Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
HappyHuman

New to cruising with a mobility scooter

Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone-  I'm in the early stages of planning a cruise next winter to Florida/Bahamas with Royal Caribbean from New Jersey.  My husband and I are not new to cruising but next year we will be accompanied by my in laws who have never cruised.  It has been decided that my mother in law will be renting a scooter for this trip as she has some mobility problems concerning her balance/arthritic pain/frailty.  She can walk unassisted with a cane but only over short distances.  I want to add that going on a cruise is a giant step for her.  She has never traveled much and is very apprehensive.   She doesn't have much of an adventurous spirit and prefers the quiet of her living room but also doesn't want to miss out on family activities.  She's mostly afraid she will be a burden to the rest of us with her mobility.  I'm really happy to have her go on this trip with us and want to give her the opportunity to have an amazing time.  I don't want her to feel like she's stuck on the side lines watching us all have fun or worse in the cabin because she doesn't know what to do, and so I wanted to provide her with some options of things she can do with all of us to include her as much as possible.   Any thoughts, suggestions or shared experiences would be much appreciated to help me start my research.  We will be sailing on Anthem of the Seas, a ship that my husband, son and I are familiar with having just cruised on her a few weeks ago.  Information on excursions to do while in port (Cape Canaveral/Nassau) would be very handy.  Does anyone know if she could get her scooter to Kennedy Space Center via the Royal Caribbean excursion?  Or on the shuttle to Cocoa Beach?  Nassau too seems to be a challenge for me to figure what types of things she could handle.  When we were there, the pier was loud and chaotic which was fine for the three of us but it worries me when traveling within a group.  I welcome any advice I can get!  Thank you fellow cruisers!           

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would suggest that you look at renting a car for the 4 of you for your day in Port Canaveral.  It would be as convenient as a ship's tour and certainly more economical and you can tailor your day to how long and where you want to go.

It is not difficult at all to get to the Space Center and do your own tour.  

There is a Hertz with pickup shuttle at the port.  The driver could take the shuttle and return for the rest of you probably within 30 minutes.  

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife uses a scooter too. Make sure you book an accessible room. The scooter can not be left in the hallway, it has to be kept in your room. Not all standard rooms are large enough to handle it.

 

You can sit in the theater in the last row. They have spaces allocated for the handicapped person and their guest. The Windjammer has tables with an accessible sign on them. If a non handicapped person is using them, just tell the head waited and he will ask them to move.

 

For tours, the web site indicates it it is accessible.

 

Ask if you have any questions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let Royal Caribbean know you will be bringing a scooter.   Any shore excursions offered by the ship that say they are accessible are not necessarily accessible with a scooter.   If you want to take a ship's excursion and take the scooter with you, it will need to be an excursion the is able to accommodate the scooter - both the excursion itself and the vehicle they pick you up with.  Royal Caribbean has a special department called their Access Department that deals with accessibility and they can answer any questions.  

 

And book an accessible room sooner rather than later as they are limited and booked early. 

 

 

https://www.royalcaribbean.com/experience/accessible-cruising/mobility-disabilities

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

royal has started to have a few accessible tours where they have an accessible van with a lift but very limited on this these are listed in the on line booking choices if available 

 

and yea I'd try and book an accessible cabin so you can  get the scooter in the room for charging and out of the hallway! 

 

we have a big scooter and now only book accessible rooms so for royal that means we now have to book like a year to year and a half in advance now at least! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Travelscoot and bring it on all kinds of cruises and land trips.  It is not that heavy or big and I can even lift it into a car if I have to.    The seat does come off and also the back rest  and battery to make it easier to lift.    If you can rent something that's not too big or heavy then you would have an easier time to put it in a van or shuttle bus and to keep in the cabin.

 

It is necessary to have a cabin big enough to keep the scooter and usually you need to have an accessible cabin.   As others have stated they book quickly and up to a year or more ahead of time.

 

If you have more questions, don't hesitate to post them.   We are more than happy to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she has never had or driven a scooter, she needs to use it (a lot) prior to the cruise.  I've used a scooter for 12 years, we have been on 3 cruises and are booked on the 4th.  I still run into walls, doorways, and people. (usually toes).  You can't just get on one expect to drive away.  With that said, they are great to be able to keep up with family or to just move around the ship on your own.  As stated before, you MUST have an accessible cabin.  You might consider a wheel chair instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

that's what we gots Walmart for!😉

 

TARGET practice!💀

 

The main thing is, just don't get in a hurry what ever you do on a scooter! Especially on the ship! and really doubly especially while trying to get on or waiting on an elevator! there's where toes and people will get squished but hey they will learn to be POLITE! 

 

patience is the key...👼

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And on an ncl ship i could have backed out of an elevator and down a flight of stairs!...you really have to pay attention to your surroundings..

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎5‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 8:09 PM, searoses said:

And on an ncl ship i could have backed out of an elevator and down a flight of stairs!...you really have to pay attention to your surroundings..

 

 

A few ships are like that.   It is really handy to have a mirror on a scooter so you can see if there are any hazards behind you when backing out of an elevator or anywhere else for that matter.  I have had a few ships with stairs near the elevator and you have to be aware of what's behind you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with everyone. My mom rents a scooter on board and doesn't use one normally but like being a good driver, she is great at scooter-ing,LOL. Get her to walmart so she can practice like the other poster said. You will need an accessible room of course. Hopefully she will have a blast. Having a scooter allows them to not miss out. My mom couldn't walk all day and would be in bed right after dinner most nights because she was exhausted. This will allow her to be active and present.

As for ports not in the us, unless you are on an accessible tour, she really needs to leave it on board. Most places have no curb cuts and it is just too difficult to get around. Check out the port of call forum and post about accessible tours in Nassau.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My $0.02 on Nassau with a scooter...I use a full-size one and was able to zip through town with minimal difficulty, mostly being patient if sidewalks became a bit narrow/crowded. A surprising number of taxi drivers offered to load the scooter into their trunks if I wanted a ride further out. Some areas inside the straw market were too narrow to pass so they were skipped, but there was still plenty to see. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like a previous poster I find that, paradoxically, having a scooter/powerchair enables me to be more independent, not less. Mine means that OH and I can both go off and do what we want, without having to wait for/worry about the other. If I'm tired, I can change my plans at short notice without disturbing anyone else. It really has made my cruises even more enjoyable, and I hope it does the same for the OP's MIL 🙂

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Slugsta said:

Like a previous poster I find that, paradoxically, having a scooter/powerchair enables me to be more independent, not less. Mine means that OH and I can both go off and do what we want, without having to wait for/worry about the other. If I'm tired, I can change my plans at short notice without disturbing anyone else. It really has made my cruises even more enjoyable, and I hope it does the same for the OP's MIL 🙂

 

 

Agree 100%

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes a big difference in not having to set up my wife for multiple shots of steroids over a three week period too, just load up the scooter and haul a** to florida!    and early in the am and late and night I get to jump on it and ride around too! 

 

in stead of hobbling around with a walker or cane...   and I didn't get a back injection on my last two cruises either!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our family is also using scooters for the first time for 2 family members when 7 of us go on a Bermuda cruise in October.  Here's a question I haven't seen asked:  Has anyone drained their battery before the end of the day??  The scooter company told my brother that he has never heard of anyone getting stranded!  I've read that a battery is good for about 9-10 miles before needing to be charged, but I have no idea if that is good for a whole day, on and off the ship?   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It would help to know what your plans are in Bermuda. What transport are you planning to use? If you plan to cross the island on the scooters then I would doubt the batteries would last. If you are staying near the ship or taking some sort of public transport to the attractions you plan to see then you should be fine. Another factor to take in to account is if you need to go up steep inclines. Inclines use more battery power than flat transports. Also it is important to add the rider's weight into the discussion as well. The smaller the rider, the longer the scooter will go on a battery charge. All of that said, I have never completely used a battery on a day on the ship. Just once, in St. Petersburg, Russia did I use up a charge after a full and long day touring but I had a second battery and the day was almost done so we changed the battery and it was all good. 

Edited by katisdale

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep you eye on the battery strength indicator. If they told you 10-12 miles, you probably have a heavy duty battery . As was said before, weight, in lines and even carpet will drain faster. And always take the charger with you. Also always charge overnight.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry I ment inclines.  I have run out of battery, but I was on board, at the end of a shore day and my wife pushed me to our cabin. It was the 1st time using it and I just didn't pay attention to my indicator.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! That’s helpful. We are thinking of an excursion with a handicap accessible van so that will cut down on battery time.

I knew about inclines impacting battery life but hadn’t thought of weight of person on it! 

I guess we will have to experiment a bit the first day just to see how quickly it drains. 

We’ll make the best of it! 😊

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Definitely have the cord for the battery charger with you at all times off the ship.   Just in case it gets low you could plug it in while having a drink or eating etc.   Better to be safe than sorry. 

 

I have a Travelscoot that I have travelled with extensively and never had had an issue,  but the lights do indicate if the battery is getting low and I act accordingly!   Green light is good, yellow light is a little worrisome and red light is a real warning to get back asap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/20/2019 at 3:48 PM, Slugsta said:

Like a previous poster I find that, paradoxically, having a scooter/powerchair enables me to be more independent, not less. Mine means that OH and I can both go off and do what we want, without having to wait for/worry about the other. If I'm tired, I can change my plans at short notice without disturbing anyone else. It really has made my cruises even more enjoyable, and I hope it does the same for the OP's MIL 🙂

 

 

i agree. a scooter gives me more freedom. i dont have to have someone pushing me. i dont need my husband breaking his back and getting exhaused because he has to push me around. then i want to see one thing and he's interested in something else. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/16/2019 at 2:27 PM, Buckimion said:

My $0.02 on Nassau with a scooter...I use a full-size one and was able to zip through town with minimal difficulty, mostly being patient if sidewalks became a bit narrow/crowded. A surprising number of taxi drivers offered to load the scooter into their trunks if I wanted a ride further out. Some areas inside the straw market were too narrow to pass so they were skipped, but there was still plenty to see. 

 

 

I was on a ship tour with a scooter, in Nassau.  I had rented it at home.  They insisted it would not fit on the bus and I insisted it would.  They finally gave up and put me on another group’s tour that had the under area for luggage.  I had rented a Transformer, which folds in half and can do that with the fob on the key!  So they watched in awe as it folded up about the size of a small carry on suitcase but a little deeper and my husband with one hand picked it up and set it in the bottom of the buss.  First stop the driver tried to help and discovered what looked like a light scooter was around 54 pounds!  Hubby quickly picked it up again with one hand and they watched it unfold with battery power again. 

 

Several places we went were not accessible by any stretch of anyones imagination! But I could walk short distances and climb a few stairs at a time so I was okay.  The pier area however can be quite long!  

 

At the end of the tour tour I asked whether the scooter would have not fit on their smaller buses.  He told me it indeed would have they would just have put it in the aisle folded!  

 

I ended up purchasing a different model, that doesn’t fold in half so it most likely would not go on a Nassau tour bus.  Just wanted you to know even if you can’t go everywhere in Nassau there are still ways to get where you want to go.  The area where the straw market is has not only broken sidewalks but several areas that are sloped from side to side and would be easy to turn a scooter over on!  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...