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Island Princess


Splinter

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We have decided to try Princess once more before we give up on them all together (this will be cruise #29). We will be on the Island Princess in cabin #505. Anyone been on this ship? How about this cabin? Will be taking power and manual wheelchair as well as our travel lift and travel shower/commode chair. 3 of us in the cabin.

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I am not the experienced cruiser that you are! I was on the Island Princess in January and I was quite happy with the accomodations. I am confined to the chair and use a manual chair. The staff and other cruisers were always willing to hold doors, assist me with the buffets, bring soda (used the soda card) or push my chair wherever I was going.

 

Admittedly, there are a few obstacles........but then I have them in my daily life too. I think it is very important to remember that Princess did not cause me to be disabled and this line (or most of the others) are not under U.S. legal requirements for the disabled. They have chosen to create a comfortable atnosphere for me. Maybe I am too simplistic about this but I am very appreciative of all the help they gave me.

 

Embarkation was very fast, they took our group to the front of every line and once we were on the ship, they took us to our rooms. The stateroom was large-we had a balcony.........B533 I think...I would have to check the floor plan to be certain.

 

All of the public areas were very accessible. I wouldn't hesitate taking the Island Princess again.

 

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me! I really hope you enjoy this ship-she's wonderful!

 

Jo

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Hi Splinter,

We're booked on this cruise next Spring. I will look forward to reading your trip report upon your return. I hope you have better luck on this cruise than you have in the past on Princess. We've not had any problems with them, and have enjoyed our cruises. We have a different situation than you, and have only two of us in a cabin.....glad you were able to find a cabin to accommodate your party. Have appreciated your postings, and shared knowledge in the past, and look forward to your views on this cruise.

Kokimojo, we are in C633, an accessible balcony cabin right next to the bump out on this ship. Were you in 633, rather than 533? Did you feel like you were on display on your balcony, from the wrap around balcony on the bump out part of the ship? Also, were the seas rough on your cruise? I know there are no guarantees anyway, but was just wondering.

Thanks.

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Hi!

You're right-we were in 633 but on the Baja deck. The room and balcony were great-I never felt 'on display' on the balcony. The only observation I had (and I am suprised this has never been discussed on the boards) was that the room creaked when the seas were rough. I think it was plastic hitting plastic so neither gives and it just creaks. It sure isn't anything scary, just an observation.

 

As you can see from the deck plan, there is an elevator close by so you won't have to play 'dodge-em' with the laundry carts!

 

Feel free to contact me if you have other questions!

 

Have a great time-you deserve your cruise!

 

Jo

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Creaking sounds interesting.............. :)

Playing Dodge-em with the laundry carts was one of my favorite shipboard activities.................not......................

Thanks.................did not mean to hijack this thread, Splinter has helped me out in the past, wouldn't try to do anything to offend...............

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The carts are one reason we have cruised recently mostly with HAL, which is the only cruise line I know that does not use service carts. All their cabin stewards use is a small hand carried basket, which goes right into the cabin with them. The only time we have hallway obstacles on HAL is the last night when all the luggage is out in the hallway. Wish other cruise lines would do the same.

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Anyone have any experience with this ship and tendering?? We will have a manual wheelchair to get ashore (non-walker) and would like to hear about your experiences of how this is handled on this ship. Thanks.

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Hello eveyone, I have enjoyed reading your observations about the Island Princess...My husband and I are going to put a deposit on the Feb 3, 2005 sailing in Cabin C633 tomorrow it was the only w/c accessible cabin available in Jan or Feb of 2005.

I am an AK and use a w/c for long distances and will rent a scooter for the ship. Could you please tell me how the bathrooms are for a w/c I do not use my prosthesis at night. This will be our 4th princess cruise, but the first since I need a w/c room Any other information would be appreciated,

Thanks Arlene

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Hi Arlene,

We will have C633 in April, so I am looking forward to your review.

I haven't been on this ship, but on the Star Princess, the H/C bathroom was large enough for a wheelchair, had a flat tiled floor, no difference between where the shower was or where the toilet was. There was an infloor drain three quarters of the way around the shower, under where the curtain hangs, and there is a fold down seat in the shower. There is a hand held showerhead, so one could shower sitting down. I read that someone had a problem with that in that it was very slippery, so the advice was to ask for a tub mat to put on the floor in front of the seat and to put a towel on the seat. There were bars around the back and one side of the shower, and in back of and around the side of the toilet. I think, from looking at the diagram of C633, the toilet handrails would be on the left side of the toilet, if you were looking from the bathroom door, and on the right side of the shower. There wasn't much storage room in the bathroom, and we left our toiletries on one of the closet shelves. The closet in the room had a lowering hanging rod. There was a ramp up and down over the balcony door frame, but not sure that a wheelchair could negotiate this ramp. I can walk for short distances, so had steward remove ramp, and just had help stepping over the frame. I am guessing that the Island, which is newer than the Star, will have a similar configuration.

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Dear DesrtDrmr, Thank you for the info about your trip on the Star...we were on the Star but did not have a w/c accessible stateroom . We did have a w/c room on the Brillance of the Sea last Feb. and it sounds very similar. I found the bar behind the pull down shower chair a bit of a problem with balance due the fact that I am an above the knee amputee on one side. It seemed to shorten the length of the chair too much for comfortable seating. I also found that a wash cloth on the seat made it much more comfortable.

I will be happy to send you any information you want after our trip in Feb. We see our TA today at 3pm to book Feb 3-18. She told us that we got the last accessible cabin in Feb and that Jan is completly sold out. Must be a popular trip. We just hope that weather will be ok and the seas not too rough.

I intend to rent an electric scooter as I find the ship too much of a walk for me, I also take my own manual w/c with me for shore excursions. If anyone else knows of the best shore excursions in the islands for someone that can walk short distances (and climb stairs on to a bus or into a boat) but needs a w/c for longer walking, I would appreciate if they would post them.

When we were on RC Brillance of the Sea...their accessiblity desk told us what excursions would be good for me (Eastern Carribean) so we booked several,...only to find that NONE of them were appropriate. After much discusion we got all of our moneyi back. We don't want to repeat this on our trip to Hawaii. (I think it will be better because they are all US ports)

Thanks in advance....Arlene & Paul

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We took a wheelchair accessible bus trip in Hilo last time we were there (with HAL) to Volcano National Park. I would recommend that. Tours in other areas are a bit iffy unless you can climb up and down stairs for a regular bus (and stow your wheelchair underneath). We nearly always rent a car or van instead in Hawaii and do things on our own. It is also cheaper than all 3 of us taking a ship's tour, and we get to see what we want without the crowds. Alamo is a good company, and has a wheelchair accessible shuttle in some ports (Lahaina for sure).

 

Looks like we will be going on this ship before either of you, so will post our story on this forum when we get back in November this year.

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Thanks for the information...we will be waiting for your review in November. We are all set for Feb 18th. deposit in. we were surprised to find that the date our TA had given us 2/5 was all booked when she called in our reservation...got the last w/c cabin on the 2/18 sailing (which our TA should bring calmer sea's) C 633. Also got air on our own and upgraded to First with miles. ( much more comfortable with my ak prosthesis) all set except for electric scooter on ship and I have 2 numbers from Princess to order it...will check prices next week.

Now to enjoy summer and get thru winter til we sail...Arlene & Paul

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I really think you'll be happy with the accomodations. The lotus pool has some sort of accessible gizmo to help you into the pool. I never saw it used but wish I would have asked about it.........the Lotus Pool was my favorite place to 'loiter'! I really envy you! This year we are going b2b on the Golden - the first two weeks of January. My tan will be faded by the time you cruise!

 

Have a great time!

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I'm glad you were able to book, Arlene, and not too far off from your original plan. Thanks, Kokimojo for the info about the Lotus Pool, sounds lovely. I envy you the b2b in January, that's the BEST time........right after all the hustle and bustle of the holidays! Splinter you always share such good information, I am really looking forward to your review, and I hope you have a wonderful time! How did you rent the cars in all the ports? Did you call the rental desks in Hawaii directly, or book through the National site online, or on the phone? We'd love to rent a car in each port, as most of the shore excursions listed seem to have a little hike in the middle somewhere. That wont work for us, and besides, we love getting off on our own to poke around............. :)

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We have had success in the past with using Alamo, so we are using them again. Book on their website. In some ports (Kauai for example) they even can provide a wheelchair accessible shuttle to the airport from the pier to pick up or drop off the car. I mistakenly stated above that their shuttle in Lahaina is accessible...not so when we were there last year. Otherwise, I go get the car on the shuttle and drive it back to the ship to pick my folks up. Shop around for deals on the internet...they come and go. We get a full-sized car to make transfers easier, but even then we are looking at less than $50/day, so for the 3 of us this is much cheaper than taking ships tours (if you can find accessible ones) and we get to go where and when we want. I take a slide board along to make the car transfer easier for us.

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  • 2 weeks later...

They don't put this on their websites. Book the car, then call them at the specific office and let them know that this reservation is for the ship's pier. They will let you know about shuttle arrangements. This is why we used Alamo as we had read on other forums about their shuttles at each port, and it proved to be as described. There is a shuttle charge on Kona only (not sure about Honolulu, as we did not get a car there). Alamo also lets you book without paying ahead of time, so you can cancel later if your plans change (without paying a penalty). We got upgraded to a larger car (Lincoln Towncar) at no extra charge on Kauai with them on our last trip. This made our slide board transfers much easier.

 

By the way, in Lahaina they tell you that the last drop shuttle back to the pier from the west airport (the Alamo location you want for Lahaina) is at 4:00PM and the office closes at 4:00PM. We found out last time that there is no extra charge for a late drop off on the same day, and a cab back to the ship was $15, so I dropped my folks in Lahaina and then dropped off the car at 6:30PM. We had dinner in Lahaina before going back to the ship (we were there until 11PM). There is no pay phone at the office, so I just stopped and called a cab at the gas station where I filled up just down the street (of course you could use your cell phone if you have one). Alamo recommended a cab company for us.

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Splinter...

 

Wow, you are the cruise captain! I was just wondering, in your travels have you ever used a tender with your electric chair? My DH is also in an electric chair and we are getting ready to sail with RCCL (Legend of the Sea) next year. Any recommendations?

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No, we never take the power chair ashore when we have a tender port. This is why we also take the manual chair. If the chair gets wet at all, it can ruin the chair. Most ports are not accessible to a power chair (lack of curb cuts, etc.) so we need the manual chair both to get around, and to easily be able to take a car or cab (no wheelchair lift vans or buses either in most ports). In addition, most cruise lines will not pick up and lift a power chair, esp. with someone in it (and I don't blame them...our chair alone weighs over 200 lb.!!!). You need a manual wheelchair as a back up anyway (power chairs have a tendency to poop out on you at the most inconvenient times), so we always take both. Depending on the port, we also take only the manual chair even if we are docked due to the issues listed above.

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We were on the Island Princess doing Panama in April. Mom is in a wheelchair. They had B627 and it was fabulous. Had a nice size room with a ramp to the balcony. Their bathroom was great. The ship staff was extremely helpful with getting mom on and off the ship. Dinner staff always took her in the chair winding around the dining room on the few occassions that they didn't have a closer table to the door.

 

Bon Voyage

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  • 2 months later...

Hey gang,

I found a site with virtual tours of two handicapped cabins on the Island Princess. One is an Inside, Cat K, and one is a balcony, Cat BA. I'm guessing that an outside would be like both of the above, but with a window. :)

Neither of the cabins is listed as HC on the listing, but when you open the K, it IS listed, and I noticed on the BA that it had a ramp to the balcony and a peephole low in the door.

Here's the site:

http://www.virtualtoursusa.com/islandprincess.htm

 

Enjoy! I did.............

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