Mini reviews and comments from our readers!

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Eric reports: “We went to San Juan, Puerto Rico and stayed at the Marriott just outside of Old Town (Marriot San Juan).  The hotel was very nicely appointed very accessible.   They even had lifts to get you in and out of both the pool and hot tub, which was very nice.  Their food and drink prices on property were a bit high.

Old San Juan was a lovely, quaint old town with the turquoise Caribbean Sea on one side and the port on the other.  It was just beautiful there.  It dates from back in the pirate days, so many cobblestone streets and many non-accessible curbs.  Some have been converted, but many were not.  We were very glad to have brought with us a folding portable ramp.  We used a 5 foot trifold ramp, which we purchased here.  It came in very handy getting around.  Puerto Rico, may be part of the US, but apparently, they are not required to meet ADA the same way as the rest of the country.

Old Town has two old Forts.  We explored the one closest to the hotel.  It was fairly accessible considering the age of it.  The visitor center had an elevator to get up to the main fort level and there were many ramps.  Fortunately, the original designers had several ramps built into the old design, so you could get from one area to the other.  It was a little bumpy rolling around there, but well worth it.  Beautiful views of the old town, harbor, newer San Juan and of course the unbelievable color of the Caribbean Sea.

Just a 2.5 hour flight from Miami/Fort Lauderdale, its easy to get to and one great feature is you are still in the US.  Your cell phone still works (ATT works great there), no need for a passport, English is used almost everywhere and they use American Currency.”

Susan comments: “We stayed at the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge hotel several weeks ago.  And the hotel is close to the accessible entrance to the Brooklyn Bridge walkway which was a lot of fun.”

George recommends: “Taking the train (the Zepher) between Denver and San Francisco. It’s a two day trip, but you go through some of the most beautiful parts of the country – and sleep through the boring parts. The Conductor rules and really cares about his passengers. The attendants are excellent and are pleased to help you. You arrive relaxed, refreshed and excited to see what lies ahead. And it’s cheap. Also, it’s 15% off for gimps and their caregivers. And no security checks.”

Pamela differs with Fred (below): “Columbus is very accessible.  They have a separate ADA transit system similar to my city, Cincinnati.  Like many accessible travel, it takes planning.  Don’t base a broad comment for a large city on probably a last minute decision.  Google schedules for the transit and accessible taxi service.”

Alison gives this heads up: “Just back from a long weekend in Brussels. Le Plaza took my booking for a wheelchair accessible room before I left. Upon arrival I was greeted with 5/6 steps to the main lobby and bar/restaurant. Completely inaccessible (quite surprising for a 5 star). They found us a room in The Sheraton which was a lot better but no shower facilities. Brussels was lovely but beware of the cobbles! Also not many pubs/restaurants have accessible toilets.”

Richard informs us: “If you want to play golf from an accessible golf cart with hand controls and swivel seat that can go on greens and tees, Wailea in Maui is terrific!”

Cynthia suggests: “I went to Alaska last week and found beautiful accessible rooms at both the Talkeetnah Lodge in Talkeetnah and the Seward Windsong Lodge in Seward. If you want to try fishing and don’t depend on a wheelchair, Sea Mist Fishing Charters out of Whittier was very polite and helpful to me. I depend on 2 canes to walk. Kenai Fjords Tours could accommodate wheelchairs on their magnificent tours of the Kenai Fjord. With their wonderful assistance, I was able to take a river trip by boat out of Talkeetnah with Mahay River Trips. Even gimps can do Alaska!”

Olga warns: “Last week I went to Argentina with my family. Sheraton Hotel. San Martin in Buenos.Aires is a shame. No rooms adapted for disabilities (I had confirmed reservation for handicapped room – a lie) and a very, very bad attention!”

Adarro says: “If you ever have occasion to visit New Jersey Performing arts Center, fear not. Their disabled patron department and staff were great! They met me at the door when I arrived and assigned an usher specifically to me got me seated and comfortable right away it made my whole night. Same with Radio City Music Hall. Someone from their disabled patrons department met me at my seat gave me their card in case I wanted to attend another event. Kudos to the above mentioned venues.”

Candy shares: “Wyndom Hotel in San Jose Calif is real nice. Had the handicap non-smoking room and they have several. I use an electric cart and never had a problem. Was able to use elevators etc. Was there for a conference and they catered the best meals I have had at a hotel EVER!!! All 3 meals were wonderful. Dining room is small but the chef is fantastic. Near the airport.”

Lisa relates: “Hay Adams Hotel 16th and H- King size bed at 18” high/ we had they remove one overstuffed chair and foot stool to park 2 wheelchairs and charger. No closet in wall but an armoire which was high, therefore impossible to reach/ drawers okay/ bathroom well barred with roll in shower no shower seat/ requested shower seat/ delivered after 2nd request. Very nice and willing to do whatever they could to accommodate us. Dining room upstair from lobby/ very nice/ elevator to it just off lobby exit passes by kitchen pantry/ not offensive. Restaurant: DC Coast fabulous- no steps/ very friendly cutting edge food few blocks away from hotel.”

Susan reports: “Millennium Hotel St. Louis, MO. Our travel agent had made reservations for a two bed wheelchair accessible room. When we got there, we were told all their wheelchair accessible rooms had only one bed. So we took that plus added a rollaway. The first oom we were taken to had no shower head or hose and tiles were missing from a seating area at the back of the tub. The second room was better but did not have wide doorways and had only grab bars for a right handed person. My husband has no use of his right side. The bed was very low to the ground which made quite a drop for a tall man in transferring from his wheelchair.”

Chris writes: “Beau Rivage Casino – Biloxi, Mississippi – Their handicap rooms are very limited.”

Charlotte raves: “New Orleans Ghost Tour arranged a motorized scooter rental for me, so that I could take their ghost/vampire tour recently. Everyone was very nice and the tour guide made sure to check on how I was doing. Highly recommended!!! www.neworleansghosttour.com or 504-524-0708 for info.”

Judy notes: “Foxwoods Tower rooms are beautiful and very accessible for wheelchair users.”

Jeff retorts: “I have to disagree with a report by Jim about Puerto Penasco Mexico. We have a beach front home in Las Conches that we had built about three years ago. I am a quad and built it with that first and foremost. We lived there for about a year and found the town and restaurants and bars to be very accessible I can count on one hand those that are not. The home is also available for rent and can be viewed at www.casadolphin.com”

Laura Lee exclaims: “Just returned from a stay at Bellagio in Las Vegas. The handicapped room and bath was outstanding, but it was a LONG way from the elevator. The hotel and staff are welcoming and helpful. We even took the gondola ride at the Venetian Hotel, but that required a lot of help. We did not win any money, but we went to see shows, not to gamble. The ‘O’ show was thrilling for me, but my husband’s wheelchair seating put him far away from the stage and since he has trouble seeing, he did not enjoy the creative show.”

Jo lauds: “Hilton Garden Inn near University of Florida, Orlando, Florida. My husband, who had a stroke and I stayed at the hotel in early December. The roll-in shower and handicap room was wonderful. Large bathroom, grab bars, lots of light and a small refrigerator for snacks and water. The ease of booking the room and the service was excellent.”

Joyce writes: “This past June I went on a dialysis cruise (booked through Medicaltravel.inc. Ask for Ira and tell him Joyce sent you.) It was on Celebrity cruise lines ship the ‘Infinity.’ We traveled Alaska’s inside passage. We left from Vancouver, Canada, a lovely and accessible city. We stopped in three ports: Juneau (no problems getting to shore-Juneau is a deep water port; Skagway, another deep water port, where we docked right in the city; and Ketchican, where we ‘tendered’- this means that you transfer from the cruise ship to a smaller ship. Since I cannot walk at all I was carried by two staff members over the connecting ramp. It was really one of the most memorable and accessible vacations I have ever been on. The cruise staff was excellent.”

William says: “The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: roll in shower, close to the university, completely accessible.”

Jann states: “Accessible Lighthouses in Florida: While Gasparilla Island near Port Charlotte has a lighthouse with an elevator, it is not the best one for a person with a handicap. There is a fee to get onto the island and a fee for parking, and my husband had to go up the steps to get the person who runs the elevator! I’d suggest instead the east coast lighthouse at Ponce Inlet just south of Daytona Beach. While there is no elevator in this very tall lighthouse, the rest of the buildings are all ramped and very accessible. There is a per person fee, but there is plenty to do and see. (Many lighthouses charge a small fee if they have done renovations).”

Eleanor has this scoop: “Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines crew have repeatedly been wonderfully accomodating on the 4+ cruises we’ve sailed with them even lifting my scooter on & off the tender in St. Maarten! Kudos to a handicapped aware managment!”

Michelle tells us to check this out: “The Fairfield Inn by Marriott in Calverton, MD has rooms that really ARE handicapped accessible when they say so. Also, all the meeting space will accommodate an extrawide wheelchair. The only problem is that the carpet is a bear to push yourself on… The bathrooms are big enough for a wheelchair and the seats in the showers/bathtubs (depending on the room) are really sturdy (I am a large woman and believe me those seats weren’t phased a bit by my weight) I understand from the hotel, though I don’t know from personal experience, that the hotel at Calverton is the standard for all new Fairfield Inns.”

Kathryn has a heads-up: “Since my husband’s stroke and my use of a wheelchair nearly at all times, we have started traveling by cruise. Princess is what we have done with the last one and we leave on 3/26 for our second trip. They have enough w/c facilities for my needs. If you are looking for a nice way to get away, give it a try. We did and enjoyed it enough to be going again, this time to the Panama Canal.”

Jim wants us to know: “Just got back from Las Vegas and as everyone knows it is very accessible…we stayed at Harrah’s and it was fine (roll-in shower with a decent bench!!). Our only problem was transportation, the public buses are a hassle, way too crowded and we had a really tough time getting taxis (a least an hour wait day and/or nite)….but it was worth it!! Just a tip, if you want to go on an accessible tour (ie: Red Rock Canyon, Hoover Dam) the tour company needs 72 hr. notice.”

Alice keeps it short & simple: “Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, NV affordable, comfortable, easy access.”

Sharon wants us to know: “Twice we have gone to California and needed to rent a van. Both my husband and I use wheelchairs and need hand controls. We also would be camping and wanted a van. No company would accomodate the hand controls AND the van request. We also were asking that the last two seats of the van be removed so we could sleep on the floor. Thrifty Rent a Car was the ONLY public car rental company that was willing to meet our needs — and they did it cheerfully. From now on we will only rent from Thrifty no matter where we go.”

Wendy sends us this: “I have had several wonderfully accessible trips in the last few years. 1. Pointe Hilton at Tapatio Cliffs, Phoenix, AZ. All accessible rooms are 2-room suits w/roll-in showers, shower bench and grab bars everywhere. 2 of the pools are zero-entry. 2. Coumshaingain Lodge, Kilclooney, Waterford Cty, Ireland has 2 accessible rooms, 1 small roll-in shower, 1 larger. The lodge is near the coast at the base of a mountain, some trails are accessible. Also near the waterford crystal factory. Breakfast and dinner is included. The owner, Pauline is an exceptional host and cook. 3. The Essex House, NY, NY has several accessible rooms either facing Central park or not (reflected in the price). The rooms are large, but no roll-in showers. They will provide shower chairs upon request. In addition, the hotel staff is very accommodating.4. The new Carnival Triumph’s accessible staterooms are exceptional. My husband’s first words when we entered the room were, “if all ships have accessible rooms like this, I think we’ll cruise more often”. I’ll hold him to it. The bathroom has a roomy roll-in shower, no threshhold, and a very wide door.”

Shirley checks in with: “Hither Hills State Park, at Montauk has beach wheelchairs and the campground is accessible. Reservations have to be made many months in advance.”

Jon has this heads up:“The New York, NY hotel in Las Vegas has some of the largest wheelchair accessible rooms around. Ask for an accessible Marque room with 2 king beds. Very nice price too.”

Fred writes to tell us:“I am staying in the worst accessible resort I have ever been to – The Phoenecian in Scotsdale, AZ. A stroller for the kids was a nightmare; a wheelchair would be worse.”

Linda has this for us:“I was on Celebrity Cruise’s Mercury at the end of last Oct. It was well equipped for handicapped travel and I highly recommend it. The previous year we took a cruise on Norwegian’s Wind. That cruise had a very nice cabin but I did prefer the Mercury. I guess a couple hundred dollars makes a difference.”

Pat writes that: “In LA, both the new Getty and Universal Studios were easily maneuvered although my mom was in a wheelchair. Personnel were very accommodating.”

Jack has this news: “Just stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in Melbourne, FL. Staff and facilities and surrounding area (including curb cuts) all SUPER!”

Judy says about her client: “His most recent trip was with Apple Vacations to the Presidente in Ixtapa. He reported the hotel is most accessible for all handicapped situations and he was very pleased with his entire vacation.”

Susan comments: “We just got back from Disney world-the room at Wilderness Lodge was great except that the king size bed was so tall that my husband had to pick me up to get in at night. It was a tad nerve wracking.”

Sharon warns: “Casey’s General Stores in Iowa do not have accessible restrooms. Pass them by.”

Diane offers this review: We have been to Orlando within the last year and found it VERY accessible. We stayed at the Best Western Lake Buena Vista (just on the Disney gounds) and had a very nice sized room. It even had hook eyes in the ceiling for a sling or grab rope above the bed and in the bathroom. The balcony was not accessable but the patio door was large enough and close enough to enjoy the warm night air. The Disney attractions were FABULOUS. The staff couldn’t do enough for us and often went out of there way to make us welcome and comfortable. We were able to go on many rides and were given special access to all shows and video presentation. They also have hearing impared assistance. We can’t wait to go back.”

Jeff reports: “Recently, we stayed at a Residence Inn near Washington DC. It was actually the Residence Inn Arlington at Roslyn. It’s just across the Potomac from Washington. They have several wheelchair accessible rooms, some with roll-in showers and the others with regular tubs and shower chairs. The mini kitchen has a wheelchair accessible sink and a raised dishwasher for easy access. The management was also helpful in having a bed removed from a room in order to allow for a rented hospital bed (which I require). There was plenty of room to maneuver my chair and the hotel also has a van accessible parking garage underneath. I recommend this hotel chain.”

John has this for us: “Recently stayed at Disneyworld again. VERY disappointed. After paying over $130/nite even pkg coffee in room with coffeepot was $1.21/pkg. Also off-site Quality hotel was 1/2 price 2x service and closer to Disney events.”

David e-mails: “I stayed at RENDEZVOUS (St.Lucia) 12/99-staff very accomodating 24 hrs day-many rooms easy access – most of resort can be reached and other areas have 1 and 2 steps to traverse – I discussed with mgt about a ramp which was greatly appreciated.”

Johnny tells us: “The Marriott West End in Nashville, near ‘music row’ is very friendly. I have stayed there 3 times and have never been disapointed! Bathrooms are as big as football fields, plenty of wall bars, friendly staff!”

Leila brings us this: “I have had a big problem with bathtubs in Germany and England. They were too high for me to get into. I had to take sponge baths.”

Fred weighs in with this: Don’t EVER go to Columbus Ohio, I was there last year, it is the most disabled un-friendly place I’ve ever been, you have to beg for disabled limo service, they have ONE city bus equipped for the disabled, I will never go back there unless I have my own transportation.”

Gary reports: “Salt Lake City Utah is gearing up for the2002 Olympics. There have been some growing pains but access is looking great. All the public transit is accessible including the new TRAX system. Some of the new construction is causing problems but when doesnt it. The Association for People in Rural Independent Living is holding their Annual Conference there in October of 2000. The Double tree Hotel has over 30 accessible rooms. Hope to see you there.”

Elaine says: “Mersey River Chalets in Nova Scotia is a bit of heaven on earth with ALL of the facilities wheelchair accessible.”

Elsa brings this to our attention: “TJ Max opened a store in College Point, Queens, NYC within the last couple of years and they do not have doors that open automatically. How can they have gotten permission from the city? This is clearly against the rules of the ‘Disability Act,’ is it not? People at that store claim that ‘all you have to do is ask and we’ll gladly open the doors for you’… Well, it certainly doesn’t help if you’re outside trying to get in!! There is no doorman. Can you investigate this? Thank you!!”

Bunny tells us: “I travel with my neighbor who needs a wheelchair when traveling. She is a diabetic and has an open wound on her foot. I ordered a wheelchair at the Excalibur Hotel In Las Vegas, Nevada. They charged us for the use of the chair. This is a place were the money in the casino floats like water.”

Eddy warns: “Kendrick Theater in St Louis County, Mo. has Stadium Seating but if you use a wheelchair or a Scooter you are forced to sit about five rows from the screen due to steps and the lack of a way up them.”

Jim says: “I visited Germany in 1989; London 1994; and my family visited Italy, Austria, and Germany 6/1998.”

Annette wants us to know: “Sedona, AZ. The LoLoMai is a smoke free, chemical free enviornment. Inexpensive as well. Frig and Microwave in room. Great place for people with Multiple Chemical sensitivities.”

Andy has this information: “Stayed at the Crowne Plaze in Chicago on Michigan Ave & ‘Miracle Mile’ last week. Excellent suite arrangement with well equipt bath. Only problem is very narrow old elevators. You must be a good driver to get in and out.”

Ron writes in: “Homewood Hotels Burlington Ma, Great suite, Bath extra large, tub was a hinderance for wheelchair bound people (no Shower), Rail in tub set at wheelchair height, Room was a long distance from the desk for walking disabled. Closet was set to wheel chair height.”

Mindy reports: “On my recent wheelers trips to Vegas, I’ve had good luck at Circus Circus with rooms. They have many VERY decent room in the Manor (buildings outside the regular casino building), and November rates were $29 for Sun-thurs, $49 Fri/Sat. Just recently I paid more, $79 Sat, $59 weeknites. But the rooms fit my needs very well. LARGE rooms, two beds each, large bathrooms with Roll-in shower, shower chair (ask to have it put in the room or it may not be there). Most important, they’ll BLOCK these rooms for me so there’s no chance someone will be staying over in the h/c room. We used Motel 6 on Tropicana a couple times, but found they absolutely won’t guarantee the wheelchair rooms will be there when you get there. So….screw ’em!”

Michael gives this heads up: “Little Nell Hotel in Aspen was pretty much accessible except for the pool area (stairs) and the lounge and sitting area (stairs).”

C A Wright checks in with: “Ramada Inn, Lewiston, Maine: their only accomodation to handicapped access is to place you on the first floor. NO shower bars, no rails in the jacuzzi or pool; they acted insulted if asked about handicap-accessibility, or ADA-regulated features. Definitely NOT recommended!!!”

Marlon has this news: “Oscars Resturant, located in North Syracuse, NY. off of the thru-way I-90, @ I-81 exit to Rt.11, aprox. 2 miles north – is worth the little side trip and many little stores along the way if you need groceries. Wheelchair accessible @ side entrance, Bathrooms just as you enter.”

Marcia mentions: “Kaanapali – don’t know if it’s changed, but a couple of years ago I had to go to the Medical clinic – on second floor no elevator. An inaccessible medical clinic! There was a secret way in through the whale museum, but no signs or info. Hope it’s better now.”

Fred weighs in with: “Our problem is with the airlines. They make it very difficult to fly with oxygen. Have no problem staying at hotels. We get oxygen delivered right to our room. But the airlies charge an additional fee if you are on oxygen and you cannot carry your own oxygen on board.”

Marcia also wants us to know: “Hanalei Bay Resort – Kauai. No elevators. Requested ground floor room. Had a lip at door that wheelchair would have trouble with. Also property is very hilly, and parking lot is at top of hill. They will pick you up with van and take you to parking lot.”

Alice warns: “Travelodge, Lexington, KY, April, 2000. H/C room would not accommodate manual wheelchair. No H/C access to lobby. Do not recommend.”

Travis reports: “I went to Cabo San Lucas for the month of April and I had the trip that made me realize that happiness does exist. Not that it was a simple adventure because their are always obstacles. The streets and sidewalks were rough but they just took patience and alot of re-routing and going around if you are a parapeligic and are moderatly strong you can go alone and survive. My stay was at the Pueblo Bonito condo 5 minutes from town and the nicest resort in Cabo and the fees will show that, but worth every dollar. I enjoyed my time so much that I am moving down in June to sell timeshare and live in an environmet that puts a smile on my face every day.”

Marcia has one more: Aston Waikiki Sunset – 1 br suite ok but has narrow door. Restaurant and pool are not accessible.”

Maureen gives us this resource: “We just got the greatest travel book for free from Virginia is for Lovers – for Persons with Disabilities. It arrived within days of an internet request. The web site is www.VIRGINIAISFORLOVERS.org and phone number is 1-800-847-4882.” *Turns out this info incorrect.

Kathy checks in with: “Sonesta resorts Aruba. Resort was fine for my husbands electric scooter but the streets were not accesable for driving the scooter across or on sidewalks or into many other hotels or the casinos.”

Colleen has this for us: “Just wanted to introduce ourselves and let you know of another group of traveling gimps, RVers. We’re a group of about 230 and have a new and developing web site: http://sohoconnection.com/htc. Please keep us in mind if you get any inquiries on this style of travel. We are working on educating rig manufacturers and dealers about acc. rigs, educating park owners on acc. parks, identifying “good” parks, etc. RVing is a way to travel where you can take your personalized bed, bath, and kitchen with you.”

Keith drops a dime to say: “On April 30th, I went with my brother to Cincinnatti to the First Star Center for a Bruce Springsteen concert. The seating was great, however the parking wasn’t they weren’t clear about handicappied parking where to park this hard to figure out in when you coming from different state.”

Hank offers this: “A few months ago we travelled to Florida and had reservations at the HoJo on the Beach in Hollywood. When we arrived they had given the gimp room away and we had no place to stay. We contacted the Holiday Inn on Sheridan St. in Hollywood Florida. They are terrific. The entire hotel was accessible but the amazing thing was the bathroom. A huge bathroom with a roll in shower. Bench seat in the shower it was great. I can’t recommend this hotel enough.”

Jim writes in: “Over Easter I went to Puerto Penasco (also known as Rocky Point), Mexico with my family. We rented a house in Los Conchos Beach on the water. The town is not wheelchair friendly, There are no cutout for curbs and the sidewalk/roads have potholes. Other than the Friendly Dolphin Restaurant which was accessible, most were not. For all it’s shortcomings, the sea is beautiful and very affordable.”

Jann opines: “Costa Cruise Line’s ship, CosatRomantica has several (6) handicap accessible cabins, unfortunately we booked too late to get one. They looked to be very good, but book them early. The rest of the ship is accessible. They have the disco on the top which is a great place to wait in air conditioned comfort to see the view while waiting to go on shore. Mexico is not very accessible; tenders are always a problem, but can be done. The ruins at Tulum are very hazardous! Beware, and if you go be careful. My husband did push me out to the ruins, but they are in sand, and there are no walkways. The ramp to get on the trolley is very steep, and I almost fell out of the wheelchair. My husband went ahead and took some pictures for me to enjoy instead. The bathroom was closed! I’ll never go back (rent a video instead!).”

Another from Jann: “We enjoyed the Bay Bridge Walk with me using my scooter. The busses from the AA Community College were all handicap accessible. There is a little rough terrain from where they let you off to the start (which should be improved). But, other than that it was a good 4.3 miles that my Amigo scooter did with ease. I would recommend it! (Be sure and take an umbrella and sunscreen). There is water provided along the way, but we brought our own. Took us about an hour and a half on the bridge and 2 hour total. Because of the heat, it was good we were one of the first to go at 9:00 am.”

Steven tells us: “Edinburgh, Scotland – The Balmoral has a very good handicap accessible room on the first floor (that’s second floor for we Americans). The bathroom is large and the toilet is good. The bathtub is an old fashioned claw-leg but the sink is OK to roll under. Hotel has a ramp. The tea room has steps but the staff is very accommodating. Best time to go is late August during the International Arts and Fringe Festivals. Lots to do. The City is very hilly in parts but manageable with a good attendant. The Castle (a must see) has much cobblestone pavement so go very slow. The Scots are great and the taxis accommodate the wheelchair in the rear seat and you don’t ever have to transfer out of the chair.”

Wendy shares this: “On May 20th I stayed at the brand new Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Studios, Orlando. I would have to say that someone dropped the ball there as far as being friendly to wheelchair users. The reception and concierge desks are all 5′ high, the beds are 4′ high and require a step stool for most people to get in and the roll-in showers have the bath bench too far away from the shower controls and to top it off, the hand held shower hoses are about 2′ short!”

Jackie has this highlight: “Just came back from an internet MS support group meeting in Connecticut. The Bradley Airport in Hartford, has handicapped transportation 24 hours a day-NO CHARGE!! to any of the surrounding hotels. My flight came in 8 hours late and at 2:30am I only had to wait 10 minutes for transportation! Great little airport to fly in to.”

Harold sets us straight: “Just checked with phone number given (for the Virginia Disabilities Travel Guide) and it is also wrong. Maureen must have gotten this somewhere else. The correct number for Virginia travel for disabled is 1-800-742-3935 and the internet address is in small letters: www.virginia.org.”

Jim writes: “Stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Oklahoma City. Hotel was great had roll in showers etc.”

Brenda remarks: “I have been staying at a lot of motels since moving far away from relatives so when I go back to visit I stay at motels. Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inns get a strong thumbs up [so far] for the ones I have stayed at in Michigan. Their accessible rooms really are accessible.”

Glenn remarks: “Find the wheelchair assistance at Detroit Metro very poor during late night and early morning hours when you need it most.”

Pam reports in: “Got a hotel room in Atlanta that promised wheelchair roll in shower. Checked in and my boyfriend tried it and the thing collapsed– he’s heavy but not as heavy as I am! Boy would I have been broken up as I smashed my knee recently and was in a leg cast!”

Millard shares this: “St. Michelle is a great little reastruant in Arcadia, CA. Very accessible to wheelchairs and food is good too. I would recommend the patio if the weather is suitable, almost always is in Calif.”

Miles tells us: “Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Great room! Both a roll-in shower and a bathtub. Hotel, including beach area, very accessible to wheelchairs.”

Bill wants us to know: “Best Western – Louisville (East) Ky. Good room, good access. Roll-in showers – but they have installed shower doors on them – a wheelchair cannot then enter shower. Also, Hilton Garden Inn – Louisville, Ky. Great for wheelchairs – however the shower seat fell as I was trying it out before the better half got on it — it fell off the wall. Long screws had been used – but after they went thru the shower wall they were only held by 1/2 inch into solid material.”

Millard writes: “Edwards movie theaters are really good access-wise; have good first run flicks also.”

Norman warns: “Aboard the Ecstasy which is totally unfriendly to wheelchairs. I made it through the cruise that Poe, in a most drug induced state could not have done justice to – this cruise from and to ‘HELL.'”

Ken shares: “Golden Tulip Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, Amsterdam – 2 h/c rooms w/2 beds, 24hr rm svc, steep ramp to lobby but doorman will assist, 2 restaurants, city centre among all the action, shopping, dining, etc. Amsterdam is a beautiful city with canals and fairly easy access throughout. Sidewalks manageable with some curb cuts…others have small curbs. Highly recommended.”

Pat tells us: “My husband is in the Hoveround Teknique and loves it. We travel mostly by our van throughout the Midwest and some Southern states. We have found Red Roof Inns usually have a nice universal access room available with the roll-in shower and very large bathroom. They usually have a king bed also. I have found you must ask all the questions when you call for reservations. When are some of the other hotel chains going to understand that a tub usually isn’t going to work for a person in a wheelchair. I could write more, but won’t- I will respond to anyone who needs info about other hotel chains I have dealt with most over the past two years of having a chair.”

Marianne wants to say: “I go to the movies a lot & in about the last 8 years the seating for wheelchairs has really improved. Until now. I don’t like the seating in these new stadium seating theaters because it’s too close to the screen.”

Pat writes: “I spent a week at the Ramada Hotel in Rockville, Md. recently. Hotel entrance is off street level, down a steep ramp. If you’re coming from the Metro station, it’s a killer to get down and even worse to get up. Room advertised as wheelchair accessible had no grab bars in bathroom, no hand-held shower, no lowered towel or clothes racks, and air conditioning controls were behind a heavy sofa. My advice-try the Doubletree across the street.”

Mindy offers this: “Most recent hotel adventures include the Waldorf, MD econolodge. Nice people, two w/c rooms are really large, two others are not. They bought a shower chair at my request but don’t have a hand-held nozzle. Biggest surprise is that when you come in the main door (the only accessible one), their handicapped rooms are the furthest away at either end of the building. There are h/c signed parking spaces right by the rooms, but a couple steps up to the door. Next DC trip with a client was a little ritzier. We stayed at the $300 a night Embassy suites on Military Road in Chevy Chase. Nice suite, but the pull-down shower bench was pulled out from the wall slightly, making my client tend to slide. We requested a shower chair…requested, requested, requested. Many calls later, a back-less/side less stool appeared. I explained again what our needs were. Called housekeeping manager, etc. Finally the door knocked…and a nice fellow stood there with a little package in his hand, looking confused. “Did you order the shower cap?” he asked me, handing it over. I laughed till I wet my pants. He FINALLY understood what we wanted, and the next day–our last–we got a useable shower chair.”

Michael comments: “Stayed at the Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo, Ca, Wonder access, great service, and food. Would go again in a heartbeat.”

Roger tells us: “Just spent 4th of July in North Conway N.H. My girlfriend and I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express on Rt16. They have several accessible rooms, but only 1 room with a roll in shower. The price during the summer is about 150/night and there is plenty to do in the area if you are in a wheelchair, including great views of MT. Washington, outlet shopping, and a 4 1/2 hour train ride to Crawford Notch – wheelchair ramp to the train, with help, and of course spectacular scenery. Several good accessible restaurants are in the area and entertainment is available at some. There is also a Comfort Inn with roll in showers just opened.”

Dan wants us to know: “Hampton Inns have become my first choice. Almost always a good room with good breakfast. Night is free if they can’t make your stay pleasant. Super 8 and Fairfield Inn usually have good rooms. Shop with 800 # but confirm and ask question at local motel via phone call to them directly.”

Cheryl checks in with this: “I recently made reservations and stayed at the Trump Marina in Atlantic City. The people in reservations are wonderful. They do honor requests. I use a cane and asked for a room near an elevator and they were more than happy to accommodate me. If possible they also will let you check into room early as well as later departure. I have never stayed in a hotel with such caring employees.”

Don fills us in: “Stayed in the Hilton, South Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Beautiful room with all the features you could want except that the bathroom door was too narrow. Hotel engineer came up promptly and removed the door. We then rigged a bed sheet over the door for privacy.”

Charles remarks: “Recently, you published a letter from one of your readers lauding The Hampton Inn for their handicapped accessible rooms. I followed her lead BUT found the exact opposite on my 16-night tour of GA, TENN, NC and FL. I should add that the owners/managers of these 16 Hampton Inns were very nice, accommodating and helpful. In 15 cases they had a rational explanation of WHY the room did not meet my specifications – most offered, ‘We used to be a xxxxxx motel and have only recently changed to a Hampton Inn.’ Nevertheless, your readers should not count on calling 1-800-Hampton and getting any sort of consistent response to their needs across a long stretch of Interstates. After my experience, I will always call the property, directly, and ask the critical questions, such as, ‘Do you have a shower bench or a shower chair at your hotel, for my use?’ Surprising, Valdosta, GA was the ONLY new Hampton Inn which was TRULY handicapped-equipped. As that was my first stop on my tour, I thought I was in for a treat with the upcoming 15. However, each was a bigger ‘surprise’ than the last unsatisfactory stay. PS. Several invoked their 100% guarantee provisions and I received a free nights lodging because of their inadequacies.”

Judi warns: “If you are in a wheelchair don’t even think about Don Shula’s in Miami. The most wc unfriendly place I have ever been. The electric chair didn’t even fit thru some of the room doors and their idea of a handicap room is a bathroom with a tub shower and no hand rails… I told them to ‘get a life…'”

Mike lets us know: “My wife and I just got back from Hawaii. I am SCI (20 years) so we asked for a roll in shower. We got what we asked for and more. In Honolulu we stayed at the Prince Kuhio Radisson which had a roll in shower. The garage was accessible from our floor by elevator. Waikiki itself, curb cuts everywhere. While on the Island we visited the Dole Plantation, Arizona Memorial, Bishop Museum,(first floor only) The Polynesian Cultural Center, Don Ho (great fun, go) and much more all accessible. The Islands are so much more accessible than my home state of R. I. which is suppose to be a vacation paradise, but only if you’re walking. We flew Delta to get to Hawaii, they were great. To get from one island to another we flew Hawaiian Air, they were even better. Next was San Francisco. There we stayed at the Sheraton at Fisherman’s Wharf (too high price for me 28.00 a day to park in their garage) but again a roll in shower. We had bumps on our trip but all in all it was great for someone who is willing to have an adventure of a lifetime.”

Maureen writes in: “We discovered Dewey Beach, a great beach in Delaware that is just north of Rehobeth. It is on the Delaware Bay which is much more feasible for a physically challenged individual to swim in than the ocean beaches.”

Mary Ann gets this off her chest: “Finding it difficult to communicate to people exactly what is needed. So many times rooms are barely wheelchair accessible much less handicapped convenient. 3 adult family members travel together. Accommodations needed are two double beds in a handicapped room. Almost unheard of. If I ask for a handicapped room I get one king size bed and a roll away cot. I don’t do cots. In most places their idea of a handicapped room is a shower chair thrown in a tub shower with no handrails in a mini-sized room with double beds. Many times can’t even get the shower chair. Have started to travel with a folding bag chair for adult-child to even shower. This problem seems to exist from coast to coast; from the most expensive to some of the cheapest hotels. What’s up with these places? Don’t they get it. Just returned from San Jose – same story – same problems even in the most expensive of hotels (Hilton). Sign me tired of the struggle but not willing to give up the search.”

Marg reports: “Golden Nugget in Las Vegas was nightmare. Paid extra for handicapped room with no grab bars around toilet and step in tub. Was put in tower furthest from elevators and walk with cane and great difficulty. Will never stay there again.”

Diane checks in with: “Went to Trinity University in San Antonio for a conference. The University is trying to make this campus accessible and are succeeding. The need to do a better job on a map outlining where the ramps and elevators and curb cuts are. They need a curb cut in front of the entrance to the music building which is the handicapped entrance to the Laurie Auditorium. You have to travel to the Taylor Theatre to get a curb cut. I am a scooter rider, so can walk if I have to. They did not have some of the lifts in the Music building on so a person could get to the restrooms on the first and second floors. There are not enough toilets in the bathrooms in the Laurie Auditorium to accommodate a crowd.”

Don warns: “My Hampton Inn experience was also deplorable. The room they called the handicap room was not; door too narrow, and you could see where the grab bars had been bolted to the floor and walls, yes, they had removed them! When I complained, the desk clerk suggested I move to the Sheraton down the street. Never again.”

Pat chimes in: “I would like to second what Charles said about the Hampton Inns. I very rarely use them as the handicap room is only a double bed, they do usually have an adjoining room they will rent you for the rest of the party- that means double payment also. Comfort Inn just opened a brand spanking new location in Harrison, OH (west side of Cincy) and their 2 handicap rooms are both equipped with a tub and bars, I need a roll-in shower!!! What are some of these people thinking?? Holiday Inn Express and Red Roof Inns have been my motels of choice lately. You still need to call the location and ask the correct questions, and then the person at the desk may not know for sure what they have. Good luck to all in their wanderings across this wonderful land!!!”

Denise tells this tale: “A friend and I recently took a 3 day trip to Washington DC. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza. Our room was fine- there was ample room in the bathroom and the staff was very accommodating when I asked for a bench for the shower. However, the valet parking nightmare that we encountered when we arrived at the hotel made my blood boil. I drive a Volkswagon Jetta which has a Braun chair-topper attached to the roof. This makes the car as high as a van but usually I am able to park in all parking garages without any difficulty. When we pulled up to the hotel and asked for them to park my car, I was told that since my carrier was not removable from the roof (it’s held on by 16 bolts) they would not be able to park my car. I finally just walked away after telling the man “Just park it somewhere in a garage where it will be safe until Wednesday.” When we went to leave, we found we had been charged double the normal parking fee as the attendant had parked it far away at a more expensive garage. I don’t know if anyone else has encountered parking difficulties when staying in DC but I would caution against taking a vehicle with anything extraneous attached!”

Carolyn remarks: “Why do some motel chains only have a single bed in the handicapped rooms? Don’t they think there might be a traveling companion along who would need a bed? Stayed at Days Inns and Super 8, some good, most not. Also, when you make a reservation via the 1-800 number and request ‘ground floor accommodations,’ why isn’t that passed on to the motel where you have made a reservations?”

Gary fills us in: “Just got back from the NHRA Nationals at Seattle International Raceway, seating at the track was great, but wound up staying at a motel called the Silver Cloud Inn in Renton, they have 8 motels in Seattle area, parking was lousy, room was small, step in tub, hard to get my chair in, but really got me was that there was no exit from the 3rd floor (where I was at) for anyone in a chair, got an odd look from the manager when I pointed out the sign by the elevator that said in case of fire use the stairs. Won’t stay again.”

Lynne reports: “Halibut State Park, Rockport, MA – We tried to find the beach which is wheelchair accessible here, but it does not exist. My wife drives a cart, and we were able to see some off the park and the quarry, and we could see the information center with a ramp, but there is no beach access for the chair bound. We made the entire circuit of the trails, except those that went down to the ocean, but eventually, I had to run along behind the cart and push it up the hills of the lower part of the trails. Anyone going to this park better scout out the hills in advance, and calculate how much power, and stability, your conveyance has, lest you go down and can’t get back up. Rockport as a place to visit is a breeze for anyone chair -bound, with easy access to ocean views and plenty of curb cuts. We didn’t stay long enough to learn about hotel/motel handicapped accessibility.”

Marie reports: “Marriot NE in Cincinnati, OH. Room 131 has roll-in shower with bench; the johnny is a normal height for easy transfer. Accessible parking and room service if desired… Near large super market.”

d.k.davis writes: “Just got back from a great 7 days in Minneapolis. My wife and I stayed at the Embassy Suites Downtown, and we paid through the wahoo. The Embassy offers 3 room, spacious suites, with king size beds. We could have held a square dance in there. Then there was the bathroom. It was extremely small, with the toilet tucked back into a corner. It was impossible to park my wheelchair anywhere close to the bathtub, so I washed my hair over the sink, using the telephone shower head. Messy, but effective. The one real disadvantage to the Embassy Suites however, was that the first eight floors of the building is parking, followed by five floors of hotel. Add to this, no bellboys, and getting the luggage upstairs becomes a real pain in the butt. Next time we’ll stay in a B & B.”

travelbug remarks: “Recently visited Plymouth, MA. All sidewalks are accessible, as are most stores and restaurants. They even have a whale that is accessible as long as you plan to stay on the top deck (no bathroom).”

Jackie warns: “The elevator at Detroit Metropolitan Airport will NOT accommodate a scooter without someone being able to physically lift it. The elevator is very small and both front and back open on different floors and because of it’s size you must angle to get into it. There is no way to exit without lifting the scooter. And this is the ONLY elevator in the main terminal. Dangerous!!!”

Cookie offers this: “I had surgery & needed to stay in a handicapped accessible motel. I chose Extended Stay America in Milwaukee since they said it was accessible. Not! At least not the shower. After transferring to the shower seat I couldn’t reach the controls… so a friend had to go buy a hose to be attached. They were gracious about putting it in but wouldn’t purchase it after I left so that the next person could have use of it. I wrote to the CEO in Florida but he never even answered my letter. Shame on him. I’m encouraging people to write him… maybe then he’ll install hoses in all units everywhere in the US.”

Jim lauds: “Just returned from a trip to Washington, DC. Stayed at the Marriott Metro Center, the wheelchair accessible room had a roll in shower and all the grab bars needed for a comfortable stay. The room only had one king size bed, but on this trip it was just fine. Access to the Metro system is just next door to the hotel and works fine. NOTE: If you are going to use the METRO system and want a HC pass which is available, you must show them your medicare card our you will not be issued the type of pass.”

Johnny says: “My wife, Joanie, and I were at the Hilton Airport in Witchita, Kansas last week. Excellent in all respects. Very accommodating and accessible. So much so we reserved on the way back through. We were able to reserve the SAME room. I’ve had trouble doing that in the past.”

Rick reports: “Orlando, FL TD Waterhouse Center, formerly The O-rena and home to the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League. I went to The Arena Bowl and didn’t get to see a single play because the entire crowd was on its feet. I couldn’t even see the big screen above the floor. I asked the folks in front of me to please sit, even bought them a beer but they were indifferent and said if I couldn’t live with it to move elsewhere. (Reserved seating / no chance) I will admit the O-rena did refund my tickets – but I really did want to see the game. Wheelchair seating is excellent for hockey games; different crowd, but if you’re interested in watching the football game get it on TV.”

Willliam tells us: Recently stayed at the Boardwalk Inn at Wild Dunes in Charleston, South Carolina. Excellent facilities for wheelchair accessability. Room 211 with roll in shower.”

Tom writes in: “I took a trip to New York with some friends, two of us use wheelchairs. The busses are accessible, but they wouldn’t stop to pick us up. Two friends flagged them, waving their arms and yelling to no avail. The new Rose Planetarium is worth the trip though access leaves a bit to be desired. Th buttons on interactive devices are out of reach, the signs describing the exhibits are gray with narrative etched into the plaques — tough for those with low vision, and the video before the space show has endless sub-titles without alternative access i.e. taped narrative.”

Ted beams: “Flew from DC National to Albuquerque, NM on TWA & restored my faith in air travel. First-rate service; not just the space-available upgrade to 1st-class (a steal!) but also in coach on the way back. Well-trained, considerate crews both ways. The Double Tree Albuquerque has an accessible room w/roll-in shower, parking is convenient but only 5 spaces. Price w/AAA discount was a bargain.”

Keith shares this: “Having just returned from a vacation in Cocoa Beach, FL, on 09/23/00, I thought that I’d warn anyone wanting to visit the gambling ships at Port Canaveral. The Sterling Casino Lines, a half day cruise past the 3 mile limit allows casino style gambling. The problem is that all three decks are NOT wheelchair accessible so wheelchairs were stuck on the middle deck away from lower cost gambling and out of reach of lifeboats. When I spoke to one of the tour bosses he was very rude and said his ship did not have to comply with ADA standards because it was registered in Panama. I told him the only service elevator would not accommodate a wheelchair even with the leg rests off and he said he didn’t care because they didn’t like dealing with the wheelchair public anyway. Although the half day trip was free and the buffet type lunch was very poor I would not recommend the Sterling Casino Lines at Port Canaveral, Florida for the elderly or disabled. My only consolation was that I did win at their Blackjack tables but I would never recommend them for an enjoyable half day cruise unless you like being herded like cattle and treated with no respect.”

Marcia tells us: “Just got back from Moon Palace – just south of Cancun. Room was accessible. Some of the ramps in the hotel and down to the pool area were a little steep – I could get around the hotel, but I would not have been able to get up the ramps from the pool by myself. All restaurants were accessible, but not all levels of all restaurants. Staff were wonderfully helpful at buffets, etc. All in all a wonderful vacation with a few minor problems. Floors were made of marble – very easy rolling.”

Luther suggests: “I’ve found that folding bicycles are a GREAT way to get around for the mobility impaired that still have use of their legs (but not neccessarily ankles, feet, etc)… I can ride a bike but walking 50 feet is a major pain. I’ve got a Dahon folder I use at work and a Brompton I travel with (it folds up smaller and has a case I can check on airlines.) They’re smaller, narrower, and lighter than chairs; do better around town; do better over curbs etc.”

Chuck remarks: “I am a quad, or let me rephrase that, a super-quad. I am not offended by the word gimp, I am offended by the politically correct phrases. I am in the transportation business (Trucking, I travel a lot in Canada and some in the U.S. I think the awareness of the hotels etc is only for show, they do not pout a lot of thought into their construction or retrofitting of rooms. They need to call or speak with a group who can give them various pertinent information on disabilities. I hear people complain on your sight, why not send these complains to people like Christopher Reeves, the people in high places listen to him because of his notoriety. Also send these complaints to government, if they see enough of it they may move, you never know. The disabled community is larger than these dudes think. I have the same problems in Canada, no one really gives a damn.”

Jim lauds: “Stayed at Homewood Suites Hotel in Fairborn, Ohio. The reception was excellent, the service superior, the interaction with their staff about the best I’ve ever experienced. Prices very reasonable, amenities first rate. We will ALWAYS seek Homewood Suites Hotels in our future ventures out.”

Mary shares this: “Wisconsin has three cabins within beautiful state parks. They offer ‘camping’ with heat, indoor plumbing, hospital beds, a Hoyer lift, roll-in shower, and an accessible kitchen with full-size fridge, microwave and cooktop. There is also a sleeper sofa for additional family members or guests, and a large screened-in porch. The cabin in Potawatomi State Forest is near Peninsula State Park, in Door County, and it has several beautiful, accessible trails. The Wisconsin DNR has a great website: www.dnr.state.wi.us Phone is 608/266-2621.”

Cookie tells us: “The American Players in Spring Green, Wi (near Madison) has excellent plays from June to October….one can drive up the hill or take a van to where there is either wheelchair access and/or a wooden ramp to good seating. One question to GOTG: why not include addresses for these horrible places like the Sterling Casino Lines? We could all write nasty or nice letters to help them clean up their act. Or we could write to the Better Business Bureau in the state. Yes???”

Frank reports: “Visited New Orleans last week. Stayed at Marriott on Canal St. Stayed in Room 605 had roll in shower. All facilities were accessible. The Marriott is 4 blocks from Bourbon St., 2 Blocks from Harrah’s Casino, and 5 blocks from the Riverwalk and Mississippi. Took the Creole Queen riverboat for trip up the Mississippi. The boat is completely accessible. Took the Louisiana Swamp Tour through the swamps and bayous the boat was wheelchair accessible and they pick you up at the hotel. Pretty much all of the clubs on Bourbon Street were accessible, but on Bourbon Street it really doesn’t matter. Open container drinking is allowed and the clubs with music are completely open so you can roll alongside and drink and listen to the bands. Took Southwest Air and they were terrific. Chair was at the door of the plane every stop. Can’t recommend this trip enough. One last thing make sure you have dinner at Emeril’s in the Garden District it is outstanding and totally accessible.”

Sinjin wants us to know: “Drury Inn, San Antonio(TX) Airport- Nice, modern, accessible rooms on first floor, huge bathrooms & doorways, drive-in shower (don’t trust the wall showerchair), beds a bit too hard & bouncy. But overall, for the price it’s a great minimum! As for the River Walk, it’s getting there, they have access across the water now with a new elevator on one side and ramps on the other. But overall only about 4/5 accessible. At least their tour boats have a space for wheelchairs!”

Bob writes: “Handicapped access in Las Vegas was great -Stayed at Bellagio- Room was very large and bathroom was very accessible Staff was very accommodating. Used cabs to and from airport -worked well.”

Adam raves: “Great new restaurant in Bethesda, MD -Fairmont Bar and Dining. Spacious, friendly and easy access, but most importantly, the BEST food in Bethesda by far!”

D York reports: Just got back from the Atlantis Hotel Casino in Reno. They have an entire Handicapped Parking area right off the casino. Elevators are small, but plentiful. Staff for the most part friendly. Large room and large bathroom in the concierge tower.”

Gil has kudos for: “Paris Hilton (Av. de Suffren, near Eiffel Tower). Excellent room for our needs: grab bars in tub (not roll-in shower) and at toilet. Easy access throughout the hotel. Ramps everywhere. The staff was excellent. The concierges arranged for an extra-wide wheelchair, a nursing aide to help my wife dress and a man to push the wheelchair who turned out to be an excellent traveling companion. Nothing was a problem for them. Extra pillows, extra towels every day. We asked for a stool for the shower when we checked in and they brought one that we decided might not be strong enough. Called Housekeeping and they had a heavy-duty one in the room in under five minutes. My wife decided several days into our stay that the bed was too low and too hard to get out of. She asked for an extra mattress to raise it. It took almost ten minutes for them to get it in place. Most things came sooner. Quick room service (rather expensive, but hey…). We recommend the hotel to anybody, disabled or not, but especially disabled.”

Eleanor warns: “My husband and I recently went to the Martin Beck Theater in New York City where I purchased tickets for a seat for my husband and handicapped space for me (I ride a scooter). Unfortunately, we both missed more than half of the action because the location for handicapped accessible seating is behind a HUGE column! I have learned a valuable lesson about checking out the theater not just the seating chart before I purchase my next tickets to a show!!”

Lois would like us to know: “In Honolulu- Especially Waikiki, you will find the main areas all very accessible for wheelchairs, and right by the ocean!”

Donald relates: “We like to go to Atlantic City, N.J. The Showboat is the only hotel, casino that has roll-in showers and perfect accommodations for me. I am paralyzed and in a wheelchair.”

Phil expounds: “Rehobeth Beach, Delaware- This past weekend my wife and stayed at the new Holiday Inn Express on Rt 1 for a getaway weekend. The room was great. I use a wheelchair to get around and had no problems with the room or the bathroom. All this and great AAA rates!”

Mara shares: “My husband and I stayed in Cambria, just south of the Hearst Castle on the California coast. The staff at the Hearst Castle was outstanding; we got a private tour of all the accessible parts of the castle. The downtown part of Cambria was awful for accessibility. They had new curb cuts and I anticipated being able to use my scooter in the stores, but only one store was accessible. I even had to sit outside the ice cream parlor while my husband got my cone. When I asked the one merchant whose store was accessible if any of the other merchants had talked about ramps, he loudly stated “It’s too expensive! And besides, there’s no law which says we have to!” This was after telling me that most of the stores had been remodeled after a flood a few years ago. The area of Cambria which is right along the ocean is breathtakingly beautiful, and we had a happy two night stay there. But never would I consider going to the downtown area again.”

Debra cautions: “I stayed at the Ramada Inn in Salt Lake City. I tripped over the threshold to my room with my crutches. I informed the staff and was told to be more careful. They also, did not have an elevator, but 2 flights of stairs.”

Patricia raves: “Took my 15yr old son that uses power chair to Orlando. Used MEARS Transportation. They were excellent! To and from airport was a breeze. Have added some new vans to their fleet. With 24hr advance reservation we went to theme parks easily. Rates were reasonable. To certain Disney parks it is FREE as they have contract with new Comfort Suites, Maingate East. That new property had decent wheel in shower, 1st fl room. Guest services was helpful too. Highly recommend. We would go there again.”

Nora exclaims: “San Francisco Airport parking now charges Handicapped travelers $35/day. (Those spaces close to the airport that were formerly at a reduced rate must be needed for valet parking for dot com millionaires). It is a major hassle for “differently abled” to park in the remote lot and try to get to the bus to the airport. When I complained I got nowhere. Other airports run by the same company such as Orange Co Airport (SNA) charge $7/day. Perhaps the power of a group can change this hardship/discrimination or Gimp on the Go can exert some influence. The Mayor’s office spokesman felt that the new facilities were meeting legal requirements for access.”

Gil recommends: “Outrigger Wailea Resort, Maui, was friendly to my wife and her wheelchair. Our room didn’t have roll-in shower, which she doesn’t need (they may have some that do) but everything else was excellent. The people were also very accommodating. Like all the Wailea resorts it’s spread out all over hell but they were happy to send a motorized cart to the end of the hall to take her all over the property. (They don’t refuse tips.) The remodeled hotel has ramps everywhere.”

Maggie warns: “Went shopping at a mall in Durham, NC. There were no handicapped entrances and my friend had to struggle with the doors and also push my wheelchair.”

Taylor recommends: “Traveled by TRAIN CSX from C’ville, VA to Indy, IN using a motorized cart 15hrs. It was Great super helpful persons at both ends & on the train. Need to be flexible on travel days because they only have one car for GIMPS on the go. ENJOY & GO.”

Laura Lee comments: “We were just in Philadelphia area and the Radisson Hotel in the Bala Cynwyd area was great. We went to a fantastic restaurant called Jakes that was almost impossible. I hope they improve their accessibility to equal their quality food.”

David tells us: “While in Ft Lauderdale last week, I stayed at two different hotels. At the Riverside Hotel, I asked for a tub transfer seat and they brought an ancient plastic chair with fused aluminum legs. The legs were not adjustable any longer (if they had ever been) and were far too short to permit using it as a transfer seat. I moved out the next morning to the Doubletree Hotel by Ft. Lauderdale beach. They provided a good seat, but their tub lacks any grab bars. At $200 a night, one might expect more.”

Soslo recalls: “This past Thanksgiving I stayed at a Holiday Inn, in Morris and took advantage of their rooms for the handicapped and they were spacious and plenty of room to maneuver a wheel chair in and out of the bathroom, more than enough room to get to the bed, and their pool was great, one of the best stays at a hotel since becoming handicapped. Holiday Inn has done a great job in modifying their rooms for the handicapped, they just don’t have very many so you have to book in advance to be sure of getting one.”

Janet recommends: “My husband uses a wheelchair. We found the Hotel L’Empereur in Paris to be an excellent location in the 7th arrondissement (district) near the Eiffel Tower. They have a website.”

Jann cautions: “Iceland: The airport at Keflavek is not completely handicap accessible. Several of the departure gates require you to go down two flights of steps, board a bus that takes you out to the airplane where you have to board the airplane up a large set of portable stairs. We didn’t realize this until we got to Keflavik, and immediately asked for help. We were told there were no elevators and they only assist those completely paralysed (quads). I just wish I had been advised about this ahead of time. While I can still do steps with crutches, but that saps a lot of my energy. I was not happy!”

Ron lauds: “Traveled on the ship Norwegian Dream. Handicap room was extremely large. Large bathroom with roll-in shower, seat and grab bars. Very nice.”

Roy shares: Just visited Our Lucaya retreat in Bahamas. The place was generally accessible to my power chair. Two caveats: 1. architects thought that inserting some random step downs in sidewalks would be amusing. No warning, no apparent reason. 2: Once you leave the resort, you need to be creative: curb cuts are not consistent, and many places have curb cuts on only one end of sidewalk.”

Abby lauds: “My husband and I just got back from visiting some national parks in Utah. Since my husband Dick travels in a manual wheelchair, we not only need good accommodations at motels or lodges, but the park itself has to be accessible. To our surprise, Zion National Park was wonderful. The Zion Lodge, which is right in the park, had a good accessible room (no roll-in-shower), but raised toilet seat, grab bars, hand-held spray in tub with a shower chair. The shuttle bus that takes you around the park has a lift, and a few of the trails were O.K. for me to push Dick in the wheelchair. We went on to Bryce Canyon National Park. Ruby’s was a wonderful “Old West” style lodge with a great room in the main lodge which had two double beds, a huge bathroom with a roll-in-shower, grab bars, and raised toilet seat. We did not do a great deal of walking in the Park. There are accessible places to just stand and look at the magnificent sights. These two places were so beautiful, I recommend them to everybody.”

Barry informs us: “Recently spent 1 week in Manzanillo, Mexico. Hotel (Serria Manzanillo) was all w/c accessible and staff were fantastic. Outside of hotel area was not great for accessability but possible – except bathrooms required assistance. The Mexican tour company Expo assisted any way they could to make all events possible they were fantastic. My First trip as a Para was perfect and look forward to many more trips.”

V. Cowell warns: “My company made reservations for 7 managers and myself at the Days Inn on Roscoe Blvd. in Canoga Park, CA. I am deaf and requested a TTY and a Door Knock Alert ahead of time. Upon arrival, the desk clerk didn’t know what those were, could find no notes from the Manager or Reservations and never offered to find out if they could or couldn’t provide such equipment. The situation was further compounded by the fact that the desk clerk barely spoke English, was irritated that I didn’t understand him and couldn’t read his lips, and knew nothing about the requested equipment. After settling into my room, the desk clerk phoned 4 times and, when I finally realized that the phone was ringing and came back down to the lobby, was upset that I didn’t answer the phone. I went and got another person from my company to interpret for me and asked to speak to the Manager. The desk clerk informed me that the Manager was gone and not scheduled to return to work for the next 3 days and he was the only one there. Thanks heavens I only stayed 1 night. The other people in my party helped out with interpreting for the desk clerk and the housekeeping staff. When I checked out I presented the desk clerk with the 2 dead cockroaches that I killed in my room. What an adventure!! I have stayed at Days Inns in the past, but this was the first time I stayed at one so awful!”

Diana empathizes: “I am a temporary Gimp as I’ve broken my foot in an area that cannot have weight-bearing for at least 4 months. My mode of travel is now a wheelchair. It has me looking at the world much differently and has awakened in me the plight of the permanently disabled. I recently stayed a Clarion Hotel in Cherry Hill New Jersey. Boy what a challenge! The elevators are too small and the door closed on my chair several times. They have one ramp into the hotel and, restaurant and lobby. However to go to the pool area you have to traverse the entire hotel. Their only handicapped room was in smoking! I have asthma. I had to jump on one foot each time I needed to go to the bathroom. Not fun. There were no handicap doors. Good Luck to all…”

Chris relates: “I stayed at the Bahama House at Daytona Beach, FL at the turn of the new year. Since it was the off season, the room rates were reasonable. But as in all travels with a disability, wider doors are all most hotels consider “handicapped accessible.” They did have a roll in shower with a tub seat, however it was the least expensive model that money could buy and would only be useful to someone who was somewhat ambulatory. For a T-4, 5, 6, 7, 8 para as myself (not to mention overweight), this tub seat did not cut it. My wife and I were assured that they were totally handicapped accessible, but what is the assurance of someone who doesn’t always put the disabled in an anti-ambulatory category. We were also under the assumption that we were going to get an oceanfront room as well. Turned out to be an “ocean view.” My wife decided that if we were going to stay there we wanted an oceanfront room. The hotel did not have oceanfront rooms that were accessible. We cut our vacation short by two days. The hassles of traveling and having a disability…”

Karen advises: “We stay at the Comfort Inn in Augusta, Georgia. Also the one in Niceville, Florida has a great roll in shower. But as usual not all Comfort Inns are created equal. Find out from the local inn first before making reservation.”

Maggie erupts: “I stayed at the Marriott in Philadelphia in an accessible room that must have been designed by an able-bodied moron. The bathroom door opened into the hallway, blocking my entrance to the room. The pull-down shower seat was at one end of the stall and the grab bars were at the other end.”

K grouses: “Went to Maui for 7 days. Rented a condo at Maui Kamole, the room was listed as handicap accessible, it had a lot of room but no bars in the bathroom.”

K also relates: “Went on a cruise with Renaissance cruises – last day about we found two handicap bathrooms one on deck 4 and one on the pool deck. We also found an accessible cabin, but the cruise line swears that they do not have such a cabin. They did everything they could to discourage us from taking the trip, but fell over backwards to help me once onboard. To this date they still insist there are no handicap accessible rooms on board.”

Jim lauds: “I was extremely happy to find an accessible B&B in Blarney, Ireland. I had been in Ireland ten years ago and had only found limited hotels with wheelchair access. I was thrilled to find a B&B I could stay in plus it was one of the better W/C rooms I have ever stayed in and it is run by a charming Irish lady.”

KC writes: “Just returned from 3 weeks in Italy which was not particularly wheelchair friendly. Hotels generally could not handle a wheelchair without taking off legs. Often door was not wide enough so chair had to be folded. Exception was the Cicerone Hotel in Rome. Also excellent suite with wheelchair bath and shower. Raised seats and well constructed rails.”

Anita gushes: “Stayed in a handicap room in Las Vegas @ the Rio Hotel/Resort. Fantastic room/large and very accessible!!! Awesome!”

T. A. shares: “My husband and I traveled on the Sea Princess June 2-16. Very nice room, wonderful walk in shower with a fold down seat, lots of grab bars. Most of the ship was accessible. I use a walker with a seat so I can deal with door risers and an occasional step or ramp. The staff is plentiful and helpful. All passengers are treated royally.”

Marie has this: “Dockside Guestquarters in York, Maine. 2 wheelchair accessible rooms with great bathroom facility. Grounds are beautiful and wheelchair accessible. The people very accommodating.”

Bill writes: “With the exception of the ganplanks, getting around a carnival cruise ship in a wheelchair is extremely easy. Don’t hesitate to take a cruise. I can not speak for the destinations and you may want to start with a short cruise.”

Bre warns: “If you are traveling the coast in California, stay away from the Miramar Lodge & Conference Ctr in Half Moon Bay, CA. My new husband (who uses a manual wheelchair) and I were on our honeymoon when we had this horrible experience. First thing we saw was that they use the lowered accessable counter for all kinds of advertising material making it unusable, and have no one but the desk clerk on duty so if you ask for help with your luggage they have to scramble for whoever might be there. The man who helped us was so nasty because he thought it was beneath him and let us know it. Then when we called the desk to say the room was not as described he came back to the room to show my husband another room that was totally inaccessable. When told his hotel was no better then a motel 6 at hilton prices, he started yelling at my husband and called him a little disabled prick!! I would really like to see the disabled community come together and keep people like this out of the service industry. If you want a simply wonderful place to stay, with beautiful rooms and delightful staff then drive a couple miles north to the Beach House Inn. They went out of thier way to make our stay pleasant and enjoyable.”

Suzy tells us: Just came back from a weekend in Scranton, PA. My husband & I stayed at the Holiday Inn-north. Everyone was so helpful and very nice and accommodating. I had oxygen delivered and they knew just what to do. We will stay there again.”

Kevin relates: “Recently stayed at the Fox Run Motel in Coxsackie N.Y. The room was supposed to be for handicapped, however the doors were too narrow, a step up of about 8 inches was needed to gain entry into the rooms, the entrance into the resturant was through the back door where sidewalk had a lump of asphalt thrown against it for a ramp. Negotiating the door was a problem because of the narrow sidewalk, the bathroom had an extra wide door but no grab bars or raised seat, the tub was very narrow, sheets and pillow cases were dirty with dry blood and other stains, no cover sheets were on the beds, just the top sheet and blankets. It should be noted that the motel was undergoing renovations as it was sold to the Red Carpet Inn chain, I hope they have better luck then my party and I did.”

Laura Lee expounds: “We went to Paris and Provence, and we made our arrangements with a travel agency that specializes in wheelchair and slow walkers. Everything was excellent and our drivers were incredibly sensitive and helpful. In fact, I wish I could have them here in Ohio. If someone wishes, I could give out the name of the agency which is located in W. Ridley, PA. I made all arrangements by phone and computer and there was not one thing left to chance. We are considering a trip to India and planning a trip to Canadian Rockies now. We are going to Nemacolin, PA this weekend. With each trip, we get braver, although we are experienced travelers, but my husband’s amputation slowed us down for a few months.”

Bobby exclaims: “Had a great time on a 4 day cruise with carnival, on the Imagination, everything was OK except the small steep ramp to the pool area. Would highly recommend this trip to Cozumel. Though Cozumel was a bit rough to get around in, took the sub. ride too, everyone was so helpful. I’m a spina bifida person and not paralyzed.”

Sylvia applauds: “The Golden Inn Avalon, NJ. Wheelchair accessible showers and rooms. The restaurant and public bathrooms were wheelchair accessible. The outdoor pool was not accessible but they did have chairs to get to the beach. This was my first trip since my accident and it went smoothly. The hotel also has an elevator. One final note the staff was very professional and the fare at the in house restaurants was very good.”

Jeannine informs us: “About a year ago, I had a lady with heavy perfume in front of me; I have MCS – multiple chemical sensitivity and asthma. I asked the Delta Air stewardesses to move me or accommodate me – they never did – nor did they appear to care. FYI, perfume & colognes are severe irritants to a large percentage of the population now with so much pollution.”

Teresa writes: “I recently stayed at the Renaissance Hotel in Springfield IL and they are very accommodating to the disabled community. They made sure that all my needs were met at and in their hotel.”

Dottye reports: “I’ve noticed that a lot of stores in Albuquerque, NM have painted over the handicapped insignia on the wheelchair accessible stalls in the restrooms. Now anybody can use them and the gimps have to wait in line. Are they doing this everywhere?”

Louise says: “The Radisson in Copenhagen is very accessible… As is the whole city of Copenhagen. The people couldn’t be more helpful and there are curbcuts everywhere. Most shops take a bit of doing for my chair, but there is always someone to help.”

Jean has this: “Stayed at the Riveredge in Alexandria Bay, 1000 Islands, NY. This is a 4 star hotel. Beautiful hotel but… the handicap rooms are over the loading dock area. We were woken up at 5:10 a.m with a constant procession of trucks unloading. Also, our room was in a very narrow hall which made it very difficult for my husband to navigate with his electric scooter. Almost impossible to get it turned to get into the room. Would have been the same problem with our wheelchair. The entrance to the room was so narrow that the scooter scraped the walls going in – and nowhere to turn it around. I spoke with management about this and was brushed off. Obviously not a concern there. Very disappointing.”

Marie pitches this: “I am able-bodied, but accompanied a friend who uses a chair to Cooperstown, NY last year. We stayed at a charming B & B called The Inn at Cooperstown. The room was nice, and the bathroom met his needs well. There was a fold down bench in the large shower, he was able to step into it and everything was within reach. The shower did have a small “lip” at the floor, so it would not be possible to roll into it. But for a bathroom that was obviously retrofitted after the ADA took affect, it met our needs well. Plus, the Inn was a short walk from the Baseball Hall of fame, about 5 mins.”

Diane relates: “Very nice handicapped room in the Super 8 in Baldwin, WI. Roll in shower, enough grab rails for safety, very large room. Had an unfortunate experience with American Air over the Labor Day weekend – St. Louis to El Paso thru Dallas. Got to the gate agent 80 minutes before flight time. She announce that she would not have time to process me. I asked why. She said she had a line already. And I said, I am a person in line. Take me in order. She then proceeded to turn me over to another agent who had never had the requisite hour’s training on how to cope with a passenger with a scooter. The field crew chief came up and inspected my batteries, etc. and said there should be no problem. After some insistence on my part, I was eventually checked thru, and my 2 companions were also checked through but it was at the last minute. The original agent kept telling me that I would have to take the next flight – she had no time. If she just had processed our tickets instead of complaining she had no time, she would have had us out of her way. The connection in Dallas was handled by a supervisor and went well. In Dallas on the return trip we had contact with Sherry Jackson the Special Assistance Service Agent there. She told me to contact her whenever I fly on American and she would try to take care of any problems. At least someone cares. Never have had any trouble with TWA – hope AA learns something from them.”

Kim has this to say: “I stayed at a Best Western Inn in Radford, VA lately. Wouldn’t reserve the disabled room (didn’t tell us this when the reservation was made) and then put us on the second floor (gee, what do I do in case of fire?) in a room where nothing was working (remote control, line for modem, etc.)”

Cory wants us to know: “I am writing as the Audience Development Coordinator for the Scottsdale Center for the Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona. We have a wonderful program at the Center called Accessability to the Arts. We are trying to get the word out to audiences to let them know the services that we provide. During our season, we have many performances that are either Audio Described (for the visually impaired) or ASL interpreted. We would love to get the word out about these opportunities to your audience.”

Lenny remarks: “Disabled rooms at the Westin Century Plaza, L.A. very good. They have excellent roll in showers numbers ending in”17” or “19”. Entire hotel recently done over…very wheelchair friendly but pricey. Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas is very wheel chair friendly. Have roll in shower rooms. All rooms 700 square foot suites with those for handicapped not having lowered living room level.”

Katie shares: “In our house we are veddy bad. We use the term CRIP. Very politically incorrect, but fun. People either join us or don’t. Their choice. In Custer State Park, Custer, SD there is an old hotel developed for Calvin Cooledge. Their attitude as stated by the staff: “This is an old building.” Someone needs to tell them they would make more money if they put in a few ramps making the place easier for the old people with canes and those in wheel chairs. Obviously there was no way to get to a room without legs.”

Sandy lauds: “I went on an Alaska cruise on the Rhapsody of the Seas ship with Royal Caribbean Line and it was very accessible for me. We had the cheapest rooms and it still was accessible because the showers had only a two inch lip to step over and the shower had some grab bars. If I had requested I’m sure they could have put a portable toilet seat in our bath with arms and raised height. I was able to borrow a wheelchair on board with no problem. But I did sprain some hip muscles with walking down the gang plank at a few of the cruise stops. Cafeteria lines at breakfast were no problem as I asked for someone to carry my tray since I couldn’t manage that and a cane. Help came immediately with a smile. Guests in power chairs seemed to be getting along fine and got carried by hand down those gang planks that I sprained myself on. I would go again if I could afford it more often!”

P.A. offers: “Quality Inn Boca Raton, FL- Very accommodating. Lot of foreign help that seem to understand the handicapped. I was really pampered by staff. Also, at the Ft. Lauderdale airport they did not leave me (Delta Airlines) until I had my luggage and they put me into my rental car. Alamo brought the car up to the pick up door instead of forcing me to try and board one of their buses which I could not have done.”

Allan writes: “Marriott Courtyard super place for chairs or scooters staffs knock themselves out to accommodate you rates damn good too.”

John informs us: “I was at Fort Macon on the North Carolina coast (at the Atlantic Beach end of the Bogue Banks) last weekend. The boathouse had a ramp down to the sand beach and the ranger said that there were “sand ricks” with big wheels at the bottom so people in wheelchairs could get out into the ocean. For more info, contact NC Parks & Recreation, 919-733-4181″

Suzy says: “Holiday Inn-North-Scranton, PA- excellent care & attention to my needs.”

Jann reflects: “Kennedy Space Center, Florida, has handicapped accessible busses for those with a scooter or wheelchair. The bus is now part of the tour, not a separate offering. Prices have increased. Lots of lines and standing for those without a w/c. If you have fatigue problems, skip the first stop at the viewing tower and get off at the Apollo Stop instead. It was way too much for me to do both even with my scooter. The IMAX theatre is a nice rest. Lots of handicap parking right by the entrance. Since there are now metal detectors at the entrance, you will be searched. No backpacks are allowed into the Space Center. Will not go again, but once is nice.”

Kim delights: “Stayed at the Allegro Resort in Aruba over New Year’s. Very accessible place. Elevators, boardwalk on the beach, wheelchair rolled easily in room, shower bars, only one restaurant required entry through the kitchen, the ballroom was pretty tough to maneuver, though. Employees are friendly, helpful, and non-pulsed about disability. Can’t wait to go again!”

Julie warns: “Beware of Grand Circle and Overseas Adventure Travel (“OAT”). I have a fused hip which makes sitting difficult, especially on long flights. All that’s needed is a little bit of planning. OAT advertised a trip to Angkor Wat departing from Los Angeles. I would go to LA night before. LA was repeated in several different written documents and over the telephone. Five weeks before departure, it was changed to Detroit. When I protested, they cancelled me and refused to refund my money. But it doesn’t end there. After going through several other steps, suit was filed. They won because they don’t “do business” in my state, using documents that were obviously well-used boilerplate.”

William shares: “I have cp and use crutches to get around. My companion and I had a wonderful 3 day stay at this accessible inn, the Blue Boar Inn in Robbinsville, NC, with lovely rooms and great food. Very reasonable cost for a 3 day midweek stay that included both breakfast and dinner. Only one or two steps up and in. There is also a wheelchair ramp to the dining room from outside. Many of the rooms had views of a trout pond; all the rooms had private porches with rocking chairs. Things to do included boating on Lake Santeetla (a lake built by the TVA) I think. The Cherohala Skyway and the Joyce Kilmer National Forest are nearby. Great staff, hated to be on our way.”

Dick remarks: “Gault House Hotel and Conference Center, Louisville KY. Good accommodations for wheelchair, except shower equipment in rooms could be better.”

Jim gripes: “The Embassy Suites in Lynnwood, WA is not a good place to stay. Very loud music on weekends until after 11 p.m.”

Sandra gushes: “Holiday Inn – Patong Beach Phuket Thailand – The Manager upgraded us and fitted handrails etc as I asked by the email if the disabled room was overlooking their construction site. Any problems, which were none, were personally checked by the Manager nearly every day, pampered to the hilt, we all loved our stay.”

Marilyn emotes: “I want to warn anyone who’s thinking of buying a time share. Most of the units overseas are not accessible (even though they say they are) and you have to call the resorts (not just book with your travel plan) for first floor handicapped rooms or they may not be available when you get there. Prepare also, that most cities do not have handicapped taxis or shuttles (except for super shuttle, who are wonderful, but not available in all cities). Getting to and from your resort to the airport and/or sites may be complicated. Many resorts have shuttles to beaches or parks, but they are not handicapped accessible.”

Christine relates: “I have PPS and am totally dependent on my scooter to get around. The hotel Twin Dolphin is a gem of a hotel in a part of Mexico that can be very difficult for the wheelchair dependant. The entire hotel has flat pathways to all the rooms and a ramp (for the 1 step) down to the pool. The 1 handicapped room was occupied when I booked my reservation but the hotel bent over backwards to accommodate me when I arrived. When I got to my room they had risen the bed added a toilet rise put a shower chair in and even had a spare wheelchair waiting for me. (Only problem with the bathroom is a short hallway to commode). I was able to see the handicapped room and it’s perfect (bathroom has no hall way, nice and large) Because there is no handicapped taxi service in Cabo the hotel sent their shuttle (for a charge) with 2 guys and they lifted my scooter into the back of a very roomy van. I had to be lifted in to the van as well, a little awkward but I got over it!”

Pat writes: “Superintendent of the Park Tollefson, after hearing from Congressman Charles Taylor, will redo the barricade at the entrance to the Deep Creek Trail at Deep Creek Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is supposed to be made accessible to wheelchairs, either attended, unattended, or motorized, and to all electric mobility devices. Great News!! Deep Creek is a place that washes away all cares and refreshes the spirit and heals the soul. So, as that announcer (Johnny Olson) used to say, ‘Come on down!!'”

Laura relates: “We went to Chicago to see Gaughin/Van Gogh show at Art Institute which now has a handicapped accessible entrance on Michigan Ave. We had to take many elevators, but the show was well worth all the pushing. We stayed ate the Palmer House – one block away- and our room was good and my husband could shower, etc. Our room was too far from the elevators and the one restaurant meant a trip through the kitchen to reach, but the concierge, the door man made up for these small aggravations. I even got a room for $129. which was not bad for Chicago.”

Tracey shares: “I just recently returned from an overseas vacation to Spain. We went to Madrid and stayed in Barrio de Salemanca. The service is wonderful, the elevator pretty big (especially for Spain) bathroom is ‘workable.’ However, the tub is deep and at a hard angle. Someone who is solely in a chair could not manage, I don’t think. Still, this was a lot better than most.”

Laura Lee lauds: “My husband and I just returned from an Access Tour trip to Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies. It was well planned and the 7 wheelchair users and the 3 ‘pushers’ had a wondrous time viewing God’s majestic mountains and lakes (but not 1 moose). The tour drive-packager-owner was wonderful with the group and the amazing thing, not one person was ever late nor complaining. We have traveled a lot and I cannot say the same for some very fancy trips we have taken.”

Mary Jane warns: “Just returned from land only trip to Alaska. Alaska is awesome but sorry to say Holland America Tours let us down badly I feel. We were grandparents with adult grandson totally dependent on wheelchair. Discussed tour with Holland America thoroughly before ever booking trip. Our tour lasted nine days. Three nights no one was informed we needed a handicapped room and our grandson had to go to the lobby to use a bathroom. Four times Holland America sent buses without lifts, broken lifts or NO bus at all. There were no ‘representatives of Holland America with red jackets’ to help us with our problems as was promised. We were left standing in the rain and had to enlist whatever helpful strangers we could to help us lift him into various means of transportation. What angered us was that we confirmed each stop (bus and hotel) the day before to try and avoid this problem – but to no avail. Someone is dropping the ball in communications at Holland America. They might do a good with the able bodied but in our case we will never trust them again.”

Dick offers: “1. We vacationed in Nova Scotia, and found a wonderful spot that is entirely handicapped accessible! Mersey River Chalets, including a nice restaurant on grounds. A wheelchair-friendly boardwalk winds thru the woods by a quiet pond and cascades. 7 housekeeping chalets with roll-in showers. Designed and operated by a wheelchair user. Located in western NS, midway between Yarmouth and Halifax. 2. Cat Ferry from Bar Harbor ME to Yarmouth NS is a new high speed ferry that is remarkably accessible. (Let them know as you approach the dock) Cost is reasonable: approx $200 US for passenger car and 2 adults. Accommodations in Bar Harbor: Fairfield by Marriott has good accessible rooms, but Days Inn is a total loser, even though they promised an accessible room when reserving. Both are near ferry dock. 3. Courtyard by Marriott in Danvers MA, north of Boston, has good accessible rooms on 1st floor. Roll-in showers.”