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Is special assistance provided at FLL port


stuNYC

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My wife needs a wheelchair for embarkation. I have arranged for one through RSSC and rented a wheelchair which will be our cabin. I am familiar with the Port of NY not Fort Lauderdale. Our normal protocol is to take a taxi to the pier. My wife sits on a folding stool while I pay the cab, put the luggage on the curb and wait for a porter to hopefully take my bags to the right ship. If the work to the terminal is not to long my wife can walk it, with frequent breaks. If it long, a try to find a wheelchair or preferably a porter from the criuiseline who can push my wife right through registration, security and up to our cabin.

 

Of the cruiselines we have been on Celebrity has been the most accomodating; Cunard was the worst.

 

While boarding the QE2 not only did I have to scramble for a wheelchair (which was supposed to waiting for us) but had to push my wife all the way

through registration, security and almost up the gangway (until some officer

took pity on me and pull my wife up the gangway to our room. Problem #2 for

anyone considering booking a penthouse suite on QE2 who needs a wheelchair-don't. The elevator is literally 5'X5' just wide enough to squeeze one person and the wheelchair, if you position it just right. Getting off the ship was no better. The officers just starred at me while I struggled to wheel my wife down the gangblank in ports or disembarking in NYC

 

In contrast, Celebrity was wonderful special white tag were supplied and all the people in wheelchairs were lined up with their respective ship stewards. We were the first ones off the ship and the steward waited while I retrived our luggage and literally wheeled my wife up to the curb to a waiting taxi.

 

I don't know what to expect in Fort Lauderdale traveling on RSSC. In NY there are separate berths for each ship accessible from the curb.

 

Help, I'm panicing already just thinking of the chaos since we are leaving on Saturday with probably many many other ships. Is any time to arrive at the port better than any other.

 

Any tips for many embarkation easier would be greatly appreciated. This board has been so helpful to me in renting a wheelchair. I am sure that you will come to my rescue.

 

Thanks in advance

 

Stu

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My son uses a power wheelchair, and for our last cruise on Royal Caribbean, I e-mailed the Special Needs people in advance and we were put on a list and met at the port. One person walked us through the entire process and we were on the Enchantment very quickly. I do not know if this person was prepared to push the chair if needed.

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It is nice to hear from such a knowledable cruiser. I have read many of your posts and have learned a lot of info from them. Since I know you have been on Celebrity and apparently RSSC, perhaps you can compare the two experiences for me.

 

I love Celebrity and think that it provide significant value for a more moderate price. I have been on Cunard in the Queens Grille suites and would never go again; even the butlers were not pleasant.

 

I have heard such wonderful things about RSSC that I had to try it at the 2 for 1 price ,which is in reality only slightly less than early booking.

 

Any do's and don't would be appreciated.

 

I saw from a post on another board that you are cruising soon. May you have calm seas and blue skies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stu

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We just got off Jewel of the Seas in Ft. Lauderdale. I brought my own wheelchair, but there were several lined up at the door to the pier. A RCCL representative wheeled me from checkin to my cabin. For disembarking, all with special needs met in the fifth floor dining area. Wheelchairs were provided for those who needed them and we were wheeled off before the regular disembarkation by RCCL employees. Mine went brought me to the curb after waiting for my husband and a porter to collect luggage. Worked out great.

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I received the same helpful "service" from RCCL's sister line Celebrity. They even provided a dedicated wheelchair that I could use both on and off the ship. All other cruiselines make you rent them, which I had to do on RSSC. They all claim that they are for emergency use. If that is the case how come they have so many to wheel all passengers that need them off the ship. I don't think that they pick them up when they dock at the end of the cruise.

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For many who don't have a choice and must use a wheelchair 24/7, taking your own wheelchair that fits and you know how to operate (and weighs half of what the ship's chairs weigh) only makes sense. Even when my mother was still walking, she took her own wheelchair from home. It is more comfortable, lighter, and also makes it easy to get to the plane at home, from the plane at the arrival airport, and then onto and off the ship. No waiting to find one, no waiting for one to be freed up. Never any problems getting help with embarkation or disembarkation on Celebrity, Princess, RCCL, HAL, or Crystal. A lightweight folding chair easily fits in most cabs, can be gate checked on the plane, and does not count against your luggage allowance. Consider purchasing (nearly all insurances will cover at least partially, including Medicare) and taking your own chair.

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Oh my goodness Stu, that's not a good thing to hear about the Queen's Grill. My mom, sister and I are booked on the QM2 for a mid-January cruise in a QG room. I'm not too happy to hear that it's not great. But, we'll make the best of it. We're also doing the Summit in late March, on the 11 day Panama canal cruise. Then I'm going on Crystal on a British Isles cruise next August.

 

I absolutely love Celebrity, for a mass market line. I'm not such a fan of RSSC. I cruised on the Voyager a year ago and was not impressed. Perhaps it's because I'm such a fan of Crystal and Seabourn, but I just cannot see what all the raving is about. I found the food in the main dining room to be no better than Royal Caribbean. It was nicely presented, but it was lacking taste, and the variety of foods just wasn't there. The food in the buffet for breakfast and lunch was a major disappointment. I just don't see how a supposed luxury line can get away with having cold eggs and cold bacon/sausage in congealed fat. It was quite distasteful. But, the food in their alternate restaurants was absolutely fantastic. Wonderful selection and the flavors were blended perfectly.

 

I will admit, RSSC has the best cabins of any cruise line. They're huge and nicely appointed. I was in their accessible Penthouse suite, and it was perfect. The accessible bathroom was the best I've ever been in. So that will be a plus for you.

 

I hope you and your wife have a much better experience than I. But as they say, a bad day at sea beats any day on land. My best wishes for a wonderful cruise.

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We just cruised on Princess embarking at Fort Lauderdale and it was actually one of the porters that went and got someone from the cruiseline to get a wheelchair for me. Then, they took my husband and I inside and we waited for the rest of our party inside, which was only about 15 minutes.

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I received the same helpful "service" from RCCL's sister line Celebrity. They even provided a dedicated wheelchair that I could use both on and off the ship. All other cruiselines make you rent them, which I had to do on RSSC. They all claim that they are for emergency use. If that is the case how come they have so many to wheel all passengers that need them off the ship. I don't think that they pick them up when they dock at the end of the cruise.

 

Yes emergency use is half of it. But embarkation-disembarkation (for shore excursions too) is the rest. Basically, the cruise line wheelchairs are for getting you on and off the ship and yes, for emergencies. Now that there are a few reputable companies that can deliver wheelchairs to the ship, the cruise lines have kind of drawn the line. They have said that if you need a wheelchair full-time, then you need to bring your own or rent one. (after all that is what full time wheelchair-users do). This is pretty standard in the industry.

 

Candy

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I am sure that the QM2 is different from the QE2, especially as it relates to access to the Penthouse Cabins. I haven't read any reviews, but I'm sure you have. Sorry to hear from such a season traveler that RSSC isn't up to par. I just looked, by chance, at the Seabourn site and could have booked similiar cruise for the same or slighest less during the same time frame leaving for Ft Lauderdale.

 

Speaking of Crystal, AMEX has a "promotion" going on in which there were "selling" 25 Crystal Crystal for 2 for 10 day caribbean trip in CLass B cabin for $1500. That's right $1500 not per person but for two people. I tried to "win" but was not that fortunate.

 

Check out the site, they are a "selling" different bargin each day through 12/21. The site is http://www.mylifemycard.com

 

Good luck and have a wonderful time on each of your three cruises.

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