Q. 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.

 

 

Embarkation and disembarkation assistance for guests with disabilities/impairments

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 Reception.

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

Your well-being while on board is important to us. If you need help with daily things such as using the bathroom, eating, or movement around the ship, you'll need to travel with a companion or personal assistant. The ship's crew cannot assist you with these tasks.

If you're travelling alone (or your companion is no longer able to assist you) and it becomes clear that you're unable to manage safely and independently on board without help, we'll talk to you and create a course of action.

If you have dementia, Alzheimer's or need a carer to help you whilst at home, you'll be required to travel with a companion or personal assistant for your safety whilst on board.

Flight information for travellers with disabilities/impairments

Fly-cruise holidays - what you need to know about air travel

If you have reduced mobility or a disability, you can get support when travelling by air, at the airport and on the flight.

You can tell us what assistance you need on the Mobility and Medical Questionnaire (to request a questionnaire please call our Customer Contact Centre on 0345 355 5111, local call charges apply).

If you choose a fly-cruise holiday, you’ll need to check in your wheelchair/mobility scooter at the airport with your baggage. The airport’s own assistance team will be provided at check-in. They’ll support you getting to and boarding the plane.

Please use the questionnaire to let us know about any mobility aids you’ll be taking and send it back to us no later than 14 days before departure.

You’ll also need to let your airline know about any mobility aids you’ll be taking on to the flight at least one week before departure.

If you’re flying with a scheduled airline, you’ll need to contact them directly.

If you’re flying on one of our charter flights with Thomson, Thomas Cook, Titan or Jet2, please call our Contact Centre on 0345 355 5111*.

Our charter flights can offer vegetarian, vegan, diabetic or gluten-free meals, although what’s available can vary depending on the airline. For scheduled flights, please review the airline’s website for more information.

Flying with medical equipment

Any medical equipment you need on board the flight needs to be battery operated as the airline can’t provide a power supply.

If you need additional oxygen on your flight, please contact us urgently on 0345 355 5111* as only one passenger is permitted to fly with additional oxygen on each flight. Calls cost 3p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge.

Please let us know if you:

  • Intend to bring your own hoist or commode, as airlines may have weight-associated restrictions
  • Require additional baggage allowance for mobility equipment/ medical supplies

If you need to use your CPAP/BiPAP/nebuliser/oxygen concentrator during your flight, please call us on 0345 355 5111* no later than 14 days before departure. Calls cost 3p per minute plus your telephone company’s network access charge.

Cruising with a Disability or Reduced Mobility - Mobility Ashore

Going 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 mini bus, there will be no storage space for mobility scooters or wheelchairs.

The types of gangway we use

We use a variety of gangway configurations to cope with tidal conditions.

At ports where it is not possible to use the ship’s brow, 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. The baton type can be quite steep at times, due to tidal conditions.

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.

Ports with steep gangways

Certain ports have a big tidal range. This means there can be a big height difference between the quay and the gun-port doors, making the gangway too steep for the safe passage of wheelchairs or mobility scooters. These ports include (but aren't limited to):

  • Bilbao
  • Brest
  • La Coruna
  • Le Havre
  • La Rochelle
  • Lisbon
  • Zeebrugge
  • Canary Island ports
  • Hamburg
  • Boston
  • Halifax
  • Portland
  • Quebec
  • Darwin
  • San Francisco
  • Mumbai

This means there is a strong chance guests who use a wheelchair or mobility scooter will have to stay on board at these ports. We apologise if this is disappointing, but we hope you appreciate that it’s in the interest of your safety.

Tenders

Getting to shore when a gangway can't be used

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 passengers.

To board the tender safely, you need to use steps and navigate the gap between the platform and the tender.

  • Steps are up to 20cm/ 8 inches high
  • The gap is up to 45cm/18 inches wide

Any guest wishing to use the tender will need to take a mobility assessment beforehand to demonstrate that they can step unaided over a distance of 45cm/18 inches.

If you have notified us that you have reduced mobility, we'll invite you to a tender briefing on board and give you the opportunity to complete 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 – it’s taken to ensure your safety.

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.

When you board the tender

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.

If you use a wheelchair or mobility scooter, please note that you or your travelling companion is 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/40lb.

Accessible Shore Excursions

Shore excursions add an extra dimension to your holiday, so wherever possible we offer accessible shore excursions. If you're a full-time wheelchair user or unable to board a coach, it gives you the reassurance that your trip ashore is suitable for your needs and that you're in safe hands. We'll send you a separate shore excursions guide detailing access at your ports of call once we have your questionnaire.

  • If you return your questionnaire 4 months or more before departure, you’ll receive this information approximately 12 weeks before your cruise.
  • If you return your questionnaire less than 12 weeks before departure, you’ll receive this information approximately 4-6 weeks before your cruise.
  • If you return your questionnaire less than 4 weeks before departure, please email shoremobilityinfo@carnivalukgroup.com to ensure we send you this information before your departure date.

Please note - mobility scooters can't be accommodated in accessible vehicles as they cannot be safely secured in transit.

Pre- and post-cruise hotel stays for City Stays and Land Tours

Accommodation

If you have booked a hotel with us as part of a pre or post cruise package (City Stays and 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.

Transfers to and from your hotel

If you are a full-time wheelchair/mobility scooter user or are unable to board a coach, let us know. We'll ensure our chosen supplier is aware of your needs and provides the most suitable vehicle available.

To tell us about your accommodation or transport requirements, please speak with our Customer Contact Centre on 0345 355 5111. Local call charges apply.

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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