3 Houston Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We last cruised with RCCL in 2011 - a 9-night European cruise from Norway to France, Ireland, England, Scotland and back to Norway. In the intervening years we took three Disney cruises to Hawai'i, Western Caribbean and Alaska. Quite ... Read More
We last cruised with RCCL in 2011 - a 9-night European cruise from Norway to France, Ireland, England, Scotland and back to Norway. In the intervening years we took three Disney cruises to Hawai'i, Western Caribbean and Alaska. Quite frankly, based on our 2011 RCCL cruise, we weren't expecting things to be better than Disney. Were we surprised. Five years later RCCL had really improved their ships and their service onboard. There were more things to do for families and the available activities were, for the most part, on par with or better than DCL. We even found the food in the main dining room and the Windjammer to be better than DCL. Not everything was rosy. I did have an issue with the charter bus going from Bush International to the terminal. On DCL buses, both charter and Disney, the front seats are reserved for persons with disabilities - of which I am one. It was very hard to have to work my way down the aisle past perfectly healthy passengers to the rear of the bus. Also, despite my notifying RCCL of my need for a wheelchair from the terminal to the ship, there were issues there too. At the terminal, as advised, I asked the RCCL employee for wheelchair assistance. She informed me that there weren't any wheelchairs there and could I walk to the terminal to get one. I have muscular dystrophy and, while I can walk a short distance with a cane, longer distances are a challenge. I made my way to the terminal and asked the staff there again for a wheelchair and was told I would have to stand in the winding line and once inside the terminal would be provided with a wheelchair. What a Mickey Mouse operation! I hope RCCL lets their terminal staff know how incompetent and inconsiderate they were. One more thing. It would be nice if RCCL didn't clutter up the entrance to the Windjammer with marketing tables. Its hard enough to navigate around hungry guests without having to work around guests looking over the latest offerings in jewelry, teeth whitening and spa treatments. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Overview: This was probably one of the best cruises I have ever taken in my life. The ship was elegant and beautiful, the staff was superb with excellent service. I had the most amazing table mates possible and was even a part of a ... Read More
Overview: This was probably one of the best cruises I have ever taken in my life. The ship was elegant and beautiful, the staff was superb with excellent service. I had the most amazing table mates possible and was even a part of a Cruise Critic member's (foolds) proposal to his girlfriend. I met lots of great friends on the ship and I am so lucky to have had this experience. Embarkation/Bon Voyage Program My grandfather joined me on the ship before it left port as part of the Bon Voyage Program. As soon as we arrived we were taken in and led to the priority check-in line and were taken to board the ship. The whole process was very smooth. He absolutely loved the ship and one of the bar servers, Nhorman, helped us get him and his wheelchair on to the ship. He was exceptionally nice and friendly to us and to my grandfather. Ship Overall the ship is pretty nice. There are a few design issues such as moving between dining rooms but overall it is nice. The public areas are well decorated and somewhat elegant. Overall the ship appears well maintained. I find some people have unreasonable expectations for ships (remember that they operate 24/7/365). I saw plenty of maintenance taking place and did not feel the ship to be in disrepair or dirty. Crew/Service I must say that the crew on the ship was very helpful and kind. Dining room service was decent but not outstanding. The bar people were nice and friendly. My cabin steward (it's steward, not stewart by the way) was great. I take a medication that I have to mix with water. I usually use a fork to mix it in a cup so the first night of the cruise I went to Horizon Court and picked up a fork and brought it back to the cabin. The next morning the steward took the fork, which I figured he would, so I went to and picked up another fork that night. Well the next morning the steward brought me a clean fork and extra glass and left them in my restroom for me to use with the medicine. I find this to be extraordinary service that he did this without me having to ask. I gave him the Consummate Host card. Ports/Shore Excursions I have been to Cozumel and it is more of the same it has always been. The only excursion I took was in Belize which I really loved. I took the open air trolley tour. I am kind of torn because I loved the tour and the people seemed nice but Belize is a horribly homophobic place so I do not plan to spend any money at all there in the future. Mahogany Bay at Roatan blew me away. Let me say this now: I heard an Princess Elite member telling people on the ship that they could NOT use the beach at Mahogany Bay because it is owned by Carnival. This is 100% FALSE. The beach is free for any cruise passenger that docks at that dock. If someone tells you any different they are simply misinformed. I spent the day at Mahogany Beach and it was simply amazing. The water was beautiful and so was the atmosphere. Entertainment The only show I really attended was the magician, Michael Barron, and he was excellent. This was probably the best magic show I have ever seen and was very entertaining. I did attend the Princess Pop Star competitions as a friend I met on the ship was competing and they were amazing. We (a group I met on the ship) also went to Skywalkers most nights and had a blast. LGBT Get Together There was a LGBT get together every day at 5:30 in one of the bars, usually Wheelhouse. I met a few other guys there and we all hung out together for portions of every evening. The only thing I would like to see them change is maybe have a crew member host it (there are plenty of gay guys in the crew) and have some way of marking where the event is within the bar such as a sign. Cabin I was in cabin A403, an interior cabin on deck 12. The cabin was small but comfortable with adequate storage and closet space. The bathroom was small (as all are) but it served it's purpose. The Elite bathroom amenities were nice. Captain's Circle Elite Benefits The Princess Captain's Circle is awesome. The benefits are outstanding. I received a free mini-bar, priority service at the pursers desk, 10% boutique discount, priority tender embarkation, 150 free internet minutes and much more. These were all awesome benefits. Bad Parts Avoid the shopping show on the second sea day. You will lose part of your life if you go. There was little to no actual port info given and the whole thing was a long, drawn-out sales pitch and the man (Vince) was repetitive and not very genuine. I would not lose sleep if they did away with his position. Disability Accommodations I have some medical problems including a damaged spine. I did not ask for or sign up for any disability accommodations but the facilities seemed ample and appropriate. I did use the elevators which were usually available but sometimes had a wait. There were quite a few mobility impaired people onboard who seemed to get around easily (as easily as possible). The tender ride in Belize and the trolley were a little uncomfortable and I had to take pain meds after returning to the ship but that was the only real annoyance. Solo Cruising I have taken many cruises but this was my first solo cruise. I was nervous at first but it worked out really well. I did not attend any of the SOLO cruiser meetings as they all interfered with the LGBT get together or other activities. Summary The cruise was amazing. I absolutely loved it and am looking forward to another. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The terminal in Houston is beautiful. The embarkation procedure was terrible, but NCL has no control over this process because it is land based and union rules need to be followed. I have mobility problems and need to use a walker at ... Read More
The terminal in Houston is beautiful. The embarkation procedure was terrible, but NCL has no control over this process because it is land based and union rules need to be followed. I have mobility problems and need to use a walker at times. Also, I was in a suite. I could not use the suite or handicap line because we arrived just at the time a lot of new workers on the ship were boarding and they were using the handicap and suite security line. Snaking through the long line was difficult. As suite guests, the ckeck-in process took longer than usual, because Florentina, the concierge, spent a lot of time chatting with other guests. Eventually, it was our turn. The young assistant escorted the passengers who were staying on deck 11 to their rooms. She led us to the escalator including me with my walker. I asked for an elevator. She said it would be okay for me to ride the escalator. The situation was frightening as I tried to get on the escalator. A young man came to my rescue and led me to the elevator. After that incident was resolved, we made it to our lovely two bedroom/two bath family suite. This is not a Haven suite. I think I'm spoiled. When I cruise NCL again, how will I ever be able to book anything else? I have a dilemma. Should I bore you with the details or have you go to youtube and search NCL Family Penthouse Suite.? Youtube won, but the shower jets that come from all directions with great pressure is fantastic. I want suite 11518 again and again! I ate lunch in Modenaro each day. On port days our butler, Lazaro, brought our hot breakfast right on time. The other days I had breakfast in Modenaro. Same menu each day which I liked. I only ate in O Sheehan's once. The chicken pot pie was good. DH and I shared the artichoke dip which we both like a lot.. The escargot in Le Bistro is the best I have ever eaten and the fillet is excellent. The steak in Cagneys was good, but I liked Le Bistro better. In the three ports we used NCL shore excursions. Highly recommend River Safari and Mayan Ruins in Belize. Enjoyed Playa Maya Lunch and Open Bar shore ex in Cozumel. There are plenty of loungers in sun and shade, pool, water park, inflatable raft which has a trampoline, ropes course, climbing wall, slide, and rope swing. In Trujillo, the Campo Del Mar beach has coarse sand and the slope is too steep for young children to enjoy. The small raft's ladder is hard is hard to climb. The entertainment is fantastic!!!!!!!! The Le Cirque show currently on Jewel is the best at sea. I have been on 7 cruise lines and have seen several Le Cirque style shows. When I was on Jewel in 2011, I liked the show very much. This was even better. The officers on this ship are very friendly. The captain leads by example. One night, I was invited to an officer's dinner. I had chest pain that afternoon and an abnormal EKG. I had to stay in the medical center and missed the dinner. After dinner, Jon, the officer in charge of something about the environment, came to see me in the medical center. I was very impressed with his kindness. There are so many excellent things about this cruise. I wish I had written the review sooner or taken notes. I wrote lots of note cards and put them in the box by the Guest Relations desk. I have a favorite officer and I wrote his name and position on the recommendation card and noted, "He is my Favorite." Be sure to fill these cards out throughout the cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014

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