1. I know I can rent but I think I want to buy. I plan to buy a scooter we can fold, but just for my information, how wide are the doorways of most regular staterooms? I have rented, owned a 3 wheel scooter and now have a forcemech power wheelchair. If you rent, I don’t believe the Scootaround store will allow you to have a scooter in a non-accessible cabin. There are several issues. Even if it will fit through the door you may not be able to steer it through the hallway and make the turn. If you can walk into the room, can your traveling companion get it through the door? Once you get it in the cabin where do you store it? Mine folds up like a lawn chair. It weighs 60 pounds. It uses lithium batteries and will go at least all day. It will exhaust anyone with me if they try to keep up. I think it’s rated range is like 16 miles. Much better than my pride scooter which was rated for four and I was lucky to get two.. The scooter seldom made it whole day without taking time to charge. Of course that is dependent on the weight of the rider and the terrain. For some reason the carpet on the ships I’ve been on really seem to wear the battery out fast. With that said it seems inconvenient but I could not cruise without it. I can get around the house with a walker and I use a walker in the cabin but I’m only good for maybe 25 to 30 feet before I need to rest. I’m much happier With the folding power chair. It is significantly more expensive but I use it every day. But I think somebody gave the advice of seeing a physical therapist and getting their recommendations and I think that’s a great idea.
2. I'm planning on a fold-able more light weight scooter (e.g. TravelScoot, Triaxe). What do you think of those? I have no experience with those but I do see a lot of them on the ships and people seem happy with them. Most of them have small seats. To put it politely, I have a large rear end and I don’t think they would be comfortable for me long-term.
3. How does it go if we take a scooter like this into ports? Would cabs be OK with us putting it in trunk? What do you do if you want to pop into a shop or restaurant -- can you bring it in? I know there are going to be a variety of responses, but I want to know what your experiences have been trying to do these things. I want to know what to plan. I have always been able to find a taxi that will allow me to put the folding chair in the back. If my wife helps, the taxi driver has never had a problem lifting it into the back of the vehicle. Sometimes they charge, sometimes they don’t in the US. In the Caribbean always get the price before you get in the car. Don’t know about Europe or Asia or Australia since I won’t stay in a plane that long. Some ports are more wheelchair friendly than others. I have learned to hate cobblestones. Also be aware that on some ships if it’s a tender Port they may not let you take the powerwheelchair or scooter off the ship.
4. Can you bring a scooter like this through airport security and to the gate, and then gate check? Or, should we just have an aiport person transport us by wheelchair (like we've done so far), and send the scooter through as checked baggage? What have you done and what are your experiences? Once we got our own scooter we have always taken it all the way to the gate and gate checked. They take it as I get to the airplane door. I then hold onto the plane, seat back, my wife, and get to my seat. If I fly a carrier that has it we take First or premium class so that the seat is in the front of the plane. On Southwest they usually let wheelchairs board first. Then when we get off the plane it’s waiting in the jet way for us. Usually first on last off.
5. Similarly, how do we get a scooter like this onto the ship? Do we just take it on, past security, and go on in? Do we need to notify the cruise company? I’ve never had a problem getting the wheelchair onto the ship. They’ve always been ramps and elevators.
6. On the ship, if we go to a dinner or the theater etc., what do we do with the scooter? She can walk a short distance if needed, but if needed, what do we do with the scooter? There are specific sites in the theater where you can park the wheelchair and see the show. In the dining room I’ve done it both ways depending on how I’m feeling that day. I’ve taking the wheelchair in and just sat in it while they take a regular chair away. I’ve also gone to the table transferred to a chair and one of the waiters or bus boys will take the chair and store it for me. They actually seem to get a kick out of driving it around
7. I followed earlier threads where people objected to those who leave scooters in hallways, or who bump into others. This may seem silly of us, but if we behave well, don't make these errors, are we nonetheless risking the scorn of fellow cruisers now? I don't want DW to feel intimidated by taking this step. We love cruising in part because we like being a part of the gang at sea -- will we now feel like pariahs? I'm curious what people have experienced. Most people on the ship are very sympathetic and helpful. There’s always one or two bad apples. They don’t jump ahead of you or ignore because you are in a wheelchair they’re just that way. But for the most part it’s not an issue.
We travel quite a bit because I enjoy it. If you are in a wheelchair depending on the ship, it’s the greatest vacation. I found a line that I like and has great cabins for accessibility. I particularly enjoy the power doors. That way my wife can help me get dressed then go back to bed. I can wander off to breakfast, pool, lounge or the coffee shop and she can do what she wants. In the land vacation she’s always afraid I’ll get lost or not be able to get somewhere because it’s not as accessible as it should be or the battery will die and I won’t be able to get back. Also I found on land vacations accessibility means different things to different hotels. My favorite was hotel in Miami. The room itself was great huge bathroom easy to turn around in but the entry door wasn’t wide enough to get the chair in. So every time we left and returned I had to get out of the chair then she had to fold it up and roll it into the room. On a cruise we have a specific line of ship and we know the features of the room and that it works for me. This cruise line moves it ships around a lot so we get to see a lot of different islands depending on which week we go. Assuming it’s available I would contact the special-needs area of whatever line you are thinking about to ensure it meets your needs. For instance, I need to use a recliner to help reduce the swelling in my legs.. I usually rent my recliner‘s from the vendor the cruise line recommends. There’s one line that will not allow me to bring a recliner on board. Luckily I checked before I booked the cabin.
PS, we are almost neighbors, we live at Lake of the Ozarks. We are often in Columbia since many of my doctors are in university hospital.