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About grandmaR

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    Cool Cruiser

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    sailing, grandchildren, photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, NCL, Celebrity, AmaWaterways
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  1. My scooter is set up so that you apply power with your thumbs when you have your hand on the handles. That means that if the scooter is getting away from you, your automatic reaction is to grab the handles harder and that makes the scooter go faster. This is also a problem for people who park the scooter for me after I have sat in a chair at the table. If they do not sit on the scooter, it is apt to take off with them and at least once they knocked over a tray of glasses in the dining room. I tend to get hung up on the thresholds going out on deck (for the safety briefing or just to see what is going on). I have been in some handicapped bathrooms (on a ship in Honolulu which I was on for an excursion) where I could not open the door by myself. The cruise excursion (Famous Homes and Hideaway Cruise) that I had booked which says on the tickets (but not on the information for booking) that the passengers have to be able to walk and climb steps. This excursion was one that I thought I would really be able to do, but apparently not. So the excursion guy said we could switch the tickets for the trolley tour of the dockyard. So my sister went up and switched the tickets and even though the only tour on the schedule was 2 pm, she got tickets for 9:15. Because we had a tour in the red train which was to meet on the dock at 9:15 and they said it would not take the scooter on it, we had to figure out a place to leave the scooter. (Actually if we folded the scooter up, it would have gone on the train just fine.) On a previous trip when we had a horse and carriage tour of the Dockyard area, Bob just folded up the scooter and left it on the grass. But I wanted to avoid having my sister stress her wrist by folding it and the scooter does not have a key, so I can't lock it. It is quite light (weighing only 58 lbs) so it would be easy for someone to pick up and take. I decided that I would leave the scooter on the ship on deck 1. They offered me a wheelchair so I took it to the end of the ship where there was a little tent with seats and we sat there. We were WAY early. The meeting time for the train was to be 9:15 and it was to be a hour tour. And 9:15 came and went and we did not see the little red train. (The Scenic West End Trolley) The lady that said she would come and get us when the time came, did not come and get us and when I finally saw the train out about 400 yards from me she had already gone past. So with great difficulty, I walked, stopping at each bollard to rest, and finally got to the street where the train was. It came around the corner to us so I could get on. Then instead of taking us back to the ship, he let us off at the Clocktower Mall - I could not walk all the way back to the ship. They said that I could get the little free train that runs around the dockyard, but I could not stand and wait for it. Eventually I flagged down a taxi and asked him how much he would charge to take us to the Aquarium and he took me back to the ship and my sister got the scooter.
  2. That's good information on the buses - I've never tried a bus with more than a cane. But I think the big taxis vans would have no problem with two walkers. I have never actually been able to take the ferry to St. George, so I don't know about steps at the St. George end. And I haven't actually gotten out in Hamilton for some years, as I'm not a shopper. I do remember about restaurants that are up stairs, but had forgotten until you reminded me. I don't know what you mean by the Oceanography Museum. It is very unhandy to get to the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute by bus and I really didn't think it was worth the admission fee. But the BAMZ (Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo) in the Flats is very accessible and I didn't think it was that far from a bus stop. On our last trip, we took the Historic Re-enactment and Walking Tour at the Dockyard, and it was fairly accessible, although in the Victualing Yard it was somewhat uncomfortable - I had either to go on the grass or on the stones which are spaced apart. I am not sure how accessible the National Museum is but the Clocktower Mall is good. Some of the excursions which look like they would be OK to do with a wheelchair or scooter turn out to actually be impossible, because when you get the ticket it says that you must be able to do stairs.
  3. I have been to Bermuda 8 times and 4 of those times I was using a mobility scooter. In three cases I used a blue flag guide with a van, and they just put my little scooter in the back of the van. But I have a folding travel scooter which is pretty light- it is only 55 lbs. and I can get into the van by myself. One of those guides has died, but the other one Lewis Foggo (lewis_foggo@hotmail.com) gave us a very nice 5 hour tour in both in October 2018 and June 2019. I also used a regular taxi driver [Conrad Albouy (441-334-8796)] and he took us to the Swizzle for lunch an to the BAMZ (Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo) The ferries are pretty easy to use and the Dockyard itself is easy to get around and so is Hamilton. St. George is also easy although there are steps to get into St. Peters. I think you could use the bus with the walker (there are handicapped seats) but I have not tried that although we used the buses a lot on previous visits.
  4. I use a mobility scooter, and I almost always go to the priority desk for processing our documents. I don't know if I get priority boarding or not, but I don't have to stand in the long lines to register prior to boarding. If you arrive at the port together, I think he could also go to the priority processing which is for handicapped as well as being for platinum and the like. I've only gone on two Carnival ships - once out of Baltimore one once out of Norfolk. I don't remember there being a problem in Norfolk (other than the port being very poorly laid out). In Baltimore, the ship arrived late because they ran into a low off the coast and so people did not disembark until late on Sunday or early Monday. In that instance we took the shuttle from the hotel to the port and were in our room by 9:30. But that was quite unusual.
  5. I rented a scooter for the first time for a cruise to Alaska from Seattle. I rented from Special Needs at Sea, and they were there at the dock and gave me the scooter right there so I had it to get on the ship. I've never actually had a scooter be in my cabin. The other time I rented from Special Needs at Sea, it was a Disney cruise out of Port Canaveral and they had the scooter to give me when I go to the pier - not in the cabin. (Probably because the scooter would not fit in the cabin)
  6. If you can get that from a cruise company agent, you can probably do as well or better from a good independent agent.
  7. I have been to Bermuda 7 times and we are going again in June. Our visits
  8. I haven't toured with Quinton, but that's where we always meet a guide. You get off the ship and look around for - in your case- a guy wearing a pith helmet.
  9. When travel with my grandchildren, they have to carry their bag and mine too. (I don't take them until they are 12-13 and old enough to pack, cut up their own food, and take care of their own personal hygiene)
  10. Independent. I would never book with a cruise line agent. They do not have any incentive to help you.
  11. Initially I booked with the TA that gave the best price. I did three cruises that way and it did not work well for me when there was a glitch in the booking. Since that initial 3 cruises, I have had only 3 travel agents. I would still be booking with the first one, but he died. So now I have a general cruise agent and one for river cruises. Now I look for the TA that has the most experience and the best customer service, and having found a good one, I am loyal to that TA because he gives good service, helps when there are difficulties, and goes above and beyond that which he is compensated for. If I get good OBC (which I do), that's extra.
  12. If you log your phone onto a wi-fi network, then you don't have data charges. More and more, the cruise ships are charging a flat fee for one or two devices on the network. That means I don't have to keep track of minutes. If I am traveling with my husband, I just get one device and then if I log off my laptop I can log on my phone. Or I can Skype using the ship wi-fi.
  13. My Review of the Cruise I didn't include in the review (because I didn't find out until after I wrote it) Bob said that the reason he had to charge his razor in the cabin was that the plug in the bathroom did not work. He also said that on Italian night, the only Italian thing in the buffet was pizza
  14. I started doing cemetery documentation back in 2002. I go to cemeteries and take photos of the gravestones and post them into a database. This allows people who can't visit all the cemeteries where their relatives are buried to see what the grave looks like. (It is a source for genealogists). My interest is primarily in the photography part of the site. My husband decided to get himself a camera and join me in taking photos. So when I travel, especially to places where I have already seen most of the sights of the area, I will go to the cemeteries and take photos. It gives me a different insight into the culture of the people. Some people do this by eating at cafes where local people eat or by staying in the homes of the local people. I do it by taking photos in cemeteries. Also in the case of the Caribbean, both my husband and I have had melanomas, and so while the goal of many people is the beach, we avoid beaches except maybe to look at from an air conditioned car as we drive by. I love to swim and in the past I did scuba dive, but my lungs have been scarred by asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia and I don't think diving would be a good idea as it takes me two minutes to get my breath back when I have walked 400 feet. So snorkeling is possible but it is a big effort. And I really have never cared to sit on the beach and get hot and sweaty and have sand stick to me. I've finished the last two sea days and disembarkation https://grandmaxmascruise.travellerspoint.com/21/
  15. I am glad you are enjoying it. This is the last port Virgin Gorda
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