Cruise lovers have widely differing opinions about the use of mobility scooters on board ships. And that affects everyone with mobility difficulties, whether caused by a disease such as multiple sclerosis, injury, or even aging.
Their views are included as comments on a story appearing on cruise.co.uk website. They vary from calls for mobility scooters to be banned to criticism of such opinions, and points in between.
The main problem seems to stem from a perception that some people choose to use scooters even though they do not have a mobility issue.
Cruise companies comply with disability equality laws and have their own accessibility policies. That’s why mobility scooters and wheelchairs are widely allowed, although individual cruise lines may have their own restrictions.
Some comments were against mobility scooters:
Jeanette Webster: They shouldn’t be allowed on cruise ships they take up to much room,plus they drive them to fast without care for others.
I have to disagree with a ban but mobility scooter users must do so with care and consideration for others.
Angela Hobbs Clarke: Why should we be inconvenienced by them? We pay a lot of money to cruise, and to be able to move about the ship without large scooters being parked in the halls. How would these disabled people get off in an emergency, and how would we able bodied passengers navigate round them in the dark.
Inconvenienced? People who NEED to use scooters are still people. They should be given access and treated equally. That is their legal right.
Paul Lavin: They are a lethal weapon they should be totally banned everywhere. People with genuine mobility problems should use a conventional wheelchair.
What a disgusting attitude. Everywhere? Really? Lethal weapons, indeed! And as for using a conventional wheelchair, what if they can’t use one? Maybe they are alone and don’t have the strength to get about unless someone pushes them?
Carol Hunter: We went on a cruise in May and there was a man driving round on his mobility scooter, making everyone get out of the way. In the evening, he would park it at the side of the dance floor, get up and have a dance with a few ladies. He’d then get back on his scooter and drive off!!
If this is true, I find such behaviour deplorable. From what Carol says, it would seem this scooter user’s mobility problems are not genuine.
Others spoke in defence of scooters:
Janice Derose: Why not? I’ve been on several cruises, no problem at all with them (scooters). People need a holiday, they shouldn’t need to stay at home just because people like you can’t show empathy. None of us are out of this world yet, maybe we should start saving for one.
David Haverty: One day you may well need one. Will you want to give up cruising? I don’t have one and don’t anticipate needing one in the foreseeable future, but feel compact scooters should be accepted, even if with restrictions on cabin choice or total number of scooters on board.
I agree, on both.
Diane Roe: I don’t drive too fast without a care for others. In fact, over the last few years I have noticed more ignorant able-bodied people who push in front and block the lifts, it works 2 ways!!
Scooter users who have disabilities are mostly accompanied by someone walking, so driving the scooter at walking speed is the norm. It’s true about the lifts/elevators. Able-bodies people can use the stairs, scooter users can’t.
Maralyn Lord: Anybody that says no – I hope that one day they don’t need them (mobility scooters) because whoever is using the scooter, the person with them is usually able to walk. Should they be denied a holiday on a cruise ship? Anybody who says yes (they should be denied a cruise), I hope that they never need to use one. Life is not easy. Should we stay at home because it causes a nuisance to people more fortunate than ourselves?
No one should be forced to stay at home and forego a cruise holiday just because they have reduced mobility and use a scooter.
Janet Bottomley: My father takes his mobility scooter but only uses it when he goes ashore. He walks with a stick aboard. And if they only allow scooters in adapted cabins it naturally controls how many are on board.
Great that he’s able to do that.
I have cruised, successfully, using both a manual wheelchair and a scooter. Next time, I’ll will use my folding electric wheelchair that I am confident will give me the best of both worlds.
Happy cruising to all.
* * * * *
* * * * *
50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks, a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.