Before embarking on our cruise, I worried about how I’d be able to get around on the ship. With a bad back, I’m not able to walk far without pain. I checked with our travel agent about bringing my rolling walker aboard. No problem. Without my asking, he registered us for a handicap stateroom.
The stateroom aboard our first cruise back in 2008 was tiny—barely room to get between the end of the bed and the cabinets. On this cruise, we had LOTS of room. An automatic door stayed open more than long enough to get inside with a walker, wheelchair, or scooter. Same with leaving. In fact, it was almost too long for me. Not complaining, mind you. I was concerned that our room was at the very back of the ship. Next stop the ocean. But with my walker, I was able to get from aft to forward with little problem. Maneuvering down narrow corridors was a challenge, but gracious guests made sure I had room—and didn’t run over their feet.
The bathroom was huge. No threshold shower with a bench and plenty of grab bars, a high toilet (again with grab bars), and plenty of room to maneuver a wheelchair or scooter.
Our luxurious room had a drop-down bunk and the sofa converted into a single bed (same as the other staterooms). One evening, we took the grandkiddies so daughter and SIL could have a “date” night. After grandson and Hubs finished a detective adventure (requiring walking from one end of the ship to the other on multiple decks) and granddaughter and I watched a musical performance, the kids slept in our room with plenty of room to spare. Note the towel monkey. Loved the different ones each night.
I was so fortunate that Disney Cruise Line made accommodations for the handicapped. Beyond that was the courtesy of the staff. I can’t tell you the number of times a staff member offered assistance, especially in the buffet line for breakfast and lunch. “May I help you?” or “May I carry your plate?” etc. I know, smiling service is a Disney trademark. The courtesy of the guests was a bigger surprise. Many times Hubs and I waited for an elevator, only to find it almost full. So we’d say we’ll wait for the next one. Gentlemen, true gentlemen would say “we can make room. C’mon, folks, move back.” Some even got off with their kids to make room. I saw this happen to others in wheelchairs or on scooters. Maybe the Disney staff kindness rubbed off or maybe there still are considerate people.
Too often, we see rude people—shopping, at tourist venues, on the street. The vast majority of passengers on our cruise not only had good manners but were truly kind.
As much as I wish I didn’t have a disability, I am truly grateful that it didn’t keep me from having a wonderful time on the cruise.