Reply To: (Teen) Family to Greece: Athens, Crete, Naxos — w/c ferries?

  • duxinco

    August 11, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    Thank you, skull! I really appreciate your feedback.

    Any advice on how to get anybody anywhere affiliated with the ferries to help if you’re not using a travel agent? Or can you recommend a travel agent to help with just the ferries?

    I did reach out a few times to Christianakis, which advertises itself as focusing on people with physical disabilities and never received a response; I also have sent emails / called the Greek National Tourism Organization and Ferry Hopper and … nothing. Not a single acknowledgment. 

    I met a woman who said, and I quote: “Greece hates disabled people!” which while harsh, has been borne by her unfortunate experience(s). In particular she was miserable on Rhodes which has an Accessible Tourism promotion. (Their website is great albeit evidently misleading.) Someone else told me that on (oooh, which?) side of Santorini is Accessible but to take a taxi to get to the caldera (inAccessible), and then back down to the flat section of the island. (We’re not going to Santorini so not an issue for us and why I am blanking on the particulars.)

    I LOVE, I mean I adore planning our travel, but Greece has bitten me so hard that more than once I nearly said “I’m done, eff off Greece.” Getting the various hotels to respond has been like watching paint dry — slow and requiring the patience of a saint. And I am certainly no saint. Ha!

    That being said, a few of the hotels / resorts have been remarkably kind, informative, helpful. With sweet help from a property manager I found a terrific Accessible short-term apartment in Plaka, Athens, although we’ll be staying in a hotel with stair chair and ramps. (Dimitris, its owner, has been one of those who’s been delightful in his help.) Maybe it’s the language barrier but another hotel which is highly rated in Plaka, Athens, let us know they really aren’t interested in accommodating a Special Needs family (they’ve a lift but no w/c is allowed on it — whatever). Got it. Not staying there and won’t help advertise it here (or anywhere). Have just begun researching transportation from the airport to Plaka.

    Very nice, wanting to help owner of a hotel in Chania on Crete got back to me, but by that time my husband and I had nixed visiting Crete — too inAccessible.

    I received a really friendly, upbeat, enthusiastic reply from a resort on Naxos but it was so outrageously expensive we cannot stay there. Another hotel from which I heard told me not to bother coming to Naxos, but from a few others they offered ground floor rooms / apartments, none of which are specifically designed for wheelchair users so do NOT have wheelchair-friendly bathrooms.

    But keep in mind, our youngest child (13 years-old) has moderate physical difficulties and is profoundly Developmentally Disabled (literally a silent infant in a teenage body), so we push him in his (lightweight) chair. He can sometimes walk on flat surfaces, no stairs, no steps, and with trusted, trained adult assistance for balance and to catch him if he has a seizure. He requires full personal care (diapering), and it takes both of us (2) parents to bathe him. So we’re never looking for Accessible bathrooms because that’s just not needed.

    This is a great page for wheelchair users visiting the Acropolis / Parthenon; looking at that elevator has me scared, however! 

    I already purchased our air tickets (Lufthansa from Colorado, USA to Athens via Munich), and we have found Lufthansa to be terrifically helpful and accommodating; last year when boarding in Munich (coming home from Egypt) my sweet angel had a massive seizure as we were walking through First Class (on our way to Economy), and the attendants and some of the passengers could not have been kinder trying to help. Fingers crossed kind help continues.

    Eid Mubarak!

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