If you use a mobility scooter, then you have postponed going on a cruise ship for a while now since you must have assumed that you are not allowed to take it on board, or it is just because you can’t do all the required walking and standing.
Here is the good news: yes, you can take it on a cruise ship and it is easier than you think. In fact, you will be having a stress-free cruise vacation with only one concern, and it is how to get a parking space in the dining room.
The scooter can give you the ability to sail on the open seas without the need of standing on your feet all day long. It will give you access to enjoy the flexibility and freedom to go around the entire ship. Plus, do you know how fun it is to ride a scooter around a cruise ship?
You don’t have to be “officially disabled” to use a mobility scooter on a cruise ship
Any mobility device is allowed on a cruise ship like walkers and wheelchairs. Having a smooth, comfortable cruise vacation is the main goal, so whether you are pre/post surgery, slow walker, have an injury, or you get tired easily.
You are totally allowed you to use a mobility scooter. If you can’t or don’t want to bring yours, you can always rent one by asking your travel agent. You will find it in your stateroom ready to roll!
You can rent a mobility scooter and it will be in your cabin
If you have a mobility scooter, you can bring it with you and ride from the car (cab) onto the ship, but remember that the gangways to the ship are steep, so you may have to walk and push it at some point.
However, renting one is the better option because it will be waiting for you in your stateroom. The cruise lines don’t have such arrangements, but travel agents do. During the process of renting it, you will have to provide them with your weight and height to determine which one you will exactly need.
Most importantly, don’t wait till you get on the ship to ask for it. There is a possibility that they won’t be available, and if they are, you will end up paying more.
Don’t forget your battery charger, power cord, or key when you bring your own
It is an obvious tip, but you have to double and triple check if you have them when you bring your own scooter from home.
The pain you will feel in your chest is not going to be enjoyable because everyone will be having fun on the ship, while you are just blaming yourself for forgetting such simple things.
So, before you leave your house, check if you have your money, phone, ID, power cord, and key.
Mobility scooters are easy to drive
Even if it is your first time using a mobility scooter, you will not have any difficulty riding one. As long as the seat height is adjusted and the armrests are at your comfort level, everything will be just fine.
However, make sure to test it while you are still at home in order to understand how to ride one. Don’t worry, though. The cruise line staff will always give you a hand when you get on and off the ship.
You can leave the ship at the ports of call with your scooter
Don’t count on the ride up and down the ramps of the ship because they are very steep. Mostly, the crew members of the cruise line will be there to help you, but in case they are not, most scooters separate the scooter into pieces in order to be easily carried and to skip the slope.
The companies that rent them are okay with the scooter device leaving the cruise ship as long as it will come back inside in the same shape.
You can leave at tender ports, but not with the scooter
When the cruise ship can’t stop at the dock, there would be small tender boats that transport passengers from and to the shore. Depending on the conditions of the tender port, the ship workers will get to decide if the scooters can go on the boats or not.
Since your safety matters more, it is always best to rent the scooter ahead of time to avoid all problems.
Before you book, check if the shore excursion can accommodate a scooter
Whether you are willing to book shore excursions with an outside company or through a cruise line, it is best to use Joy on the Beach wheelchair (JOB). It is the greatest option during a beach excursion because it has large air-filled tires that can easily go in the sand and the water, too. So talk to your travel agent on the possibilities to rent one.
Charge your scooter every night
Just like you do with your phone, you have to always charge your scooter at night in order to keep on rolling the next day. So before you head to bed, make sure to plug in the charger. By the morning, your scooter will be ready to take you through all the activities of the day.
Take charge of your charging
Unfortunately, the cruise ships cabins don’t offer a lot of power outlets, it is best to keep a small power strip in your bag to guarantee that you have enough outlets for all of your electrical devices, especially your scooter.
Keep in mind that as you getting in, the staff may remove your power strip if they found it in your suitcase, and they will give it back to you at the end of the cruise. So, it is best if you just carry it with you.
Avoid the top decks on sea days
The best part about having a scooter on a cruise ship is the fact that it can take you anywhere, but staying on board during a port day may give you an unrealistic idea about how much space you have on the top one or two decks.
These decks are open to the sun and have lounge and pool chairs, so the four-lane highways on port days become narrow one-lane bridge on sea days. So be careful and try to find a lower, alternate deck route.