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Question for Kayelache


daju22

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post_old.gif September 20th, 2004, 11:27 AM

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Cool Cruiser

Join Date: Apr 2000

Posts: 23

 

 

icon1.gifDisabled in Rio and Buenos Aires

We were in Rio last March, on Marco Polo cruise from Buenos Aires to Barbados. My husband is 91 and we take a lightweight collapsable wheelchair when we travel. We got to both Corcovaca and Sugar Loaf. The weather was terrible and we didn't get the wonderful views that Bill had (BTW, WONDERFUL pictures, Bill. Thanks so much for sharing)

We did get to sit on the train/tram, and then there is an elevator that takes you just below the foot of the statue. In decent weather, I think you would have great views from there. There is an escalator that takes you up to the base of the statue. From there we had a few fleeting ghost like glimpses through the fog, that's of the statue that was only a few feet away. Views down were non existant.

Sugar loaf cable car is in two segments. The first is nearly straight up, then you walk a mountain top to the second cable car, which is suspended between the two peaks. Because we were going through clouds, it wasn't as scary as it might have been if we could have seen where we were going. Again, only fleeting views. We were able to take the wheelchair on both cable cars. It was quite difficult negotiating the distance between the two cable cars, I would say, it's about a long city block.

We also did the Estancia tour in BA. Most of the paths were paved and we had no problems with the wheelchair.

Kayelache,

 

Can you please tell me what brand of wheelchair you purchased? I assume that your husband can walk short distances. I believe this may solve some of out problems. My husband could rest anywhere when he gets tired and could push it along and it would give him some support for walking. Also, does your wheelchair have small wheels in the back? Thank you so much!:)

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Did you inform the cruiseline that you were bringing the portable wheelchair on the cruise?

 

Did you fly with the wheelchair? I assume you did. Did you pack it and put it with baggage or did they allow you to put it right on the plane with the passengers?

 

Do you carry the wheelchair when your husband isn't using it?--up steps or in elevators?

 

Does your husband ever walk behind and push it-just for balance?

 

This may really solve alot of our shore excursion problems!

 

Hope you're reading this board, but if not, maybe someone else with this experience can help us.

 

Thanks again,:)

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The Chair is a Tracer Transport brand, it is technically called a "Companion Chair" rather than a wheel chair. It does have the small wheels at the backMy husband does not use it at home, we got it after we had a half hour to get between terminals at LAX and he was exhausted. It cost about $300, we got it "used" (very lightly used) I think the new ones cost about a $100 more. It's made of lightweight Titanium, weighs about 25-28 pounds. The feet rests and the arm rests can be removed, making it even lighter. It fits easily in the trunk of our car, or in front of the back seat. I can easily carry it up and down flights of stairs. Yes, my husband can walk, albeit slowly, so we don't use it in the cruise ship cabins, it folds up behind the door, quite out of the way. Some of those ships are longer than a couple of football fields, so it is very handy for use around the ship. On shore excursions, it is great! After our last cruise, a river cruise from Amsterdam to Vienna, we got Eurail passes and went on the London by train. I was able to push him, and handle our luggage without too much difficulty. In London, it would have been much more difficult to use the underground trains, so I walked, maybe 10-15 miles each of the three days we were there, without any problems at all. There are two things that DO cause problems- cobblestones and soft sand. I can hand the cobblestones, but sand is impossible.

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Q:Did you inform the cruiseline that you were bringing the portable wheelchair on the cruise?

A:Yes, it posed no problem with them.

 

Q:Did you fly with the wheelchair? I assume you did. Did you pack it and put it with baggage or did they allow you to put it right on the plane with the passengers?

A: We have flown with the chair many times. He uses it right up to the gate and then they either store it in the passenger compartment on the plane (I believe they allow one chair per flight, it the closet is large enough- it is on most planes), or in the baggage compartment. They deliver it to the door when we deplane.

The baggage loaders are very hard on the chairs sometimes, last time, fortunately coming home, someone must have thrown it or something onto it, because the frame got bent. I reported it when we landed, and the airlines repaired it for free. I intent to add some "Fragile- Handle with Care" stickers to it this next time, and maybe devise some sort of folding cardboard crate.

 

 

Q:Do you carry the wheelchair when your husband isn't using it?--up steps or in elevators?

A: Yes, I can carry it, elevators are seldom a problem (except for those mini ones in European small hotels) but stairs and escalators are. I can easily negotiate steps and curbs. A caviat: DO NOT USE IT ON THOSE PEOPLE MOVERS in airports. I did once, and when we got to the end of it, I couldn't get up the slight incline, and I got thrown backwards, onto the moving belt. Someone had to stop the thing to get me up. All I did was skin my knee, but I learned a lesson.

 

Q:Does your husband ever walk behind and push it-just for balance?

A: Yes, he has. Sometimes at home when we are walking in the neighborhood, we take the chair and he pushes it until he gets tired (usually less than a short block) then he gets in and I push him from there.

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Kayelache,

 

Thanks so very much for all your answers! You are an

 

inspiration for me. I've been trying to think of a way to

 

move my husband more quickly on shore so that we can

 

enjoy and see more and this is really the solution. I am

 

looking on line at a Nova Comet 330 transport chair that

 

has handbrakes on it. It has larger wheels on the back.

 

Maybe it will be easier to push over rough surfaces like

 

cobblestones. Will also look at the Tracer transport made

 

of titanium-wow! Anyway, I have to convince my husband

 

that I need it-not him!! He's just way too slow to be able

 

to see anything in the time alotted. I'll read him your

 

post. Thanks again for taking time to answer. Your

 

husband is very lucky to have you!!:) :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

[Join Date: Apr 2000

Posts: 23

 

 

icon1.gifDisabled in Rio and Buenos Aires

We were in Rio last March, on Marco Polo cruise from Buenos Aires to Barbados. My husband is 91 and we take a lightweight collapsable wheelchair when we travel. We got to both Corcovaca and Sugar Loaf. The weather was terrible and we didn't get the wonderful views that Bill had (BTW, WONDERFUL pictures, Bill. Thanks so much for sharing)

We did get to sit on the train/tram, and then there is an elevator that takes you just below the foot of the statue. In decent weather, I think you would have great views from there. There is an escalator that takes you up to the base of the statue. From there we had a few fleeting ghost like glimpses through the fog, that's of the statue that was only a few feet away. Views down were non existant.

Sugar loaf cable car is in two segments. The first is nearly straight up, then you walk a mountain top to the second cable car, which is suspended between the two peaks. Because we were going through clouds, it wasn't as scary as it might have been if we could have seen where we were going. Again, only fleeting views. We were able to take the wheelchair on both cable cars. It was quite difficult negotiating the distance between the two cable cars, I would say, it's about a long city block.

We also did the Estancia tour in BA. Most of the paths were paved and we had no problems with the wheelchair.

Kayelache,

 

Can you please tell me what brand of wheelchair you purchased? I assume that your husband can walk short distances. I believe this may solve some of out problems. My husband could rest anywhere when he gets tired and could push it along and it would give him some support for walking. Also, does your wheelchair have small wheels in the back? Thank you so much!:)

I think it would depend on what your or her husband weighs.. i read that the wheelchairs with little back wheels are not great for bigger guys ;-)

any thoughts?

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Hello Claudia,

 

That is a thought. My husband is a bigger guy. Hoping this won't present a problem. The wheelchair I finally got has 12" wheels. If we get stuck though, he can walk for a while and push. We are fortunate that he's not wheelchair bound.

I guess I won't know how it works out until we go.

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Hi Deju22,

Have been reading, both here, and on "Disability Cruising" pros and mostly cons of the small wheeled chair. We have used both, we rented a "regular" wheelchair on a trip to Thailand a couple of years ago, then came home and purchased the "companian chair." This latter chair has been with us on a number of trips, it's been twice around the world...and I absolutely love it. It has made trips possible that would have not been without it. I can handle it on anything except loose sand; contrary to others, I have no problems with curbs, and can handle cobblestones etc. I think the best test of it was to the "Mother Temple" on Bali, a 1KM (.6 mile) hike UPHILL that I was able to negotiage. True, I was puffing at the end, and I was greatful for some help from locals along the way. We've done up to 12 miles per day without any problems. My husband is not technically "disabled" he's just 92! He has severe arthritis in his hips, but can walk, albeit slowly, a block or two, if necessary. The chair is so great, getting through airports, where you come in on gate A-01 and go out on E-93 45 minutes later. The thing I like most about the chair is its extremely light weight. I can carry it up and down a flight of stairs easily. Folded, it will fit into any cabin. On cruises, we have had no problems with carpets, etc. It's great when you get back from the shore excursion and have 20 minutes to get to dinner, two football fields from your cabin. Wouldn't travel without it!!!

Karen

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Thanks Karen,

 

It's been great to hear about your travels and the wheelchair debate is extremely helpful!

Have to put stickers on our new chair with smaller wheels and hope all goes well.

Just worried about it being damaged in the luggage compartment.

It's been so good to hear of all your travels!! I hope we can go so far.

Take care and many more happy trips to you and your husband! I think he had a birthday recently. He was 91 in one of your previous posts-or am I mistaken?

Thanks alot for all your tips,;)

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