You may think that just because you’re disabled, in a wheelchair, vision-impaired, or use a scooter or walker that cruising isn’t for you. However, just the opposite is true.
There are cruise lines that not only welcome handicapped seniors, but they practically roll out the red carpet! You’ll find that cruising with a disability does not have to interfere with your vacation. Not sure which ships or cruise lines cater to those who have a disability?
Take a look at the top 10 accessible cruises for seniors.
10 Handicapped Accessible Cruises
Celebrity is a good option to choose if you have a disability and require accessibility when you travel. The cruise line has purposefully created cruises with handicapped cruisers in mind, so you’ll find it easy to book the right vacation through them.
Some of the ways Celebrity makes cruises easy for seniors include assistance when you board the ship, wide doorways for wheelchair access made simple, whole staterooms that are meant for handicapped users with features like shower bars, ramps, and lower vanities and sinks for easy reach.
There are even shore excursions specifically for disabled guests, so you don’t have to worry about what you’ll do when it comes time to get off the ship. You can bring your service dog in most cases, and you’ll even find that Celebrity caters to vision and hearing impaired guests.
Fill out a form no later than 30 days from the date of your vacation to ensure you get your needs met, or contact Celebrity if you have questions. They offer numerous destinations, from Mexico to the Mediterranean and more.
2. Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean goes out of its way to treat travelers with special needs exactly the way they want to be treated. If you have been worried about going on a cruise with your wheelchair, walker, or scooter, worry no more! These ships have you covered.
Accessible staterooms give you a radius of 5 feet to comfortable turn your wheelchair around without issues. The rooms also offer wide doorways, a fold-down bench in the shower, low closet rods and sinks, and high toilets. You may even get a stateroom with an accessible balcony.
You can have assistance getting on and off the ship, and when it’s time for you to head out and explore the shore, Royal Caribbean has planned special outings and adventures for disabled guests that alleviate worry and let you enjoy your time.
You can board early, enjoy pool lifts, and on some ships, enjoy accessible blackjack tables! If you have a service animal, that’s okay too. Contact Royal Caribbean 30 days in advance of your trip to set up your staterooms and ensure accessibility so your vacation is a breeze.
You’ll find accessible staterooms when you book a cruise with Princess. Got a wheelchair? No problem! You’ll have plenty of room to move about in these staterooms in a wheelchair or with a walker.
You’ll also find other perks for disabled seniors, including a lower desk, an accessible shower with a fold-down seat and grab bar, and a closet with a low rod so you can grab what you need with ease.
There are certain ships that offer accessible dining options, such as the Ruby Princess, which also features wider-than-average hallways and doors for disabled guests.
Before you book, check which ships have accessible decks and pools if you’re interested in those options. Princess definitely caters to its disabled travelers, so don’t get left behind when it comes to going on your dream vacation to the Caribbean!
Carnival offers more than some of the most fun trips you can imagine. They also cater to seniors and guests with disabilities. You’ll find accessible elevators onboard as well as modifications to the overall ships along with features for the disabled in the dining rooms and staterooms.
There are also pool lifts onboard so you don’t have to miss out on the fun of getting in the water. You can dine anywhere you like and enjoy 24-hour room service if you don’t feel like getting out to eat.
There are several different types of accessible staterooms designed for specific mobility issues, so you can contact Carnival to book the right room for your needs, such as a room specific for a wheelchair or for guests with a cane or walker.
If you need medical attention or assistance with care, Carnival has many options to put your mind at ease and help you stay healthy onboard. Service dogs are allowed, and Carnival makes it easy for guests who are hard of hearing or vision impaired to travel, too.
5. Holland America
Holland America is known for the luxurious ships and attention to detail, but did you know they also cater to their traveling guests with disabilities? Don’t think you can’t have just as much fun on a cruise as anyone else just because you have diabetes, you’re in a wheelchair, or you use a walker.
Holland America offers accessible staterooms on their ships that range from fully accessible to ambulatory accessible, so it’s best if you contact them at least 45 days before your vacation to make proper plans for your accommodations.
Though the company does provide a wheelchair for getting on and off the ship, you’ll need to ensure you bring your own wheelchair for the duration of the trip and for excursions offshore.
You can bring your registered service animal, and ships also make arrangements for vision-impaired and hearing-impaired guests.
Norwegian cruise lines offer something for everyone – including handicapped guests or seniors with accessibility and mobility issues. You can book an accessible stateroom to ensure that your onboard experience is easy and frustration-free; Norwegian has accessible cabins on every one of their ships.
You can bring along your service animal with proper documentation. If you’re vision-impaired, little features like braille indicators in the cabins and on elevators can make a difference. You can use the features in your cabin especially for hearing-impaired travelers.
Don’t worry about using the restroom when you’re not in your room, because the public areas of a Norwegian ship offer accessible restrooms for guests who require them. If you have dietary restrictions or issues, let Norwegian know ahead of time and they’ll be happy to fulfill your needs.
It’s best to bring your own wheelchair if possible. If you need sign-language interpretation, contact Norwegian 90 days ahead of your departure. For other arrangements, contact them 45 days in advance to make sure you get the stateroom that best works for you.
7. Disney Fantasy
Are you sad because you’d love to vacation with your grandchildren or treat the kid in yourself but it’s too difficult for you to go to Disney World with your wheelchair? How about doing the next best thing and taking a Disney cruise?
The Disney Fantasy offers accessible staterooms so you don’t have to miss out on any fun, whether you’re cruising with younger family members or you want to embrace being young at heart.
These ships offer wide doorways, handheld showerheads, grab bars, and beds that allow access from either side. A shower stool, raised toilet, fold-down shower bench, and low towel bars and closets are also useful for the disabled.
You’ll find it easy to navigate this ship with wide hallways and accessible public restrooms. You’ll even get to join in on the fun once you get to Disney’s beautiful private island, which has paths for wheelchairs and trams that accommodate the disabled.
You can take your wheelchair into restaurants and theaters, and even play miniature golf in your chair! Disney thinks of everything on this fun-for-everyone cruise.
Regent only has a few accessible cabins, so make sure you book yours in advance of your trip – likely as soon as you book, just to be on the safe side.
These staterooms include wide doors, showers with a fold-down bench and handheld showerheads, and low sinks and vanities. Some rooms have a refrigerator, and you’ll need to put in a special request for an accessible balcony, but it would definitely be worth it to enjoy the sunset on the water.
When you’re in public areas, you’ll find easy to use accessible restrooms along with accessible bars and restaurants. Regent also accommodates vision and hearing-impaired travelers.
You’ll be able to get on and off the ship with ease due to the wide gangways that make it easy for your scooter or wheelchair.
Another benefit to the Regent Seven Seas Explorer ship is that it’s smaller than other cruise ships, and you may find it’s simple to navigate as opposed to a larger ship.
MSC Cruises offers an array of benefits for guests with disabilities. You’ll enjoy the use of accessible staterooms, and you’ll need to go ahead and tell MSC of your requirements when you book passage just so you’re sure to get one of these special rooms.
Staterooms for disabled guests are larger, with wider doorways and other special perks that make them easier to maneuver than regular rooms. If you’re hearing or vision-impaired, MSC has you covered there, too.
You can get a room kit for hearing disabilities that includes a visual tactile alert system. You can also request a sign language interpreter if you make arrangements at least 60 days prior to your departure date.
Service animals are allowed on cruises, and you can even travel on MSC ships if you’re undergoing dialysis. They’ll have the things you need on board.
Mention any special dietary needs when you book your trip, and enjoy your vacation!
Did you know that P&O takes special care of their handicapped and disabled guests? This cruise line offers accessible staterooms that feature extra-wide doorways, lots of floor space for using your walker or wheelchair, and rails in the bathtub.
You’ll also enjoy cabins that have balconies with accessibility features so you can breathe in plenty of fresh sea air!
There are ramps throughout the ship itself, so you can get where you want to go, as well as large elevators, accessible theatres and show spaces, and a pool lift.
Since P&O has multiple ships, make sure when you book your cruise that you’re picking a ship that will work best for your specific issues, and make sure and tell P&O if you are also dealing with hearing or vision impairment so they can accommodate that as well.