Cruising for Seniors
Recently, we have focused many of our blog posts on travelers who have full time special needs. Senior Citizens and others who do not have a full time special needs, however, also benefit greatly from our products/rental equipment – which provide assistance in their travel adventures, too.
Cruising can be a wonderful choice for senior travelers, as it cuts down on the hassle of driving and multiple transportation modes. A cruise allows you to see a number of destinations in a short period of time, without having to arrange complicated travel plans. Not to mention the great range of activities available for all age groups, including comedy shows, movies, belly flop contests, gambling, and bingo, to name a few. It’s no surprise that many senior couples or travelers opt for cruising as their travel method of choice. In fact, many are not aware of an interesting concept of actually living on a cruise ship, in lieu of a retirement home!
Before you set up permanent residence, we’ve got a few tips for senior cruisers that may come in handy before setting sail.
|Image courtesy of mustcruise.com|
Consider Renting A Wheelchair, Scooter, or Power Chair:
While cruising is a great choice for all ages and abilities, keep in mind that long corridors or hallways may get tiring for some senior travelers who plan on spending time exploring the ship and experiencing all that it offers. It may be a good idea to consider renting a mobility scooter, wheelchair, or power chair, especially for those who are easily fatigued, or for travelers planning a number of shore excursions. Even if you have one of these items at home, you might want to rent one instead of lugging yours along. No need to go through the hassle of trying to figure out how to get it to and from your destination or worrying that the airline may either damage or misplace it. Your vacation enjoyment should begin the moment you leave the house.
Planning your Shore Excursions:
Check with your SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate to make sure the excursions you are interested in are the right fit. The three major items to consider when booking these tours is the pace at which it operates, how much physical activity is required, and whether the vessel is either docking or tendering. Some tours do move at a fast pace and require a lot of physical exertion. If you’re not up to it, don’t plan on a tour that requires you to keep up with the crowd. Additionally, not all tours can accommodate power chairs or scooters. You do not necessarily need an accessible tour, but you should make sure the operator is aware that you want to bring some equipment and that they can accommodate it. Also, please verify whether or not your ship will be docking or tendering at a specific port of interest. It is at the crew’s discretion as to whether or not your mobility equipment is allowed to transfer to the tender based upon your safety, safety of the crew, and safety of the equipment, Remember, this is your vacation and you deserve to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Choosing the right tours can make or break your enjoyment of the whole vacation.
Consider Traveler’s Insurance:
Traveler’s insurance is always a good idea, but especially for those who may be prone to falls or have additional health concerns. To find the right policy, consult with a travel agent or check out these online reviews.
Consider the Accessibility of the Ship:
As we’ve previously discussed, some ships are more accessible than others. A good rule of thumb is that the newer the vessel, the more accessible it will be. However, this is not always the case. So, have your SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate work with you to find the perfect ship. In addition, keep in mind that booking a cruise during peak spring break season (or with a cruise line that has a reputation for heavy partying) will likely result in a louder experience than booking a holiday on a cruise line geared to a more mature crowd.
And the most important tip? Have fun! Cruising can be the experience of a lifetime, and we wish you the very best with your travels.
Special Needs Group / Special Needs at Sea is the leading global provider for Special Needs travel. We offer a broad range of Special Needs equipment for purchase and rental including wheelchairs, scooters, power chairs, oxygen, baby cribs, and more. We are recommended by ALL major cruise lines for superior service and value. Special Needs Group also services guests visiting hotels, resorts, theme parks and convention centers. For more info, visit www.specialneedsgroup.com.
“Pick the day. Enjoy it to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come. The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.” –Audrey Hepburn
July 2, 2012