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Best Cruises for Disabled Passengers

09 September 2020

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The best cruise lines for disabled passengers go above and beyond to ensure their utmost safety at all times, as well as complete relaxation and unrivalled experiences of fantastic destinations. With numerous cruise lines providing spacious adapted cabins, accessible cruise excursions and outstanding assistance, disabled access cruises around the world are now easier than ever to book.

Whichever cruise line you decide to choose, you must ensure that you inform us of any special requirements you have for mobility equipment and medical assistance. Due to the arrangements that may need to be made, staff will need plenty of time to prepare for your arrival, while those travelling with service dogs may require further documentation. Once these finer details are all taken care, all that's left to do is enjoy your cruise holiday.

Best cruises for disabled passengers
Disabled Cruising

P&O Cruises

As one of the leading lines for classic British cruises, P&O Cruises have gone above and beyond to ensure they offer some of the best cruises for disabled passengers. From the moment you step into the cruise terminal to the moment you've disembarked, there will be assistance on hand should you need it.

Life onboard

Accessible cabins feature wider doorways, ample floor space, wet-room style bathrooms with grab rails, and ramped access to balconies for balcony cabins. Please note that mobility scooters are not permitted in standard cabins.

P&O disabled access cruises also offer ramped access to public areas and entertainment venues, ensuring all guests can enjoy relaxation and nightlife. The theatre offers a dedicated area for wheelchairs and mobility scooters, with seats nearby that provide a fantastic view of the unforgettable performances.

Select ships within the P&O Cruises fleet have pool hoists available:

Life onshore

Guests will disembark to port via tender or gangway. Thanks to careful mobility tests, P&O Cruises ensure all guests are able to get onshore safely. Due to varying conditions in certain ports, it is not always possible for guests who require a wheelchair or scooter to disembark.

Where possible, P&O Cruises select accessible shuttle buses for excursions to ensure all guests are able to enjoy the fantastic experiences in port. If this cannot be arranged, guests can opt to take a taxi with expenses paid once you are back onboard.

Celebrity Cruises

Boasting a fleet teeming with innovation, comfort and style, it's no wonder that Celebrity Cruises have enhanced their stunning ships to provide some of the best disabled access cruises. Wherever you are in the world you'll find accessible cabins designed for your needs, autism-friendly initiatives, a dedicated accessible shore excursions team and much more.

Life onboard

Featuring wheelchair accessible staterooms with spacious corridors, step-free access and carefully designed roll-in showers, your time onboard your chosen disabled access cruise ship will be comfortable and enjoyable. Should you require further assistance, staff are happy to be on hand to help.

Throughout the vessel you'll also find wide corridors and automatic doors to ensure those with wheelchairs can easily access the array of glamorous venues. What's more, Celebrity Cruises have also implemented initiatives to ensure their cruises are autism friendly, with features such as priority check-in and departure, special menu options, and sensory-friendly films and toys for families.

Life onshore

Celebrity Cruises have carefully chosen a wide range of accessible excursions to ensure all guests can get the most out of their fantastic itineraries. These excursions can include:

Assistance can be provided on request for embarkation and disembarkation, however, for safety reasons, staff cannot lift guests or equipment. Some ports may require a tender boat to get onshore.

Royal Caribbean

Committed to providing unforgettable disabled access cruises for all guests, Royal Caribbean have fitted their fleet of fantastic ships with innovative features to make them comfortable and accessible for guests with mobility, hearing and developmental disabilities. Whether you're onboard or onshore, you'll be sure to get the most out of your holiday.

Life onboard

Accessible staterooms onboard the Royal Caribbean fleet are a spacious 159 to 298 square feet, providing complete maneuverability for those with mobility restrictions. These comfortable cabins feature grab bars in the bathroom, a roll-in shower bench, lowered surfaces, accessible balconies and refrigerators on request.

Around the ship, you'll find wider corridors to accommodate for wheelchair turning, automatic doors, gradual inclines into public venues, lifts and ramps. Lifts at the pool make it easier than ever to enjoy sunbathing on deck, while those with audio disabilities can enjoy all the entertainment thanks to Assistive Listening Systems, sign language interpreters and much more.

Life onshore

Thanks to a wide range of accessible shore excursions, whether you require mobility, visual or hearing assistance, you'll still be able to get to the heart of stunning destinations. Royal Caribbean provide accessible transport with knowledgeable guides who will take guests to step-free routes and attractions. Staff will also be able to provide assistance with disembarkation and embarkation, however, some ports of call will require tender boats to shore.

Princess Cruises

With an award-winning Princess Access programme, Princess Cruises have raised the standards of disabled access cruises since 1992. In recent years, they have continued to implement a focus on accessibility across the fleet, with accessible cabins, wheelchair-friendly venues and dining rooms, lifts and more, as well as assistance for those with audio and visual impairments.

Life onboard

With each vessel featuring up to 31 accessible cabins, we recommend you book your Princess disabled access cruise well in advance. With plenty of floorspace and wider doorways to allow for mobility equipment, wheel-in showers, bath-distress alarms and lowered handrails, guests will feel safe and comfortable throughout their stay. Additional equipment can also be provided.

Life onshore

Most ships in the Princess Cruises fleet feature outstanding systems to make disembarkation and embarkation in numerous ports around the world much easier. In addition, guests will find a multitude of tours and excursions suitable for disabled cruisers with accessible transportation. Not sure if an excursion is right for you? Princess Cruises have made it easy to distinguish the level of accessibility for each tour in their handy excursions guides onboard.

Best cruises for disabled passengers
Disabled Cruising

Norwegian Cruise Line

Thanks to a dedicated team of specialist staff to assist you before, during and after your cruise, Norwegian Cruise Line are able to provide some of the best disabled access cruises around the world. The friendly Access Officers will be on hand to assist you with any queries you may have 24 hours a day, ensuring your cruise holiday is as relaxing as can be.

Life onboard

Wheelchair and scooter accessible staterooms feature throughout the entire NCL fleet, providing wider doorways, handrails, roll-in showers and shower benches. Should you opt for a standard stateroom, your wheelchair or scooter must be collapsible. Norwegian Sun, Norwegian Sky and Pride of America feature specially designed staterooms for those with auditory impairments, however, onboard alternative vessels you'll be provided with a portable alert kit.

Across the ship, guests will find pool lifts, accessible restrooms, wheelchair ramps and lowered gaming tables. Guests who are hard of hearing can request assistive listening devices for the main theatre to enjoy the shows.

Life onshore

Some ports of call on Norwegian Cruise Line itineraries will require taking a tender boat to shore, which may not always be accessible to those requiring the use of a wheelchair or scooter. Once onshore, Norwegian Cruise Line do their best to ensure excursions provided are accessible to all guests, however, this cannot be guaranteed.

MSC Cruises

One of the leading cruise lines for providing affordable, stylish holidays, MSC Cruises have ensured that their disabled access cruises are enjoyable and safe, meeting international accessibility standards. Thanks to their warm Italian hospitality, staff will be more than happy to assist you wherever possible.

Life onboard

With accessible cabins available on every ship in the fleet, an MSC cruise is a fantastic choice for those with mobility restrictions. The spacious size provides more maneuverability for those using a wheelchair or scooter, while extra facilities are also provided to ensure passenger safety at all times. These facilities include roll-in showers, grab rails, fold-down shower benches and raised toilet seats. Those with auditory impairments will find a portable room kit and alert system upon request.

Throughout the rest of the vessel, disabled cruisers will find accessibility to all stunning venues, with lifts available for wheelchairs and scooters. As well as this, the main dining room provides accessible tables, while the theatre has a designated bay for wheelchair space.

Life onshore

MSC Cruises have hand-selected a range of Easy & Accessible shore excursions, ensuring all passengers can get the most out of fantastic destinations. Suitable for slower walkers, those who require wheelchair or scooter assistance, and even those who simply like a steadier pace of life, these excursions navigate step-free routes and offer accessible transportation and restroom facilities.

Saga Cruises

Specialising in boutique over 50s’ cruises, the Saga Cruises fleet is both accessible and stylish with an abundance of space to relax and unwind. Thanks to extra touches such as chauffeur service and spacious, accessible cabins, a disabled access cruise with Saga will take you to unrivalled destinations in pure comfort.

Life onboard

Accessible cabins can be found throughout the Saga Cruises fleet, providing ample space for a wheelchair or mobility scooter. These staterooms are adapted with ramps and easier access to the en suite bathroom, as well as a more spacious balcony.

Life onshore

Tender boats onboard Spirit of Discovery and Spirit of Adventure are wheelchair accessible to ensure the utmost safety for all passengers. However, in the event that the tender port is not accessible, guests with restricted mobility may not be able to get onshore.

With a wide range of excursions to choose from, Saga Cruises cater to varied levels of mobility as well as different interests. Those with disabled access requirements may prefer the panoramic coach tours or a leisurely guided visit to a range of landmarks. Thanks to the helpful guide provided before you sail, guests will be able to book step-free excursions or, with the Explore Ashore service, tailor their onshore experiences to suit their needs.

For more information on mobility and other special access cruise queries, please see the Iglu Cruise Helpcentre

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