Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on these topics, organized alphabetically by subject area.
Do you require proof of disability to reserve an accessible stateroom?
We do not require proof of disability such as medical certificates or disability placards. However, during the booking process we will ask guests to attest to their need for the accessible stateroom.
What kind of assistance do you provide?
We provide boarding and departure assistance with wheelchairs to guests with mobility disabilities. We also provide assistance to guests who are blind. Request assistance once you arrive at the pier or contact us prior to your cruise so we may prioritize your assistance. During peak times, there may be a wait for assistance. Our crew members are not permitted to lift our guests.
Do you provide priority boarding?
Guests with mobility disabilities are offered quicker processing at the pier. If boarding has not begun, we will offer pre-boarding.
Do you offer accessible transfers?
If requested in advance, we can arrange for accessible transportation to transfer guests between the airport and the pier. This service is offered at no extra charge to guests who have purchased transfers. Please note that accessible transportation may be limited or not available outside the U.S.
Do you provide wheelchairs or scooters?
We provide complimentary wheelchairs for getting on and off the ship. If you require a wheelchair or scooter during the cruise, you can bring your own or rent one from a company that provides rentals for cruises.
Can I bring my own assistive devices with me?
Yes, you may bring and use wheelchairs, mobility scooters, walkers, canes and other assistive devices onboard our ships. Due to safety reasons, Segways may not be used onboard.
Must I store my assistive device in my stateroom?
Yes, assistive devices including mobility scooters must be stored and recharged in your stateroom so fire doors, corridors and elevator lobbies are kept clear for emergency evacuation.
Can my assistive device fit through the stateroom door?
If your assistive device is 23 inches or less, it will fit through a standard stateroom door. If your assistive device is 32 inches or less, it will fit through an accessible stateroom door.
Can I bring a CPAP or BIPAP machine?
Yes, please notify us at least 30 days prior to sailing if you will need distilled water and extension cord.
COMPLAINT RESOLUTION OFFICIAL (CRO)
What are CROs?
CROs are available to respond to disability related concerns. They are trained on applicable U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) disability regulations and our policies and procedures for guests with disabilities. Feel free to request a CRO at our pier check-in counters at all U.S. ports of departure or at the Guest Relations Desk onboard our ships.
Do you offer accessible Cruise tours in Alaska?
Yes, accessibility extends to the land portion of our Alaska Cruise tour packages. One third of our motor coaches are wheelchair lift-equipped and Wilderness Express railcars are equipped with dome-level wheelchair seating, allowing travelers with disabilities to access both levels.
What about other Cruise tours?
Most non-U.S. Cruise tours are not wheelchair accessible. In most cases we are unable to accommodate full-time wheelchair users. If guests are able to take steps to get into motor coaches and can maneuver in a standard hotel room, they may be accommodated. Portions of these Cruise tours may require extended periods of walking over uneven surfaces and/or steep terrain, as well as extended periods of standing and steps.
Do you provide tactile interpreters?
Yes, we provide tactile interpreters on cruises to/from U.S. and Canada only, however SSP (Support Service Provider) services are not provided. Please notify us at least 60 days prior to sailing.
Do you provide CART?
Yes, we provide CART (real-time captioning) services on cruises to/from the U.S. and Canada only. Please notify us at least 60 days prior to sailing.
Can I travel alone?
We do not require guests with disabilities to travel with another person as a condition for traveling on our ships. However, our personnel are not required to perform personal tasks (e.g. assisting with eating, dressing, toileting or lifting) and therefore, guest requiring assistance with these functions should consider these needs when making a booking. If there is a question about the guest’s fitness to travel without personal assistance, this must be discussed with our Access Department.
Do you accept service dogs?
Yes, we accept service dogs. A service dog is defined as “any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability.” Service dogs are not considered pets.
Do you provide sod for service dog relief areas?
Yes, sod for cruises from the U.S. can be provided; please notify us at least 30 days prior to sailing.
Can I bring dog food onboard?
You may bring a reasonable quantity of dog food and bowls at no charge. If refrigerated space is needed, notify us at least 30 days prior to sailing.
What health paperwork is required for service dogs?
Guests are responsible for obtaining all required permits for service dogs to depart the ship in non-U.S. ports. These permits must be carried on the ship, and a copy left with Guest Relations Desk once onboard. Please note that additional screening may be conducted at the pier or onboard.
Do you offer accessible shore excursions?
Yes, we offer two options: “Easy” tours and private shore excursions with accessible transportation.
• Easy tours, designed for full-time wheelchair users, are available in various European and Caribbean ports of call. Each Easy Tour vehicle features an access ramp (or lift where available) to accommodate a limited number of wheelchairs.
• Private excursions with accessible transportation may be arranged at certain non-U.S. ports at an additional cost.
How do I find and book accessible shore excursions?
To find accessible shore excursions on our website and brochures, look for the word “Easy” or the wheelchair symbol next to the tour name. Please submit requests for Easy tours at least 10 business days prior to sailing and private excursions at least 21 days prior to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to (305) 982-2547.
What is your tender policy?
In order to safely board most tenders, guests must be able to take steps and use a collapsible manual wheelchair. In addition, power wheelchairs and mobility scooters can not be taken on tenders, unless roll-on capability is available. Inquire about tender roll-on capability at Guest Relations Desk while on board. Please note roll-on capability is not guaranteed. In some cases, tendering may preclude guests from going ashore.
Do you provide braille formatted material?
No, however we provide Qualified Readers onboard our ships for guests who are blind or have low vision
What is a Qualified Reader?
Select crewmembers have been trained as Qualified Readers to read written material such as the daily Cruise Compass and shore excursions information. Waiters will also read dining menus upon request. Please request a qualified reader at Guest Relations upon boarding.
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR CRUISE
While we don’t require information about the type or extent of your disability, the more information you can share with us about your specific needs, the better we are able to assist you.
We encourage you to notify us of your needs at the time of booking, however to guarantee availability of specific equipment or services, please provide at least:
• 60 days notice if you need sign language interpreting services
• 30 days notice if you need special equipment or services (see list below) to accommodate your disability
If we do not receive enough advance notice, we will make reasonable efforts to provide requested equipment or services, but we do not guarantee they will be provided.
To customize your accommodations to meet your specific needs, contact your travel agent or complete the Guest Special Needs Form on-line at www.RoyalCaribbean.com/SpecialNeedsForm
LIST OF EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES REQUIRING ADVANCE NOTICE
60 days prior to sailing
• Sign language interpreting services
30 days prior to sailing
• Commode chair
• Shower stool
• Transfer bench
• Service animal relief area
• Large print materials
• Visual-tactile alert system
• Assistive listening device
• Sharps container
• Distilled water
• Extension cord
• Oxygen supply delivery
• Dialysis supply delivery
• Closed captioned television (Only on Monarch of the Seas)
OTHER DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS
These services and features ensure that more guests can sail away on an incredible Royal Caribbean International vacation, without a worry in the world.
Royal Caribbean can accommodate guests with a variety of special dietary needs at no charge.
• We offer low-sodium, low-fat and gluten-free items on our menus. There is no need to notify us in advance. Check with your Head Waiter for assistance with selecting appropriate menu items.
• Lactose-free/soy milk and Ensure are available at no extra charge. Simply notify us at least 45 days prior to sailing and 90 days for European/South American itineraries.
• We can accommodate most food allergies in the main dining room. Once you are on the ship, speak with our Head Waiter to discuss your needs and review your menu selections for the next day. For complex food allergies contact our Access Department for assistance. Please note we may not be able to accommodate all food allergies.
CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
Children with disabilities, including autism, will love our fun-filled, complimentary Adventure Ocean Youth Program. Some of the accommodations for our youngest special-needs travelers include:
• Adventure Ocean grouping by ability (rather than age)
• Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exception
• Pagers for parents of children in Adventure Ocean program
• Babysitting services in stateroom (age restrictions apply)
ONBOARD MEDICAL SERVICES
Every Royal Caribbean ship offers limited professional medical services for a reasonable fee. These physicians and nurses can be found in the onboard medical facility.
All types of oxygen are permitted onboard. Please notify the Access Department as to the type, quantity and delivery schedule of your oxygen. Oxygen must be stored in your stateroom.
Guests requiring continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis are welcome onboard. Guests should bring onboard or arrange to have delivered all necessary supplies and equipment needed to perform the dialysis. Please have your supplier contact our Access Department to request clearance for port delivery.
We are unable to administer or assist with hemo-dialysis treatments. However, guests using self-administered hemo-dialysis equipment are welcome to sail under certain requirements; contact our Access Department for details. Otherwise, guests requiring physician assisted dialysis may make arrangements by contacting a service provider who specializes in this service.
PEOPLE OF SHORT STATURE
People of short stature love cruising too. With many of our accessibility offerings, such as lowered Guest Service counters and lowered playing tables in Casino Royale, height doesn’t get in the way of an excellent cruise vacation experience.
PERSONS OF SIZE
Larger guests are always welcome onboard. Armless chairs and special seating are provided throughout the ship and in various venues for your comfort and convenience. Larger guests may find our accessible staterooms with wider doors, roll-in showers and grab bars more accommodating.
COGNITIVE, INTELLECTUAL AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES
Royal Caribbean welcomes guests with cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. Upon request, every reasonable effort will be made to provide accommodations to meet the needs of guests with these disabilities. Some of these may include:
• Priority boarding
• Boarding and departure assistance
• Priority disembarkation
If you have another disability or medical condition that has not been mentioned, please inquire how we might make reasonable accommodations to meet your specific needs. Please note that not all accommodations may be able to be provided.
Also, note that guests should be fit for travel. We do not require guests to travel with a companion; however, our personnel are not required to perform personal tasks.