Written By Honna Rogers, Travel Advisor
When you picture yourself on a cruise, what do you see? Exploring and enjoying all that your cruise ship and excursions have to offer? Now imagine yourself doing all that while needing a knee walker after surgery on your foot…does it look the same? Never fear! I can assure you that your cruise can be JUST as enjoyable with a few tweaks and a little help from the amazing crew members on your ship.
Recently I had the chance to take an Alaskan cruise onboard Holland America Line’s first Signature-class ship, the Eurodam. The only problem? I’m on a knee walker and have been for a while. Due to the limitations of the number of steps I can take on my foot, I was obviously concerned with how well I’d be able to navigate the ship and the ports of call. The Eurodam crew members and Holland America’s commitment to providing safe, easy, and accessible accommodations made it so easy for me.
From the moment I boarded the ship, I was immediately directed to a line specifically for customers in need of physical assistance. Once onboard the ship, I was directed to a specific elevator and luggage was delivered to the room. Their exceptional service continued throughout the trip. Even in the buffet line someone appeared offering to carry my plate for me. The crew members sent me to the table to sit and assured me that drinks would be brought to me. The staff clearly took notice and made sure I was comfortable and able to enjoy my cruise.
One of our ports of call was the beautiful city of Juneau where I had booked a whale watching excursion. Prior to departing, I visited the excursions desk (as requested) to be sure I had what I needed and that I could access the excursion boat. Even the excursion driver was attentive to my needs. He took care of my knee walker after he made sure I was comfortably seated in the front seat reserved for me. I was able to easily and comfortably enjoy the trip and saw lots of whales!
Navigating the ports was much like getting around at home. This being a US destination there were very few unknowns as far as accessibility options and restrictions were concerned. Most stores have a ramp that allow you to easily enter and exit. The port cities in general have good sidewalks for tourists and didn’t cause an issue.
Embarking and disembarking the ship was a breeze because the Eurodam crew was always extremely helpful. There are designated employees wearing vests with a handicap symbol who are there to assist you. The cruise director even offered to help me up a ramp once! When you disembark the ship for the final time they will also handle all of your luggage and offer assistance again.
If you or someone you love has a physical disability (even temporary), a cruise is a great way to vacation. Navigating the Eurodam was extremely easy and accessible rooms are available. Make sure to communicate with Holland America’s Guest Accessibility Department well in advance of the departure of your cruise. Submit a Special Requirements Information (SRI) Form regarding your needs . You can rest assured that the crew will do everything they can to accommodate your needs. With Holland America you can enjoy your vacation without concern for accessibility!
Honna Rogers was raised in Northeast Georgia but now resides in Signal Mountain, TN, just outside of Chattanooga. She works for the University of Tennessee by serving municipalities in her region. Her great experience with Sojourney Travel planning her birthday trip to the Riviera Maya opened her eyes to the benefit of using a travel agent.
Honna grew up taking many beach trips to the Georgia and South Carolina coasts and the Tennessee mountains. However, it was her first international trip in college that really had her bit by the travel bug. She went to Egypt as a 20-year-old and hasn’t stopped traveling since. Whether it’s a mission trip to Haiti, an island vacation in Greece, traveling through Italy, or just a quick trip to New York City, she’s game for anything with traveling involved. She has traveled throughout the US and around the world and looks forward to helping you plan the trip that suites your needs best.
Honna has been married to her husband Joshua since 2003 and is the mom to three kids, ages 16, 10, and 3. She stays busy with their activities but the family loves traveling on weekends and breaks together. She and her husband always take at least one trip alone each year and then love to involve their kids in travel as well. Their favorite activities while traveling is finding the best breakfast spot in every city and visiting lots of coffee shops. They love finding restaurants where the locals eat and visiting spots off the beaten path.
Whether you are looking for an all-inclusive resort, cruise, or a trip in the US, Honna is ready to help you with your plans. She also guarantees you will always have the best breakfast recommendations.