Great accommodations but handicapped beware
I took an 89 year old friend on this cruise for her birthday. I made sure to request handicapped accommodations and asked if we should bring a wheelchair or if one was available for boarding only since she used a walker. I was assured there would be one available. Going up the boarding ramp was the problem but she could easily handle going down upon our return. The balcony stateroom was perfect as was the service. The food was excellent and her birthday celebration was much fun. The problem was no wheelchair was available when we arrived at the terminal! "Cliff" at the terminal called around and finally was able to locate a wheelchair and we were assisted by a delightful man, Simpson, through the check in and boarding quite nicely. I immediately went to guest services to arrange for an early departure as recommended by the folks at the terminal. We were told to go to the 4th level (Bolero) on the morning we arrived back in Jacksonville. This is where the problems started. There was no one on the 4th level to guide us and we were told by a crewman on board that we needed to go to the 5th floor. We were then directed by another crewman to go across the ship and to get in line where we stood for 45 minutes before we were able to loop through the theater and back to where we started with the 5th floor crewman. This was very frustrating to my friend on her walker. We were then told we needed to go down on an elevator to the 4th floor (where we originally were) and then we were "fed" through the line we had been in waiting in the theater to leave the ship. By this time my friend was exhausted and most upset, even in tears. We had to go ever so slowly by now since she was so worn out and we finally got to the terminal after zig-zaging down the ramps. She could have easily come down had she not stood in line and been sent around the ship on the 5th floor and then back to the 4th floor. When we got to the terminal the people there immediately saw her distress and guided us efficiently through customs and outside where she was finally able to sit down. This ruined a perfectly lovely cruise and left a very bad impression on my friend who had cruised many times in earlier years, three times to Alaska and once to Hawaii. Better signage would have helped if crew were unavailable. Extra care should be given to handicapped passengers when the cruise ends. Otherwise, we had a wonderful time.
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Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom