Caribbean Ports of Call-
Which islands are inaccessible to those with disabilities
There may be no safe way to get to shore

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Caribbean Cruising with a Disability
Which Caribbean ports are least accessible

Cruises are often touted as the easiest way for those with disabilities to travel. And that is true if you consider only embarkation and disembarkation at your home port. Those wide, long ramps are ideal for wheelchairs.

All ships have special wheelchair accessible cabins with low thresholds, wide bathroom doors, and roll-in showers.

The same is not true for several Caribbean Ports of Call because the ships cannot dock. They never actually land but have to anchor well away from land, sometimes miles away.

Ships that anchor offshore have to tender their passengers ashore by boat. The tender may be from the ship or a small boat hired locally. Local boats come in all sizes and with various varieties of comfort. And the local boatmen may have no experience dealing with someone confined to a wheelchair.

Belize City Cruise Ship Tendering Passengers
It's calm this day off Belize City. Imagine being in a wheelchair on a rough day, having to be lifted.

There is the sales pitch (and myth) that the crew is always willing and able to carry a wheelchair down the gangway no matter how steep and how rough the seas.

That is simply not true during bad seas. As an able-bodied person even I've had difficulty boarding some tenders during rough conditions. The surest--and safest course--is to avoid Caribbean ports where the ships have to anchor.

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