5 Boston Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

When we booked with norweign agent we requested twin bed with recliner and was told this would not be a problem. But when we arrived to our room it was a king size bed with no chair. Upon several calls and hours someone brought my ... Read More
When we booked with norweign agent we requested twin bed with recliner and was told this would not be a problem. But when we arrived to our room it was a king size bed with no chair. Upon several calls and hours someone brought my distilled water and a plastic pool low back for my husband. We had explained upon making reservations that he had a broken neck and needed a high back chair to sleep. We were accused of not making reservations with Norwegian agent because they wouldn't make that mistake. The embankment was ok but really needed a wheel chair for my husband. We did not received the distilled water and breakdown of bed and plastic chair until 10.30 PM. My husband had to sleep sitting on the bed and leaning back on the light with pillows he was unable to sleep more than 2 hours because of the pain. The excursion was terrible I fell asleep on the bus it was so boring the only good part was we stopped to shop but not enough time could only go into one store. The buffet was terrible but the specialty dining was fabulous. The service people were very helpful but everytime we ordered a wheel chair we needed a large and everytime we specified large but it didn't matter we received a small one. My husband was in so much pain from sleeping sitting up that he could not make the excursion. Our person who took care of our room was remarkable and all the dining and bars were wonderful. But with all the problems we had we should have been visited by upper management. On the last day we met the hotel director while he was smoking on the 13th deck. We spoke with him about our issues and he told us he would have a large wheel chair at our room at 8.30 am. No one ever came when our service person called to help us they refused to send someone so we had to make our way down to the 7th deck on our own. There we waited for a large wheelchair to disembark. The gentleman the helped us disembark was fabulous and very well mannered. Overall the cruise was terrible we spent a lot of time in our room because my husband was exhausted and in a lot of pain due to the sleeping conditions. We spoke to several families who had been on many cruises including the couples we were traveling with that this was the worse cruise they had been on and that the buffet was terrible. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are ... Read More
I read the poor reviews on this cruise but my rep assured me that the activities changed a lot on the ship and they cater to children. They don't even appeal to adults. This is what I sent to the guest relations and all they are going to give me for my grief is a measly $50 onboard credit on my next Holland America cruise, like i really am looking forward to going on another Holland America cruise. My dad spent about $30k for 9 cabins too. these are my complaints... AND NEVER HOLLAND AMERICA again! they dont care about customer service and took 2 months to answer my complaint. 1. Cruise activities were repetitve and uninteresting. They should have a variety of programs for all ages. The cruise director mentioned about having to work within the budget and I'm thinking the budget must be very tiny. You already know about the basketball and tennis balls, and I want to thank you for getting those balls for us. However, we couldn't use the tennis balls because they were only available to us on our last day and we were in Quebec City between 2 -5 pm. 2. Club Hal kicked me out of the room when I was talking to my nieces and nephew for a few minutes. My sister was also told that she couldn't take pictures of her daughter in Club Hal. Is that really the policy? We were disappointed that there was no cooking classes for the kids. Unfortunately, a few of my nieces, who are almost teenagers, wanted to go home by mid-week. 3. Fitness instructor is obviously not interested in teaching anything but stretches. I went to a 5:30 total body conditioning class and at 5:30pm, there was no class. At 5:35 pm, I approached a man who was sitting on the exercise floor creating some sort of a sign. He says I was the only one who was interested and I could come to his 7 am stretching class. If i wanted to do the stretching, I would be there at 7 am and not at 5:30. I went to the lady at the front desk and she talked to the man and his answer was the same... that I was only one person. Another lady came by and asked about the class and later says she was interested. So I say "ok, now there are two". He finally stood up in the front and two others joined us. Now there was four. In the first 10 minutes, he did stretches. I left the class and resumed doing my own exercises and 5:50 pm, when I turned around, there was no more class. The class was supposed to be for 30 minutes. The cruise hired the wrong person to do the fitness classes. I also heard the same man ignored my nephew and my sister when doing the foot analysis. His focus was only on an elderly woman trying to sell her orthodics. 4. One should be more careful in charging the right amount for one massage. My sister had to correct a mistake with customer service. She bought several massages even though I told her that massages are cheaper in her neighborhood. 5. The ship charges $20 for a picture with a background but charges $40 for doing my group pic at the staircase. Why is there such a huge difference? Other cruiselines charge just $20. I also do not appreciate Ralph, who is the photo manager, addressing me as "milady" as if he was being condescending. That was my feeling. I especially do not appreciate Ralph for not delivering the photos as he had promised so that my family had to come looking for him and the photos on the day of disembarkation. They also did not have the cruiseline and the date imprinted on the photos as they said they would. 6. My brother says there was a chemical smell, albeit temporary, in his cabin and I also saw that he had rust spots around the metal handle and spouts in his shower. 7. It was either an icebox or a sauna in some of cabins and I was told the thermostat was broken. Someone came out to fix it though it wasn't still working very well. 8. On Level 6, the engine thrusters woke me up early around 5:45 am, on the last two nights when I really needed my sleep. I thought we were given quiet rooms. 9. Never had the pool been closed while we were on a cruise. The last day, the pool was closed for cleaning. I'm not sure if that's a regular thing for Holland America or maybe someone had an accident in it? Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
NCL Cruise in a Wheelchair On October 21-28, 2016 my wife and I went on the second cruise we have taken on the Norwegian Dawn out of Boston. In August 2015 we sailed with a group of family, 22 of us altogether. This time around, ... Read More
NCL Cruise in a Wheelchair On October 21-28, 2016 my wife and I went on the second cruise we have taken on the Norwegian Dawn out of Boston. In August 2015 we sailed with a group of family, 22 of us altogether. This time around, however, it was just the two of us traveling on our own. There was a great deal of press regarding the drydock and renovation of the ship this past June, so we were very anxious to see for ourselves. It turns out the changes we saw were almost entirely a matter of decor, flooring, window and wall treatments, and furniture. We do not go to bars or clubs, but we did get around seeing a great deal of the ship in general; regarding the new décor, most of the ship was brighter and even more pleasant than it had been the previous year, the changes were definitely for the better. We enjoyed the entertainment, taking in quite a few of the different shows during our cruise. There was a nice variety in the types of shows to see. The single greatest aspect to be noted about the cruise was the staff and crew, they were fantastic, it cannot be stressed enough. They were friendly and accommodating and wonderfully helpful. We literally have many accounts per day regarding individuals going above and beyond to make our cruise better and more memorable. At dinner the first night of the cruise things were not looking good to start. The restaurant was extremely busy, we had been shown to our table and after 15 minutes of seeing no one my wife went to the maître d”s station which happened to be just around the corner from our table and complained. She asked to speak to the dining room manager who did not just get us someone to wait on our table immediately, but he himself waited on us for the entire meal. This was the sixth cruise that I have been on and the recommendation that he gave me for the dinner I had was the single best recommendation I’ve ever had. Not only on a cruise but at any restaurant. I’m in a wheelchair and cannot walk at all. Any time our cabin steward saw us returning to the cabin, however far down the hall he might have been, he would proceed directly to our cabin greeting us and getting the door, assisting us back into our cabin and making sure everything was all set before returning to his work which he did diligently and well. If these were isolated examples that stood out from normally good service they would certainly have been enough to raise the quality of our vacation on board. The fact was that these were in no way isolated examples, this level of service was the standard on the entire ship. We dined in La Cucina, Teppenyaki, Le Bistro, they were all great from start to finish, especially the service. Although the duck at Le Bistro was somewhat flat; on the other hand the soup was phenomenal and the desert, the Napoleon was delicious making it one of only 4 individual exceptions to disappointing deserts served throughout the ship. We also ate at Bamboo, a definite all-star from start to finish; O’Sheehan’s was a surprise previously untried by us, and an excellent venue when not over crowded. Then there is the Garden Café (the buffet). The buffet was disappointing. The space is attractive and the presentation of the line is very good, but the food itself was only mediocre and it was quite redundant if you went there more than once. Aside from the carving station the meats and meat dishes were dry and sadly overcooked, but if you liked a hamburger with the consistency of pressed sawdust the buffet and Topsiders by the pool are for you. Most of the vegetables were limp and lifeless. There was one small section of the buffet which was an exception, once I found it I stopped bothering with the rest beyond a passing look. If you come across their Indian style cauliflower then feast away, also this station had by far the best noodles on the buffet. With only four individual exceptions during the cruise every other dessert served was disappointing. An old chef’s adage is, “every meal is eaten twice, first with the eyes and then with the mouth”. While all the desserts were beautiful to look at, they seem to have forgotten that eventually the food has to actually cross the pallet. The most shocking disappointment in regards to the ships desserts was in the form of the pecan pie they were serving on the buffet. It started out as a picture perfect dessert and was absolutely beautiful to look at, sadly its merits ended there. Never in my life had it even occurred to me that it was be possible for the filling of a pecan pie to actually be dry. I took two small bites and simply could not stand to try another. The cruise was very nice and we did enjoy it. For any able-bodied person I would definitely recommend this cruise so long as you are not a dessert person; no longer having Carlo’s Bakery aboard is a big loss. Unfortunately, when it comes to looking at the cruise from a wheelchair things begin to change. Overall the ship was wheelchair friendly and could be easily maneuvered around in the wheelchair. Many of the doors to go from the inside areas to outdoors on the decks are automatic and operate when approached which is great. There are, however, a few doors between the inside and outside that are manual and for some reason these same manual doors have a short steep ramp going up to and down from the door which made them impossible to negotiate without the assistance of a person who could stand holding the door open. The Java Café located on deck 7 opposite the Guest Services desk was also a large disappointment. The Café itself was on a raised level up three steps with no ramp to make it accessible. There were some tables off of the raised area and there was wait staff, but their instructions seem to be to only serve these tables if you had first gone up into the café area and placed your order. You could sit at a table for hours without receiving service. Also there were demonstrations held here that took place on the raised platform of the café not only making it impossible for those of us in wheelchairs to get anywhere near but also making it impossible for us to even see what was going on. Our handicapped balcony state room was the most disappointing part of the ship. Upon arriving in the room the bed was set up as a single king size bed with the telephone in the corner of the room between the bed and the wall. This space was perhaps 12 inches making it physically impossible to even get to the phone so no contact with other state rooms, no ordering room service, and no contacting Guest Services to report the problem. There was a 4 inch step from the room up to the balcony making it impossible to get onto the balcony in a wheelchair. Also with the bed set up as it was, it extended part of the way in front of the balcony door so even if the temporary ramp which is available were in place it would be physically impossible to get out the door. We spoke to the cabin steward about the arrangement of the bed and he happily split it into two twin beds on opposite sides of the room and moved the phone to where it was accessible. When a handicapped person books a room with NCL they are contacted by the NCL Access Desk who is supposed to make sure any special accommodations the person might require are taken care of. When we sailed on the Dawn in 2015 we had seen a video posted online of the handicapped state room on the opposite side of the ship from ours which had a pole coming down in the entryway of the room which limited access. When we contacted the Access Desk directly they assured us that no such poll existed, of course when we arrived at the room the pole was most definitely there. Also there is a form the access desk emails handicapped passengers outlining available standard accessibility arrangements you might need in place and asking about any special requests that you have. They ask you to have it back to them 60 days before sailing to make sure they can have all your requests in for you when you arrive, which I did fill out and email back to the representative I had been contacted by. When we sailed in 2015 on the Norwegian Dawn the access desk failed to take care of two of the four things I had requested. This time they failed completely and nothing I had requested was there. The only value this process with the Access Desk had at all was that I printed a copy of this form and brought it with me and went to Guest Services with it. They were extremely helpful and were able to get some of the things I had requested, although not all. The bathroom in the handicapped state room was also very disappointing. First of all it was small and cramped with barely enough room to pivot the wheelchair around in place. The sink in the bathroom was at a height for a person standing; to a person in a wheelchair it just below shoulder height. Apparently when brushing your teeth they are under the impression that a person in a wheelchair wishes to rest his or her chin on the edge of the sink. The grab bars in the bathroom were chromed and their surfaces polished, I am sure it looks quite lovely in pictures, but is a bad choice for safety. The single worst feature of the handicapped state room was the bed. The bed sits at a height of 28+ inches. Next to a standard wheelchair this puts it even with the top of the armrest. To provide a perspective for people not in wheelchairs the standard height of a kitchen or dining room table is 30 inches. So apparently, if you are in a wheelchair, by being in an NCL handicapped state room when you need to get into or out of bed you can miraculously stand, or have temporarily developed a rather extraordinary ability to climb. As I had previously mentioned I had sailed on the Norwegian Dawn in August 2015 after which and I had written to them making them aware of most of these issues, the steps up to the Java Café, the failure to provide items requested through the Access Desk, the step up to the balcony, and the bed height. Sadly no accessibility deficiencies were addressed during the drydock of which they are so proud. For people who are fully wheelchair-bound and cannot stand or walk a couple of steps I suggest you avoid NCL. While it is a lovely ship and the crew is so superlative the state room is extremely tiring to manage and even somewhat dangerous in a couple of respects. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I came back from Bermuda which I go to every year as I love Bermuda more than any other caribbean island. The Dawn was the worse ship I ever been on peroid. About 7 years ago I went on it and wasent so bad. Still my favorite is Celebrity ... Read More
I came back from Bermuda which I go to every year as I love Bermuda more than any other caribbean island. The Dawn was the worse ship I ever been on peroid. About 7 years ago I went on it and wasent so bad. Still my favorite is Celebrity Cruise Line. Not one, let me say again NOT one staff said hello to me or helped me out with my parents who are disabled and use walkers through out the ship and Dad who also uses a wheel chair. Could not even help me with their plates up in the buffet or drinks like coffee or cold drinks. They stopped serving shrinp in the dinning rooms for supper as a starter, so if you like your shrimp cocktail you will not get it. NO more lobster, or Baked Alaska.... just to name a few favorites. Food was not good at all. Cold, and not much to pick from up in the buffet. I have never been one a ship where you dont get a hello, or have a nice day from your cabin stewards etc. The only good thing I can say is the shows were excellent! I got 2 bottles of wine because of my complaining about things I should have gotten but did not. I will never go on this ship again and most of all it was more than Celebrity or Holland America which are both wonderful cruise lines with wonderful food.I can go on and on about all that was wrong but dont want to write a book here. The ship was dirty, people in my family got sick a few different times. Just horrible. If you are a new cruiser than you will not find any problems cause you know any better but for people like me, never again. I only went back on this ship cause my parents won it at Foxwoods but it would not have been my choice at all. NO ONE ent out of their way for anything. Oh and the bingo last to days they say you will win 4000 or 5000. No way....... it was only 1000. So they lied to all the bingo players.People were pissed off all right. No one cares about their job on this ship and it sure showed. NCL you have gone down hill, never again. They have some of the smallest cabins, also get this my brother booked 4 in a cabin cause they had the promo going on, 3 & 4 in a cabin go free just pay sales tax, well they have NO 2 uppers . They only have 1 upper and 3 lowers thats right, on the whole ship and in rooms to hold 4 in a cabin theirs a small cot they take out that hides under one of the lowers. so if you like sleeping like 3 in a queeh size go right ahead. The Dawn and Spirit both are set up like this so beware!!!!!!!! so why dont NCL tell you this ahead of time my brother and family almost walked off the ship the day of departure. Not only that. but their bottom bed looked like someone was sleeping on the top sheets, and had a big yellow stain on it which was disgusting, when he asked the cabin steward about this he didnt know what to say. 3 people had to come in and show him how to make up a bed. All in all I can go on and on. Dont waste your money if you have cruised many times before, you will NOT be happy. First time cruising is ok. I had a mud slide frozen drink, $10.78 plus the 18% guartuity was added on to that and i seen the bartender use a one small shot glass and put all three liquaiors in it talk about cheap all it tasted like was cold ice milk. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our fourth cruise. My husband and I were so looking forward to the same wonderful service, excitement and entertainment we were used to having sailed on the freedom of the seas. We were some of the younger passengers in our ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise. My husband and I were so looking forward to the same wonderful service, excitement and entertainment we were used to having sailed on the freedom of the seas. We were some of the younger passengers in our fifties, while the median age seemed to be 70 to 80. Apparently this cruise had over 350 diamond members which left little service or preference for non-diamond members. There seemed to be a collective sense of entitlement by this crowd that left many servers and waiters exhausted. Folks were not friendly, unless you were from the east coast or were in the "diamond club." Frustrated, we gave up our "my time: dining because we were told we could not reserve or have preference for where we wanted to sit, while all the diamond members took all window seats and had them every night. (I thought that was the purpose for my time dining) Twice we came to the dining room and the seating waiter was given a seat for us but by the time we walked to our specified table, it was already occupied by another couple, causing us to turn around and find whatever was available, each time away from where we wanted to sit. So we relegated ourselves to the windjammer where they will offer you half and half for your coffee unlike the dining room where they said they did not know what 1/2 and 1/2 was and tried to tell you that non-dairy creamer was cream. The Pool Areas: while there were signs saying no reserving chairs around the pool, by 8:00 am all chairs were reserved in both the solarium and main pool. They were reserved for hours upon hours. I saw seniors with leg sores in the hot tub, each day I saw the same people dominating the hot tubs, some sleeping with their mouths gaping open. The majority of the seniors in the Solarium would sleep under their towels around the pools with mouths gaping open. This was not the view my boyfriend and myself imagined for our vacation. When we went to the pool bar, their were passengers arguing with the bar tender who was yelling back at them. I found that very disturbing. I thought it humorous and sad to have disco music playing in the background with these views. If I ever cruise RC again, I will call ahead to find out if the cruise is dedicated to seniors, or mostly diamond or pinnacles members, so my boyfriend and I can enjoy ourselves on a more active cruise, and one that will enforce the "no pool chair reservation" rule. There was a light in all this turmoil, the two violinists were wonderful and Murial the greeter in the Windjammer was most delightful. It was her consistent cheerfulness that helped break the depressive atmosphere.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014

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