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pawzz51

Navigating my 1st cruise with physical limitations

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On 7/21/2019 at 4:47 AM, pawzz51 said:

I do not use a wheelchair at home, and shouldn’t need one while on the cruise.

Lori,

 

As I'm now living with post-polio syndrome, I have also lost mobility since we started cruising. I read your post to my husband of 45 years, and we both reacted the same way to this sentence.  

 

May I gently point out that your house is quite a bit smaller than any cruise ship? Not needing a wheelchair in your home is a completely different category than walking around a ship that is three football fields long! 

 

The thing about losing our mobility, even if it's by degrees rather than completely, is that wisdom calls for choosing where to spend our limited energy and ability. As others have said, keep your energy for FUN rather than suffering your way down a looooooong hallway or standing in lines. Absolutely no payoff for either of those things!

 

And, as others have pointed out,  a scooter provides the most wonderful independence! FAST (read: ZOOM!) independence! 

 

I hope these responses help you to be realistic. It's the best way to cruise!

 

 

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I am encouraged to see folks with mobility issues travel rather than stay home. Good for you! You are an encouragement to those of us who are headed that way.

Edited by Etta1213

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1 hour ago, lenquixote66 said:

I can barely walk but I will not stop cruising.

And one of the joys of cruising is that there is no need to stop just because you have health issues.

 

Though tender ports can be problematic.

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53 minutes ago, GUT2407 said:

And one of the joys of cruising is that there is no need to stop just because you have health issues.

 

Though tender ports can be problematic.

I can no longer do a tender port.The last time I did one was in 2013 and I was not dealing with as many medical problems as I am now.

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20 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

I can no longer do a tender port.The last time I did one was in 2013 and I was not dealing with as many medical problems as I am now.

Yeah I think my tender Port days could be over.

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The solution that works best for me and my DW, is that i will escort her inside and park her as nearby security check-in as possible. I then return to the line and work my way through the maze. Once I arrive at security, I collect DW and get her through security check in and then repeat the process by parking her nearby the check in to receive cards and present documents. I then return to the line and run the gauntlet all over again. When Its my turn at check in, I present my documents and collect DW to present passports. This delays us a little, but it prevents her from having to be inline for any real period of time. She always has her kindle to read, or a bit of hand sewing to work on while waiting on her slow husband...

She has rented a scooter previously for use on ship, so that she has freedom of movement and to prevent having to bring her lesser half with her all the time.

We don't let mobility issues prevent us from enjoying the wonder of travel and I encourage everyone to find a solution that works best for them and to see the most of the world as you can.

Best wishes, Jim 

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I am yet another person 'on the younger side' who has had to progress from a cane to a scooter.  I echo the feelings of embarrassment and insecurity others here have mentioned when first needing to use mobility aids. In the beginning, I carried a folding cane that I popped open when I was faced with standing in line, and I was then able to use/was directed to a handicapped fast lane.  It has certainly helped to be able to maintain my independence by using these aids.  It also helps that my scooter is a Smartscoot, which is only 39 pounds, foldable, and looks as 'cool' as a scooter can look.  It allows me much more independence than a wheelchair....no one has to push me.  I can go where I want when I want.  I also have to remind myself that using a cane or scooter prevents me from falling - which is not only embarrassing....it's dangerous.  I often, and this is especially true on cruises, see people who so obviously need a cane or wheelchair or scooter, but don't want to use one.  I know it's easier said than done, and it won't happen right away, but you have to concentrate on your needs and what works for you and not what it looks like to others.  I hope you are able to use whatever you need to enjoy yourself and keep yourself safe.

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27 minutes ago, jasm8449 said:

I am yet another person 'on the younger side' who has had to progress from a cane to a scooter.  I echo the feelings of embarrassment and insecurity others here have mentioned when first needing to use mobility aids. In the beginning, I carried a folding cane that I popped open when I was faced with standing in line, and I was then able to use/was directed to a handicapped fast lane.  It has certainly helped to be able to maintain my independence by using these aids.  It also helps that my scooter is a Smartscoot, which is only 39 pounds, foldable, and looks as 'cool' as a scooter can look.  It allows me much more independence than a wheelchair....no one has to push me.  I can go where I want when I want.  I also have to remind myself that using a cane or scooter prevents me from falling - which is not only embarrassing....it's dangerous.  I often, and this is especially true on cruises, see people who so obviously need a cane or wheelchair or scooter, but don't want to use one.  I know it's easier said than done, and it won't happen right away, but you have to concentrate on your needs and what works for you and not what it looks like to others.  I hope you are able to use whatever you need to enjoy yourself and keep yourself safe.

Yep I use a powerwheelchair, not because I CAN’T walk, or don’t want to, but because of the falls, each one does a little more damage, and the worst of them are to say the least embarrassing when you lose control of bodily functions

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I think the main thing is just think about what is easy for you, what will make life more fun. Do not even think about how it looks or what other people think. Sometimes you just have to be extremely selfish and put yourself first. 

And by all means, don't be afraid to ask for help. Life is too short to life in fear.

 

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I currently use a walker . I can walk for  some distance . We are going on Harmony of the seas in Feb. Does the staff carry your plate to the table ? Is it difficult to navigate the ship with a walker ? We do not take shore excursions  anymore . Ths is my first trip since a nerve loss in one leg .

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I presume you mean in the buffet?

 

when I was using walking sticks, Mrs Gut helped carrying my plate and drink, now I use a wheelchair, power, it’s pretty common to have staff offer to do so. Funny thing is help was more need3d with two sticks than in the chair.

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Perhaps begin with the purchase of a transfer chair - one with fat wheels. Those with skinny wheels seem to be more challenging to maneuver.   On our upcoming cruise, we’ll bring both a transfer chair and Travelscoot scooter.  There are times one is a bit more handy than the other.   

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My last cruise was the first trip with my mom since she had broken her hip and experienced a slew of health issues. We purchased a rollator that converts into a transport chair with a footrest and arm rests, and it's collapsible so we don't need to book an accessible cabin. The chair is great for us because of the versatility. On her good days (which is thankfully most days), she pushes it as a rollator. On bad days or when she gets tired, I'm able to push her - especially helpful for long piers and air ports. The rollator is also a good stabilizer for when the ship might be a bit rocky. I will say that it can't compete with a wheelchair though. Mom is curious (to say the least!) and she likes to reach out to look at things when sitting in the chair. She has almost tipped herself out of it a couple times 😨 we now know better lol. 

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On 9/20/2019 at 8:04 PM, okpaddy said:

The solution that works best for me and my DW, is that i will escort her inside and park her as nearby security check-in as possible. I then return to the line and work my way through the maze. Once I arrive at security, I collect DW and get her through security check in and then repeat the process by parking her nearby the check in to receive cards and present documents. I then return to the line and run the gauntlet all over again. When Its my turn at check in, I present my documents and collect DW to present passports. This delays us a little, but it prevents her from having to be inline for any real period of time. She always has her kindle to read, or a bit of hand sewing to work on while waiting on her slow husband...

She has rented a scooter previously for use on ship, so that she has freedom of movement and to prevent having to bring her lesser half with her all the time.

We don't let mobility issues prevent us from enjoying the wonder of travel and I encourage everyone to find a solution that works best for them and to see the most of the world as you can.

Best wishes, Jim 

Rather than do all this, there is usually a line for disabled individuals and my husband accompanies me while I am on my scooter.

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