Expected a lot more from HAL, especially where mobility-impairment is concerned
Eurodam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern
Sail Date: January 09, 2010
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 3 years ago
Took this cruise because the price was right and we wanted to give HAL a go. Had received positive comments from friends and family so jumped at the opportunity to experience HAL-level cruising. Unfortunately, I had torn my Achilles on a recent cruise so I was a bit hobbled and needed a wheel chair.
You would have thought I was the first wheelchair-bound cruiser ever to board the ship. Crew looked at me like I was a martian, MDR tables were unbelievably close together so getting through in the chair was impossible without asking others to get up from their seat and move their chairs. We asked for a more accessible table three times before finally getting the matter resolved. Seating accessibility continued to be a challenge in other venues as well and honestly, the crew (overall) was next to useless as far as assistance was concerned. By comparison, Celebrity crew could not have been more accommodating in terms of helping my husband (handicapped subsequent to the HAL cruise). Even in the cafe, someone helped him with his plate, beverages, getting him a table not too far into the cafe, etc.
As far as the inside cabin, we loved it. It was one of the cabins that was positioned lengthwise so you entered along the "side" rather than from the "end". It was roomier than other interiors we stayed in and perfect for us because of the wheelchair bulk.
The entertainment was pretty standard as far as cruises go. The one standout was a stringed quartet from Romania. They were FANTASTIC and we were groupies for the entire cruise.
Perhaps the worst part of this misadventure was the disembarking process. After going to the special assistance holding area, an escort finally retrieved us. We got to the last check point before being officially off-boarded and pushed off to the side without explanation. We were not off to the side enough so that people dragging bags behind them didn't hit the wheel chair a few times... Most of the hundred or so passersby just gawked and a couple muttered that we should get out of their way ~eye roll~. We were left to wait for about 25 minutes and never received a reasonable explanation as to why. Honestly, I would have rather walked off in physical pain than been subjected to humiliation of HAL's complete disregard for my dignity and the disorganization of the crew.
If you take the time to read my other reviews, you'll see I don't just moan and groan. I prefer to look past the small stuff and focus on having a wonderful time. Sadly, the positives offered by this cruise were the stringed quartet, our cabin, and a lovely yellow labrador retriever (service dog) named Heaven that another passenger was kind enough to allow me to meet.
The chance of my husband and I ever getting on another HAL is less than 5%
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
If you are mobility impaired, please reach out to HAL before booking this (or other same class ship). It was just not laid out properly to accommodate a wheelchair.