Why are some cruise ships not classified as having disabled access, when some of their cabins are wheelchair friendly?

Why are some cruise ships not classified as having disabled access, when some of their cabins are wheelchair friendly?
I am confined to a wheelchair, and therefore find cruising the easiest way to travel the world by far.

But I’m curious-Why, in your magazine ship guide, do you have luxury cruise lines Regent, Silverseas, Seabourn and Oceania as not having disabled access, when looking on their websites, they clearly have disabled suites, and/or disabled penthouses?

Do they have a very small amount of accessible cabins for legal reasons, so they pass planning laws?

If this is the case, I think this is discrimination at it’s worst-especially in this day and age.

Mark Duffy

Just because a Ship has Disabled cabins doesn’t mean it is classified as having Disabled access. Some of the Smaller/Mid size Cruise lines you have referred to are also older ships and are therefore not always able to have the other modifications needed to make it fully accessible for disabled people.
As well as fixtures and fittings like wide enough doors, washbasins low enough for wheelchair users and no ‘lips’ at cabin and bathroom thresholds, here are a few other things that have to be taken into consideration when deciding if a ship is fully accessible to the Disabled.

• What mobility equipment is available to hire on board?

• Is there lots of hard flooring? (As carpeting can be difficult to wheel on)

• Are pool hoists available?

• Will special transportation be provided to transfer you from airport to ship?

• Will shore excursions be suitable for your disability? You may want to avoid itinerary that include small boats used to transfer passengers to shore, as they are not designed to carry wheelchairs.

Saying that it is now easier than ever to book a Cruise for a person travelling with a Disability. You will want to choose a ship that perfectly suits your needs, abilities and lifestyle. If you live with a physical disability or perhaps a medical condition that requires medication, dialysis or oxygen, then preparation and planning is the key to reduce unexpected problems.

In terms of cruise lines, Royal Caribbean’s newest ships are constantly being voted the best ships that cater for Disabled passengers by Disabled organisations.

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Emma Sanger is a Co-operative Personal Travel Advisor
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