Background: This was our first cruise with Process but our fourth cruise. My wife is in a wheelchair and we have experienced pretty good service from each cruise line. Princess was really no exception.
We were disappointed the reservations staff were not more knowledgeable about accessibility issues. We even had one agent tell us that this was not the cruise for those in wheelchairs, which was not true.
We were also very disappointed that Princess advertised a "wheelchair-confined tour" that implied it would be only for wheelchair passengers and a companion yet turned out not to be true.
Arriving at the airport, we were told that due to timing, we could either be transported to a local hotel for coffee or wait for pier transportation. We chose not to have to get on and off the bus more than needed so we waited. We were whisked to the port in no time, checked in and only had to wait for about an hour before boarding. We were surprised that our room was available, about an hour before they said it would be.
Our cabin, an accessible one was lovely. When we saw it was located next to the forward elevator lobby, we thought we would be hearing noise all night long. It was not the case even though we occasionally heard noise. The cabin was spacious with plenty of room to get the wheelchair around. The bathroom included a roll-in shower with fold down seat. It was very nice that the closets could have the clothes rods lowered to be able to reach from the chair. Life jackets were not, but then that's why my wife brought me along.
My wife thought the food was much better than served on Royal Caribbean while I didn't agree. The buffet was easily accessible, even to the point of crew carrying the plate around and finding seating for my wife on crowded days. The dining room matre d' needs some education on not selecting tables that wheelchairs cannot get to though. Service was slow. This was the first cruise we felt it was not necessary to tip our dining staff extra for their work.
The layout of the ship makes it difficult to get to dinner. Since housekeeping staff likes to keep their carts in the hallways, we found that we had to go to the 7th floor, through the ship to the rear, and then down the elevator to the 6th floor. Had we been able to get through the hallways, we could access the 6th floor directly from the elevators.
Santa Barbara is a tendered port and we thought we might be able to get off, according to the reservations staff. But the ships crew were very kind and helpful. We made it off the shop and enjoyed the city.
Disembarkation was smooth even though we took some grief for it. Having medical equipment meant we could not put our luggage out the night before, like the crew preferred. When asking the passenger services desk about it, we encountered a rude and abrupt crew member. But once he let us explain our situation, we were able to come up with a solution that would work.