Dear Editor,

Do you have any ideas for a cruise vacation for a paraplegic and husband. I do not like to be carried to tenders (sp) I thank you for your services. I enjoy reading your site. -Lavonne Hite

The biggest issue of accessible cruising is turning out to be the shore excursions. The ships, themselves, are now doing a good job of providing accessible cabins, decks, and on-board amenities, but getting from the ship to shore still leaves much to be desired.

Unfortunately, every ship and every itinerary is different. The size of the ship, the depth of the water at a port, the port’s equipment, and even the weather all effect the ability of disabled passengers to participate in shore excursions.

Because so many factors are involved, the best way to go about planning your cruise is to contact the cruise line and ask about the tenders and ramps at each specific stop along your proposed route. You may even want to call the port authority at each stop to confirm their equipment and procedures. Even so, there will still be places where going ashore just doesn’t make sense or conditions have changed since your original inquiry. Hopefully, though, with advance planning you can select a trip where the method of getting off for excursions meets your accessibility needs.