While sat on the plane waiting for transport as neither of us could manage steps we found a few passengers not happy that neither Manchester or the cabin crew knew they needed assistance, after getting our cases we were met by rci staff and walked to our coach, the transfer was quick however on collecting our own cases from the couch we joined a quue where the cases were left to be deposited on the ship, there appeared to help for people with disabilities, and the porters we saw were sat around chatting n not making eye contact, despite us both walking with sticks, no help was given? We were led through to a large warehouse type building where we were given all the things to get on the ship, then we had to walk to the ship which was at least 5 mins away. Embarkation was painless and quick from then on.
Our room was very nice, however smaller than I expected width ways, we did not feel it was necessary for us to request a disabled room, as there are people with worse disabilities than ours, It was my first ship cruise, I have previously been on the Nile, it was lovely to have a balcony, the bathroom was adequate, however we had ordered bottled water & we found our fridge not working[ I now think the water was a waste, cos there is plenty of free iced water available on the ship], we went to explore, and were totally dumbstruck at how amazing the ship was.
We opted for 6 o'clock dining having not pre paid our tips, this I now know is to early, but for me 9was to late, next time I think I'll go for 9 but probably eat in windjammers more, the main dining room is amazing, and the chandelier reminded me of that only fools &horses sketch., the entertainment on board was fantastic & my friend won a fantastic inch by inch gold chain in a free raffle, after tickets were given out when leaving a show. All the shows & entertainment was fantastic, &Abel & his assistant Chris along with the rest of the team do an amazing job, nothing is done half heatedly & there is something for everyone, from cinema to bingo to quizzes to dance classes, along with the amazing nightly shows there's just not enough hours every night. We particularly liked the game show the quest & also mr & mrs.
Now the food everything is fantastic & in abundance, breakfast is waiter service & slower-tip ask to go on a small table, when they seat you, the windjammer breakfast is amazing, fruit, cooked, pancakes, porridge you want it they've got it.
We booked Portofino for one night, but needn't of cos the food everywhere was amazing.. if you dongt smoke don't worry, as far as I could tell the only places people smoked was on deck 4 outside the casino & I think 1 other bar, I never smelt smoke once.
The dread I had disembarking at ports was totally unfounded and very smooth longest queue about 30seconds, I would say have your pix done, you don't have to buy them , but one good one would be great to get I regret not havin mine done at the ports, my friend bought a great one.
One thing don't be afraid to ask for more in the main dining room, and have as many starters as you fancy, most other nationalities did, but us Brits felt cheeky !!!most nights we had the soup n 1 other starter. After such a fab & so organised time the farce of disembarkation was crazy. As We needed assistance, [we decided the walk was to much after embarking]
we were told to go to a specific place , &when we got there it masque clear the staff had no idea the number of people to expect.as you didn't have to register etc before hand. After an hour we were taken in a wheelchair off the boat, where we had to wait in the cold for a mini bus to take 1 wheelchair at a time to the case collection point, we got out of our chairs n got in the mini bus with another lady, however once we reached case collection again nobody seemed interested or wanted to help us get our cases,on leaving the building we had no idea were we were to go etc, I finally found a Rci person who told us to get on a coach, to the airport, where we stood in a very long disorganised check in line, where once again there was no assistance, only thanks to a girl who pushed the chair of a lady in the queue spotting her, we would never of found the plane, she got a chair for the lady n told us to follow, we were to late for duty free, and it was a rush,after the long walk we were knacketed, once again at Manchester no help, so we both walked, slowly to passport control and collected our cases. For this farce I wouldn't know who to blame, put I think Rci needs to sort the ship bit out though. However none of this puts me off &cant wait for the next one, even though my leg & back have been bad since with the walking &case pulling