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Cruising if disabled...whats out there....


Well equipped with roomy cabins and first-rate service, today’s modern ships offer excellent facilities for special needs passengers. Many cruise lines have adapted their cruise ships to cater for guests with special needs, featuring specially designed cabins, toilets, panic buttons, guide-dog facilities and hearing aids. Helpful crew and medical professionals onboard mean you can relax in very safe hands.

Cruise Cabins

Most ships only have a handful of adapted cabins, so plan your special needs cruise well in advance. Look for features like doorways with ample room for wheelchairs, bathroom panic buttons, pull-down rails and low-level furniture. Choose a cabin in the centre of the ship for less sea motion.

Eat at Ease

Cruise lines serve meals geared to specific dietary requirements. If you have particular requests, inform your cruise ship in advance. Booking second seating for dinner gives you more time to get ready and eat at ease.


Read more about which cruise ships best accommodate disabled passengers in Berlitz’s Complete Guide to Cruising. If you're taking a flycruise, advise the airline of your needs in advance.

Medical Facilities

With the latest medical facilities onboard, guests can rest assured that professional help is at hand for ongoing health problems. Many cruise ships also offer alternative treatments for all fitness levels, such as Reiki and thalassotherapy.

Public Areas

Many special needs cruises offer spacious public areas for those with mobility problems. When booking, check your ship offers features like low ramps and wide corridors to accommodate wheelchairs. The crew is on hand to assist passengers who need a lift up or down steps.


Carnival Cruise Lines

Eat at Ease: Carnival can accommodate most special diets including fat free, low salt and sodium. There's also a special spa menu which features healthy options. Guests must advise dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Essentials : In most cases guests with disabilities must be accompanied on the cruise by an able bodied companion. It is mandatory that Carnival is advised of all medical requirements at the time of booking.

Link: www.carnivalcruise.co.uk

Public Areas: Spacious lifts service every deck, while there are ramps to all lounges and public areas and hallways that are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

Celebrity Cruises

Cruise Cabins : Stateroom features include spacious bathrooms with handrails and wide doorways for wheelchair access, as well as ample clear floor space to manoeuvre. Wash basins and showers have been designed for easy use and comfortable access.

Eat at Ease: We offer a range of excellent quality dining preferences for those with special requirements including low-fat, diabetic, low-sodium, low-cholesterol, Kosher, gluten or lactose free.

Essentials : Guests with special requirements should advise at the time of booking to enable Celebrity Cruises to arrange the best possible quality service and facilities.

Link: www.celebrity.co.uk

Onboard Facilities: Celebrity Cruises is happy to provide complementary wheelchairs to guests who require them for use on-board.

Public Areas: Our ships have dedicated staterooms equipped to make your stay comfortable.


Holland America Line

Cruise Cabins : Specially adapted staterooms are available in almost every category onboard from value inside to luxurious suites. This accommodation offers wider doors, bathrooms with easy acess shower and grab rails for your convenience.

Eat at Ease: We will try to assist with all special diets including vegetarian, fat-free, sugar- or salt free if you advise us at the time of booking. Kosher*, gluten free or special medical diets must be pre-ordered more than 90 days prior to sailing.* Kosher meals are prepared off the ship and bought to the table sealed in original containers - there are no Kosher kitchens onboard.

Essentials : All guests with disabilities must make these known at the time of booking to enable Holland America Line to assess the suitability of the cruise for these guests. We do ask that all disabled guests travel with a fully able companion.

Link: www.hollandamerica.com

Public Areas: All Holland America Line ships have ramps throughout the public areas enabling easy access by wheelchair and scooter to the vast majority of shipboard venues and amenities.With minimum 12 elevators per ship and three spacious stairwells(except Prinsendam) you're never further than 130feet away from a stair case!

Island Cruises

Cruise Cabins : Both ships have disabled cabins which are easily accessible via ramp and lift. All disabled cabins are fitted wtih wider doors, collapsible armrests and grab bars.

Eat at Ease: With no set meal times or formal dress code you can sit down for meals whenever you want to. Daily changing menus feature dishes designed for all dietary requirements available 24 hours. Additional requirements can be catered for just let our Restaurant Manager know and our chefs will accommodate you.

Essentials : For information on, or to pre-book, special requirements including disabled taxis, wheelchair assistance, diabetes dialysis, oxygen, cabins with 220 volts or nebulisers, please contact our special needs help-line on: 0870 900 2129.

Link: www.islandcruises.com

Onboard Facilities: Guests requiring diabetes dialysis, oxygen, cabins with 220 volts or nebulisers need to advise us at time of booking to enable us to cater for them. Island Cruises have complimentary wheelchairs for onboard use onlyandalternative wheelchairs can be hired when ashore.

Public Areas: Both Island Cruises ships have passenger lifts to all decks,and dedicated areas in show lounges so that wheelchair users can enjoy the entertainment.


Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruise Cabins : There are dedicated staterooms with wider doorways and bathrooms to accommodate wheelchairs on all ships; and staterooms with warning lights and vibrating alarms for hearing impaired guests on most ships.

Eat at Ease: NCL offers menus that include low-calorie recipes, along with vegetarian entrees (nutrition information provided), low/no sodium and low/no cholesterol entrees. Sugar-free and fat-free desserts are also available.

Essentials : Any physical disability or request requiring special treatment or attention should be advised to NCL when the reservation is made, so that appropriate accommodation can be provided and arrangements made.

Link: www.uk.ncl.com

Onboard Facilities: Guests requiring oxygen or the support of a guide dog are welcome on all ships (subject to international regulations) and refrigerators are available in many staterooms for storing insulin.

Public Areas: All NCL ships have passenger lifts to all decks, corridors wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and dedicated areas in show lounges so that wheelchair users can enjoy the entertainment.


Orion Expedition Cruises

Cruise Cabins : Each shower recess aboard Orion is equipped with grab handles, however due to the expeditionary nature of our voyages none of the bathrooms onboard provide wheelchair access.

Eat at Ease: Dining aboard Orion is intended to be a leisurely, sociable experience, without fixed table assignments allowing you to dine with new found friends. Dinner menus aboard Orion feature signature dishes crafted by Sydney's Serge Dansereau of 'The Bathers' Pavilion' fame, each designed to complement our other alternatives. Special dietary requirements can be catered for with advance notice. 24 Hour rooms service is also available.

Essentials : Any medical condition, advanced pregnancy or disability, must be advised to Orion Expedition Cruises when a request for accommodation is made in order for Orion Expedition Cruises to determine if safe passage aboard Orion can be offered. Guests may be asked to provide additional information such as a medical assessment of their fitness to participate inexpeditionary travel.

Link: www.orioncruises.com.au

Onboard Facilities: Orion has doctor on board at all times and consultations should be arranged through the Reception Desk. Please note the Australian Medicare system does not extend to Orion and consultation fees will be charged to your stateroom account. A very limited range of basic pharmaceuticals is maintained on board so please be sure to pack sufficient quantities of medicines for the journey in your hand luggage.

Public Areas: Orion feaures a glass elevator operating between deck 3 and deck 6.


P&O Cruises

Cruise Cabins : All P&O Cruises ships have a number of disabled cabins that are specially adapted for wheelchair users. These cabins feature wide doorways and bathrooms with wheel-in showers to make a stay on board as relaxing and comfortable as possible. There are shower seats installed, as well as grab rails for both the shower and toilet.

Eat at Ease: We can provide diabetic, fat-free, vegetarian and gluten-free meals, as well as catering for specific allergies. Limited unsupervised Kosher food can also be provided (details are available upon request).

Essentials : In order for us to give the best possible service, it is essential we are advised of any special requirements at the time of booking.

Link: www.pocruises.co.uk

Public Areas: With lifts and wheelchair access to the vast majority of public areas on board we aim to make your stay as comfortable as possible.


Princess Cruises

Cruise Cabins : Each ship offers up to 28 accessible staterooms and feature: widened doorways, wheel-in showers, hand-held showerheads, bath distress alarms, lowered closet railings, sinks and handrails.

Eat at Ease: Princess is happy to meet passenger requests for low-sodium, low-fat, low-sugar and vegetarian diets. In addition, kosher meals and baby food are available upon advance written request.

Essentials : Please advise in writing at least four weeks before you sail of any special dietary requests, wheelchair use, medical equipment use, need to dispose of medical sharps, electrical medical equipment or any other special needs.

Link: www.princesscruises.co.uk

Onboard Facilities: Onboard facilities include wheelchair-accessible staterooms, assistance with embarkation and disembarkation, wheelchairs, special diets, special equipment, assisted-listening kits, all-in-one kits, braille lift call buttons, audible arrival sounds and infrared listening assistance systems.

Public Areas: Wheelchair users will find access-friendly design across most of the Princess fleet, making it easy to enjoy each vessel's public areas.


Voyages of Discovery

Cruise Cabins : Discovery has two specially adpated cabins suitable for wheelchair use.

Essentials : Guests with any physical disability or medical condition that requires special treatment or medial apparatus must disclose their medical situation at the time of booking. All passsengers with special needs must be self-sufficient and be accompanied by a passenger who will take full responsibility for assistance during the cruise.

Link: www.voyagesofdiscovery.com

Public Areas: Discovery has 4 lifts with access to all decks except the Sky Deck. There are wide corridors throughout and ramps in most areas for easy access by wheelchair.