This popular Caribbean cruise destination also proudly welcomes all, so before you book an accessible cruise to the Island, be sure to check out these top travel tips.

Large cruise ship arriving at the Old San Juan Port at sunrise.

The cruise port in Old San Juan is a short distance away from the city's most historic attractions.

1. Consult a Cruise Line Agent

Choosing an accessible cruise can be a complex process. Travelers must decide which excursions they can comfortably enjoy, what kind of suite would work best for them, and what specific cruise to book. It’s a lot to consider, especially if you have a disability or unique accessibility needs. Travelers with mobility challenges, for example, must consider port accessibility, if ships are navigable by wheelchair, and if rooms are truly ADA-compliant. 

To simplify your search, speak directly with the cruise line’s travel agent, who can answer your questions quickly and accurately. Most cruise lines include an agent’s number on their main booking page. When speaking with an expert, clarify exactly what disability accommodations each ship (and its associated excursions) includes. 

2. Fill Out an Online Form

When you speak with a travel agent, ask about disability intake forms. Most cruise lines provide a questionnaire for travelers with disabilities. These forms allow you to provide crucial information, enabling the cruise line to gain a comprehensive understanding of your needs. In turn,they can tailor their services to offer appropriate, actionable resources ensuring your cruise experience is even more enjoyable. 

For example, Celebrity Cruises offers dietary accommodations and expedited check-ins options for travelers with autism. They also provide American Sign Language interpreters to assist deaf or hard-of-hearing travelers and orientation tours for travelers who are blind or visually impaired. 

With a tropical rainforest, miles of photo-worthy beaches, flavorful traditional cuisine, and thrilling adventures galore, Puerto Rico is a true slice of paradise. ​​​​​​​

With a tropical rainforest, miles of photo-worthy beaches, flavorful traditional cuisine, and thrilling adventures galore, Puerto Rico is a true slice of paradise.

3. Ask a Search Engine

Tracking down someone to talk to or finding a cruise line’s complete list of disability-focused services on a website may feel overwhelming to some. If so, skip sifting through dozens of web pages and save time by using tools like Google to help you quickly find the information you need.

4. Advocate for Yourself  

Whether you’re a first-time traveler with accessibility needs or a frequent jet-setter, it's vital toto advocate for your specific mobility and disability requirements. Fundamental needs like ADA-compliant rooms, call devices, and Braille inscriptions are not merely preferences; they are essential needs.. Most cruise lines are happy to offer these and more services upon request, including boarding and departure assistance or accessible transportation between airports and piers.

A turtle beneath the water.

Snorkel with sea turtles on an adventurous excursion. 

5. Consider Excursions

Now that you’ve advocated for the essentials, it's time to explore the additional offerings, like accessible cruise excursions. Most cruise lines offer optional tours while in port, but few are accessible. When thinking about your trip to Puerto Rico, consider booking a cruise with specially designed accessible adventures, like Carnival’s Accessible New and Old San Juan tour. Created for travelers with disabilities, this half-day excursion includes a wheelchair-friendly van tour.

Learn more about cruises in Puerto Rico