Cruise advice!! - PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel
PassPorter.com
Message Board Community
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Community PassPorter's Club Help!
   Welcome!  |   Answers  |  Guidelines  |  Shorthands  |  Newsletters  |  Our Guides  |   Photos  | Login Problems  |  Help  |  Bookmark Us |  Follow Us on |
Search

Go Back   PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel > PassPorter Universe: General Trip Planning and Discussion > Vacationing Your Way: Your Special Needs
Register


Welcome! We're happy you've found the PassPorter Community -- the friendliest place to plan your vacation to Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland, and the world in general! You are now viewing the PassPorter Message Board Community as a guest, which gives you limited access. As our guest, feel free to browse our messages by selecting the forum you want to visit from the list below.

To post messages and ask questions, join our FREE community today and you'll get access to tools and resources not available to guests, such as our vacation countown timers, "living" avatars, private messaging system, database searches, downloads, and a special PassPorter discount code. Registration is fast, simple, and completely free. Just click the Join Our Community link.

If you think you've already joined, log in below now. If you don't remember your member name or password, please visit our Member Name and Password Recovery page. You are also welcome to contact us.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-28-2013, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
Community Rank: Adventurer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 563
Cruise advice!!

Hey everyone....so I am planning on going on my first cruise in March of 2014. I have never been on a cruise before and I'm bummed it's not the Disney Cruise Line I'm going on Royal Caribbean on the Freedom of the Seas(Balcony cabin). I have Spina Bifida and I use a wheelchair full-time. I have been on over 15 WDW trips and one DL trip so I'm a well experienced traveller but I have NO idea what to expect. Does anyone have any advice, tips etc. for me? I appreciate any insight you all might have!!

Tara
__________________


My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsWDW 14 times, Last trip June 2012, Many stays at OKW, 1 time at CBR, 2 DLR trips last being June 29th-July 5th 2014!
sunshinetaradise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 09:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Explorer
 
Eeyore Tattoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Fort Worth,Texas
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 11,037
First, Congrats! I have never been on a cruise & it is on my "Bucket List"
Have you talked to the cruise people & let them know your needs? That would be my first suggestion. Make sure your room is accessible. Check their web page for any info too.
I bet we have members that have actually been on a cruise & will be more helpful..
Have a wonderful time!
__________________

Merry
Eeyore Tattoo's Bio
"Vacationing Your Way: Your Special Needs" Forum & DL: Southern California Attractions
My Previous TripsCBR: May 1999, CBR:October 2001 Disneyland: June 2002, CSR: October: 2003, POR: May 2005, POFQ: Dec-Jan 2005-2006, POFQ: May 2007, POR :Dec. 2007, Disneyland:May 2008, Mousefest: Dec. 2008 Disneyland: June 2009 AKL Savanna: Oct. 2009 December Gathering BLT: Dec. 2009 BLT Oct. 2010 Paradise Pier Aug. 2011 BLT Nov. 2011 Disneyland/California Adventure 2013 AKV May 2013
Eeyore Tattoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 09:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
Community Rank: Adventurer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 563
this cruise is being organized by a travel company specializing in people with physical disabilities so they're well aware of my needs as well as the other participants going in the group. My cabin is an accessible balcony cabin so yes it is accessible
__________________


My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsWDW 14 times, Last trip June 2012, Many stays at OKW, 1 time at CBR, 2 DLR trips last being June 29th-July 5th 2014!
sunshinetaradise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 09:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
lauriep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 12,982
Hi, Tara! I use a small scooter and have cruised with DCL several times. I have no experience with other cruise lines, so things may be different for you. I suggest going to cruisecritic.com if you haven't already, and go to the discussion forum for your ship. There will be people there who can answer specifics for you.

The DCL ships are fully accessible, but they do have challenges. The big one is the small size of the elevators! My scooter is small enough to drive in and turn around, and you can probably do this with your chair as well. The problem is that there are 4 or 5 elevators mid-ship, forward and aft and the doors didn't stay open long enough for me to make it to the far end if that's the one that opened. Combine that with the fact that, as you know, we're often invisible to the human eye, so people would crowd into the elevator ahead of me. It wasn't a huge deal, because I could usually find some nice people who were more than happy to hold the doors for me, but it was irritating to have to deal with this every time I wanted to change decks! The other minor irritation was that not all the doors to the outside decks had push-button openings and the doors were very heavy. I soon learned which doors to head for, but, again, irritating to deal with. I might not even have noticed this if I hadn't been traveling solo and had someone who could open the doors. The other issue is that maneuvering spaces, especially in the dining rooms, are tight. On DCL my servers were wonderful and I had no issues. At the buffet lines there was always a crew member ready to take my tray and find me a seat.

The other thing worth mentioning is the problems you might encounter with finding accessible excursions at the ports-of-call. This is something that the cruisecritic boards can help with. DCL lists which excursions are accessible, but always check if they REALLY mean accessible. They may say accessible if the bus you'll be on has a lift, but when you get to the site there may be a sandy or rocky pathway that is NOT do-able. Also check that your ship will dock right at a wharf. If you have to get on a smaller boat to get to land, you may not be able to go ashore. This is not a big problem, as I LOVE a day on the ship with most everyone ashore-- the meals will continue to be served, and there will still be activities, movies, etc on board. Check with cruisecritics or the cruise line about the accessibility of the pools.

I absolutely love cruising and hope you have a fantastic time! Freedom of the Seas is so large that the issues I've mentioned may turn out to be not issues at all. Please report back and let us know how it goes. I'd love to know how other cruise lines compare. Please ask if there are things you're wondering about that I haven't covered.
__________________
Laurie


My Previous TripsMost recent WDW trip 2/14; Most recent DLR trip 7/12; Most recent DCL trip 7/12 Alaska Wonder
lauriep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 10:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
PassPorter's Club Passholder


What's this?

PassPorter Guide

Community Rank: Explorer
 
Eeyore Tattoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Fort Worth,Texas
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 11,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshinetaradise View Post
this cruise is being organized by a travel company specializing in people with physical disabilities so they're well aware of my needs as well as the other participants going in the group. My cabin is an accessible balcony cabin so yes it is accessible
That's great! I am sure they will have everything all set for you..
__________________

Merry
Eeyore Tattoo's Bio
"Vacationing Your Way: Your Special Needs" Forum & DL: Southern California Attractions
My Previous TripsCBR: May 1999, CBR:October 2001 Disneyland: June 2002, CSR: October: 2003, POR: May 2005, POFQ: Dec-Jan 2005-2006, POFQ: May 2007, POR :Dec. 2007, Disneyland:May 2008, Mousefest: Dec. 2008 Disneyland: June 2009 AKL Savanna: Oct. 2009 December Gathering BLT: Dec. 2009 BLT Oct. 2010 Paradise Pier Aug. 2011 BLT Nov. 2011 Disneyland/California Adventure 2013 AKV May 2013
Eeyore Tattoo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 12:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
Community Rank: Adventurer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 563
thanks Laurie!! I have a manual titanium chair (Tilite) so i'm not too worried about the elevators.....the dining rooms may be a slight issue but i'll have to see when i get on the ship. Cruising is such a foreign concept to me I have NO clue what to expect haha. It blew my mind when I found out room service was included in with my other meals!!! I guess I have a lot to learn haha.
__________________


My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsWDW 14 times, Last trip June 2012, Many stays at OKW, 1 time at CBR, 2 DLR trips last being June 29th-July 5th 2014!
sunshinetaradise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-29-2013, 05:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
lauriep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 12,982
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshinetaradise View Post
thanks Laurie!! I have a manual titanium chair (Tilite) so i'm not too worried about the elevators.....the dining rooms may be a slight issue but i'll have to see when i get on the ship. Cruising is such a foreign concept to me I have NO clue what to expect haha. It blew my mind when I found out room service was included in with my other meals!!! I guess I have a lot to learn haha.
I hope you'll love it! It never gets old to me that not only is room service "free", but if I feel like a snack-- an ice cream cone, fries, etc-- I can just get it with no charge. And at dinner if you can't decide what to order be careful-- you might just get one of each. And movies are "free", the shows are "free"! A tip: if it works the same on your ship as on DCL, pick up an extra dessert or cookies from the buffet if you're planning on the movie. They have a refreshment stand at the theater, but the things there do cost extra.
__________________
Laurie


My Previous TripsMost recent WDW trip 2/14; Most recent DLR trip 7/12; Most recent DCL trip 7/12 Alaska Wonder
lauriep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 01:55 AM   #8 (permalink)
Community Rank: Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Indiana , USA
Concierge Level: 7
Posts: 24,050
We've been on 2 cruises, one DCL and one on QE2 quite a few years back. Our DD Samantha is in a power w/c, but for both of those cruises, we took her manual.
I think the worst part is the carpet! It's THICK. not thick, but THICK!! The public areas are the worst. Other than that, the biggest problem we had was the excursions on our DCL cruise. Let us just say that Adventures by Disney in the Mediterranean does NOT allow w/c, no matter what they tell you on the phone!! Getting out and about on the shore leaves was an issue then, but you should have no problem with it being on a trip organized for people with special needs. Our QE2 trip was trans-Atlantic, so it didn't matter, as there were no ports!

Have a wonderful time, prepare for what you can, and more importantly: pack a giant sense of humor!
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
Teresa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 06:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
lauriep's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Concierge Level: 6
Posts: 12,982
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
We've been on 2 cruises, one DCL and one on QE2 quite a few years back. Our DD Samantha is in a power w/c, but for both of those cruises, we took her manual.
I think the worst part is the carpet! It's THICK. not thick, but THICK!! The public areas are the worst. Other than that, the biggest problem we had was the excursions on our DCL cruise. Let us just say that Adventures by Disney in the Mediterranean does NOT allow w/c, no matter what they tell you on the phone!! Getting out and about on the shore leaves was an issue then, but you should have no problem with it being on a trip organized for people with special needs. Our QE2 trip was trans-Atlantic, so it didn't matter, as there were no ports!

Have a wonderful time, prepare for what you can, and more importantly: pack a giant sense of humor!
Teresa, sorry to hear about the accessibility problems with AbD. They really need to straighten out their policies on this subject and do a better job of communicating them to the public as well as their own people. I booked a trip with them that I was told would be fine with my scooter and then they cancelled it saying they only had one fully-accessible trip (Backstage Magic in California). I took that tour and there were several places where I had to get out my cane, go up a step or two, while others on the tour carried my scooter. NOT accessible.
__________________
Laurie


My Previous TripsMost recent WDW trip 2/14; Most recent DLR trip 7/12; Most recent DCL trip 7/12 Alaska Wonder
lauriep is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-30-2013, 09:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
Community Rank: Adventurer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 563
yikes!! so sorry about both of your experiences!! i know that this group I'll be going with had a few issues on the last cruise but it was only with a restaurant on one of the islands that had a broken stair lift and one of the excursions (i believe it was swimming with dolphins) claimed it was fully accessible but all the wheelchair users had to have help going down a very steep hill. They had a lot of luck with people at their ports with beaches who were more than happy to help participants get onto the beach and in and out of the water if they needed assistance. As far as cabin size....are the accessible rooms fairly large as well as the bathrooms?
__________________


My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsWDW 14 times, Last trip June 2012, Many stays at OKW, 1 time at CBR, 2 DLR trips last being June 29th-July 5th 2014!
sunshinetaradise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 04:15 PM   #11 (permalink)
Community Rank: Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Indiana , USA
Concierge Level: 7
Posts: 24,050
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunshinetaradise View Post
As far as cabin size....are the accessible rooms fairly large as well as the bathrooms?
I can only speak for DCL's concierge cabins. Yes, plenty of room. Most cruise lines have their cabin layouts on-line, and some have the dimensions. You might try calling them, giving them the cabin you've been assigned, and asking what the dimensions are.

I know all too well that places often claim to be "wheel-chair" accessible, when what they really mean is one of two things "we installed hand-holds and thought that meant it was handicapped and therefore w/c accessible" or "we hired some people with no experience in w/c accessibility and no idea how to think about what a w/c user might need to do all the work. They put in a ramp, what else do you want?"

We've been told before that a place is w/c accessible only to find that it is - one you get up the 3 steps in the front! Doesn't work well when DD's power chair is 350+ pounds!
__________________
My PassPorter Bookshelf
Teresa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2013, 08:22 AM   #12 (permalink)
Community Rank: Adventurer
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 563
oh yes i've run into that situation way too many times. I've run into the few stairs going into a place and also the bathrooms not being accessible with the doors being the size of a closet door. I even had an issue at Disneyland Hotel and unfortunately they couldn't really resolve it. I went to DL in June 2011 for a Spina Bifida conference being held at the DL Hotel (the cruise I'm going on is for young adults with Spina Bifida). I booked my room in Feb. so there was plenty of time and many accessible rooms available. I called at least 10 or more times to double and triple check I would have an accessible room since my friend and her husband who are also in wheelchairs would be rooming with me and I was assured each time that it was. I have run into issues before at other non-Disney hotels where they ran out of accessible rooms and I was never notified until I checked in even though I had requested one. Even up to the night before I arrived I was assured it was accessible. Well I showed up after a long day of traveling and for some reason they could not explain they had run out of accessible rooms and did not hold one for me. I was at DL for the first time so it was hard to be too upset but I was really bummed because the main issue for me is getting in and out of the bathroom. I ended up having to use the desk chair to transfer in and out of the bathroom from my chair to the toilet. The people working at the hotel apologized and offered me a few fast passes but honestly I was hoping they could have done a little more maybe honored the rate for the conference at PPH or at the Grand Californian. Not being able to get in and out of the bathroom/bathtub safely and easily was a major inconvenience for the 6 days I was there.
__________________


My PassPorter Bookshelf
My Previous TripsWDW 14 times, Last trip June 2012, Many stays at OKW, 1 time at CBR, 2 DLR trips last being June 29th-July 5th 2014!
sunshinetaradise is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Feature Article: Packing for a Disney Cruise to Alaska - Disney Cruise Line Advice PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 07-19-2012 07:30 PM
Feature Article: Packing for a Disney Cruise to Alaska - Disney Cruise Line Advice PassPorter News PassPorter News 0 07-19-2012 07:00 PM
New--looking for Cruise tips/advice msnoble The Porch: Introductions, Countdowns, and Farewells 15 10-13-2009 01:27 AM
First Disney Cruise....advice please! disneymom22 Planning Your Disney Cruise Voyage 10 04-12-2007 07:00 PM
Please give us advice on our first ever cruise. Californiakids Planning Your Disney Cruise Voyage 14 06-28-2004 08:27 AM














Please login or register to hide these ads -- it's free and easy!

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:15 PM.



PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
(c) 1999-2013 PassPorter Travel Press/MediaMarx, Inc.
Celebrating 15 Years of Making Dreams Come True
Ad Management plugin by RedTyger