Due to this being our first cruise and one of us having additional needs - using a manual wheelchair. We had checked out as much information as was possible. We were visiting Dubai anyway so we booked this cruise. We were also aware that we would be unable to load on an electric wheelchair. Apparently, after much research we discovered that there are no ground agents in Dubai to supply such equipment. All the accessible cabin's had gone(booked October.So we opted for a standard cabin as the wheelchair wasn't needed to get around the cabin.
We landed cleared the airport by 8.30am and ushered to a coach. We would recommended insisting on private transfer to the hospitality venue as the coach steps are very high. There was another family with an electric wheelchair who had separate transport. Once at the hospitality venue(described by others as a holding area)which was at the Tourist Village. We were processed and offer light refreshments fruit and cakes. You are given coloured cards which translate into what time you will be transfer to the ship.
We were allocated 11.00am due to the wheelchair and went on board with the Crown and Anchor passengers. A lot of passengers had been there since 6.30am and were boarding at 13.00 and were very unhappy!
Once on board we took a look around the ship and located our cabin. We entered our cabin at 13.00. To out dismay we found that the cabin bathroom was raised. This had not been explained to us on booking. Unfortunately, this was most unsuitable as my husband should not walk up/down steps continually due to his disability several times a day over a week (we live in a bungalow).
We explained this to guest services and it took five hours an email to Thomas Cook. Including, us saying we would talk to the ship's doctor who would explain the situation. Finally, we were moved to deck 10 cabin 1528 which was an accessible cabin(result). This cabin was perfect with electric doors, huge balcony.
We didn't visit any port of call as we just wanted to try out the cruise.
The food was more than adequate and fairly good standard. The service from all the staff too us was outstanding.
We would only recommended this cruise to additional needs guest's using an electric chair.
Obviously, there are long corridor's - lots of lifts. It is quite tiring though to push a wheelchair on carpets every day up/down - in/out lift's.
We think RC should look at ground agents in Dubai for electric chair hire. There were a few other manual wheelchair guests and one in an electic chair. I think has I been informed much lower than on other cruise destination.