disabled person and their loved ones. Special Needs at Sea understand the needs of people with physical limitations or disabilities and thus provides on board special needs equipment to help such people become independent, confident and relaxed.
Persons with special needs can avail wheel chairs, oxygen equipment, electric scooter rentals and other special equipment on board from Special Needs at Sea and enjoy their cruise like capable persons.