The VACAYA spirit is one of warmth, inclusivity, and accessibility for the entire LGBT+ community and our allies. At VACAYA, folks of all sizes and all abilities are not only welcomed but celebrated. We work closely with our cruise line and resort partners to create a comfortable environment for all travelers, including those with disabilities and those who may require additional considerations. Unique circumstances sometimes require additional planning and we’re happy to provide you with information from our cruise and resort partners to help you minimize challenges and maximize your enjoyment.
While we do our best to select resorts and cruise lines that are already accessible, we recognize that not every itinerary or experience can be equally accessible to everyone, especially some of our more adventurous Expedition cruises. To inquire regarding whether your needs can be accommodated on a particular trip, please contact The V Team at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to purchasing a trip. Where needed, a V Team member may even connect you directly with our resort and cruise partners to address your needs or concerns. Please understand that needs not addressed in advance of the vacation will have a higher likelihood of not being fulfilled.
VACAYA’s COMMITMENT TO YOU
Accessibility for Guests with Wheelchair Access Needs:
At VACAYA, we understand that accessibility is essential for guests who use wheelchairs. We have designated an accessibility specialist who is responsible for ensuring that our cruise and resort trips are as fully accessible to guests with mobility challenges as possible. Our accessibility specialist can also connect you with cruise line or resort specialists with more intimate knowledge of exact destination accommodations to ensure our guests have an enjoyable experience. This includes, but is not limited to providing ramps, elevators, accessible seating, and handicap accessible rooms. While we do our best to ensure on-site accommodations are accessible, off-ship and off-site excursions may require additional transportation and logistical planning from our tour partners that could come at an additional expense to the guest. We’re happy to connect you with the partners who can arrange those plans. If you’re looking for special accommodations, please contact our guest services team at info@myVACAYA at least 60 days in advance of the vacation to give us an opportunity to try to meet your accommodation needs.
Accessibility for Guests on Excursions:
At VACAYA, we recognize guests with mobility challenges may face additional difficulties when it comes to travel. Our goal is to offer a variety of travel experiences that can meet a range of abilities. While not all tour offerings provided by our cruise and resort partners will be inclusive for guests with mobility issues, our tour partners strive to offer accessible options and they will be able to advise which experiences will work best. Rather than traverse up a mountain on an intense hike, taking a guided tour by taxi or van could be a great way to experience a new destination. Please note this option will likely come at an extra cost to the guest and will need to be negotiated between the guest and the tour operator or transfer company.
On our small-ship Luxe expedition cruises, our cruise partners strive to provide leisure guided walks with naturalists as an alternative to hikes with steep elevation. On our expedition cruises, guests wishing to participate fully must be able to get in and out of Zodiac boats with an assist from a crew member in order to access more remote locations. Please understand that Zodiac boat rides can encounter rough swells that can make the ride a bit bumpy. Anyone not wanting that experience should likely select a vacation without the expedition component.
No two trips or destinations are the same. If you have any specific concerns or needs, please let us know when booking your vacation so that we can connect you with tour providers to make sure you have an enjoyable experience.
Accessibility for Guests who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing:
We also want our guests who are deaf or hard of hearing to have amazing experiences. These needs are as individual as you are. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, please let us know when booking your vacation so that we can connect you to resources to meet your needs. When you communicate your needs to us at least 90 days in advance of your vacation, we will provide information on what we or our cruise line or resort partner is planning regarding sign language interpreters and any auxiliary aids upon request.
Accessibility for Guests who are Blind or Low Vision:
For guests who are blind or have low vision, we can connect you with our cruise or resort partner’s resources to make your experience better, including but not limited to materials written in braille and/or large print. Our cruise and resort partners tour guides may be trained to give verbal descriptions of the tour locations and may have support staff available to help with navigation. If you are blind or have low vision, please let us know when booking your vacation so we can connect you with available resources to meet your needs.
Accessibility for Guests with Dietary Restrictions or Food Allergies:
We pay special attention to what our cruise line and resort partners offer to aid guests with food allergies and dietary restrictions, because we understand that can often be a source of stress when traveling. We will do our best to accommodate any food allergies or dietary restrictions you may have when booking our vacations, but we’re limited to what our cruise and resort partners can provide. Please let us know when booking your vacation so we can give an accurate count to our partners so they understand the volume of any one type of accommodation they’ll need to make to ensure you can enjoy your meals worry-free.
As a charter company, we do have the ability to ask our cruise partners to adjust food offerings. As an example, that’s what we’ve done in regard to plant-based offerings for our vegans on our cruises and at our resorts. We now ask all our cruise and resort partners to provide at least one nutritionally balanced vegan entrée at each meal so our vegan guests are not forced to piece a meal together via disparate elements of other meals. While we never want our vegan guests to feel as if they’re having a lesser experience, our cruise and resort partners are still in the early learning phase on how to deliver clear and consistent experiences in this area. We ask guests to be patient but clear about your needs in advance so we can do our best to advocate on your behalf.
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOURSELF AND THOSE WHO SERVE YOU
When you book one of our trips, you become part of the VACAYA family. We strive to ensure you have the best possible experience, but we can’t do that without you. Here are a few responsibilities to keep in mind:
● Communicate your needs: It’s important to let us know about your specific needs in advance so we have an opportunity to advocate on your behalf with our cruise and resort partners. For most of our vacations, we offer a survey to understand your needs. We ask our guests to take special care to complete the survey in advance of the vacation. Communicating your needs only once the vacation has already begun, makes those requests more challenging to fulfill. We ask for patience and grace if those moments present themselves.
● Do your research: Be familiar with the tour itinerary and any potential accessibility issues. Set yourself up for success by bringing anything from home that can make your experience run more smoothly. It’s good to be aware of any potential accessibility challenges that may arise during the tour, so that you can plan accordingly.
● Be prepared to be self-sufficient: While tour providers will do their best to accommodate guests with disabilities, it’s important to be prepared to be self-sufficient and to bring any necessary equipment or aides you may need.
● Be open to limitations: While we will do our best to accommodate any accessibility needs, for guests with disabilities or mobility issues, it’s important to be open to the possibility that not all travel accommodations may be perfectly tailored to their needs. Despite the efforts made by travel providers to be inclusive and accommodating, there may still be limitations or challenges that arise due to factors such as infrastructure, accessibility regulations, or local customs. It’s important for guests to have realistic expectations and be prepared to adapt and find alternative solutions when necessary. This could mean being flexible with accommodation options, transportation arrangements, or itinerary modifications. By maintaining an open mindset and proactive communication with travel providers, guests with disabilities or mobility issues can still have enjoyable and fulfilling travel experiences.
Here at VACAYA, our goal is to ensure every guest has the best vacation of their lives. We appreciate you collaborating with us to make sure that includes YOU!