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JRA

1st timer and have a handicap child - questions/advice

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Wow , lots of replies , thanks.  Ill be sure to check out the bridge as the ship goes under.     

Do I really need the drink package ? Myself and my wife don't plan on drinking sodas and my son does not drink them . I like my alcohol but the plan is for us to purchase a bottle of wine to celebrate our anniversary  and maybe 1 or 2 drinks for myself.

There was mention of North star . I might take him up that but I need to look up a video on it and see how he might handle it. 

 

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@JRA  You do not need to buy any refreshment package.  You can get complimentary,coffee, tea, ice tea or lemonade.  

You are allowed 2 bottles of wine and 12 17 oz bottles of water/soda per cabin in your carry on.  Just remember it is in your carry on and so you will have to lug it around with you until your cabin opens.  Cabins open @1.   

NorthStar feels very little movement (swaying)  It is more like being on an elevator...slow rise and return.  It also does not swing over the side of the ship so you don't need to worry about that kind of fear of looking over the water from a high height.  It really just goes up over the pool deck.

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15 hours ago, tiny260 said:

Yes, we leave on July 4th, probably why @Matt picked it for the GC.

If I recall this is a NE cruise, which is why we didn't join ( did that on Anthem 2 yrs ago....we are instead going on Adventure 7/12).  I want to say we hugged the coastline the 1st night up to Boston, so you maybe able to see fireworks off the coastline.  

I would probably give a little more time to get to the port.  NYC area puts on a huge firework display, and so does every beach on the Jersey shore, thus impo as someone that lived in NJ for decades, and still has family there, the traffic will be even be higher than usual on the NJ TPKE.   

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48 minutes ago, Pima1988 said:

If I recall this is a NE cruise, which is why we didn't join ( did that on Anthem 2 yrs ago....we are instead going on Adventure 7/12).  I want to say we hugged the coastline the 1st night up to Boston, so you maybe able to see fireworks off the coastline.  

I would probably give a little more time to get to the port.  NYC area puts on a huge firework display, and so does every beach on the Jersey shore, thus impo as someone that lived in NJ for decades, and still has family there, the traffic will be even be higher than usual on the NJ TPKE.   

The GC is a 9-night cruise going south to Bermuda, Labadee, San Juan and more..so don't think they'll get to see the NE fireworks. 

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2 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

If I recall this is a NE cruise, which is why we didn't join ( did that on Anthem 2 yrs ago....we are instead going on Adventure 7/12).  I want to say we hugged the coastline the 1st night up to Boston, so you maybe able to see fireworks off the coastline.  

Actually, it's a cruise to Bermuda, Labadee, San Juan and St Maaten.

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On 5/21/2019 at 7:00 AM, mslman said:

you might want to look into booking with this organization as you will get everything you need for your child provided through them.  you will also have time to relax on your own as they provide staff assisted cruises and give the parent a few hours a day by them self. 

https://autismontheseas.com/ 

 

Whats the normal cost of this ???  

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13 hours ago, Pima1988 said:

@JRA  You do not need to buy any refreshment package.  You can get complimentary,coffee, tea, ice tea or lemonade.  

You are allowed 2 bottles of wine and 12 17 oz bottles of water/soda per cabin in your carry on.  Just remember it is in your carry on and so you will have to lug it around with you until your cabin opens.  Cabins open @1.   

NorthStar feels very little movement (swaying)  It is more like being on an elevator...slow rise and return.  It also does not swing over the side of the ship so you don't need to worry about that kind of fear of looking over the water from a high height.  It really just goes up over the pool deck.

So it is just wine or would they allow for me to bring a small bottle of rum ? Wonder why they want you to do it carry on and not packed with the rest of my stuff?

Thanks for the advice on the North Star , im thinking my son will love it.

 

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@JRA...he lk Just wine or champagne.  You are not allowed to carry on hard liquor.  JMPO they want it in the carry on bc every piece of luggage is screened prior to boarding.  They have a limitation on the amount.  It would be too difficult for them to now go back and say you had 2 bottles in your suitcase and 0 in carry on, so you are good to go.  By forcing it only on carry on they know you have hit the limit.

If you go on your cruise planner, I believe at the bottom of the internet and more they offer hard liquor and soda, such as a 375 ml bottle of Bacardi and a pack of coke to be delivered to your room.  I don't know how much it costs because we do the DBP.

I will say out of Cape Liberty they are strict regarding alcohol.  My brother refused to listen to me.  He tried to bring on 6 Yuengling beer bottles... he kept saying you see it is under 17 oz. and I only have 6.  I kept saying, YES, but they state only wine or champagne, or 12 17 oz of non-alcoholic beverages.  They confiscated it.  We laughed when we debarked.  They handed it back to him when he picked up his luggage.

One last thing I would do is talk to your TA.  You can upload pics for your sea pass, but they are very picky.  Has to be  sim.  to a passport pic.  You might want to ask since he is wheelchair bound if that will be an issue.

When we sailed on Anthem, our pics were rejected because it is suppose to be a white background.  The closest wall color to white in my house is ivory/light tan.  It is not a biggie at all.  Another thing we laughed about.  We traveled in a group of 10.  My husband and I were the only ones that had to get our pics done at the terminal.  We were also the 1st to be finished checking in.  Cape Liberty they do everything by tablet.  

 

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I have taken Anthem of the Seas twice with my Son who was 16 and the next year 17.  He is physically and developementally handicapped and used a wheelchair while on the trip.  We LOVED Anthem.  He can walk but is challenged.  One thing he did do twice was the iFly.  You would not believe how accomadation they where.  They lowered the fans and had two instuctors inside to assist him.  It scared me at first but brought tears to my eyes to see him have so much fun.  The bumper cars was a huge hit.  He went on many times.  The staff would wave us on to the front so he didn't wait in line for too long.  He loved all the movie charactors who walk around.  The North Star is accesible.  He loved all the shows and I would agree the Gift is not the most enjoyable.  The WindJammer is hard for us since we can't leave our Son and pushing a chair and holding plates is a challenge.  Book the Solarium Bisto for dinner.  Also go to the main dinning rooms for breakfast to take advantage of table service.  There is soooo much to do and see on the ship that there is no need to watch ipad movie for entertainment.  We didn't do Orlando excursions because of the length of time it takes to get there.  It's too long on a bus.  The Kennedy Space Centre was perfect.  The first time we did Gator Land.  AND you wouldn't believe they had a zip line there with a wheelchair set up.  Our Son ziplined OMG!!!  Bahamas we went to Blue Lagoon for the dolphin swim.  He did walk a short distance there, but I can't remember if that was by choice.  We also did a tour of Atlantis and that was great as well (all wheelchair accesible).  I highly recomment Anthem!

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On 5/19/2019 at 10:03 PM, JRA said:

I've finally talked my wife into considering a cruise so we dropped by a local agent (recommended) and she suggested a 7 day cruise on Anthem of The Seas in November . Our stops are in Florida , Coco Cay and Nassau . We are suppose to return to see the agent once she has gathered more info but id thought i'd look here.

My handicap son is 17 is in a wheel chair and mentally he is like a 10 year old. He loves video games , cartoons, animals and (kid friendly )movies . Im looking for any advice on what to and not to do while on the ship and of course at each port . Most importantly I'd like to keep him  entertained . 

Coco Cay looks nice and from what i've seen there is a vehicle that will transport us around so we can at least see the island and enjoy a meal while there .

Ive yet to even check on the Florida stop so that a complete unknown.

Nassau is another stop that looks like we may do alot of walking around but again alot of unknowns.

There looks like alot to do on the ship im just concerned on it being enough for all 7 days . Again this is my 1st cruise .

 

We were on Anthem in January with 28 yo DD /(age ~ 5 mentally) who is also in a wheelchair -- CP -- can walk, but slowly, not for long distances, & not safe in crowds, so we use her chair most of the time.

1) The non Solarium pools have straight up & down staircases for access, so if he can't climb, it will be difficult, although I believe there are pool lifts, but we didn't utilize them.  The Solarium pools are shallow, with bench seats, but have shallow steps to climb down into them -- again, it depends on his abilities.  However, when I took my DD without DH, the lifeguards were very quick to help me (I also have mobility issues).  He would be allowed in the solarium as he is over 16. 

2) Port stops -- we had different ones (Southern Caribbean), & because the handicap accessible ones  are basically just bus tours, you will have to gauge how interesting that will be for all of you.  Our previous cruise (Adventure, last May) hit the spots you're going to, & our bus tour wasn't that enjoyable for me & DD, mainly because we ended up staying on the bus, since getting in & out was difficult for me. YMMV.  You can just choose to walk around Nassau -- there are several spots within a 1 mile radius of the port that are interesting -- but the streets are not too wheelchair friendly, and there are hilly areas, so again, it depends on what you want/are capable of doing with him.  

Coco Cay has the new Perfect Day options that weren't there when we went there, but there are sand wheelchairs that will get him around on the sand, and there are also little golf carts & a tram (I think) that will get you around so that you don't have to walk too much there.  We got a cabana, mainly to keep DD out of the sun, but there are shaded areas as well

3) There is plenty to do on the ship -- we took DD to the Gift (which didn't do anything for us :10_wink: ), Spectra's Cabaret, which was the musical/acrobatic show that she loved, & We Will Rock You, which she enjoyed even though she couldn't follow the storyline, because she loves music.  We also took her to a few of the night time shows.  We had her tablet with movies on an SD card, so that was available to her when we wanted quiet time.  Didn't do the bumper cars or anything in the SeaPlex, because that's not her thing, although she did like the Dog House (hot dog /sausage place).  Also, while they are not marked on the website deck plans, there are several "family" restrooms which will help if only your wife is with him when he needs to use the restroom, or if it's just easier than using the handicap stall.  They are marked on the electronic deck plans on board.  I remember 1 on the pool deck (deck 14) & 1 in 270 (deck 5) for sure.

4) We took her up in North Star, & she loved that, as did we.  Definitely reserve a spot as soon as it opens up in your cruise planner.

5) The cabin doors are VERY heavy, and were just wide enough for her wheelchair to fit through, & hers is not terribly big, as we got it when she was 14 & she isn't that big even now.  If there are 2 adults, one to hold the door, & one to push (unless he pushes himself) it's ok,  but it's tough by yourself (although I managed to always find someone to help if I was alone). If you don't have an accessible room, that is something to consider. Also, the bathroom (again, unless accessible room) is a small step up from the main floor of the cabin, & the showers are fairly small, although you can request a shower stool if he needs that.  You can also request a toilet seat "booster" if it will be easier for him if the seat is raised. 

6) The staff was always very helpful & extremely accommodating to us, as were the passengers.  I always appreciate that, as it can be rough travelling with a handicapped person, & the offer of assistance, even when you might not need it, is very nice.

Hope this info helps, & that you all have a wonderful time!!

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12 hours ago, abbasmom said:

I have taken Anthem of the Seas twice with my Son who was 16 and the next year 17.  He is physically and developementally handicapped and used a wheelchair while on the trip.  We LOVED Anthem.  He can walk but is challenged.  One thing he did do twice was the iFly.  You would not believe how accomadation they where.  They lowered the fans and had two instuctors inside to assist him.  It scared me at first but brought tears to my eyes to see him have so much fun.  The bumper cars was a huge hit.  He went on many times.  The staff would wave us on to the front so he didn't wait in line for too long.  He loved all the movie charactors who walk around.  The North Star is accesible.  He loved all the shows and I would agree the Gift is not the most enjoyable.  The WindJammer is hard for us since we can't leave our Son and pushing a chair and holding plates is a challenge.  Book the Solarium Bisto for dinner.  Also go to the main dinning rooms for breakfast to take advantage of table service.  There is soooo much to do and see on the ship that there is no need to watch ipad movie for entertainment.  We didn't do Orlando excursions because of the length of time it takes to get there.  It's too long on a bus.  The Kennedy Space Centre was perfect.  The first time we did Gator Land.  AND you wouldn't believe they had a zip line there with a wheelchair set up.  Our Son ziplined OMG!!!  Bahamas we went to Blue Lagoon for the dolphin swim.  He did walk a short distance there, but I can't remember if that was by choice.  We also did a tour of Atlantis and that was great as well (all wheelchair accesible).  I highly recomment Anthem!

Thanks for all the great info , its great to chat with folks who understand my sons handicap. 

He cannot walk anymore , at 1 time yes(some)  , but in the last few years no.   

Ive considered the dolphin swim for him . Do they have those beach wheelchairs ? Because Id have to wheel him at least to the water if not in it I would need that.  So is it the Blue Lagoon dolphin swim ? Ive seen several listed . Do you recall the price ? 

The ifly may not work for him but we wont rule it out yet , .Im unsure how he would react to it.I might book it a couple days in so I can judge it first and if nothing eles just cancel.         North Star is something we will do for sure!! If myself or my wife ride with him im sure the bumper cars would make his day. Loading him in it would be a challenge but im sure well worth it . 

Our travel agent suggested touring Atlantis so its great to get a thumbs up from a parent.

What is the GIFT ????

 

Thanks for the great advice , im trying to get my plans in order so when the plan goes up at +90 days I can have things set.

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1 hour ago, MaryCS62 said:

We were on Anthem in January with 28 yo DD /(age ~ 5 mentally) who is also in a wheelchair -- CP -- can walk, but slowly, not for long distances, & not safe in crowds, so we use her chair most of the time.

1) The non Solarium pools have straight up & down staircases for access, so if he can't climb, it will be difficult, although I believe there are pool lifts, but we didn't utilize them.  The Solarium pools are shallow, with bench seats, but have shallow steps to climb down into them -- again, it depends on his abilities.  However, when I took my DD without DH, the lifeguards were very quick to help me (I also have mobility issues).  He would be allowed in the solarium as he is over 16. 

2) Port stops -- we had different ones (Southern Caribbean), & because the handicap accessible ones  are basically just bus tours, you will have to gauge how interesting that will be for all of you.  Our previous cruise (Adventure, last May) hit the spots you're going to, & our bus tour wasn't that enjoyable for me & DD, mainly because we ended up staying on the bus, since getting in & out was difficult for me. YMMV.  You can just choose to walk around Nassau -- there are several spots within a 1 mile radius of the port that are interesting -- but the streets are not too wheelchair friendly, and there are hilly areas, so again, it depends on what you want/are capable of doing with him.  

Coco Cay has the new Perfect Day options that weren't there when we went there, but there are sand wheelchairs that will get him around on the sand, and there are also little golf carts & a tram (I think) that will get you around so that you don't have to walk too much there.  We got a cabana, mainly to keep DD out of the sun, but there are shaded areas as well

3) There is plenty to do on the ship -- we took DD to the Gift (which didn't do anything for us :10_wink: ), Spectra's Cabaret, which was the musical/acrobatic show that she loved, & We Will Rock You, which she enjoyed even though she couldn't follow the storyline, because she loves music.  We also took her to a few of the night time shows.  We had her tablet with movies on an SD card, so that was available to her when we wanted quiet time.  Didn't do the bumper cars or anything in the SeaPlex, because that's not her thing, although she did like the Dog House (hot dog /sausage place).  Also, while they are not marked on the website deck plans, there are several "family" restrooms which will help if only your wife is with him when he needs to use the restroom, or if it's just easier than using the handicap stall.  They are marked on the electronic deck plans on board.  I remember 1 on the pool deck (deck 14) & 1 in 270 (deck 5) for sure.

4) We took her up in North Star, & she loved that, as did we.  Definitely reserve a spot as soon as it opens up in your cruise planner.

5) The cabin doors are VERY heavy, and were just wide enough for her wheelchair to fit through, & hers is not terribly big, as we got it when she was 14 & she isn't that big even now.  If there are 2 adults, one to hold the door, & one to push (unless he pushes himself) it's ok,  but it's tough by yourself (although I managed to always find someone to help if I was alone). If you don't have an accessible room, that is something to consider. Also, the bathroom (again, unless accessible room) is a small step up from the main floor of the cabin, & the showers are fairly small, although you can request a shower stool if he needs that.  You can also request a toilet seat "booster" if it will be easier for him if the seat is raised. 

6) The staff was always very helpful & extremely accommodating to us, as were the passengers.  I always appreciate that, as it can be rough travelling with a handicapped person, & the offer of assistance, even when you might not need it, is very nice.

Hope this info helps, & that you all have a wonderful time!!

Thanks for all the great info !!!!!

1.) Yes he will require a lift for the pool so is the Solarium pools are for adults/young adults ?

2.)Yes I was concerned about a tour depending on the accessible stops . I assume the bus has a lift ? Anything great or must see near the Nassua port ?

I agree on CocoCay .We will at least will enjoy a meal there  , look around .

3.)The shows how a great chance of being enjoyable to him , ill know more when they are posted.Great to hear about the family restrooms , they will be a help.

4.) North Star is on our list.

5.)  In regards to our room we booked a acessible one and from pictures ive seen the bathroom will do well for him. 

6.)Looking forward to the staff helping .

Thanks for the great info there , it really helps !

 

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They are very accommodating at the bumper cars and the cars are for two people.  There are pool lifts in the Solarium.  The Atlantis tour with the dolphins swim there might be more ideal.  We went to Blue Lagoon and I’m not sure if it’s 100% accessible. We did get on and off the tour boat in a wheelchair but there was a short walk to dolphin pool. Good Luck!!!

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I will not swear,, but I believe the indoor pool for all ages has a lift.  This pool is located between the Solarium and the outdoor pool.  The only reason I say this is because I recall seeing someone go in using a lift.  

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On 5/26/2019 at 11:58 AM, JRA said:

Thanks for all the great info !!!!!

1.) Yes he will require a lift for the pool so is the Solarium pools are for adults/young adults ?

2.)Yes I was concerned about a tour depending on the accessible stops . I assume the bus has a lift ? Anything great or must see near the Nassua port ?

I agree on CocoCay .We will at least will enjoy a meal there  , look around .

3.)The shows how a great chance of being enjoyable to him , ill know more when they are posted.Great to hear about the family restrooms , they will be a help.

4.) North Star is on our list.

5.)  In regards to our room we booked a acessible one and from pictures ive seen the bathroom will do well for him. 

6.)Looking forward to the staff helping .

Thanks for the great info there , it really helps !

 

Re-- accessible tours -- go to the excursion section of cruise planner, & click on accessible excursions.  They should indicate exactly how accessible they are.  My DD can get out of her chair & climb into a van (with assistance), so they just stored her chair. I believe you can contact the excursions dept if you have specific questions about it. Some excursions specify that the person must be able to walk a little, some restrict wheelchairs to manual/folding, so it would be best if you checked ahead of time.  Re: pools -- Solarium is for 16 & up. We didn't bother with the lift because DD doesn't stay in long enough to make it worthwhile, & I didn't care to use it myself.  They are extremely accommodating, so go for it if you think he'll want to do it. She wouldn't have been able to do IFLY (prior scoliosis surgery), but it won't hurt to check onboard.

Hope you all have a wonderful time!!!

 

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