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I have never heard of HAL having a disabled UNfriendly reputation.They allowed people on board who were oxygen dependent and their medical staff were known to be very responsive and caring.
As a disabled person, sailing with HAL for the past 10 years my experience with them has always been very positive. Whenever I have booked, I have received a form from ship's services requesting details of my special needs. This form is then given to personnel on board who will need to see that my needs are seen to. These people include the medical staff, cabin steward, dining room staff and anyone else necessary. If anything, I would say that in the past 10 years their attention to detail and service in general to the needs of the disabled has improved.
If you check out the disabled message board people seem to agree that HAL does the best job in the industry in providing service to the disabled. I have only sailed on HAL and RCI so I can only address those two lines. HAL definitly does a better job.
I hope this helps. I know you will enjoy your cruise with HAL and they will serve you well.
THANKS FOR LISTENING
CANCELLED DUE TO RYANSMEMOM STARTING HER Ph.D. STUDIES
We sailed to Alaska in June on the Veendam and found that we did not get the help that we were used to on the other lines, this was especially true when we got on and off of the ship, in one of the ports it was raining and we were told to "wait" for help, after a few minutes I pushed my husband up the gangplank, and I mean up. I was very dissapointed in this aspect of our cruise. We are cruising again with HAL hopefully they will be on the ball this time. Also I was told that the handicap cabins were for a person who could not walk at all, so we are in a regular cabin.
Last year on the Zaandam, I paid particular attention to how disabled were handled and was very pleased to note that stewards always helped disabled passengers on and off the ship, helped with trays in the Lido - carrying, fetching, checking if anything else was needed... they were very very attentive and helpful - was very nice to see.
Holland America is very disabled friendly. My wife is wheelchair bound. One time we had some bad experiences, but it's because our travel agent did not properly inform Holland about my wife's needs. Any disabled person should get a form from Holland to fill out.
You have to remember that Holland visits a lot of places which are not disabled friendly. They have no control over what kind of experience you're going to have once you're in a port, unless you take their shore excursions.