GLOBAL ACCESS NEWS TRAVEL E-ZINE

VOLUME VII, NUMBER 11, November 2006

Copyright © 2006, Global Access News

http://www.globalaccessnews.com/

 

Please note: Any Internet links mentioned in this e-zine were verified as functioning as of the date listed at the top. Web sites and e-mail addresses, however, change frequently, so changes may have occurred after that date.

 

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Welcome to the November 2006 issue of the Global Access News Travel E-Zine.

 

We have three accessibility reports to share this month. Howard Chabner and Michele De Sha, continued their explorations of Italy and generously shared their access insights on Naples, the Amalfi Coast and Capri with us. Susan B. submitted an excellent collection of access tips she gained from her recent visit to Northern Spain. And Lee Marsh, a veteran of traveling in Southeast Asia, shares his latest visit to Cebu City and Bantayan Island in the Philippines.

 

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write us and share your travel experiences.

 

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CONTENTS

 

1. ISRAEL: THE "SEABELL" ACCESSIBLE DIVING BOAT

2. NEED A PHYSICIAN ABROAD? JOIN IAMAT

3. NEW ACCESSIBLE BARCELONA TOURS

4. ROUGH SEAS FOR CRUISING

5. NAPLES, AMALFI COAST & CAPRI

6. NORTHERN SPAIN IDYLL

7. CEBU CITY & BANTAYAN ISLAND, THE PHILIPPINES
8. ALSO OF NOTE

 

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1. ISRAEL: RED SEA: THE "SEABELL" ACCESSIBLE DIVING BOAT

 

Captain Shimshon Mashiach, of Israel, wrote to share the availability of a new accessible diving boat, “the Seabell.” Supervised by Chairman Mr. Yuval Wagner, of the Israeli Access Foundation, the Seabell will be launched on the Red-Sea, Eilat Israel.

 

The ship provides accessible toilets and showers, as well as a hydraulic diving platform and lifts to all three of its decks.

 

The boat will cruise on a daily basis in the Gulf of Eilat, where the water temperature is about 22-23 degrees all year, with beautiful corals, fish and crystal clear waters that are suitable for qualified divers.

 

Top class diving instructors will lead the dives, and Moshiko Bachar, the Israeli Course Director specializing in diving with disabled students, will supervise the diving courses.

 

The Seabell is connected to the nearby hotel Astrol Village that provides disabled facilities.

 

To learn more, visit www.aisrael.org (in Hebrew) or write yuval@aisrael.org

 

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2. NEED A PHYSICIAN ABROAD? JOIN IAMAT

 

Travelers who become ill abroad and require an English-speaking physician, can locate one through the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT) at http://www.iamat.org/

 

Membership to the association is free but they appreciate a donation. Travelers can request a copy of their directory of English-speaking physicians, which lists doctors who have agreed to limit their fees for hotel and office visits. Learn more at http://www.iamat.org/

 

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3.  NEW ACCESSIBLE BARCELONA TOURS

 

Alan Broadbent, of Barcelona Sightseeing and Walking Tours, wrote to announce the availability of their new tours for disabled clients.

 

Broadbent, who has MS, offers flexible tour programs of Valencia, Barcelona and Palma, Mallorca. They can also provide adapted vehicles.

 

Visit their web site at http://www.geocities.com/bcn_tours and don’t miss their disabled client page that details the wheelchair access of various popular attractions.

 

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4. ROUGH SEAS FOR CRUISING

 

Two of our readers shared their frustration with the lack of accessible facilities on cruises.

 

Syd & June Burns, of Penrith, England, sent the following warning for disabled travelers:

 

We have been waiting for an outcome to our "planned" cruise through the Adriatic It was scheduled for Oct. 5th by a company called Voyages of Discovery. This company and ship splits its cruises between the USA and Europe, half a year each. We first saw the cruise advert in the prestigious Radio Times and thought it was for us. We booked a wheelchair friendly cabin and told the representative our needs and that appeared no problem. The deposit was paid and then the full amount. So far so good. Everything was completed in a most professional manner. A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that there was no mention of my requested lift-on lift-off the aircraft for June. We were flying from Manchester to Venice.

 

I spoke to a very competent customer relation’s man about our request and he suddenly said, "You do realise that because of health and safety regulations no member of the crew can assist you in any way". Balls, said I. what is the use of having disabled people onboard if you can't help them on or off the ship?" There are quite a lot of stops with this cruise, so that meant June would have been totally ship bound for the whole voyage. He said rules and regulations forbid it and then offered us our money back. We were totally outraged but never said anything until we got our hands on our money, in case we were the victims of some sort of a scam.

 

The money came in last week to our relief. We are now making the necessary complaints and put a word of warning out to possible travellers with this company.

 

Judyann D., of Chugiak, Alaska, wrote to describe her disappointment with a February Carnival Cruise.

 

We took a cruise last Feb on Carnival. It was the worst vacation ever. My son is quadriplegic. The room was accessible but hardly anything else was and none of the crew were able to help. Thank goodness we took our own care attendant. It was a booze cruise. We were unable to do much of anything, couldn't enjoy the pools or spa and only one deck was really accessible. Getting off the ship at ports was okay, thanks to our care attendant, but we couldn't take any tours. I strongly don't recommend any Carnival Cruise.
 

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5. NAVIGATING NAPLES, THE AMALFI COAST & CAPRI

 

Howard Chabner and Michele DeSha, of San Francisco, recently explored Naples, the Amalfi Coast and Capri. Share their in-depth access report and the beauty of Italy at http://www.globalaccessnews.com/napleschabner06.htm


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6. CEBU CITY & BANTAYAN ISLAND, THE PHILIPPINES

 

Lee Marsh, a wheelchair athlete from New Zealand who frequently explores Southeast Asia, shares his recent visit to Cebu City and Bantayan Island in the Philippines.
http://www.globalaccessnews.com/cebubantayan06.htm

 

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7. NORTHERN SPAIN IDYLL

 

Susan B.shares her recent visit to Northern Spain and provides excellent tips for visiting Madrid, El Escorail and more. See http://www.globalaccessnews.com/spanish_idyll_2006.htm

 

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8. ALSO OF NOTE
 

Here are two more reasons to visit France in 2007:

 

Those who are allergic to cigarette smoke may rejoice that France has finally succumbed to pressure from nonsmokers who have long campaigned for a smoke-free environment. Starting in January 2007, France will ban smoking in most public places. In 2008, the ban will be extended to include hotels, restaurants and bars.

 

Wireless users may also celebrate because the City of Paris is installing Wi-Fi in parks, gardens and public squares.

 

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Missed a Travel E-Zine? Catch up on a previous issue by visiting our Travel E-Zine Archive at http://www.globalaccessnews.com/travel_ezine_archive.htm

 

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Global Access News welcomes your travel reports, tips and comments at clearpath@cox.net Thanks for sharing!

 

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