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Larry and Maggie Roffee have been cruising for years with me, (and Larry kindly helped me draft this webpage!) Larry has a spinal cord injury and is also a double amputee. He retired as Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board two years ago and currently runs his disabled veteran-owned consulting firm. The Board developed the guidelines for creating an accessible environment, including passenger vessels. Maggie retired from the federal government where she worked on disability employment policy issues and is currently a consultant with the U.S. Business Leadership Network.
James (JR) and Erika Harding - JR and his wife Erika have been cruising together since their honeymoon several years ago. He is a quadriplegic and they have been able to enjoy cruising on their own balcony every year since then for Erika's birthday. JR has been a member of the Access Board and is very active is making travel accessible for all.
In my 26 years of working in the cruise industry I have come to believe that a cruise vacation is an excellent option for people with disabilities. I have had the pleasure and privilege to work with many clients who use wheelchairs. Their reported enjoyment has encouraged me to expand my efforts.
Modern cruise ships are very accessible. Cruise lines like Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean have retro-fitted older ships and have designed their new ships to be very useable. Newly built ships such as the Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess, and Oasis and Allure of the Seas are wonderful. All parts of the ship, dining facilities, entertainment venues, bars and lounges, spas and swimming pools, and sports venues are well designed and useable. The new ships have excellent access to the all important balconies in the balcony and suite categories (where offered), not to mention many other stateroom choices in lower categories.
My clients report that one of the best advantages of an accessible cruise vacation is simply that your accessible hotel room and bathroom goes with you. There is no need to worry from day to day whether that next hotel room will meet your access needs. The same holds true for the other amenities on board the ship. Take tours during the day and come back to a beautiful accessible home away from home.
If the idea of an accessible cruise vacation appeals to you, please feel free to email me and we can discuss the best ships and itineraries to meet your needs.