How to Prepare for a Cruise with a Broken Ankle

by - 8:46:00 PM

Planning the perfect cruise can take months, and then it can take even more months between the booking date and the date of departure. That leaves a lot of time for life to throw something unexpected your way – like a broken ankle.

Of course, a broken ankle does not have to be the end of your cruise plans but it might change the way you experience your voyage. As soon as your doctor clears you to take the trip, you need to call the cruise line and let them know your circumstances right away. This quick guide will help you through the process.

Alerting the Cruise Line and Getting Information

It's important to find out how accessible your cruise experience will be. The cruise staff will likely be happy to assist in any way, but you have to make special requests as early as possible. Switching cabins or moving to a wheelchair accessible room may not be possible after a given amount of time.

Ask whether the offshore excursions include destinations accessible to people with limited mobility. Find out how you will be getting aboard the ship at each location, as tendering is a little more difficult than a normal boarding situation. We always recommend shopping for standard wheelchairs before departure. Look for a folding model that you can stow away when unneeded, but make sure it is easily accessible when you want to take some of the pressure off your ankle.

Making New Accessibility Arrangements

Modern cruise lines build their ships with basic wheelchair accessibility in mind, meaning that your broken ankle should not prove to be much of an obstacle for activities like dining and socializing. The cabins are a different story though – unless you were able to convince the cruise company to change your room to a wheelchair accessible cabin, you might be stuck with a space too small to enter with a wheelchair or too tight to navigate with crutches. Bring a knee walker for these situations.

Furniture arrangements are sometimes negotiable. The cruise line may be willing to remove or rearrange some of the furniture for a clearer walking path. If your ankle is in a plaster, arrange to have a bath chair delivered so you can bathe without getting the cast wet. See about having extra pillows delivered to your cabin for comfort and pressure relief. Ask for these accessories as early as possible because most ships only carry a very limited supply.

A broken ankle is nothing to laugh about, but with a quick and normal recovery, you should be able to board the cruise ship and still have plenty of fun despite the cast, brace, crutches, or wheelchair. Cruises are actually one of the most injury-friendly vacation options out there. With smart planning and reasonable expectations, your trip will still create plenty of smiles and fond memories.

Don't let your injury hold you back. Take control of your cruise experience by staying in constant contact with the staff and asking them to meet your needs head-on.

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