Can people with visual impairments go on a cruise?

If you are considering a cruise and are visually impaired you may be wondering if it is possible. The simple answer is yes, but there are some things to think about before you make the decision. I’m Chris, a blind cruiser from the UK, and my advice is to ask yourself the following five questions before cruising with a visual impairment.

What do cruise lines do to support people with disabilities?

Accessibility arrangements for cruise ships might be very different from what you’re used to at home. There’s often much more forward planning involved. Think about transport in the UK – you can book passenger assistance with just two hours’ notice on trains. But P&O Cruises for example require 14 days, and NCL requires 45.

Sometimes the information provided online by cruise lines can be quite vague, for example, Celebrity Cruises state:

“Celebrity has made the cruise experience as accommodating as possible for our guests who are blind or have low vision”.

Celebrity Cruises

But other than mentioning that they have braille in public areas and elevators, and welcome assistance animals, don’t explain this any further. NCL’s accessibility information is more descriptive, and mentions options such as a ship orientation tour.

My advice is to contact some cruise lines directly. Everybody’s needs are different – explain what would help you, and see if they can accommodate it. My first cruise was with P&O, and they were able to provide me with a large print daily schedule as I’m not a braille reader.

Want to read on? I wrote this article for Emma Cruises so please head over to her website to read my other tips for cruising with a visual impairment.