Carer at sea for disabled
Celebrity Eclipse Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe
Sail Date: July 25, 2015
Ship: Celebrity Eclipse
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Cabin Number: 3101. 3111
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 1 year ago
Review SummaryAccompanied a couple, lady was in motorised wheelchair. We arranged accessible cabin, hoist and shower chair. Arrived at Southampton with 5 minutes to board so no hold ups. Cabin 3101 was a good size and we'll thought out. The automatic door took a long time to shut crew could see in when going past to crew door. The hoist was in cabin on arrival, the only slight problem was the floor was uneven and made hoisting some what interesting at times ! We found the ship easy to get around in a wheelchair, not too much queuing, although some people didn't seem to understand it would have been easier all to stand to one side in lift. Sonata dining room was beautiful, we had the same table each night, the waiters automatically took the chair away to make space for wheelchair. Service was very good, I thought the menu a bit boring some nights. The worst meal was on Top Chefs night, we all agreed that we were not impressed. Breakfast room service was preceded by a phone call which was helpful. Much better coffee than in buffet. The reserved seating in theatre was great and meant we didn't have to sit for ages before shows.
Zeebrugge. Unable to disembark due to steep slope of gangplank. Would be OK if able to transfer to manual chair but not possible.
Warnemunde. Nice port just to wander about. Access through car park instead of under railway. Town easy to get round in most places.
Tallinn. I walked into town, but returned to ship when it poured with rain. My employer went to shopping centre. She found it challenging to get there as road to port entrance very rough and few good drop kerbs.
St. Petersburg. Booked private 2 day tour with Alla. Started badly as wheelchair too big for van provided so had to wait for different one for an hour. Went to St Catherine s palace, took a few exterior pictures, then the officials decided that the wheelchair was too heavy for floor and wouldn't allow us any further than cloakroom. 150 kg + 70 kg. We were then told the 2 of us could desert her and have a tour leaving her in cloakroom. Not impressed as we had said she was unable to transfer. Couldn't find pie shop/restaurant without step. The boss then met us and said they couldn't guarantee access to hermitage because lift might breakdown and leave us unable to get out again. Went back to ship without going anywhere else as weather too bad to take pictures. On the 2nd day we both spent some obc in spa having massage.
Helsinki. Accessible bus into town. Lovely street to market and harbour. Really enjoyable port. I went on boat trip to fort and had interesting walk round island.
Stockholm. Misinformation from celebrity. No boats are suitable unless you can walk a few steps. HoHo bus from port into town, expensive but good way to see places. I went on canal trip. Not enough time to visit everywhere we wanted to go. The sail in was fantastic, well worth getting up early and beautiful sun set later.
Copenhagen. Nice walk for me into city and cheap Netto canal trip. Nyhvn very busy as expected. Celebrity provided free mini bus for people in wheelchairs, top marks, more of a service lime this please. Think they had listened to numerous complaints from the less able. Very crowded everywhere.
I hope if you are in a wheelchair and read this it has been a help. Cruising is a fantastic way to see different places, the ship is so easy to get around and even using a hoist etc is just like being at home. The biggest downside is that tour operators and cruise lines do not differentiate between motorised wheelchairs and manual users who can usually transfer. It would be nice to think that as cruises become more popular they would provide more accessible transport at port. The only other problem was people leaving room service trays in corridor, although they wete usually cleared promptly it does make going down corridor difficult. Any questions I will try and answer. I look forward to my next opportunity to work at sea.