Dear Editor,

My brother is a parapelegic and would very much like to try and go on a cruise. Is there one ship that you recommend over others? Also if someone is in a wheelchair can they manage in a regular cruise cabin or must they have one specifically for a wheelchair confined person? Also he has a service dog. What provisions need to be made for the service animal on the ship itself and in the port cities of call. Thank you for your assistance. Barbara Herman

Rule of thumb, newer is more accessible. That said, most cruise ships now have handicapped accommodations which include space for turning radius, flat thresholds and accessible bathrooms. Choosing one boat or one cruise line over another is somewhat a matter of taste, though Princess may have the best reputation and history for accommodating their disabled passengers.

I do not recommend a wheelchair user trying to get by in a “regular” room. This is not like a land based hotel. You will often find 2-3″ thresholds at doors in both rooms and bathrooms. Also, added furniture or the layout can make already limited room space nearly impossible to navigate in a chair.

Each ship has its own policy on guide dogs (feeding arrangements, bathroom facilities, etc.), as do the various countries that govern your ports of call. Many places will not allow foreign dogs onto their soil without months long quarantines. My advice is to directly ask the cruise line of your choice about their policy and either they, or you, will need to determine the laws at your various ports of call.