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Florida Guide > Hints and Tips

Cruising for the Disabled Part 7RCI Hearing and Visually Impaired Guests

If you are considering booking a cruise during your stay in Florida, perhaps after an energetic couple of weeks enjoying the parks, but are concerned that you have either a hearing impairment or a visual impairment, then let me put your mind at ease. Royal Caribbean has been introducing measures to ensure that those with visual, or hearing impairments are able to enjoy the cruising experience, whilst making it as convenient as possible. Of course, facilities may differ from ship to ship, according to the age of the vessel. Those with disabilities will, of course be able to take advantage of early embarkation and orientation tours.

Their staterooms incorporate Braille or voice recognition software wherever possible, and this is also true of public areas and dining rooms. Of course, friendly RCI members of staff are always on hand to offer every assistance. They also provide Braille elevator buttons, and audio call signals, plus Braille cabin door numbers, as well as Braille menus. Large print menus are available on request, as are Daily Cruise Compasses. Cruise Services Directories are also available in Braille. Should you need to bring a service animal on board then these are allowed, and a 4’ x 4’ wooden box with cypress mulch is provided. Of course, early embarkation and orientation tours are available.

Those with hearing impairment are also catered and RCI employ modern technology wherever possible. A portable kit is available upon request, and this includes TTY (Text Telephone)/TDD (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf). There are strobe light door knockers and telephone ringers, plus amplifiers for the telephones. They can provide under mattress or under pillow vibrating alarm clocks or Alertmaster monitors, plus assistive listening aids in the theatres. Closed-caption televisions are available in all staterooms, and most onboard videos are also closed-captioned. Sign Language Interpreters can be provided on request but this must be at least 60 days before sailing.

RCI have gone a step further, and now provide facilities for oxygen treatment and Continuous Ambulatory Peritoneal Dialysis. They can even recommend independent operators who can provide for those who need HEMO dialysis on board. Whilst Royal Caribbean do not actually provide the equipment themselves, they do make it as easy as possible for people who need these treatments. Guests who require peritoneal dialysis must have all solutions and equipment delivered to the ship on the day of sailing, at least two hours prior to departure.

So it really is one of the most accessible vacations for everyone, and I would have no hesitation in recommending cruising as a very enjoyable and relaxing way of spending a holiday.

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Page added on: 3 January 2010
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