3 Limassol Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

My mother in law, a wheel chair user chose this trip as we have travelled on the Spirit before and the cruise had some distinct advantages. The ship is generally wheel chair friendly, the wheel chair user cabins are spacious and are at ... Read More
My mother in law, a wheel chair user chose this trip as we have travelled on the Spirit before and the cruise had some distinct advantages. The ship is generally wheel chair friendly, the wheel chair user cabins are spacious and are at the front of the ship on deck 7 and command great views, none of the ports of call required a tender and most of all the Staff. All the staff are friendly and particularly Wally and Mido's with the lovely Lana serving drinks in the Compass Rose Restaurant. We booked the cruise on line whilst the drink's package was on offer within the price. I would like to commend Thomson's for organising the assistance - From East Midlands through to Paphos and return was excellent - Row 1 seats on the flight out and back, Taxi meeting us at Paphos with direct wheelchair access and taking all four of us to the ship and the return journey. The help offered on the ship on embarkation and disembarkation by the ships crew was excellent. The ship is small enough for Mum to self propel around. Wheelchair spaces are reserved in the Showlounge. The ship is getting to the end of her sell by date and will be returning to Celestyal Cruises - formerly Louse Cruises at the end of the year. That said the crew are constantly looking after her - from her teak decks to handrails to the passenger areas - she is in surprising good shape with vestiges of her original decor as the Nieuw Amsterdam with HAL. She has a judder - we noticed it less this time - we chose midships deck 7 rather than at the front. Thomson Cruises are rather like Premier Inns - good value for money. They know their market well and cater for the British and Irish market. Like Premier Inn - if you want good quality shampoo, conditioner and body lotion - bring your own, likewise with the hair dryer. What you will get though is tea and coffee making facilities in your room, you can go and buy a bottle of whatever spirit you fancy in the shop at duty free prices and drink it in your cabin. The entertainment is solid and there are plenty of quiz and games. Also lots of sitting areas inside and out for those who want to watch the outside world and a good games room for playing cards and board games. Like most cruise lines the excursions offered are not often wheelchair friendly so what we look for are long, flat promenade areas and reasonable wheelchair access in ports. Our first stop was Kusadasi - a lovely long promenade from where the ship docks to the Marina on the otherside of the bay. The bazaar area was also reasonably accessible. A good time was had by all - luckily my husband and I and our Aunt had already visited Ephesus - none of us thought it would be wheelchair friendly - so we stayed in Kusadasi. Try the Turkish Breakfast at Carpe Diem – the food just kept coming and at a very reasonable price. Next Athens - the highlight of the trip. We did think about using the hop on hop off bus as we were told they were wheelchair friendly - anyway the upshot of it was that we hired a taxi with an English driver who took us on a tour that was excellent - First stop the Acropolis and we were there before the crowds - You can get a reduced price if you are retired but take some proof. There is a lift that takes a wheelchair user and carer up to the top where there are fantastic views of the Parthenon and the other temples close up. The steps are slippery and there were lots of slip, trips and falls but luckily we all came down unscathed. We didn't have to queue for tickets but by the time we came down there was a very long queue. Next a visit to the Presidential Palace where we watched the changing of the guard - very flamboyant and our driver gave us an insight into the meaning of the Greek uniform. Then to the Temple of Zeus, Great views of the Parthenon in the distance and this time free entry for mum and husband who was pushing her. By this time I realised I had my E111 to proof my age so paid half price as did my Aunt. We went up to the highest spot in Athens for a fantastic vista and finished off at the Olympiad where the first modern day Olympic games was held. Great trip out. We paid €30 each and the trip lasted 4 hours. Easter Sunday spent in Ag Nik in Crete. The most holy day in Greece so not all the shops were open. Good promenade around to the Marina and small beach. We did walk up the hill to get a vista of the bottomless lake and ate at one of the restaurants above the lake. We didn’t venture further than Ag Nik as both my husband and I often holiday in nearby Elounda. Easter Monday in Rhodes - Entering the old town by the Mariners Gate meant that we could access the main old town shopping streets - we headed up the hill - with my husband pushing - left Mum and Aunt and walked to the Acropolis (about 20 mins from the old town) - very interesting and all the spring flowers in full bloom and scent. Last Day in Alanya - My husband and I weren't that impressed but Mum and Aunt went off and really enjoyed their day - they found the locals very happy to help with the wheelchair when needed and had a lovely meal - we ducked out - returned to the ship - ate in the Lido and spent the afternoon sunbathing on the top deck. We ate most of our meals in the Compass Rose - it is a lot easier to be served together rather than having to go and get someone elses food as is often the case in the Lido Buffet restaurant. We thought the food had improved since last time we were on the ship. We also ate in the Sirocco Restaurant and had an excellent meal - it was in high demand so book early if you want to eat there. It is free dining so you can eat when you want except on the one formal night. The Entertainment was OK, My husband and I are regular cruisers and I think there is a point when the show is something one can do without - however Mum and Aunt really enjoyed them. The comedian was OK too and knows how to make the majority of people laugh. The Service on this ship really is outstanding - the only person to let us down was the hostess who was supposed to be verifying the disabled disembarkation. It was OK in the end though - so overall no complaints. We stayed in Cabin 0143 a deluxe outside cabin on the deck 7 (Mariners). It was spacious. As an old HAL ship it has American and European plugs so adaptors are needed. The lights are a bit hit and miss to find and then to work out which switch does what - so all kind of lighting options. The TV is a bit of a joke - a big screen but very poor quality picture. There is a fridge and the bar is stocked - for payment - pity on a drinks package that they don't stock with the drinks you can get for free in other parts of the ship. The Spirit handled the high seas very well - on our sea day it was very choppy but she was very stable - it was easy to walk around the ship and I didn't see or feel any sign of sea sickness. Beware on deck though when sailing - there is little protection from the wind at the front of the ship on the promenade deck and I had to cling on to save myself from being blown off my feet. We were also mostly the only cruise ship in the ports - a change from the last time in Kusadasi when my husband and I were on the Queen Vic and there were 3 other ships in and we were the smallest!! So all in all an excellent cruise - great little ship, fantastic crew and staff and not bad value for money - though we worked out that we could have done a similar trip on one of the P & O ships and paid a similar amount would have had a balcony. The limited balconies on the Spirit are pricey and overlooked - so if you have booked one of them take a dressing gown! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My husband chose this cruise as a present for me and because it left from Limassol, Cyprus and visited Santorini and Israel (Ashdod). We live in Cyprus and parking at the port is easy because the large car-park was directly opposite ... Read More
My husband chose this cruise as a present for me and because it left from Limassol, Cyprus and visited Santorini and Israel (Ashdod). We live in Cyprus and parking at the port is easy because the large car-park was directly opposite check-in. It cost us €63 for a week. We had not great expectations because the Thomson Spirit is the oldest ship in the fleet and we expected it to be showing its age. Also, this was the first cruise of the season so it was reasonable to anticipate some inexperience amongst the staff. Actually we were pleasantly surprised. We ate most main meals in the Compass Rose Restaurant. The waiting staff were friendly. There was some inexperience at the beginning of the week but this improved as the week went on. The menu was varied and good. We have food allergies and these were recognised without fuss. We did feel that the chef lacked imagination, particularly for soups - consomme or cream soups that used up the previous day's ingredients. Also, I had the same apple pie as a sugar-free dessert on three separate meals. Desserts in general were too sweet for our taste, whether they were sugar-free or not. There was a good range of choices for breakfast in both the restaurant and the self-service, with cereals, porridge, fresh fruit salad, a range of cooked breakfast options, toast and rolls. On the Lido deck there were also waffles and pancakes. A variety of teas, coffee and water were always available without charge. The ship is well taken care of and seems to have been renovated relatively recently. The only area that we felt could do with upgrading in particular, were the toilets on deck 5. There are a number of lifts that worked most of the time. We boarded and disembarked via deck 2. The ship seems to be suitable for disabled people and there were a number of wheelchairs in use on board. Any short-comings helped by willing ship staff, we were told. We stayed in cabin 67, on deck 8. This cabin is rated the same as a deck 3/4 because it is beside lifts and the floating pontoon is stored outside. The room had twin beds in an L shape. The only disadvantage was that one bed was directly under the television...this was not a problem for us. The cabin seemed a reasonable size and the bathroom seemed no smaller than other cruise lines. The cabin was quiet and had a good view through a small square/picture window. We heard no noise from the lifts and were not disturbed on the day that the pontoon was lowered for tendering. Our Cabin staff, Natali & Christine, were excellent. They responded to requests quickly and efficiently and in some cases, spotted problems before we did! We particularly liked the towel arrangements and chocolates on the pillow at night. We enjoyed the evening entertainment. Bernie Flint, a winner on the show Opportunity Knocks, was a guest comedian and absolutely hilarious. I have not laughed so much in years. The young dancers and singers were very good too. Although they had some difficulties with the routines at the beginning of the week, they improved and became very good by the end of the week. We also joined in with trivia quizzes and bingo during the week. There were a number of other musical groups that entertained during the week and we heard no complaints about them. I am disabled and like many of my fellow passengers, I was disappointed by the range of excursions on offer. I think there was only one that was rated as 'easy' walking and I don't remember seeing anything that was wheelchair-suitable on offer. Whilst there were many fit and able passengers, over half were in their late 50s or older and many had walking sticks or difficulties. I heard of a number of couples who did not leave the ship because suitable excursions were not available. A number, like us, resorted to making successful private arrangements with taxi-drivers in port. I do believe that this is an area where the excursions team, who did not encourage private arrangements, could do better. With a little imagination and some advice from disability groups I'm sure more appropriate excursions could be made available. We also found that, in most ports we were able to arrange equally good, if not better private tours, and cheaper than the ship's ones, using local taxi drivers. We discovered in Ashdod, that many local taxi drivers are available, at the cruise terminal, who have permission to come and go within the port. Some also have authority to drive within the old city. A taxi to Jerusalem, that will stay with you all day and take you back to the ship should cost no more than €200. We chose to go a little further than this basic trip. For £250 in total for four of us, we got a taxi that took us from the ship, into the old city and gave us a more extensive private tour than the excursion offered through Thomson. The driver showed us around Jerusalem and we had a brilliant, if tiring day. Disembarkation was easy for independent travellers. The suitcases were collected from the outside the cabin the night before we docked. In the morning we had docked before we woke and were free to walk off the ship after 9am. We were worried about the security situation in Israel, and Jerusalem in particular. I am pleased to report that we had no difficulties. At no point did we feel threatened or at risk. There were some persistent street vendors but most left us alone when told firmly, that we were not interested. One that was particularly persistent was dealt with by our taxi driver politely and without fuss. We had a very good cruise and would go with Thomson again. We would also like to go back to Israel to see other sights. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We had never cruised before and whilst I love to dress up and enjoy formal events there was never any pressure to do so, although a shirt and tie at dinner was a welcome sight. One concern we had was that cruises would be just too " ... Read More
We had never cruised before and whilst I love to dress up and enjoy formal events there was never any pressure to do so, although a shirt and tie at dinner was a welcome sight. One concern we had was that cruises would be just too " nobby" with a boat full of overbearing, pretentious and generally rude people. How wrong we were. Please don't get me wrong. The Spirit cannot be compared to one of the giant liners from the land of the dollar, except in positive terms. There are no brash size xxxl families, speaking in drawl, demanding this and that and demeaning the staff. The Spirit is a family and the passengers and crew work together to create such an atmosphere that gives you a warm feeling of security. My wife and I were diagnosed as unlikely to make another holiday together but we have done and have reversed medical oplnlons, so where else to go to find the friends you don't yet know but will enjoy when you do. This time we have booked early and received the complimentary drinks package, a huge saving and stress free addition to the overall cost. I admit that a last minute deal, minus drinks, is a good saving but not as good. Remember that dehydration can be a killer! The Compas Rose serves great food in an environment that caters for everyone and I hope to try Scirroccos this time. I could witter on all night but don't let me spoil any dreams. This Ship and everything it stands for is set up for the enjoyment and relaxation of sensible members of our "Sceptered Isle" Tony and Sue. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014

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