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Hotels, disability and the "A" word - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Hotels, disability and the "A" word

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Seasalt-and-rainbows wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:12 pm
You're welcome Denis. We found it via the Stroke Association's very useful information booklets. We're yet to book another trip, but it will be our go to.

As you mention cruises, we had a cruise booked in April, which we unfortunately had to cancel. For someone with limited mobility, loss of function in one arm, severe fatigue and wheelchair use over distances, how easy is it to go on a cruise? It's kind of been suggested to us that it would be an ideal holiday for someone disabled, although mostly by people with no real experience of disability. Well meaning and I wouldn't knock them for trying to be helpful, but no-one really gets it unless they're in it.
Not as bad as you think. We went on a family cruise earlier this year. I personally loved every minute. Once we were aboard the ship it was not so bad. My son is a full time wheelchair user.
Wheeling him up and down to the room and around the ship was fairly easy. However making sure he was not left out at meals was somewhat trickier. We had to move chairs. I booked a large sea facing room with a balcony. It was worth the cost.
thara_1910 wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:07 pm
Seasalt-and-rainbows wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:12 pm
You're welcome Denis. We found it via the Stroke Association's very useful information booklets. We're yet to book another trip, but it will be our go to.

As you mention cruises, we had a cruise booked in April, which we unfortunately had to cancel. For someone with limited mobility, loss of function in one arm, severe fatigue and wheelchair use over distances, how easy is it to go on a cruise? It's kind of been suggested to us that it would be an ideal holiday for someone disabled, although mostly by people with no real experience of disability. Well meaning and I wouldn't knock them for trying to be helpful, but no-one really gets it unless they're in it.
Not as bad as you think. We went on a family cruise earlier this year. I personally loved every minute. Once we were aboard the ship it was not so bad. My son is a full time wheelchair user.
Wheeling him up and down to the room and around the ship was fairly easy. However making sure he was not left out at meals was somewhat trickier. We had to move chairs. I booked a large sea facing room with a balcony. It was worth the cost.
Thank you, I feel reassured, time to go off and do some research with the cruise companies!
Points of view over cruises vary, depending on the condition of the caree.

The upside:
Once you have joined the ship, you unpack your belongings in the stateroom and there they stay till the end of the cruise. You visit lots of far-flung places without the hassle of needing to pack, unpack and repack your suitcases as you move from place to place. We once did a cruise from Southampton to St Petersburg and back, visiting many places en route. That can't be bad.

The downside
If your caree needs a wheelchair you are going to spend a great deal of time pushing them around. Along narrow corridors, manoeuvring round vacuum cleaners, rubbish sacks, cleaners' trolleys and other things that get parked in corridors. Over bumps, through self-closing doors to deck, manoeuvring through crowds in the pool area. Last cruise our stateroom was at the stern but of course most of the activity, theatre, crow's nest, was at the bow. So I was pushing the length of the ship each day. And these cruise ships are big, and they seem to keep making them bigger.

And then there are the lifts - essential to move even just one deck level with a wheelchair. Cruise ship lifts seem to be of a kind. Not really big enough, doors that close almost as soon as they have opened and heavily used. By the end of the cruise I am usually longing for a day without wheelchair pushing and lifts all day long. I made some general comments on lifts on my former post:

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... ifts-37231

Excursions on shore bring their own problems. Gangways can be steep, though the crew are usually very helpful towards disabled people. If the ship cannot dock and tender access must be employed, this brings additional problems. Not all coaches have disabled-friendly platforms. Last cruise we took a step-stool, lashed to the back of the wheelchair, to ease access to coaches with high first steps.

So it is down to what type of disability the caree has. If the caree can walk reasonably well, most of these downsides do not exist.

We are due to go on another cruise next year but considering alternative types of holiday for the future. Disabled-friendly activity centres and holiday cottages sound and attractive alternative. There are still parts of the UK that neither of us has visited yet! I'm grateful for the suggestions within this thread, thank you.
Thanks Denis, for your advice on cruises. My partner mobilises with a stick, but distances are a problem and he does use a wheelchair sometimes. The only way to find out is to do it!