Power Wheelchair on RCL

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#1
Columbus, OH
73 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
A friend who cruises with RCL often recently told me that he's seen many manual wheelchairs and multiple electric scooters but has never seen a power wheelchair on any of his cruises. Has anybody used a power wheelchair on their cruise? My SO just switched from a manual wheelchair to a power wheelchair and I'm hoping this isn't a problem on our cruise. The chair is quite large and weighs about 400 pounds but does have a "neutral" position so that it can be pushed from behind like a manual wheelchair. My SO is a quadriplegic so he won't be able to park his chair and sit in another chair. We booked an accessible balcony cabin on HOTS. Due to it's size, it sits up quite a bit higher than his previous chair. I'm wondering if it will fit under tables.
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11/10/18 ~ Harmony of the Seas
5/28/19 ~ Symphony of the Seas
#2
14 Miles From LA Port
2,833 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
You probably already know you MUST have a handicapped cabin. Power chairs are to large for a normal door. I had to disassemble/assemble the damn thing each time we returned to cabin. Smallest section was 95 pounds. That being said, if you can't transfer to a chair, dining rooms and entertainment venues may be an issue.
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#3
Columbus, OH
73 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by jlp20
You probably already know you MUST have a handicapped cabin. Power chairs are to large for a normal door. I had to disassemble/assemble the damn thing each time we returned to cabin. Smallest section was 95 pounds. That being said, if you can't transfer to a chair, dining rooms and entertainment venues may be an issue.
Thank you for the reply. Dining rooms and entertainment venues may be an issue as in they may be impossible? Or an issue as in, sitting sideways at the dining table or accessible seating only at entertainment venues? He has a tray table that sits on his chair that he can use if he can't sit at the table comfortably. I am concerned about entertainment venues now though. What about the casino? We're sailing with Royal Caribbean on Harmony of the Seas. We did book an accessible cabin, thankfully.
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#4
I come from a land down under
26,566 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by knon24
A friend who cruises with RCL often recently told me that he's seen many manual wheelchairs and multiple electric scooters but has never seen a power wheelchair on any of his cruises. Has anybody used a power wheelchair on their cruise? My SO just switched from a manual wheelchair to a power wheelchair and I'm hoping this isn't a problem on our cruise. The chair is quite large and weighs about 400 pounds but does have a "neutral" position so that it can be pushed from behind like a manual wheelchair. My SO is a quadriplegic so he won't be able to park his chair and sit in another chair. We booked an accessible balcony cabin on HOTS. Due to it's size, it sits up quite a bit higher than his previous chair. I'm wondering if it will fit under tables.

I have used a powerchair on numerous cruises. But mine have if anything been a bit low, I think a good powerchair is much better than a scooter. Tables tend to be a simila4 height to at home, how does he manage there?
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#5
Stoke on Trent U.K
295 Posts
Joined Jul 2018
Originally posted by knon24
A friend who cruises with RCL often recently told me that he's seen many manual wheelchairs and multiple electric scooters but has never seen a power wheelchair on any of his cruises. .
Hi my DS is confined to a wheelchair and I have a bad habit of checking out other peoples wheelchairs. On every cruise we had been on we have seen a least power wheelchair. Admittedly the last one we saw, in May 2018, was being used by a teenager. We have seen other being used by adults.

Originally posted by knon24
Thank you for the reply. Dining rooms and entertainment venues may be an issue as in they may be impossible? Or an issue as in, sitting sideways at the dining table or accessible seating only at entertainment venues?
There is sitting for wheelchairs at the back of the theatre. We only walk through the casino so can not offer you any advise.
As for the dining room my DS always has to sit sideways at the dining table as his chair will not fit under the table. The waiters do not have a problem with my DS sitting sideways but it does restrict which tables we can use. My DS's chair is not a standard wheelchair, it is a moulded seat placed on a wheelchair base. If you want to see a pic of my sons chair look at thread https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2657686 post #32
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#6
Pepsicola FL
11,236 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
entertainment won't be too much of a problem as there are easily accessible spots to park . ditto on the vast majority of public spaces. including the casino.

where I do see an issue is MAYBE the MDR. there could be a step or three from the entrance to get to the table.. and even if not, the aisles are NARROW. you would have to see the Maitre d' as soon as you board and get a table assignment near the entrance to avoid rolling over people's toes on the way to your spot. do you have MTD or Traditional?
#7
5 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
My husband is in a power wheelchair and we will be sailing on the Oasis of the Seas in an accessible balcony room on August 5th. I'll be able to tell you more when we get back. Our travel agent told us that RCI is one of the most accessible cruise lines...so here's to hoping! When are you cruising?
#8
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
This is my first cruise needing mobility assistance. I am thinking of renting an electric wheelchair. I have never used one. It seems a lot of cruisers have. How do other cruisers react as far as making space for you in aisles and especially on elevators? I have anxiety just thinking about using one and running into people. TIA
#9
Columbus, OH
73 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by GUT2407
I have used a powerchair on numerous cruises. But mine have if anything been a bit low, I think a good powerchair is much better than a scooter. Tables tend to be a simila4 height to at home, how does he manage there?
Thank you for your reply. We live in an apartment right now and only have an island rather than a kitchen table. The power chair is very new; he's only had it for less than a month.

Originally posted by Bloodgem
As for the dining room my DS always has to sit sideways at the dining table as his chair will not fit under the table. The waiters do not have a problem with my DS sitting sideways but it does restrict which tables we can use. My DS's chair is not a standard wheelchair, it is a moulded seat placed on a wheelchair base. If you want to see a pic of my sons chair look at thread https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=2657686 post #32
Thank you! That was very helpful! I do believe my SO will have to sit sideways as well.
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#10
Columbus, OH
73 Posts
Joined Jun 2017
Originally posted by spookwife
entertainment won't be too much of a problem as there are easily accessible spots to park . ditto on the vast majority of public spaces. including the casino.

where I do see an issue is MAYBE the MDR. there could be a step or three from the entrance to get to the table.. and even if not, the aisles are NARROW. you would have to see the Maitre d' as soon as you board and get a table assignment near the entrance to avoid rolling over people's toes on the way to your spot. do you have MTD or Traditional?
We have MTD.

Originally posted by CaitlinStorm
My husband is in a power wheelchair and we will be sailing on the Oasis of the Seas in an accessible balcony room on August 5th. I'll be able to tell you more when we get back. Our travel agent told us that RCI is one of the most accessible cruise lines...so here's to hoping! When are you cruising?
We are sailing in November. I would appreciate any information you can share. Happy sailing!
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11/10/18 ~ Harmony of the Seas
5/28/19 ~ Symphony of the Seas
#11
Auckland NZ
1,596 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
I use a LevoC3 power chair and have used it on cruises without issue. Goes under dining tables and sit at the back of theatres etc. On Princess


Previously I used a puzzle chair which breaks down into three pieces. But not that comfortable any more.
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Future Cruises

Majestic Princess - Auckland to Sydney (12 nights Club Class Mini Suite Accessible Cabin B433)
Christmas 2018 - Move over cruise from Dec 2016
Majestic Princess - Sydney to NZ Return (13 nights Accessible Balcony Stateroom D303) New Year (B2B)
Past Cruises

Sun Princess - Auckland to Sydney (4 nights Inside Accessible Cabin C314) $100 more than flying so a no brainer!
April 2018 Sun Princess - South Pacific (12 nights Oceanview Accessible Stateroom D311) Leaving the house so we can have renovations done June 2017
Golden Princess - Australia / New Zealand BUT Auckland to Auckland (13 nights Balcony Accessible Stateroom C301) Christmas / New Year 2016 Cancelled by an excellent move over offer
Golden Princess - Australia / New Zealand (13 nights Interior Accessible Stateroom E716) Christmas / New Year 2015 (again!)
Celebrity Solstice - 3 Feb 2013 - had to cancel but an honorary Roll Call member until embarkation.
Celebrity Century - Australia/New Zealand (13 nights in an OceanView Accessible Stateroom 5061) Christmas/New Year 2011 - another wonderful cruise with a great bunch of CCer's

Diamond Princess - Australia/New Zealand (12 nights with a Balcony Accessible stateroom C302) Christmas/New Year 2010 (Fantastic thanks to the wonderful CCer's On board)
Southern Cross - CTC Cruises - Pacific Islands (8 days) Christmas 1996
Fairstar - Sitmar - Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan back to Sydney (29 days) June 1989
Fairstar - Sitmar - Singapore to Sydney via Japan (28 days) June 1988
#12
Pepsicola FL
11,236 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by money2cruise
This is my first cruise needing mobility assistance. I am thinking of renting an electric wheelchair. I have never used one. It seems a lot of cruisers have. How do other cruisers react as far as making space for you in aisles and especially on elevators? I have anxiety just thinking about using one and running into people. TIA

if you do not own/use one on a regular basis, no rental company will rent one to you. the learning curve is very steep. but you can get an ECV. but again, has a learning curve so practice in the grocery store or target in order to learn how to turn and maneuver.

I'd say its about 50/50 WRT to 'politeness' there will ALWAYS be people who rush the elevator without letting you on first and there will ALWAYS be people rushing the elevator when you are trying to get off. generally getting around on the ship won't be too much of an issue, but you will need to get a HA cabin unless the ECV breaks down.. under no circumstances can it be left in the passageways.
#13
Pepsicola FL
11,236 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by knon24
We have MTD.



We are sailing in November. I would appreciate any information you can share. Happy sailing!

shouldn't be too hard to snag a table assignment near the entrance, if you are okay with sharing
#14
San Diego, CA, USA
4,672 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
My mother used a power chair (Permobil) but we made sure when ordering it that we got one that had a low floor-to-seat height so she could sit at regular tables at restaurants. You will not find higher tables on any cruise ship (such as may exist in some restaurants ashore for wheelchair users). I would imaging with his level of injury he could not feed himself sitting sideways.



You may want to invest in a table for the chair such as this, which you can carry with you and use when needed:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=P...&v=aOFgPO6bwPE


or a lap tray such as this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Lap-Desk-4534...2132340&sr=1-6
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#15
Loch Ness Scotland
2,676 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Originally posted by jlp20
You probably already know you MUST have a handicapped cabin. Power chairs are to large for a normal door. I had to disassemble/assemble the damn thing each time we returned to cabin. Smallest section was 95 pounds. That being said, if you can't transfer to a chair, dining rooms and entertainment venues may be an issue.
That depends on the powerchair, mine folds in seconds so although my husband has to carry it in the cabin I can manage. It weighs 50lbs and doesn’t need to be taken apart. We were on regal princess in June and I hadn’t been able to get an accessible balcony cabin. Obviously if the wheelchair user can’t transfer or walk a few steps or stand it’s a different story.

For my cruise in October on Celebrity Silhouette I’ve also not been able to get an accessible cabin despite ringing every few days nothing has come up since booking last November.

I didn’t have any problems at tables or in the theatre at all but did sometimes transfer to a chair so obviously that can make a difference.

I found the staff very helpful when I was getting on and off the ship, as I went down the ramp one would be behind and one in front of me. I never had to request this, they just had people to do it.

Most cruisers were very good in the corridors and lifts, although sometimes you can wait ages for one with enough space. I got many offers of help which was kind. Only on one occasion did a woman who wanted to get in the lift block my exit totally, her husband and son moved and told her to move and she didn’t. My husband asked her nicely to move and she didn’t. She moved pretty quick once I started to move my chair forward
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#16
5 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
We just got back on Sunday from our cruise on Oasis of the Seas. My husband uses a permobil power chair. He had no problems fitting under the tables. For entertainment...go early because they fill up fast and so do the accessible spots. We spent time at the casino as well...it can be hard to get around as it can get quite crowded and there are some spots he couldn't get through at all. Otherwise the ship was pretty accessible, however, the ramps to get on and off the ship I found to be very steep, my husband almost fell out of his wheelchair at one point because of how steep it was. Make sure he is very secure when on the ramps and follow in front / behind him to make sure he is safe.

If you have any other questions I'd be happy to answer. Are you flying or driving to the port?
#17
VA
552 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
We just came off Adventure of the Seas and there were several passengers in power wheelchairs (both adults and children).

Unfortunately he probably won't be able to go out on the balcony unless you in one of the larger aft accessible cabins. We had an accessible balcony cabin on the port side of the ship (mid-ship) and the depth of the balcony is the same as regular balcony cabins - it's just longer.

If you're concerned about the MDR seating, on embarkment day, visit the dining room to see about table assignments. I'm sure they will be able to accommodate you.

Also, in the Windjammer, they had an area right when you came into the buffet area that was reserved for disabled passengers. The area was opened for breakfast and lunch. Tables were clearly marked. We sat there every day.

I'm sure you'll have a great cruise!
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#18
5 Posts
Joined Aug 2018
My husband also just "upgraded" to a power wheelchair. We were on Oasis of the Seas last year with his manual chair and had no problems in any venues. In the dining rooms they just moved chairs out of the way so he could pull his chair in. They also tried to put us at tables that were close to the front of the dining rooms. There were accessible seating viewing areas in all entertainment venues. We had an accessible balcony room and had no problems at all. We will be going on Harmony of the Seas next October with the power chair but I really don't anticipate any issues based on our last cruise. You should be fine.
#19
I come from a land down under
26,566 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
Originally posted by money2cruise
This is my first cruise needing mobility assistance. I am thinking of renting an electric wheelchair. I have never used one. It seems a lot of cruisers have. How do other cruisers react as far as making space for you in aisles and especially on elevators? I have anxiety just thinking about using one and running into people. TIA
Most people are great at trying to help, including getting out of our way.

I’d suggest hiring one for a week or two at home to get used to it. Shopping centres are a great place to practice.
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#20
congleton
67 Posts
Joined May 2012
i have a pride all new gochair electric wheel chair the arms on the chair lift up so sitting at tables is no hardship all and it is so small and compact you can turn round in very small spaces ie lifts etc so you can come out forwards