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View Full Version : Carnival - Anything good to report?


SunLover7
January 11th, 2009, 09:03 PM
Hi all,

I only started using a scooter to get around within the last 6 months. So, while I have always had difficulty walking, the vacation we are planning will be my first experience traveling with the scooter. We decided a cruise might be the best way to go as it may be easier than a resort.

However, I am quickly learning there is a lot to think about in order to make the experience as positive as possible. We will be traveling in May. We have been looking at the Carnival Line as they seem to have a lot of cruises in May compared to some other lines as well as the best prices. However, upon reading some reviewed here, I have come across some concerns others have expressed.

Is there anyone who has had a good experience on the Carnival line lately?

Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks!

uppitycats
January 12th, 2009, 07:34 AM
Hi all,

I only started using a scooter to get around within the last 6 months. So, while I have always had difficulty walking, the vacation we are planning will be my first experience traveling with the scooter. We decided a cruise might be the best way to go as it may be easier than a resort.

However, I am quickly learning there is a lot to think about in order to make the experience as positive as possible. We will be traveling in May. We have been looking at the Carnival Line as they seem to have a lot of cruises in May compared to some other lines as well as the best prices. However, upon reading some reviewed here, I have come across some concerns others have expressed.

Is there anyone who has had a good experience on the Carnival line lately?

Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks!

First of all, if you really are thinking about cruising in May, the FIRST thing you need to do is find out whether any of the cruises you're interested in have any handicap-accessible cabins still available. Most of us who need those find we have to book months in advance -- 6 months or more -- so you may not find any. Scooters won't fit into "regular" cabins, unless you get the smallest kind that break down, which you'd have to do every time you re-enter your cabin.

Then, make sure that the cabin truly is "handicap-accessible". Some of the cabins are "modified", meaning they've put in grab bars, sometimes, and maybe a ramp up into the bathroom, but a scooter (or wheelchair) won't fit in them.

Third, make sure you book on a new Carnival ship. Some of the older ones have been retrofitted -- meaning while there are some modifications, the newer ships are much more accessible. Note that with even some of the new ships, public bathrooms aren't accessible, so you'd need to return to your cabin to use the facilities.

Fourth, depending on where you intend to cruise, note that new regulations imposed by the cruise line may mean you won't be able to use the tender system to get from ship to shore, should the ship not dock next to shore. So unless you can step up/down into the tender, you won't be able to go to shore at every port, and then of course won't have the scooter to use once you're ashore.

I hope you find something that will accommodate your needs.

BarbJ52
January 14th, 2009, 05:57 PM
Since dh has started renting a scooter when we cruise, we have had two very enjoyable cruises with Carnival.

The first was in Feb. of 2007 on Carnival Liberty. We had booked a regular cat. 11 cabin that was not hc accessible. And, as sometimes happens in life, things changed. When we realized that we would need the scooter, there were no accessible cabins available. The large scooter did fit through the door but it was a tight fit. Of course, the bathroom was neither accessible nor modified but that didn't seem like it would be important since dh was able to get around OK in the cabin.

We did, however, realize that he would have been much more comfortable with the door width of an accessible cabin. So, when we booked our cruise on Carnival Valor for April of last year we booked cabin 7228, a cat. 11 accessible cabin. We were told that the bathroom was not accessible, but were pleasantly surprised to find that it was. Dh appreciated the grab bars and fold down seat. I loved the space! Here is a link to my post with pictures. Be sure to scroll down to get the larger pics. The first ones I posted were rather small. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=772560 (http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=772560)

Carnival might not be our favorite cruise line, but these were two of our favorite cruises. The ships were beautiful and it was easy to get around on the scooter. The crew was great. We met some interesting passengers. We dined with some teriffic people we met on our roll call on Liberty. And, had a fabulous time with family (who stayed in a comfortable inside cabin on our deck) on Valor. I'm sure we will cruise Carnival again in the future but will definitely stick with some of their newer ships such as Liberty, Valor, Victory. But, I think the newer ships are probably more hc friendly with any cruise line.

dawne24
January 25th, 2009, 08:28 PM
I had a GREAT experience with Carnival!

I cruised from Dover to Rome in September 2008 on the Carnival Splendor. This ship is very new and I found it to be quite accessible.

However, I want to mention that I was very impressed with Carnival and their entire staff with respect to disability needs and I would (and plan to) cruise with them again without hesitation.

The first port I visited was LeHavre, France (Paris).. when the ship arrived the tide was high and there was no ramp to debark, but a flight of approx 50 steps almost straight down.. my immediate thought upon seeing this was of disappointment.. I really wanted to see Paris ... seconds later, and before I could even say anything, one of the security crew from Carnival came up to me and motioned me to wait... he returned with 4 other security staff who then proceeded to pick me up, chair and all, and those men carried me down that flight of steps. I could not believe it! Although, this was my first cruise and I have nothing to compare with, I really felt Carnival went above and beyond to make my trip enjoyable.. from the very spacious accessible cabin, to the staff in the food areas who always offer to assist you or carry your tray, even staff that would just come up and to me and ask if I needed a push anywhere..*which lots of times I did.. it was a biiig ship.. haha...

The only ports I experienced any difficulty with were in LeHavre (Paris) and also in Cannes because it was tendered. But again, at the tendered port in Cannes, the Carnival staff carried me on and off the tender in my chair... something that I had not expected would happen as I am rather heavy. *I didn't need to complain, whine or even ask...

I hope that you enjoy your cruise with Carnival as much as I enjoyed mine!

shipshapegal
February 5th, 2009, 08:56 PM
carnival has a special needs department and they are very helpful. there are not tons of hc cabins but they do not let anyone else book them. all bookings have to go through special needs for them. only at the last moment if they are not booked they go into the pool of cabins to sell. they will tell you the widths of the door and bathroom door and you can tell by this if it is a retrofit. also the bathrooms are great in the cabins. there are several in the front of the ship that are great hc cabins. the only problems we have ever had is other passengers are sometimes not helpful with elevators and things. i have waited for an elevator and had people run up at the last moment and jump in front of me. other than that all has been wonderful on carnival!

smiles, bee