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What assistance is offered to guests with a disability or reduced mobility?

If you have a disability or reduced mobility which might mean that you require additional assistance in an emergency situation, you must advise us at the time of booking or as soon as the need is known. We will then send you an accessibility and medical questionnaire to complete.

Our Disability Team collate this information and ensure that each ship has a list of guests requiring extra assistance, together with their cabin numbers, before the ship sails.

We'll do all we can to assist you while you're on holiday with us. But please be aware, we're unable to note any requests for where cabins will be allocated or which dining you’ll be assigned. All allocations are made dependent on your fare type and when the booking was made.

Sailing from Southampton

Embarkation assistance is available to any guests on request once they arrive inside the Cruise Terminal Building. There will be a mobility assistance team wearing high visibility jackets who will escort you through embarkation either in your own mobility aid or a ships wheelchair. Please ensure you only take essential items with you as hand luggage as this will need to be managed between you and your travelling companion.

We do not have a priority/fast track check in facility. However, if you arrive at the time provided on your e-tickets this will ensure you are boarded as quickly as possible. Disembarkation assistance will be arranged on board. If you have any questions please contact the Pursers Office.

To request wheelchair assistance in Southampton please request this on your accessibility and medical questionnaire. If you have not yet completed a questionnaire please contact our Customer Contact Centre, please visit our website for contact details, and a member of the team will be more than happy to send you one via email.

Travelling alone

If you require assistance with daily living, such as washing, toileting, eating, movement around the ship or disembarking in ports of call etc, you will need to travel with a companion/personal assistant who can provide this for you; the ship’s crew are unable to assist with these tasks. 

If it becomes clear that you are unable to manage safely and independently on board without assistance, or your travelling companion is unable to provide this level of assistance, you will be required to discuss the situation with a member of the ship’s company. 

If you have Dementia/Alzheimer’s or require the assistance of a carer whilst at home, you will be required to travel with a companion/personal assistant to ensure your safety whilst on board.

Access on board

Raised door thresholds are present throughout the ship which need to be negotiated with care and you may find the layout of the ship narrower than you are used to. The majority of public areas and venues will have level or ramped access.

Please also pay careful attention when backing out of elevators in a mobility scooter/wheelchair as these are often in close proximity to the staircases. In the interests of your and other guest’s safety on board, you must drive at a safe speed.

There will be wheelchair spaces in our theatres and other entertainment venues for the use of full time wheelchair users and their companions, allocated on a first come first service basis.

All of our ships will have a pool hoist available for use.

Flights

If you choose a fly-cruise holiday, you will be required to check in your wheelchair/mobility scooter at the airport with your baggage. 

Please request as soon as possible any mobility assistance you require on the questionnaire. Airport assistance is only provided from check-in by the airport operator. Please ensure details of any mobility aids you will be taking are provided no later than 14 days prior to your departure.

Availability of alternative meals is dependent on the airline and normally consist of vegetarian, vegan, diabetic or gluten free options. For scheduled flights please review the airline’s website. 

Any medical equipment you require on board the flight must be battery operated as the airline will not provide a power supply. If you require additional oxygen on your flight, please contact us urgently on 0345 355 0300* as airlines dictate that only one passenger is permitted to fly with additional oxygen. 

Please also inform us immediately if you intend to bring your own hoist or commode as there may be airline weight associated restrictions or if you require additional baggage allowance for mobility equipment/medical supplies.

For further information on flying with a wheelchair/mobility scooter and/or medical equipment, please view Can I fly if I have a pre-existing medical condition, reduced mobility or any disability that requires assistance? 

Mobility ashore

Staff will be able to provide wheelchair or arm assistance from the top to the bottom of the gangway only where safe to do so. Guests must make their own way to/from the terminal/shuttle bus/tour buses etc. Please note if your Shore Excursions are operated by minibus, there will be no storage space for mobility scooters or wheelchairs.

Due to the extreme tidal nature and gangway configurations required to cope with large varying height differences between the quay and the ship side, there is a strong chance that full and/or part time wheelchair users may be required to stay on board in ports including, but not limited to: Bilbao, Brest, La Coruna, Le Havre, La Rochelle, Lisbon, Zeebrugge, Canary Island ports, Hamburg, Boston, Halifax, Portland, Quebec, Darwin, San Francisco and Mumbai. We apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause but we hope you will appreciate that this is in the interests of your safety. 

At ports where it is not possible to use the ship’s bow, access to shore will be either by a long straight shore gangway fitted with self levelling steps to take into account the tidal conditions or, in some cases, wooden batons for foot grips. Dependent on tidal conditions the baton type can be quite steep at times. 

The ship may also use its own narrow stepped gangway (the ‘accommodation ladder’) which also features self levelling steps to take account of the tide.

Anchor ports

In some ports it is necessary to anchor off shore rather than alongside the dock or quay. When this is the case, we use a tender to take you ashore. A tender is a small vessel that carries around 100 guests. In order to board the tender, please note that you will be required to use steps (up to 20cm/8 inches high) and navigate the gap between the platform and the tender (of up to 45cm/18 inches).

In the interests of safety, we require all guests wishing to use the tenders to have sufficient independent mobility to negotiate steps and traverse a gap of up to 45 cm/18 inches. Anyone wishing to board the tender will need to demonstrate this ability via a mobility test prior to tender embarkation by stepping unaided over a distance of 45 cm/18 inches. Children who are unable to step across a gap of this size will be permitted to use the tender service provided their parent/guardian is able to demonstrate that they can carry or pass them safely across the mobility test gap.

There will be crew members there to guide and steady you as you embark, but they cannot support, carry or lift guests on board the tender for safety reasons. Please wear appropriate, flat, and securely attached footwear, when embarking and disembarking the tender.

If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, please note that you or your travelling companion will be responsible for assembling and disassembling your wheelchair/mobility scooter. The crew will endeavour to assist where practical and safe to do so, providing that no individual part weighs more than 20kg/40 lb.

If you have notified us that you have reduced mobility you will be invited to a tender briefing on board and given the opportunity to take part in the mobility assessment in advance. This must be completed independently, without any assistance. If an officer decides it is not safe for you to board a tender, please respect their decision as this decision is taken to ensure your safety.

Accessible shore excursions

If you are a full time wheelchair user or are unable to board a coach, we will send you a separate shore excursion guide detailing access at your ports of call upon receipt of your questionnaire. This should arrive approximately 12 weeks prior to your departure and will include information regarding accessible transportation. 

Please email shoremobilityinfo@carnivalukgroup.com to request accessible information if you have returned your questionnaire less than 12 weeks prior to your departure.

Please note that mobility scooters cannot be accommodated in accessible vehicles as they cannot be safely secured in transit.

Hotel stays and/or transfers

If you have booked a hotel with us as part of a pre or post-cruise package (including land tours), and have special hotel accommodation requirements, please let us know as soon as possible so we can secure a suitable room for you. This will be subject to availability as accessible/adapted hotel rooms are limited. 

To advise of any such requirements, please speak with our Customer Contact Centre on 0345 355 0300*.

If you are a full time wheelchair/mobility scooter user or are unable to board a coach our chosen suppliers will be informed so they can provide the most suitable vehicle available. If you have any specific transport requirements, please speak with our Customer Contact Centre on 0345 355 0300*.

*(calls cost 3p per min plus your company’s network charge) 

Emergencies On Board

In the event of an emergency and when guests are called to their Muster Stations, all guest cabins are checked and evacuated by the cabin stewards. Any guest who requires assistance getting from their cabin to the Muster Station will be given the required assistance by the ship’s specially trained guest Assistance Party.

Special evacuation chairs are available on all ships which will be utilised to transport guests down stairs if required. This assistance will be arranged / requested by the cabin stewards evacuating the cabins. In the event that a guest is away from their cabin, either on the open decks or in a public room, at the onset of an emergency, these areas are also checked and evacuated. In this event any guest requiring assistance would be taken directly to their Muster Station by the guest Assistance Party and a life jacket/s would be provided in the Muster Station. This assistance will be arranged / requested by the crew members assigned to evacuate these areas. Similarly if a guest requiring assistance presents themselves on a stairway at the onset of an emergency, this assistance will be arranged by a Stairway guide. Stairway guides are present on all stairways designated as guest evacuation routes.

Please note that in the event of an emergency, guests with restricted mobility will not be able to use the elevators (as with standard worldwide emergency procedures, elevators are not to be used in emergency situations). Please also note that in the event of an emergency, those guests using motorised wheelchairs or scooters will need to be transferred to either a regular wheelchair or evacuation chair. It is not possible for the guest Assistance Party to transport guests in motorised wheelchairs or scooters down the stairs, due to the additional weight and the subsequent risk of injury to the guest and members of the guest Assistance Party in attempting this.

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