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Shellbelle28

Taking older parents on their first cruise- what should I consider?

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On 1/10/2020 at 6:57 PM, blcruising said:

Rooms near elevators are a good idea. Even the sun is a big ship and walking will be required. They need to be very careful with walking due the raised thresholds throughout the ship and including the cabin bathrooms. Cruise ships are different than hotels 

NCL will rent a wheelchair for the duration of the cruise for a fee or you can use their "on demand" service at no cost where an employee will come to you with a wheelchair and take you from point a to point b.

 

This is not true.  NCL does NOT rent wheelchairs and the only "on-demand" wheelchair service is for embarkation and disembarkation (usually a long wait as it is first-come, first-served.)  NCL will not provide on-demand wheelchair service at any point during the cruise.

 

It is possible to rent wheelchairs or other mobility aids from a third-party company called Scootaround.  They are currently the only supplier that NCL will allow on their ships (to leave equipment in your cabin.)  There are other vendors who rent mobility aids for use on a cruise, but you would have to arrange to pick those up prior to boarding.

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I have considered a family cruise with my parents, both now aged 90.  I know that they would love the experience, although my mother has always rejected the idea due to her sea sickness.  

 

On my last cruise I really thought it through.  Although the family would have loved it because there is so much to do together and independently, the three stumbling blocks were:

 

  • Cabin doors are too heavy for them to be able to go  in and out on their own
  • The steps up into the tour buses make them inaccessible
  • Could they manage tenders - probably but the thought is scary

Of course they would not have needed tour buses, we could have arranged our own trips, but it is a consideration. I can’t see how to avoid the cabin doors!   Post an accident that left me with two broken arms 2 years ago - I find them very heavy (even in an internal cabin). 

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4 hours ago, pcakes122 said:

This is not true.  NCL does NOT rent wheelchairs and the only "on-demand" wheelchair service is for embarkation and disembarkation (usually a long wait as it is first-come, first-served.)  NCL will not provide on-demand wheelchair service at any point during the cruise.

 

It is possible to rent wheelchairs or other mobility aids from a third-party company called Scootaround.  They are currently the only supplier that NCL will allow on their ships (to leave equipment in your cabin.)  There are other vendors who rent mobility aids for use on a cruise, but you would have to arrange to pick those up prior to boarding.

What I wrote was first hand experience on Norwegian Breakaway. I'll stand by what I wrote. Thank you!

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Be certain that both of them have good medical insurance that will cover them both on the ship and on foreign soil.

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2 hours ago, blcruising said:

What I wrote was first hand experience on Norwegian Breakaway. I'll stand by what I wrote. Thank you!

If that happened, you were lucky.  I would hate for any disabled person to read this thread and expect that this is normal NCL policy and that they have mobility aids readily available for use/rent (except in emergencies - e.g. you fell during the cruise.)

 

Anybody anticipating that they may need assistive devices onboard should secure those BEFORE sailing.  NCL's policy on this is clear on their website, but I also recommend a call to the Access Department after booking to walk through all special needs. 

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Is there a shorter cruise then Alaska that you could do out of Seattle?  Alaska is beautiful and I loved it, but it is very port intensive and busy. Maybe a cruise with more sea days would be a better first cruise.  I took my parents (it was not their first) and they needed “down days” to rest.  If you stick with Alaska, do it while the majority of kids are in school. 

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Night light in and out of the bathroom in their cabin, especially if there’s a small step up or down to get in/out. 
Make them aware of it first thing when you get to the cabin.

Avoid putting their items on high shelves/cupboards in their cabin- anything to throw them off their base of support could be a disaster ( I work in Rehab)

With my Mom, I kept her same routine with meal times ( even with time change) and her nap times- it made a difference !

 

enjoy your cruise!

Lyannea

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