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    Just booked cruise on Royal Caribbean

    Hooray! We are going on a cruise on Royal Caribbean next summer and we just booked our room. We actually booked a non-accessible stateroom because we actually don't need those options (e.g. lowered counters, accessible bathroom, etc) if I bed bath him, and we had nicer (translate: bigger) cabins available if we got a non-accessible cabin. We worked with a travel agent who talked to the cruise line though, to make SURE that the door to the stateroom is wide enough for his chair (which is 27" at its widest point).

    The three of us are going and potentially a number of other family members are going along as well. Anybody cruised with RCL and did you like it? We went on a short Disney cruise 6 years ago and had a great time despite really cold weather (Feb, it was uncharacteristically crappy when we went), but this time will be 7 nights and during the summer when the weather will be nicer.

    Any advice? Any other RCLers out there want to share stories, and esp re: shore excursions? We have no idea what will be accessible for shore stuff, I think we'll have to figure that out on the fly.
    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

    #2
    I really urge you to try to get an accessible cabin. There will be a step up into the bathroom of about 6". You will not be able to access the sink, shower, or toilet. The doorway may admit the chair, but the chances you can move around in the cabin in the chair are pretty much nil...including getting the chair close enough to the bed to easily transfer. RCCL accessible cabins are very nice...you may not be happy in a non-accessible one.

    Where are you going?

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


      #3
      I agre with KLD. We took the RC down to Mexico and back. We got an accessible room and it was great. Almost twice the size of a reg. room and on the outside row of the ship. Was wonderful sitting on the patio of our room and watching the ocean roll by.

      We were debating about an access. room or not, man after seeing one of the regular ones it, it was well worth the extra to get an outside row room where it was really easy for a chair to manuver. I use a manual chair and trhere was no way I could have used a reg. room because of the size and configuration.

      Comment


        #4
        Can't help you as far as the configuration of RCCL's accessible cabins, but every regular cabin I've stayed in on an RCCL ship(every cruise I've been on has been on RCCL except for three) has had a step up into the very, very small bathroom and unless you move the coffee table into a corner(which is hard because the cabin is so small to begin with) you might not be able to get to the bed.

        If you stay in the regular cabin I'm pretty sure you're going to have to leave the two twin beds as such(you can get them configured into one bed if you ask) because I highly doubt you will have enough room on either side for a wheelchair; and even with the beds left as such you might have a hard time getting a chair in between the two beds.

        I'd really try for an accessible cabin if I were you.

        Comment


          #5
          You need a handicap room. I cruise every year and the bathrooms will not be big enough in a reg. room. There is no upcharge for a handicap. Unless you can get out of your chair to walk, a regular room will not work. feel free to email if you have any questions. joemonte@nep.net.

          Comment


            #6
            I've taken 3 Royal Carribean cruises and always used the acc room. I tried the reg room my kids had and I couldn't get thru and my chair is 25" plus there was a 1" lip which I could cross but often leads to smashed knuckles with tight fits. The cruises were wonderful, plenty of help from crew when needed for constructing a frame to raise my toilet chair. Help onto and off the tenders and up steep gangways. Food was great and plentiful. Ship, food and crew seemed much better than than on the Celebrity cruise I tried. Good luck and have fun.

            Comment


              #7
              Zilla, we've been on, umm, 18 cruises in the last decade. We often go with friends and I cannot get into their cabins with a standard size manual chair. Doors into the bathrooms are smaller and you will hurt your back on many lines because many beds are very low so dressing or bathing will do you in. Even with accessible cabins on some lines there are problems getting to the desk for putting on make up or to read and Carnival's newer Spirit class ship put the entended balconies on the HP cabins. Unfortunatly the ramp out is about 6 inches deep and a foot high.. Try and swap for a junior suite that is accessible. If you insist on a non-access room call them back and get the doorway and room dimensions including any balcony in writing and with the responsible party's name, position and all ways of contacting them.

              Which ship are you going on? We normally prefer Celebrity but have also done one trip on Norwegian, 2 Carnival's to Bermuda from Baltimore and 2 HAL to Alaska and the Med because Celebrity has a new policy that non-walkers do not get tendered and 1 on Azamara the rest, 12 on Celebrity. We're looking at RCCL too for our next one. Although we avoid summers and spring break times to avoid all the kids. BTW, as soon as you check out your room onboard go see the M'aitre D and make sure they move you toward the entrance of the main diningroom. Otherwise it is a disaster trying to get to the rear areas once people start filing in.

              Where are you going as far as ports and how much time at each? Any tenders?
              Last edited by Sue Pendleton; 1 Jan 2013, 5:08 PM. Reason: Shore excursions
              Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

              Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

              Comment


                #8
                OK, based on the overwhelming advice, we just switched to an accessible suite. THANK YOU for the advice. We are going 7 nights on the Freedom of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. One port is tendered and we are just planning to not get off there as they have warned us that is not accessible.

                Sue - we'll be one of those people with kids
                Last edited by zillazangel; 31 Dec 2012, 1:17 PM.
                Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

                Comment


                  #9
                  Probably find out everything you need to know in the accessible cruise forum at www.cruisecritic.com.
                  Rick Goldstein
                  GO! Mobility Solutions
                  facebook.com/goes.anywhere

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks goldnus!!
                    Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by zillazangel View Post
                      Hooray! We are going on a cruise on Royal Caribbean next summer and we just booked our room. We actually booked a non-accessible stateroom because we actually don't need those options (e.g. lowered counters, accessible bathroom, etc) if I bed bath him, and we had nicer (translate: bigger) cabins available if we got a non-accessible cabin. We worked with a travel agent who talked to the cruise line though, to make SURE that the door to the stateroom is wide enough for his chair (which is 27" at its widest point).

                      The three of us are going and potentially a number of other family members are going along as well. Anybody cruised with RCL and did you like it? We went on a short Disney cruise 6 years ago and had a great time despite really cold weather (Feb, it was uncharacteristically crappy when we went), but this time will be 7 nights and during the summer when the weather will be nicer.

                      Any advice? Any other RCLers out there want to share stories, and esp re: shore excursions? We have no idea what will be accessible for shore stuff, I think we'll have to figure that out on the fly.
                      Did you get a balcony stateroom? My mom took my husband, my brother and his family, and me on a Caribbean cruise through Princess Cruises last year around Christmastime. my brother and his family with his wife and two kids got one balcony cabin. My mom, husband, and I got the other balcony cabin.

                      Balcony cabins are the way to really enjoy a cruise. You can go out on the deck, and watch the sunrise/sunset. Or, just enjoy the view. Our cabin wasn't wheelchair-accessible. But, since my manual wheelchair can fold. We would fold it up, and put it out on the deck so that it would be out of the way.

                      The shore excursions are great although some islander tour guides don't want to mess with having to take a wheelchair in their vehicle. We had this problem when we wanted to go into town at one of the ports we stopped at. The guy said, "I can take you guys. But, I can't take the wheelchair. You'll have to leave it on the ship." My mom, being very stern with the guy said, "My daughter needs it while we are in town. It can fold up. What is wrong with that?" The guy gave in, and transported it without complaint after that.

                      Have lots of fun on your cruise.
                      Samantha

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by zillazangel View Post
                        OK, based on the overwhelming advice, we just switched to an accessible suite. THANK YOU for the advice. We are going 7 nights on the Freedom of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. One port is tendered and we are just planning to not get off there as they have warned us that is not accessible.

                        Sue - we'll be one of those people with kids
                        Actually after I saw the newest Disney ship on a TV thing with its adult only areas I thought about it. Most of the kid stuff is on different decks or opposite ends of the ship than most adult stuff. And when we do run into kids most have appearently been warned in advance of a life without electronics when they get home if they bother strange adults. OTOH, Celebrity used to take the seat off the lift into the main pool on their Constellation, a fav of ours, because kids played on it. I suggested a better way to keep kids off it but the pool butler behind me when I suggested it to a Purser said he'd already thought of it and no, they would need to add a huge spring to it making it useless as a lift if the fix was a catapult switch.

                        Do take one evening and send the medium boy to a very well chapperoned pizza party or whatever and make reservations at one of the upscale resturants for you two. Waiters do cut things to bite size and will chase down straws. They cannot feed though. There is normally more room around tables in those places so you can arrange things your way and can talk without everyone within 6 tables distance hearing you. If Chad wants to play Blacjack tell him to bring a mouthstick. "Hit me" alone does not work on ship casinos because cameras do not pick up sound. The person needs to touch his card/s to get another. Tuxedos are not needed on RCCL although 2 guys we cruise with always take theirs anyway. Yes they are. Since they have approved of RCCLs food we're looking at them because of better shore excursions than Celebrity and the really great specialty restaurants we loved on C's M-Class ships are being 'upgraded' to Solstice class specialty restaurants. It seems no one wants a real romantic night out anymore if they can shovel it in at the buffet and then hit the casino or rock walls.
                        Make sure you head to your muster station on that first afternoon, schedule is on your bed when you arrive-read it immediately! Count or bring your life jackets and yes, medium boy will get a non-removable wristband for the duration in case of any emergencies the staff can then send him to you as soon as the ship is safe. Many kids keep theirs for souveniers. Any refrigerated meds? Ask the room steward to remove the mini-boozes from your fridge and in it goes. The free iced water is de-salinated not sodium free. I stick to bottled but then I have had a sodium problem since I was a teen. Yes, if it is bottled or in a cup like coke it is going to cost you and even in your room they add a service charge. Budget your tips ahead of time to get the real cost of your 'bar bill' so you don't get surprised at the last day. I love to cruise but we went on Norwegian our first time because we knew that nice dress was needed but not formal and they didn't have specific dinner times since one of us is always late...
                        Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                        Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by zillazangel View Post
                          OK, based on the overwhelming advice, we just switched to an accessible suite. THANK YOU for the advice. We are going 7 nights on the Freedom of the Seas to the Western Caribbean. One port is tendered and we are just planning to not get off there as they have warned us that is not accessible.

                          Sue - we'll be one of those people with kids
                          Wow! Jamaica finally bouught it's first accessible bus for a shore excursion. We always try to support these because once they get the message they buy more that will go to better places. Only been to Jamaica once to Ocho Rios. Just in case, Margaritaville there is kid friendly unless it's spring break for the most part and it's in Island Village that is well ramped, lots of shops and a walled off safe beach with security. Great jerk pork too. Margaritaville in Cozumel? Depends but normally during the day these places are nice and have local food. And it depends where you dock. If you dock on the northside then it's right into a shopping area of duty free jewelry and, well, everything else you can think of. If you dock down on the southern end I didn't see much but Margarittaville and Senor Frogs. With small boy, I'd probably do a peek of Senor Frogs real quick before deciding. That place has more local food, a wood ramp that will appear in seconds but rich kids who get kicked out of Buffets place for being inappropriate during the family daytime head to Frogs. Cozumel has some near by ruins but last thing I heard there is still no access to them. I assume you will only be bringing Chad's powerchair? I know KLD will agree that if at all possible bring a manual too. Getting up curbs can be a problem in places. And Labadee is all beachy. Some in shade, a lot in sun. Lunch buffet is held over there and they have beach wheelchairs. If you swing one tip the guy upfront so you can keep it or they'll want it back once Chad is in a lounge or hammock. Much easier to wheel him into some shallow water and watch the little fish and feel the nice warm water floating by. Small native market with hair braiders. They charge by the braid... We are not beach people but really liked it.
                          About Gran Caymen, if Chad is safe on his own in a coffee bar or parked with a drink and book or Kindle for a few hours you might want to go ashore with your son. Many kids like the stingray swim or other stuff that isn't accessible even if getting up their dock was possible from a tender. I spent about 2 hours on the tail end of the, now a Spanish owned ship, Celebrity Zenith with a book and 2 bottles of water. I had plenty of sunscreen on my arms and face. I was wearing lightweight jeans and a tank. Made the mistake of kicking off my shoes and putting my feet up on another chair. Two hours later my feet were a color not normally found in nature. Oh did they swell too. Yea, loads of sunblock for all, everywhere.

                          Anyhoo, yea, cruise critic is great for the disabled board, the different ports of call and cruiseline specific questions. I assume you'll drive to the port? Many hotels/motels in Florida offer free parking to cruisers if they spend a night.
                          Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                          Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by smashms
                            Have fun!! I am jealous now!! Never been on them post injury but I have been on them prior and they are a ton of fun!!
                            likewise, i look forward to the day i cruise again!
                            T6 incomplete - 14 october 2012

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hope you have a great time
                              We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
                              Ronald Reagan

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