I took my 89 year old Mother, who requires a wheelchair, on a Carribean cruise in 2006. Gatwick to Miami, one night stay over, boarded the ship next day, 8 days cruise and back again.
I booked a hotel 2 miles from Gatwick and drove down to the hotel the day before flying, for me and Mumsie That way it breaks the travelling up and is stress free as you are not worried about missing the flight out by driving to the airport on the day and trying to sort out how you are going to park up, get Mumsie and luggage to the terminal all by yourself. Book a hotel for the night before flying and many will give you free parking for the full duration of your holiday. That way you arrive at the hotel, stay the night, leasurly breakfast at the hotel in the morning, leave your car there, all safe and sound, get the hotel shuttle bus or I find it's worth booking a cab that will take you direct to the terminal instead of via another five hotels. If you do this, when you book advise you have a wheelchair bound elderly travelling.
As long as when you book anything to do with your holiday, you state Assistance required from Hotel, check in onwards, on landing, to the ship, from the ship(Homeward bound) and at the airport, it's a doddle really.
The only time I had a problem was arriving back to Miami airport, 2 hours before check in opened, and Mumsie required the loo, I still had all the luggage. Wheelchair and luggage, impossible to negotiate together, as you cannot leave the luggage unattended whilst you visit the loos. I had to go to the Customer Service desk and ask the guy to look after the luggage for five mins whilst I took Mumsie to the bathroom.
Apart from that great.
Choose a really good Cruise Co as the Medical facility will be as good as a Bupa hospital. (Which we had to use, so I know how good it was. Mumsie lost her footing and took 6inches of skin off her arm and had to attend the medical centre daily).
We went with Carribean Cruises, they were superb.
We had a Suite on deck 8 with an outside private balcony.
Recommended as Mumsie was all in straight after dinner and would go back to the suite, if I could not be bothered to go back out it was great to sit on our own private balcony, chilling out, out at sea or even docked, day or night.
Go for it.
Any other "q's" Dont hesitate to e-mail me.
This site has all you need just search for the following cruise lines, Fred Olsen, P&O Cruises, Cunard, Princess (sea princess), all these lines sail from uk ports some do fly but you should find what you need.
Go into Navigator of the Seas website the ship is cruising out of Southampton until October.If you are staying overnight like we did and not travelling on sail date recommend Novatel right opposite departure gate.
I can't recommend Fred Olsen highly enough. I need a wheelchair as I can't walk very far - I only use it for shore tours on the ship itself. My husband drives us to Dover or Southampton, as soon as we get into the car park all our luggage is taken from us and he is left free to wheel me round to check in with our hand luggage. At the end of the cruise we get assistance off the ship with my wheelchair and luggage, right up to our car. Fred Olsen use loads of UK Ports.
There are quite a few ships go from uk, thomsons any travel agent will tell which ship go from u.
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