Cruise Planning Tips

Written by
an AbleThrive community member
Content via Community Submission
Community Submission
Written by
an AbleThrive community member

Vacations can be a fun and relaxing experience. The first thing that comes to mind is the old Calgon soap commercial and its tag line “take me away.” As a person with a disability, the idea of an experience where you’re going to get a break from the “real world” should be exciting and invigorating. Although this may be uncharted territory for some people, the idea of going on a cruise can be exotic and a once in a lifetime opportunity. 

cruise ship

If you’re a person with a disability and are interested in this type of vacation experience, there’s no need to shy away from picking a date to set sail. Cruising can be one of the best vacation experiences available. It’s an opportunity to visit multiple destinations in a relatively short amount of time. Adding to the excitement of the experience, there are various activities to do onboard and plenty of different types of food to sample. Additionally, at each stop there are activities and sights to see within the allotted time the ship is scheduled to be docked.

Do Your Research

If this sounds alluring to you, the first step is to conduct some research. This may sound like common sense, but cruises aren’t like any other vacation experience you’ve had before. There are varying amounts of time you can spend on a cruise. Where else are you able to visit different places and experience dining, activities and maybe even a live show before you’ve reached your first destination? These options are available to you depending on what package you choose when taking a cruise.

Choose Your Cruise

After you’ve chosen a group of destinations you’d like to visit, it’s time to pick the cruise line most budget-friendly to your pocketbook. One of the great things about going on a cruise is not only do you get to visit places you’ve probably never traveled to before, but you can also choose activities to do at each stop. When planning your activities, cruise lines make it easy to know which excursions, or activities away from the ship, are accessible for people with a disability. If you have any questions or concerns, you can call the cruise line and discuss some activities that aren’t only fun, but are also going to easily fit your needs. 

cruise ship

Pre-Plan Your Excursions

Both your budget and the time the cruise line has allotted to stay at each stop is helpful information to have in advance. This is important since you’ll need to be back on the ship by a certain time to ensure you don’t miss its departure. One useful tip would be to pre-plan and pre-pay for your activities when possible. This is a great idea since while you’re on the cruise you’d be able focus more on the actual cruise experience, leaving behind any unnecessary stress the financial part of the vacation and even last-minute planning can bring to the experience. 

Decide How to Get There

At times it may be necessary to take a plane or drive to the port where the cruise ship is docked. This is just another opportunity to let the adventure begin a little early. It’s easy to book a flight and alert the airline you’re using to any accommodations that might be necessary to make the experience go smoothly. Even though it’s always a good idea to arrive early for your flight due to security reasons, you may want to allow for even more extra time. Building this part of the trip into the actual itinerary allows for more time to enjoy the tourist role you’ll be playing while on vacation. The extra time you build in to the trip allows not only for airport employees to have the time to get you where you need to go but, if you have to go through extra security, it wouldn’t interfere with getting where you need to go with plenty of time to spare.

Finally, you’re on your way to having the time of your life. Cruises are a unique and relaxing experience that allow you to enjoy many different things during one vacation. It should be approached with a sense of adventure since there’s always something for anyone and everyone to enjoy.

Be sure to share this post with someone who is planning a cruise!


Thanks to Christinne Rudd for these helpful tips! Christinne Rudd is a disability advocate, speaker, author, and consultant. You can learn more about her at her blog: Mama's Munchkin.

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