Ideas for things to do when excursions are not available or not accessible


Can you help give ideas for things to do when you can’t participate in the cruise excursion?


Research the port thoroughly. I typically use Carnival because of their cost. I recently took a cruise and their new port In the Dominican Republic is interesting. They built their own dock and they have made a very nice visitor area at the dock. There is a fantabulous pool, and and bar/grill. The pool is free, and the grill has free internet. The pool also has accessible entry points. There’s like a gradual shallow area towards the back of the pool where you could roll a wheelchair in to the water which starts out extremely shallow and gently ramps down into the pool. That’s really the only thing that you can do at the Carnival port in the Dominican Republic. There are some touristy stores. But they are the same stores you see all over at every port. CCL built the dock themselves. Aside from the pool and the stores there is nothing but a long driveway out to a busy highway. The minute the ship sails, you can see all the CCL staff closing everything up and leaving. In order to do anything at the port you would have to hire a taxi or have pre-arrangements with an excursion company. I really liked the pool there. Sparkling clean, with three different lobes of cool areas that all connect together. By far, it is incredibly huge compared to the pool on the ship. I encourage you to read the CIA fact book about each country that you consider entering. Just because the cruise ship docks there, doesn’t mean it is a really safe location for tourists. You could do a Google search about a specific port and tourist fatalities or other dangerous occurrences, and you could learn a lot about a place. I had decided that the Dominican Republic CCL port being isolated and requiring you to leave the space in order to have an excursion, was just not safe for me to go off on one of my own adventures. Indeed, they had little elevated lifeguard-like stations around their just-made port, and these were actually security observation points. That told me that my instincts were right. The next time that I go I will probably go ahead and spend some time at the pool and perhaps eating at their poolside bar and grill. I have no intention of leaving the port area. That being said, I am generally an intrepid solo traveler. I take local transit buses for $2 and ride around Nassau on my own. Things like that. Fun doesn’t have to come prepackaged in a slick sales brochure. Do use your computer skills and the great Google to thoroughly research a port. My recommendation is that you not try and do an excursion from CCLs DR port. At least, not yet.


I look for “easy” excursions and always check all of them out prior to leaving on the cruise. I also question the excursion staff once I am on board as they are a great source of information. Gor instance in Costa Rico my friend and I were able to take one if the tours thst offered bus and riverboat seating. I use Holland Ametica as I find they cater to a middle age and older crowd and I find them to be the most accommodating. They gave always very e tamely helpful in getting ne off and off the ship whether it’s by gangplank or onto a tender. There was only one time and it was the first port on my 2 week Alaska trip where I could not exit the ship. Even ankeny bodied folks were having a hard time getting off and on because it was dead low tide and the angle for departing and returning was quite steep. It was too dangerous for either my scooter or walker. I was amazed at how accommodating HAL was relative to the 2nd week of my trip. Left the ship and went inland by train for that week. HAL owned the train and the hotels and went out of their way to accommodate both my walker and a paraplegic young man using a power chair. The bus had an elevator to take him up and inside the rear section if the bus and his chair was locked into place; my scooter and walker were loaded into the luggage area while I used a cane to access a handicapped seat. At the first hotel I was given a lively accessible room. The next day we took the bus to the train where an elevator took both the young man and me from the ground to the first floor of the train. I parked my scooter and using my cable took tg er b.c. ext ejevagor to the 2nd floor of the train where there were airline type seats. That elevator took thr young man in his chair up to that 2bd level and once again they were able to park his chair and lock it into place. We transferred at one point to a riverboat without issue and the 2 other hotels we used during the week had wonderful accessibility both in my accommodations and in common areas. I took an excursion on an old school bus into Denali National Park. I used my cane and at our one stop going in and then returning, the driver of the bus procured a folding manual wheelchair they kept stored at the location and wheeled me in and then back to the bus. Wonderful service from HAL every time I have cruised with them. I enter the casual dining room in my scooter, then park it out of the way, and use my cane to get to a table. When I get up to get my breakfast or lunch there is a staff member right there at my elbow asking what would I like because he/she will get it for me. By the 2nd or 3rd morning I just sit down because they know by then what I like and they will offer to get it all for me. I used Carnival once and RCCL once and neither of those offered the first bit of assistance. I won’t use either again.