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Is Oceania mobility disabled friendly?


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57 minutes ago, ORV said:

Clo, did they have the disinfecting mat you had to step on at the bottom of the ramp on your itinerary? 

In Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina? Not that I was aware of.

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On 12/19/2019 at 11:25 AM, Petoonya said:

Thanks so much. It's unfortunate as he is a reknown flamenco guitarist and there's an Iberian itinerary on O that really excites him. I guess unless he makes a vast improvement by then, you are right.

 

****Just looked at itineraries on Celebrity and the only one that would excite them is on Infinity, another Iberian cruise. I sailed Infinity but since they are the same vintage as R ships I don't know if it would be any better....although I sailed before it was extended. No handicapped cabins available now but more chances for cancellation. I guess I'll post on the Celebrity board and see what the consensus is. I'll ask my TA too.

 

Thanks again. I really extolled Serena to them as I love that ship. But I guess not the one.

 

Just want to point out that Celebrity's M class ships, which include Infinity, have never been lengthened.  EM

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Just got off Riviera (Sitting at the airport) and despite having bad weather during 4 of the 7 days, the cruise was great. I’m fully disabled and use a mobility scooter.  I will not/cannot cruise the R ships because they are not disabled friendly.  The cabins are way too small to accommodate scooters and because these ships are so old, many areas are difficult for scooters.

 

I’ve been on Riviera for 48 days this year, in the Med and Caribbean, and I will say that the biggest problem, and this is a really BIG problem, is the gangway on deck 4.  The ramp has a 6 inch very steep incline which is impossible for any scooter to traverse. You bottom out.  Now, I purchased a bigger scooter with a higher ground clearance, and not even that scooter can clear the ramp.  They expect you to get off the scooter and climb that ramp while they lift the scooter up over that bump—-hows a fully disabled person supposed to do that?  That problem can easily be fixed if O would just extend that part of the ramp by 4 inches, but even after all my many discussions with various general managers, O refuses to change——until someone falls and sues.

 

But other than that, I have not had many major problems on the O ships.  The specialties are accessible, so are the other public venues. 
 

But if you want to talk about a hassle, let’s discuss how Delta dropped my new scooter and totally ruined it. Not a good way to start a cruise. 

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Humm,  just off the Riviera too.  I have a mobility scooter and we were in a B3 cabin.  I had no problem getting the scooter in and out of the cabin or in the hallways.  I found the crew very helpful in getting on or off the ship where the wheels for my Pride go go got caught.  Granted we were only on for a week and in the Carib so I cannot speak for European ports.  I could not have asked for an easier cruise.  

I have some complaints, but will address them in another thread.

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5 hours ago, kitty9 said:

My comments pertaining to the inaccessibility of the gangway was for general information and not specific to the cruise I was on. 

Ok, got it.  I haven't been on the smaller ships, just Marina and Riviera.

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That's an excellent suggestion!  I've noticed many more scooters and the like on board Oceania ships in the last 2-3 years or so, but I've never discussed the issue with any of the operators.  I must have assumed that if there were so many scooters there must not be a problem.  It sounds I was very wrong on that score!

 

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3 hours ago, bitob said:

You might ask this question on the "Disabled Cruise Travel" board.  Many able-bodied travelers do not pay attention to the little things that affect a disabled traveler.

 

1 hour ago, Mura said:

That's an excellent suggestion!  I've noticed many more scooters and the like on board Oceania ships in the last 2-3 years or so, but I've never discussed the issue with any of the operators.  I must have assumed that if there were so many scooters there must not be a problem.  It sounds I was very wrong on that score!

 

Thanks so much. Did address this on the Disabled Cruise Board but seems no one has been on the R ships. But it does sound like Sirena is not the ship for them. I learned a lot though and sent the board to Mrs. They'll probably still choose to go if their waitlist clears, but Mr will be a stick-in-the-mud even if I warn them. Mrs. is an angel so she'll probably love it even while carrying the burden of him. They plan to travel in Spain and Portugal before and after the cruise so it's hard to imagine the cruise will be any harder for them. This is all incredibly AMBITIOUS of them. But if he's walking well and solely with a cane I think they'll be ok overall. If he is by April I'm going to let go of worrying about them.

 

They don't pay final unless their waitlist clears and that's when they will HOPEFULLY follow advice and buy insurance!

 

I wish I'd kept my big mouth shut now about O. He's going to whine even if everything to the rest of us is idyllic.

Edited by Petoonya
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We never go to the GDR or Terrrace for dinner before 7:00 pm so to give the scooters, wheel chairs, and mobility challenged ample opportunity to get seated and situated. Being hungry is never an issue aboard ship, so best to give those needing the extra time plenty of space and time.

 

When aboard ship on sea days, we eat lunch later for the same reasons.

Edited by pinotlover
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On 12/19/2019 at 9:34 AM, Petoonya said:

Thanks very kindly. I've only cruised five times on O, six in April and all on R's. I've never taken note of the degree of difficulty navigating the ship for those on scooters and in wheelchairs, and discouraged. We don't sail Regatta for me to look closely at what he'll find displeasing until April and they'll need to make final by then.Think I better have a talk with them and have them re-evaluate. He'll be livid unless he's assisted in all his needs and sounds like the way the ship is set up, he'll need to be carried in a sedan chair to make him happy.

 

If he can navigate by himself inside the cabin by himself, use a scooter on the ship, deconstruct the scooter when disembarking in ports, need extra assistance boarding tender and SLOWLY go up and down stairs do you think he'd be ok?

Jeez I just saw him yesterday and he fell and broke his wrist. Something tells me this could still be a disaster in the making with the motion of the ship regardless.

Crystal crew goes out of their way to help those passengers with mobility issues.

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I was looking at the January issue of International Travel News this evening and saw an article on "traveling while disabled".  I thought it might be of some help to the OP but upon reading decided maybe not.  The article is by a woman who has had spinal surgery which limits her mobility, but she was also talking about how they carefully research hotels these days.  For example, in Europe even hotels with an elevator may have a number of steps before you can actually enter the reception area.  I had recommended an Athens hotel to another CC member several years ago which was not suitable for them because the husband was in a scooter and could not have negotiated those initial steps.

 

If the OP sees this, I could cut and paste the article and send it to you.  The article isn't very helpful for the "cruise" portion of the proposed trip but since her friends are planning land trips pre- and post-cruise the article could make some helpful points ... and if not, it won't take long to read!

 

Mura

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9 hours ago, AtA said:

Crystal crew goes out of their way to help those passengers with mobility issues.

Unfortunately Crystal. Seabourne and Silverseas are out of their pocketbook range and don't have Iberian peninsula cruises, even tho outstanding for assistance and scooter accessibility. But thank you.

 

8 hours ago, Mura said:

I was looking at the January issue of International Travel News this evening and saw an article on "traveling while disabled".  I thought it might be of some help to the OP but upon reading decided maybe not.  The article is by a woman who has had spinal surgery which limits her mobility, but she was also talking about how they carefully research hotels these days.  For example, in Europe even hotels with an elevator may have a number of steps before you can actually enter the reception area.  I had recommended an Athens hotel to another CC member several years ago which was not suitable for them because the husband was in a scooter and could not have negotiated those initial steps.

 

If the OP sees this, I could cut and paste the article and send it to you.  The article isn't very helpful for the "cruise" portion of the proposed trip but since her friends are planning land trips pre- and post-cruise the article could make some helpful points ... and if not, it won't take long to read!

 

Mura

They know it is going to be tough to negotiate European hotels, sites etc. They think the cruise portion should actually be a bit easier. As I said this is a rather ambitious project for them but they are aware of the Europe travel portion. I just wanted to extricate myself from having recommended Oceania's Sirena! I think they thought Sirena would be the relaxing portion of their trip. All I can hope is that he improves enough to walk well with a cane. But thanks 🙂

Edited by Petoonya
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I saw an instance on O awhile back where the crew did a remarkable job assisting a gentleman in a wheelchair. It was 3 1/2 years ago on Regatta. It did not appear that the gentleman was able to get out of the wheelchair at all.  It was at a tender port and it took 2 very strong crewmen to get him off of the pier and onto the tender boat.  Then from the tender boat back onto the ship. I thought it was amazing to see they will go out of their way to help passengers with disabilities. Again, this was over 3 years ago and I don't know if this is still the case.

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23 minutes ago, sunlover12 said:

I saw an instance on O awhile back where the crew did a remarkable job assisting a gentleman in a wheelchair. It was 3 1/2 years ago on Regatta. It did not appear that the gentleman was able to get out of the wheelchair at all.  It was at a tender port and it took 2 very strong crewmen to get him off of the pier and onto the tender boat.  Then from the tender boat back onto the ship. I thought it was amazing to see they will go out of their way to help passengers with disabilities. Again, this was over 3 years ago and I don't know if this is still the case.

It’s at the crew’s discretion. If the seas are considered too rough or the person too large to safely handle the crew may refuse entry into the tender. The safety of the passengers and crew take precedence over all things in these cases, not the cruisers desire to go into the port. I have seen days where people with disabilities were refused entry into the tenders.

 

However, if the passenger has already gotten into port, they will get him back to the ship one way or another!

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5 hours ago, pinotlover said:

It’s at the crew’s discretion. If the seas are considered too rough or the person too large to safely handle the crew may refuse entry into the tender. The safety of the passengers and crew take precedence over all things in these cases, not the cruisers desire to go into the port. I have seen days where people with disabilities were refused entry into the tenders.

 

However, if the passenger has already gotten into port, they will get him back to the ship one way or another!

 

5 hours ago, sunlover12 said:

I saw an instance on O awhile back where the crew did a remarkable job assisting a gentleman in a wheelchair. It was 3 1/2 years ago on Regatta. It did not appear that the gentleman was able to get out of the wheelchair at all.  It was at a tender port and it took 2 very strong crewmen to get him off of the pier and onto the tender boat.  Then from the tender boat back onto the ship. I thought it was amazing to see they will go out of their way to help passengers with disabilities. Again, this was over 3 years ago and I don't know if this is still the case.

I sure hope your experience three years ago is ongoing. The nice thing is that he's a small guy, probably 135-140. I'm 125 and have prevented him from falling a few times. Two guys would be able to assist him no problem. But if he's still where he is physically at the time of final payment, the wife's common sense will overrule.

 

Looked into an Infinity sailing that has an itinerary they'd want, but on the disabled cruisers board they say it's no better than the R ships physically. There's a Seabourn sailing that they'd love. Seabourn has a great reputation for ship setup for disabled cruisers and assistance provided. But that's not within their means.

 

My TA, who is an O cruise connoisseur and sold them this cruise,  said that she has several mobility disabled regular clientele who love the R ships- that's all they'll sail. She's been selling O since they were R, and insists that the man will do fine. She's been my agent for over 20 years and has navigated me through some tough waters. It's her booking- I need to let it go.

 

He's not looking to get off at every port, wouldn't sail without managing decently on a cane. He'd probably be content finding someone to chat with in the lounge everyday. He's an interesting guy and makes good company. Just going to let the chips fall where they may.

 

 

Edited by Petoonya
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My family member has been disabled for more than 60 years and has cruised all over the world so I can speak about the cruise lines we have been on.  They do not have many accessible rooms so we usually book a Vista suite and that does work for us.  It works with the scooter and there are no steps into the bathrooms, we also ask for a shower chair and that works for us.  It can be a little tight in the main dining room, but they do have tables that you can get to.  The tables in the specialty restaurants do work and they are happy to remove a chair if the person you are with stays on their mobility device.  The difficulties can be getting on and off the ship in ports of call, their ships are designed very poorly for people with disability issues.  We do not get off in tender ports, we know that because my loved one can only take one or two steps that tenders are not for us, but even in docked ports it can be difficult.  Oceania's often has steps at the end of the gangway so if your person is immobile it makes it almost impossible to get off.  My loved one is a full time scooter user and where the ship meets the gangway there is a large bump that the scooter cannot get over, it can make getting off the ship difficult.  The crew does try to help, but it can be a scary situation for the disabled person.  We have decided that when we can get off we will have them take him down in a wheelchair and bring the scooter down so that we do not slow down the process of getting off because we have experienced people getting very angry when you are slow getting off.  You have to just get onboard with the knowledge that you might not always be able to get off the ship.  We go for the ship and if we can get off it is a bonus for us.  

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On 12/26/2019 at 7:38 PM, Mura said:

Sounds like you have a good handle on their needs!  They're lucky to have such a good, concerned friend.

 

Mura

Thank you Mura- you always have the most thoughtful, caring responses.

20 minutes ago, Maverick Cruiser said:

My family member has been disabled for more than 60 years and has cruised all over the world so I can speak about the cruise lines we have been on. 

Thanks for all the helpful info. 🙂

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After my knee surgery 10 years ago, when I was using a cane, it astonished me how impatient people would get.  They'd zoom around and in front of me as if I could jump out of their way ... But it did teach me to be more patient when I'm in back of someone who isn't walking as fast as I would like!  More than once I was worried that someone would unintentionally knock me down, and I certainly don't want to do that!

 

And thanks for your compliment, Petoonya!

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2 minutes ago, Mura said:

After my knee surgery 10 years ago, when I was using a cane, it astonished me how impatient people would get.  They'd zoom around and in front of me as if I could jump out of their way ... But it did teach me to be more patient when I'm in back of someone who isn't walking as fast as I would like!  More than once I was worried that someone would unintentionally knock me down, and I certainly don't want to do that!

 

And thanks for your compliment, Petoonya!

I'm not sure if I've ever posted this on the Oceania Board, but when the QE2 was new (I'm very old) we sailed in her after a long spell of sailing on older, smaller Cunarders (Britannic, Sylvania, Carinthia, Franconia).

 

In Tenerife, they used the Tourist Class Embarkation Lobby, and returning to our cabin in First required  walking  single file down a VERY long hallway to get to "our" elevators.  I found myself behind a person who had obviously been very ill very recently.

 

To my mortification, the guy (I wont say gentleman, here) immediately behind me  pipes up with, "Why am I always stuck behind a cripple?"  THEN we had to continue down that hall for what seemed like forever-

 

That I did not confront that guy still bothers me, forty five years later.

 

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4 minutes ago, StanandJim said:

To my mortification, the guy (I wont say gentleman, here) immediately behind me  pipes up with, "Why am I always stuck behind a cripple?"  THEN we had to continue down that hall for what seemed like forever-

That I did not confront that guy still bothers me, forty five years later.

 

That is absolutely horrifying.

And sometimes it's hard to speak truth to power and maintain one's dignity, the power at that moment being the ignorant fool.

No doubt karma has dealt with him.

 

Fortunately if something like this happened to the gentleman I've been referring to, he would be able to deftly tell the ignoramus where to bug off.

 

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Mura, If you still have that article, I could use it.  BTW, we were on the Riviera last year in the Caribbean.  My husband is in a wheelchair and we were in a penthouse suite so it worked perfectly for us. He's able to walk a few steps but not very far at all.  I don't remember any instances where we had any trouble on the ship itself.  That was our first trip with the wheelchair, so he chose not to get off at any ports.  Did the same thing on our Princess cruise this year.  I'm hoping, as he gets used to using the wheelchair, he's start venturing off except for tendered ports.  

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