I did my due diligence before boarding to make sure all my ducks were in a row for my husband as he recently became an amputee. I checked that a wheelchair would be available when we were dropped off. This certainly was not the case and was directly to WALK upstairs to the desk to get one.(didn't tell us there was an elevator!) I explained he could not. We were still ushered up the escalator and corralled to the "hospitality desk" There were no chairs available for him to sit as there were hundreds of people around. Finally, my daughter was able to find him somewhere to sit while I was trying to talk to someone to get help. I almost had to pull a "Shirley McClain" to get attention!! UNACCEPTABLE!! We rented a scooter from Special Needs at Sea...that was a blessing!! It was waiting for us in our cabin.
We were in an aft handicapped accessible cabin with a large balcony. The cabin was a good size, however, the handicapped cabin on the Jewel last year was bigger...and that one was an inside! We also had issues with the door button didn't work ..the handicapped door couldn't open ...we were also locked out of our room for almost an hour because the door broke!Hallways very narrow, especially when linen carts are out, or room service trays and dishes are left out. There was a foul odor coming from our bathroom drains. I did call Guest Services and they said they would send the plumber. Actually, we were out and no one was able to come. An officer came after I called again with some other officers and our cabin steward. The smell was awful!!....they compensated us by sending us a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries! Not enough as far as I was concerned as this became the ritual ....this was now a second bottle we received.....the list goes on ...we received SEVERAL bottles of wine during the cruise...this will give you an idea of all the things that went wrong!!
Our cabin steward, Jo (Jomar) was very nice and we did actually give him an extra tip especially since the Typhoon went through his country and still had a smile on his face!!
Dining...I made reservation ahead of time since we were a party of 16 and celebrating several special occasions. I made sure I had my copy of my confirmation with me. Good thing...because we were showed up the first night, they said they didn't have reservations!! They separated us into two tables of 8. The Maitre D came over and I showed him my papers. He looked it up and yes, I was correct and he did make sure that the rest of the cruise we were together and he set up a table of 16 for us in the back. Food, on the other hand, was not that great. We really felt sorry for the staff as they seemed very understaffed!! Food came out warm or even cold. Long times between the starter and main course...forget about dessert getting out ....usually took over 2 hours for a meal! Some family members had to leave to get to the show on time!! This was in the Manhattan Dining Room. We didn't go to Taste or Savor. My brother and his family went to LeBistro one night...not worth it he said. The Buffet was just ok...everything was the same over and over. If you want something different, try the Uptown Grill on deck 16 ...food was much better up there!!
As for the shows,....we couldn't make our reserved seating for Rock of Ages...although some of our group did see it and it was good. We did see Burn the Floor...it was good, however, they kept letting people in way after it started and they stood by us (handicapped area) and just proceeded to talk...I did ask them to please be quiet as we were trying to enjoy the show!! People were sitting in the aisles!!! What happened to not letting you in after the show started?? We tried to see some of the shows in the main atrium, however, we couldn't even get around there it was so crowded and people were not accommodating to the handicapped! We even got there early!! The area is so small for such a big ship. Most common areas seemed small for a grand ship!!
We didn't sit out by the pool. There were no chairs there anyway!! Pools were so small for the amount of passengers!! The kids pool area was nice, though. Great for the kids!!
Activities: We had several kids with our group. The younger ones....ages 9 and 12 did the ropes course, walk the plank , water slides and enjoyed them all. Rock climbing wall was another favorite of all the kids (ages 13, 15, 17, 17 and 18). None of them did the kids clubs. Spice H2O was ok...very crowded. Cold up there at night, though.
Shore excursions: Some of our group took the excursion to Kennedy Space Center including my husband in his scooter. A few of us took an excursion to Blue Lagoon Beach because we were not able to get to Great Stirrup Cay due to weather. We did enjoy Blue Lagoon...even saw all the dolphins and sea lions!!!
Value: We spent a lot of money of this cruise....nickeled and dimed all the way....would not do this ship again...way too big, especially for the disabled! We did go during the "Jersey Week" there were almost 5,000 people on board, including 1800 children. The children, I thought, were actually very nice and not rude at all as some people thought. It was the adults I found to be rude!! Not all...just some.
Well, I hope this review helped people with disabilities. Even though I did my due diligence before hand, we still had many issues. I can only hope that issues get rectified especially, embarkation and debarkation. I was reassured that I could leave his wheelchair home being that we rented a scooter......well, I won't go into that again.
We are not first or second time cruisers...have taken many cruises in the past....never a big ship again!!
I didn't want negative reviews to persuade my opinion about this ship, however, they were right!!!