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Waynetor

Royal Jan 5 -19 live review from a wheelchair

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There have been lots of live reports and reviews of the Royal Princess but not much about how it is for anyone using a wheelchair or scooter so I thought I would focus on those related issues.

We are in M110. This is the most forward side cabin on deck 15, one deck below the pool./buffet. The cabin is normal handicap roomy. There is no issue with the toilet paper roll as noted by others in regular cabins. The cabin is sold as partially obstructed. The balcony has a sold metal sheet below the railing instead of the normal glass. Using the chairs provided my wife can see over the rail but someone short may have an issue. The only people that can see into the balcony are the forward corner cabin. The balcony for that cabin is the roof of the bridge so it is very large.

From the balcony of M110 you can look forward over the neighbour’s balcony as well as straight out and toward the aft. What you cannot see is forward/downward which is blocked by the bridge. Being so close to the bow the balcony is impacted by wind more than other cabins.

Generally wheelchair cabins are near elevators but this cabin is about as far from the elevator as can be which means at times you need to work your way around the parked cabin steward carts in the hallway.

Deck 16 is great for getting around in a wheelchair with no heavy doors to go through. All the doors open automatically. Deck 17 is the opposite with all the doors being heavy with a ramp lip to get over.

Other decks are better than other Princess ships as the joints in the floor still represent a speed bump, they are not as bad as on other ships.

The main theatre off deck 7 has on each side at the top 4 seats in a row with an empty space at each end meaning there are only 4 wheelchair spots where a wheelchair person can sit next to a companion. On deck 6 some of the rows are shorter than the row before or after making it possible for a wheelchair to duck in there but there is nothing to indicate the space is for a wheelchair so able bodied are sitting in the seats next to that space so companions cannot sit there without having others move. We have been to 2 shows (8:30) arriving about 40 minutes early – each time all wheelchairs access spots were gone with a half hour to go – all seats were full about 15 minutes pre show.

Wheelchair access in the vista lounge is very poor. In the Princess Live all you can do is park in front of a front row regular chair if you cannot transfer.

The eating areas are for the most part good for moving around in but the onboard shops are very tight – could not get in the chocolate shop at all.

At embarkation there was no assistance available in the Elite lounge when we able to embark – (about 11:40am) – they would have sent someone eventually but we did not want to wait so I pushed the chair myself.

So far we have not found elevator access to be much different from other ships.

Most other items not impacted by handicap or not have been covered in numerous other threads so I’ll just note a few.

Not sure how many but apparently there was a fair number of passengers that missed the ship due to weather issues.

Service has generally been very good – except in the elite lounge today it took 25 minutes to get a drink and service the first dinner (anytime) was poor with several errors.

Princess Theatre shows for the first week are 1) welcome aboard, 2) the Unexpected Boys – (a 4 Seasons tribute) 3) Production Show Colors of the World, 4) David Cole master Illusionist 5) Production show Sweet soul music and 6) Production Show Spectacular.

One safety warning – if in the first row in the theatre, keep you toes in – the narrow space between the stage and the seats is used by many as a way to get to other seats – saw someone get badly hurt tonight after getting stepped on.

The welcome aboard champagne was Tuesday as well as the gold/ruby past guest event. The platinum/elite will be Friday. The cut-off for the top 40 luncheon was 300 days for this cruise – we made the cut but not by very much.

We had a good day in Princess Cay on Monday but was told another Princess ship could not stop there due to weather on Tuesday.

My guess is there are only about 2 dozen children on board – most under 5 years old but overall the guest age average seems lower than other Princess cruises we have done with lots of adults of all ages.

Today in St Thomas the weather is excellent.

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Thanks for contributing your experiences on the Royal for the many that travel with chairs and scooters. You will be able to help many cruisers to decide if the Royal will work for them. Hope you enjoy the rest of the cruise. :)

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We are in M110. This is the most forward side cabin on deck 15, one deck below the pool./buffet. The cabin is normal handicap roomy. There is no issue with the toilet paper roll as noted by others in regular cabins. The cabin is sold as partially obstructed. The balcony has a sold metal sheet below the railing instead of the normal glass. Using the chairs provided my wife can see over the rail but someone short may have an issue. The only people that can see into the balcony are the forward corner cabin. The balcony for that cabin is the roof of the bridge so it is very large.
Here's a photo of what you're referring to: :)

ImageUploadedByForums1389211122.425148.jpg.1e534edb1aa455fecde0d182a84d675b.jpg

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This was such a good review. Thanks for writing from your perspective. Very informative.

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Thanks to Pam for the photo of the cabin – the photo shows it and the partially obscured one below on deck 14.

Nothing really new to report from a wheelchair point but I will give a few other observations.

As far as dinning room attire they are allowing some items against the requested dress code but I have seen a few people asked to remove their baseball caps.

We sat with the Future cruise consultant yesterday at the Captains lunch. I’m suffering from a bit of a cold so nothing seemed great for eating but everyone else enjoyed it. One other couple was doing the New Years and this week while the other couple was doing the Christmas and New Years cruise. They got off last week, went to the airport, found out it would be at least until Wed to get home so called Princess and were able to come back on board. I don’t believe this normally would be allowed but since they had already been approved for the previous cruise it was allowed. The future cruise consultant said he can not make sales for the next cruise less than 2 days prior. He did not know how many were no shows but did say about 20 cabins worth joined the ship in St. Thomas for the last 4 days. – Not sure how getting on in a US territory and off in a US state is considered allowable but it was allowed here.

The top 3 passengers in days were low 600s, high 600s and 1,079 days.

We have had great weather, about 80F each day and only a couple brief showers in St. Martin. Passengers were advised of the mosquito issues in St. Martin.

We went to the elite lounge Thursday and it was not as busy and service was much better.

I expect the dinning rooms will be a bit quieter today with a lot of people looking forward to watching football on the big screen. On sailaway Sunday the games were not shown on MUTS – the second game was in one lounge.

I’ve asked a few blue card passengers (about a third overall) how they are enjoying the cruise – the 2 complaints are similar to what has been posted many times here – small balconies and no pull-out table for drinks in the theatre. People that have tried other lines are left with the impression all Princess ships are this way.

I saw something that seems strange to me yesterday. In Vista lounge they advertised ‘Elvis Music’ with the band that does music normally up on deck 15. As soon as the curtains opened and it was clears the band members were not wearing Elvis outfits a couple near us got up and left. Too bad for them as the group did a very good job.

 

The Unexpected Boys were on Monday night.

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Not sure how getting on in a US territory and off in a US state is considered allowable but it was allowed here.

 

On another thread someone posted that getting an exception due to weather is usually allowed. I assume the passengers who missed the ship at the embarkation port did so due to bad weather causing flights to be delayed or cancelled.

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Hi Wayne, thanks for the live from and from a vantage point of someone who is in a wheelchair.

 

I think we sailed with you last year on the Emerald on a back to back. You ran over your glasses? We met in Vines often.

 

hope you have a great trip.

 

Vickie & Bernie

Vancouver

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Yes I remeber you Vickie and Bernie.

 

Now in Ft. Lauderdale. - nice no need to rush for another week.

 

Its strange - first we did not get our captain circle party invite and yesterday on our way to dinner at 540 we asked when we would get our new cards etc. and was told they were on the way out and should be in our cabin within half hor - sure enough when we get back to the cabin at 1030 no sign of them -took awhile to get someone to answer at front desk but they did say they had been sent out and would have to do new ones which arrived in about a half hour

 

Usuallly we only do 1 thing a night but last night we went non stop from a change - comedian in Vista,then right to production show, then to attrium for juggler followed by britsh rock music show, followed by a quick look at the football and then watched one of the taped game shows. Funny thing in the comedy show - he asked if anyone was celabrating a birthday - a lady in the front row says hers was yesterday, he aksed what she did and if she got a gift - he likely has does this so many times he has good lines for just about anything -she told him she spent her birthday in quarantine which certainly caught him off guard, seemed he had never heard of people getting sick and being visted by the hazmat team. Amazing how fast some of the people near her moved.

 

We are scheduled to get of at 10:30 but breakfast stops at 9am

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Hi Wayne

Thanks for your post!

I was really interested to read about accessibility because a good friend of ours is in a scooter.

They originally sailed mostly with Princess but as his disability became more severe they have changed to the S class ships on Celebrity, which are MUCH more handicapped accessible.

I was hoping that with this new ship design Princess would be like Celebrity but it certainly doesn't sound like it. :(

 

We (minus our friends) will be sailing on the Royal in February. Do you happen to know what movies are playing on MUTS?

Do they have a late (after 10 or 10:30 ) show? I LOVE being able to watch a movie late at night under the Caribbean skies.

 

Have a great second cruise!

Edited by chamima

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Voyage 2 is well underway. We have just left Princess Cay. The weather was mostly nice – got cloudy early afternoon with some showers. Dry here on the ship but could tell we were surrounded by brief showers and a rainbow. So far only comment I’ve heard was the sea was colder than expected.

From up on deck 16 the seas looked quite good for tendering but the tenders were bobbing up and down some. For anyone thinking of doing this itinerary in a wheelchair, Princes Cay is quite assessable, just not a lot to do once there.

Going back to yesterday – there are 60 of us doing the B2B this time. We met at 10:20 and were escorted off as a group. There was one custom officer that took each passport, randomly opened any page and handed them back. We had to wait a bit longer for clearance as some people were slow disembarking. We were back on about 10:45. For the next hour it was just us and some travel agents on tour so was able to get pictures without a lot of people in them.

Tony Draper became the Captain yesterday.

Entertainment this week will be very similar as last week. Jim Colliton, the comedian from late last week, is on tonight. The illusionist will be on the same day and Jim’s old spot will be The Beatlemaniacs so the 4 Season act is out this week

I will list some of the movies next time.

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Voyage 2 is well underway. We have just left Princess Cay. The weather was mostly nice – got cloudy early afternoon with some showers. Dry here on the ship but could tell we were surrounded by brief showers and a rainbow. So far only comment I’ve heard was the sea was colder than expected.

 

From up on deck 16 the seas looked quite good for tendering but the tenders were bobbing up and down some. For anyone thinking of doing this itinerary in a wheelchair, Princes Cay is quite assessable, just not a lot to do once there.

 

 

Were you assisted onto the tender at Princess Cay in your wheelchair? We have been told several times before on other Princess ships that unless we could walk onto the tender, we would not be allowed to tender. And we know many others who have been told the same thing, including on the Ruby just last week.

Edited by montgomeryfamily

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For Princess Cay and all other tenders you need to be able to stand up and take a couple steps as the tender boat is always moving up and down somewhat.

 

Yesterday was a pretty good day at sea – some slight swells but hardly noticeable movement.

Today in St Thomas started out very overcast but it is about noon here now and it is very nice. We are docked at the Crown Bay port, the opposite of last week. We were by ourselves here until a half hour ago when the Carnival Glory pulled up besides us. I can see the tops of 4 ships over at the Havensightport. We just got off for a little walk around the stores and bought 3 bottles of rum – cheaper than on board even with our Elite status 10% discount. For anyone not familar with the Crowne Bay port it has a much smaller shopping area and once outside that there is nothing but you can walk to town - about the same distance as from Havenshight or take the vans/taxis.

We got our invites to the most travelled luncheon – I checked and we are Number 39 and 40.

For the first week this is the MUTS showings

Sunday Afternoon – Coldpaly, Pink Funhouse, Beyonce, Evening – World War Z

Monday Afternoon –Take That, U2 Vertigo, Evening – College football

Tuesday morning Momma Mia, evening – The Wolverine

Wednesday – Afternoon – Barry Manilow, Bon Jove, Evening – Now you see me

Thursday – Afternoon – Lionel Ritchie, George Michael- Evening – no movie – deck party at 9:30

Friday morning – Hitch, Evening – The Way, Way Back

Saturday morning – The Proposal, afternoon evening 2 NFL playoff games

So far this second week is similar except the football

We are finding the food to be mostly very good except a lot of breakfast items that should be hot or at least warm are on the cold side.

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Here's a photo of what you're referring to: :)

[ATTACH]298047[/ATTACH]

 

Pam - Thank you for the photo! We are in M107 (opposite side and one cabin forward than the OP's M110) on our up-coming Royal Princess cruise. This helps us visualize the balcony area.

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For Princess Cay and all other tenders you need to be able to stand up and take a couple steps as the tender boat is always moving up and down somewhat.

 

 

I beg to differ--Princess used to have lift teams which assisted those who were in manual wheelchairs onto tenders. It has only been in the last couple of years that the Princess policy has changed, albeit unwritten, to require everyone to be able to walk onto a tender, including those with manual wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Holland America, and Disney, still permit and assist those in manual wheelchairs to tender and several of these cruise lines have special tenders at certain ports (private islands and Grand Cayman) which are designed to allow even power wheelchairs and scooters to roll onto the tender. (Of course, sea conditions permitting)

 

I had followed your thread with interest, but it wasn't clear to me that the disabled member of your party was not actually confined to a wheelchair and could actually walk. So I was confused with your post in regard to tendering at Princess Cay. Thank you for clarifying this.

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