1 Harwich Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

We are semi-regular cruisers with RCCL, with Platinum status. We last cruised with them in 2012 (Serenade around the Med). I am mobility disabled and typically travel with my husband. This is a long review, apologies. Ship - I find the ... Read More
We are semi-regular cruisers with RCCL, with Platinum status. We last cruised with them in 2012 (Serenade around the Med). I am mobility disabled and typically travel with my husband. This is a long review, apologies. Ship - I find the Radiance is a good size if you are not a keen walker; you can get from one end of the ship to the other in fairly quick time and everything seems within a decent distance. Usual bars, with the welcome new addition of a pub layout to replace the sports bar, and three included meal locations (MDR, Windjammer and Park Café). Whilst overall the ship was well maintained and very clean, we noticed various areas where the recent "refit" had not had an effect eg damage/peeling paint on top floor of theatre. Cabin - we were in 7114, which is a disabled balcony E3 cabin. Hence you have more space and a walk in shower - this was very helpful. Whilst the cabin was kept very clean and tidy, we did have a couple of small problems - our attendant did not seem confident in her towel animals and we only got two through the whole cruise, plus the balcony door was consistently left closed but not locked. I know these are minor but we look forward to our animals, and it formed part of our overall sense that the quality is being downgraded. Dining - we always did WJ for breakfast and this always had decent choice. Tables always busy but that is nothing new and we often took spaces on the open section. We did MDR most nights for dinner. Service was strong for us, but the choices were disappointing - nothing regional, often repetitive. Most of our table chose the steak more than once, and lobster was never included on our menu without a price supplement. The park café did custom made salads and roast meat rolls, which we had on occasion for lunch. Custom dining - we attended Chops Grille and Giovanni's during our cruise, and enjoyed the extra attention and separate table very much. We did not attend Izumi or Rita's Cantina as it was strongly our view that these should be included in the food price and not charged as extra. Beverages - we elected to take the premium package for beverages. We calculated this as being a couple of cocktails/beers pre dinner, a glass of wine or two with dinner and a closing cocktail. This was the right choice - on reaching the ship, all cocktails advertised were $14. The choice provided in each bar varied dramatically, and the list of "available cocktails" was tiny compared to what is technically available. My husband prefers real ale as opposed to lager, but this appeared to be completely unfamiliar to various staff members (in fact, the ship stocked several interesting varieties if they could be located). It is also definitely the case that, with packages being gratuity included, there is little incentive for pool bar staff to circulate around open areas to earn more tips. We nearly always ended up going to the bar itself if we were on the pool deck, which is contrary to our previous experience. In the Schooner bar and pub, staff were very attentive. Embarkation was organised with military precision - we got to the port for 11.30am, drove to the car park and gave up our bags - which then appeared outside our room before 5pm. Most impressive. Disembarkation was also well organised and the Harwich staff very helpful. Entertainment - we enjoyed the quizzes very much, especially Alison's progressive quiz. The comedy juggler headliner was the best overall, although the comedy singer and the zoots were also good. We were surprised that the Abba experience was put on as we left Denmark, rather than Sweden..... The contortionist/acrobat/strength examples were really unappealing to English eyes, as a fair proportion of their show consisted of videos of other people praising their performance on AGT. All the guest entertainers (ie violinists, pianists, guitarists in the bars and open areas) were excellent. My last point is one which unfortunately coloured our overall view of RCCL and has probably dissuaded us from travelling with them again. We understand from more than one of the guest entertainers onboard that, in addition to their musical responsibilities, they were now also being asked to don gloves, pick up a sponge and assist in cleaning the ship (theatre, etc). We were shocked to hear this, as we know from our own friend circle that the role of musician involves a material investment of time and training - it seemed that RCCL did not value this. Presumably the Captain and officers will not be using their own downtime to scrub the cabins? Although we did see the officers running "celebrity" casino tables on some nights, so perhaps anything is possible! In short - we liked the ports very much, we liked the ship for size, we liked our cabin but overall we felt that we were constantly being nickeled and dimed. It seemed that RCCL aimed at the lowest price for the simple cabin but then tried to get every last cent out of you through pushed extras, which was distasteful. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015

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