Arcadia Cruise Review by Sue Nightingale: Wheelchair to Caribbean on Arcadia
Wheelchair to Caribbean on Arcadia
We drove the 150 miles to Southampton on the day before and arrived at the port by 10-30am on 17th december.
The cases were unloaded and keys handed over, and we then arranged for assistance to board. The staff were excellent staying with us all the way through check-in and took us up to Belvidear Resturant.
We then found ourway round the ship arriving at our Stateroom by 2pm.
G12 has a wet room and grab rails and has plenty of room for the wheelchair.
After unpacking, muster was called, we went to our station in the Theatre on deck1 as stated on back of stateroom door, only to be turned away and told to go up lift to deck2. We were disgusted that this happened and what would happen in a real emergency. We did highlight our concerns with the Purser who said in an emergency we should stay in our cabin and be collected by staff.We are not happy as we might get overlooked especially as there was 64 wheelchairs on board.
Our first stop was Madiera, I read in More the accessable Tour Brochure that there was an accesable Shuttle bus, but on disembarkation we were told that the bus had been used for a tour and so was not available, we struggled on to shuttle coach but got a Taxi back to the Ship.
When returning we found a letter from P & O stating that wheelchairs were not allowed on tours in the Caribbean. We had booked 3, although we got this refunded, we were given no help to secre alternative tours. The accessable tours were sold out and double the cost of normal tours. On enquiring about the distance to the railway in St Kitts we were told we could not get a cab there as they only took people on ships tours, so we did not get on the train.
We were nervous about using taxis but all was well no thanks to P&O and we saved as tours by shared Taxi worked out half the cost of P&O tours and drivers happy to take the folded Wheelchair.A fellow passinger arranged for us to meet the Purser who we shared our concerns and said we should have read the FAQs on web site and he contacted Southampton and they are ? going to make it clearer in future and also change info re Madiera to remove mention of accessable shuttle instead of ensuring there is an accessable bus.
This is not Good enough and causes disabled people not to be equal with others.
The cabin was not cleaned thoroughly with dust and bins not emptied, and on occasions towels not replaced. Beds were not turned down and no towel animals appeared, P&O are definitly cutting corners to maximise profit.
The theatre Shows were excellent as were the Acts with Tom O'Conner one of the best. However there was little in the way of live music during the day.IS this another economy drive?
The gingerbread village which the chefs had made was brilliant.
The food was variable with Steak very tough, but a good variety, A Diabetic on our table found that Melen was often the only starter suitable and requested Prawns or shrimps and was refused, We felt this was not an unreasonble request.
Overall despite the issues we had with tours etc we had a very enjoyable cruise, with all the fellow passingers very friendly and the Cruise Director Jon and his team superb.
Finally a mention of the excellent care we recieved from the medical Centre when Ann was taken ill on Christmas Day.We are so gratefull for their care and timely treatment. Less
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