We left on our Circle Hawaii Cruise on April 28th. When we arrived at the port, there was an area for handicapped people to wait for a wheelchair which we entered. After approximately thirty minutes we asked security when can we get a wheelchair, and were told as soon as the ship sends them out. We then walked to the check in desk and were processed in 10 minutes. We were able to take the elevator up to the ship and only had to stand in line for about 15 minutes. The process went fairly fast for San Diego.
As we were early and the rooms would not be ready until one o'clock we went to the Windjammer for a delightful lunch. One of the staff noticed I was in pain and disabled, even though I was sitting by the drink bar she brought me coffee and water and ensured I had refills.
We had a balcony handicapped room, the first time on a Royal Caribbean ship, this was our fifth R. C. Cruise. When we arrived at the room the electric scooter I had rented still had not arrived, normally the scooter is waiting at the room for me. By two thirty our luggage had arrived to the room and we started unpacking. Dwayne our cabin steward came by and I asked him if there was away to raise the bed as it was hard for me to stand from the bed do to a back and hip problem. He said he couldn't raise the bed but would figure something out. We left the room and went exploring. When we returned to the room the scooter still had not arrived, but Dwayne had put another mattress on the bed raising the bed enough for me to stand from it easily. about 4:30 I called Guest Services to check on the scooter, they said they would check and call me back. Five minutes later they called and said they had found it and would send it up, five minutes later Dwayne was at the door a nd drove the scooter in. Dwayne was excellent throughout the cruise.
We had early seating on this cruise and were on deck 4 in the Cascades dining room. Our waiter was named Victor, and our assistant waiter was named Gerrardo. They both were outstanding, our head waiter was Tony and he out did himself during the cruise. We we at a table with two other handicapped couples. On couple only came to three meals during the fourteen day cruise, none of the Formal nights. During the return trip from Hawaii Gene fell seriously ill, and spent three of the five days in the ships infirmary, and the rest in his room. Joan his wife came to three of meals, so we spent most of the return trip at the table by ourselves. On the last formal night they served lobster and shrimp which was excellent, Tony sent meals to the staterooms of our tablemates when they couldn't come to the table. Tony also cleared up a problem with the wine package I had ordered on line, it never came to the ship, and when I reported to Guest Relations they never got back with me even though I went there three times. I told Tony about it and the next night he told me it was taken care of, and they gave me a $20.00 discount on the price. I had a big surprise when I saw Osso Bucco on the menu, I ordered it expecting it to be just the meat from around the bone. It was a large piece of meat still on the bone so tender and tasteful it melted on your tongue. The food and service in all the restaurants was way above average. The only restaurant we did not dine in was Portofino's.
Like all our cruises we find one bartender we like for our before dinner drinks and just go to that bar. This time it was Alex in the Champagne bar. He put on three Martini clinics, and my wife who isn't a Martini drinker didn't find one she liked so ordered an Margarita, Alex made her a Margarita Martini that she loved then introduced her to the Lemon Drop Martini. Fantastic bartender.
We only went on one excursion from the ship in HILO. It was a tour of HILO and the Volcano for handicapped passengers. We stopped at the normal shopping spots that kickback to the tour operators, Rainbow Falls and the Volcano Museum. Because of all the wheelchairs the driver and tour guide worked very hard. compared to the complaints we heard from some of the passengers about their tours this was wonderful. On Maui we took the local bus around the island, rented a car in Honolulu which was cheaper then the tours. When I saw R. C. didn't have a fishing trip on this cruise I arranged for one on Kona for eight hours and someone from the Roll Call agreed to split the cost. The trip cost us $85 more each then if we had gone on an R. C. excursion trip and was 4 hours longer enabling us to hook a Stripped Marlin and land a 402lb Blue Marlin. The night cruise by the lave flow was fantastic. The captain took us within 600 yards of shore and it was a very clear night, you could even see the steam clouds where the lava met the ocean. Carnival's ship was about a mile off shore for the view. The Captain rotated the ship so everyone could see the flow from the same angle and spot.
This cruise was mostly headliner shows there were only two production shows. Etta May performed and was hilarious. The magician was Shawn Farrgout who was amazing, and 2 time world champion, putting on an extra show in the afternoon that was packed. All the shows were excellent, but those stood out above the rest.
THE WELCOME BACK PARTIES:
We went to three parties one being a brunch, which had excellent food and champagne. The Captain's party served cocktails of choice and great hors d'oeuvres. The Loyalty Ambassadors party did the same. Great parties, and the Captain was fantastic.
That was the good, but with as with life some bad must go with the good. Twice when we turned the water on to our sink dark brown water came out of the faucet, and late at night there was a sewage odor in our bathroom which they could not fix. The balcony door was off the track and hard to open and close, which they did fix about the fifth day out. Someone flushed an apple;e, orange, and towel down their toilet backing up toilets in a number of staterooms. They were able to trace it back to the stateroom where it happened. There was a problem clearing immigration on our return to San Diego. non U.S. and Canadians citizens were required to report for immigration inspection at 7:15 a.m. At 8:00 am they started paging three people to report for this inspection, they continued to page them telling them no one could leave the ship until they cleared immigration. finally at 9:30am the ship cleared immigration and people started to disembark. A number of people missed their flights or just barely made the flight. I won't say what I think should be done to these people on this forum if the rumors as to why they were late reporting to immigration are true,. But one thing is for certain I feel that they should have been the last to leave the ship. Then the luggage situation was screwed up. People were missing bags and finding them in different colored areas finding green tagged bags in the purple tagged bags area (first hand knowledge here.)
Other then those minor things another fantastic R.C. cruise can't wait for our Alaska cruise from Vancouver to San Diego on the Serenade of the Seas on September.