Cruising With Hearing AidsSep 05, 2014
Cruise vacations are a popular travel option because they offer the freedom of being on the high seas, the option to see multiple places, and more food than you can eat! Cruises include restaurants, shows and spas all on board a beautiful boat floating on the open seas. And while there is much to enjoy, people with hearing loss should do some pre-planning to make sure they are set up to have the time of their lives.
Plan Before You Pack
Hearing aid users should plan what they will pack several days before leaving, to make sure nothing important is left behind. A cruise can be a very enjoyable vacation for someone with hearing aids, but if something important is left behind, it could be hard to replace once your ship sets sail.
Along with your bathing suit and dinnertime dress, make sure you pack:
- Hearing aids or other assistive listening devices
- Vibrating or flashing alarm clock
- Hearing aid storage kit
- Hearing aid cleaning kit
- Extra batteries for your hearing aid
- Any accessories such as a splash guard or a neck loop
Keep your audiology equipment organized in its own carry case so you know where something is when you need it. Don’t let disorganization or forgetfulness cause you to miss out on the sound of the waves, the chirping of the birds, and conversations with your loved ones while you’re cruising.
Cruise Lines For Hearing Aid Users
Many cruise lines can accommodate hearing impaired passengers with special rooms or kits, but special accommodations are limited, and its best to call ahead or check what is available online before finalizing your booking. The best way to ensure availability is to reserve your room as early as possible.
Disney Cruise Lines: Disney offers an alert kit for hearing-impaired passengers. It includes visual alerts and a TTY (text telephone). Theaters on Disney Cruise Lines are equipped with Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), and scripts for shows are available through Disney guest services.
Royal Caribbean: Like Disney, Royal offers visual alert kits and TTYs in select cabins as well as in common areas. Theaters have ALDs, and if you book your trip more than two months in advance, sign language interpreters can be requested.
Norwegian Cruise Lines: Norwegian offers room kits for those with hearing impairment, and sign language interpreters are available if you book your trip 90 days in advance. In addition, Norwegian offers its passengers an access officer who will meet you as your trip begins, and work with you to make sure that your needs are met while you’re on the ship.
Holland America: Room kits are available with Holland America, and their theaters include ALDs. Some movies shown on Holland America ships also include closed captioning.
Things To Do
Most theater rooms on a cruise ship will offer ALDs, closed captioning, or on Disney cruises, scripts of shows for those with hearing impairments. But cruising offers other activities that may be preferable to a loud movie or theatre show.
Spas, cooking classes, wine tastings and shuffleboard are all common activities on large cruise ships. These activities are usually quieter, and happen in smaller groups, which make it easier to follow and participate in conversations around you.
Cruising is a fun way to see the world, and cruise ships offer food, activities and entertainment to satisfy even the fussiest traveller. Most cruise ships can accommodate hearing impaired passengers, so call ahead to make sure they have the devices and facilities you need to enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
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