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We took this cruise to celebrate Dad’s 90th Birthday. What a blast! Dad had always wanted to take a cruise, but seemed impossible. First Mom never wanted to go. Then he had dialysis. We investigated dialysis at sea, and found it too expensive, but realized we could take a 3 day cruise between treatments, so that’s what we did. It was still challenging to make it all work. In addition to dialysis, dad has mobility issues and recently started on an oxygen concentrator. He loves to travel, but it isn’t easy! We had 7 people in four cabins, but I’m going to concentrate on how we dealt with dad’s mobility issues, what worked, and what didn’t. I haven’t seen many reviews that cover this in any depth. My sister drove Dad from his home in Idaho the day before, just after his treatment. We all met up at my other sister’s house in Seattle and boarded the ship as a group the following day. Parking wasn’t easy or cheap at the port, but we found the lot and managed to get dad on the shuttle bus. As far as I can tell, the shuttle was not wheelchair accessible, so if you can’t do at least some walking/stairs, this may not be an option for you. I’d call the port and ask. Embarkation went smoothly. RCI has a special check in for mobility impaired. Everyone associated with the port or cruise line noticed our matching t-shirts and made a big fuss about his birthday. He was thrilled! Once on board, we grabbed lunch and then headed to the room. We got rooms 9337 (accessible interior cabin) and 3 “large” balcony cabins across the hall. The accessible cabin was twice the size of a standard cabin and very nicely laid out. It became a default meeting location. I’m glad we got it because his wheelchair (we alternated between his walker and wheelchair) wouldn’t fit through a standard door. IMPORTANT! Speaking of doors: the closer on the accessible cabin was very tight. Dad could not open the door without help, and there was no way to prop it open. Keep this in mind if you need to be able to get in and out of the room without help! The bathroom door would stay in the open or closed position and did not cause any problems. There were call buttons on either side of the bed and lights on the wall within easy reach of the bed. There was enough space that Dad was able to get from his wheelchair or walker to the bed and out without assistance. We noticed an important issue though. Since Dad uses a CPAP and an O2 concentrator, we needed plugs by the bed. The only plugs we could find were on the desk. We addressed this by requesting an extension cord. It was provided promptly by Jaypee, our room steward, who was great throughout the whole trip. However, the cord was barely long enough to reach the right side of the bed. We added a small power strip, which gave him enough plugs and some USB charging ports. It worked, but the cord was laid across the middle of the room, so a longer cord would have been much better! The ship was easy to navigate, even in a wheelchair. There were very few places that dad couldn’t go. At the MDR, our waiter must have been briefed about dad and his birthday because he knew about it before we even mentioned it. Food and service was very good and we ate there every night. We enjoyed the sea day by watching the shows and relaxing. I especially liked the ice spectacular. We saw three shows in the main theatre. The magician on the last night was the best of the three.

Great cruise for a 90th Birthday

Explorer of the Seas Cruise Review by steverk

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2018
  • Destination: Pacific Coastal
  • Cabin Type: Interior
We took this cruise to celebrate Dad’s 90th Birthday. What a blast! Dad had always wanted to take a cruise, but seemed impossible. First Mom never wanted to go. Then he had dialysis. We investigated dialysis at sea, and found it too expensive, but realized we could take a 3 day cruise between treatments, so that’s what we did.

It was still challenging to make it all work. In addition to dialysis, dad has mobility issues and recently started on an oxygen concentrator. He loves to travel, but it isn’t easy!

We had 7 people in four cabins, but I’m going to concentrate on how we dealt with dad’s mobility issues, what worked, and what didn’t. I haven’t seen many reviews that cover this in any depth.

My sister drove Dad from his home in Idaho the day before, just after his treatment. We all met up at my other sister’s house in Seattle and boarded the ship as a group the following day.

Parking wasn’t easy or cheap at the port, but we found the lot and managed to get dad on the shuttle bus. As far as I can tell, the shuttle was not wheelchair accessible, so if you can’t do at least some walking/stairs, this may not be an option for you. I’d call the port and ask.

Embarkation went smoothly. RCI has a special check in for mobility impaired. Everyone associated with the port or cruise line noticed our matching t-shirts and made a big fuss about his birthday. He was thrilled!

Once on board, we grabbed lunch and then headed to the room. We got rooms 9337 (accessible interior cabin) and 3 “large” balcony cabins across the hall. The accessible cabin was twice the size of a standard cabin and very nicely laid out. It became a default meeting location. I’m glad we got it because his wheelchair (we alternated between his walker and wheelchair) wouldn’t fit through a standard door.

IMPORTANT! Speaking of doors: the closer on the accessible cabin was very tight. Dad could not open the door without help, and there was no way to prop it open. Keep this in mind if you need to be able to get in and out of the room without help!

The bathroom door would stay in the open or closed position and did not cause any problems.

There were call buttons on either side of the bed and lights on the wall within easy reach of the bed. There was enough space that Dad was able to get from his wheelchair or walker to the bed and out without assistance.

We noticed an important issue though. Since Dad uses a CPAP and an O2 concentrator, we needed plugs by the bed. The only plugs we could find were on the desk.

We addressed this by requesting an extension cord. It was provided promptly by Jaypee, our room steward, who was great throughout the whole trip. However, the cord was barely long enough to reach the right side of the bed. We added a small power strip, which gave him enough plugs and some USB charging ports. It worked, but the cord was laid across the middle of the room, so a longer cord would have been much better!

The ship was easy to navigate, even in a wheelchair. There were very few places that dad couldn’t go.

At the MDR, our waiter must have been briefed about dad and his birthday because he knew about it before we even mentioned it. Food and service was very good and we ate there every night.

We enjoyed the sea day by watching the shows and relaxing. I especially liked the ice spectacular.

We saw three shows in the main theatre. The magician on the last night was the best of the three.
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin 4V 9337
Since Dad has mobility issues, we chose an accessible cabin. I highly recommend it for those with issues. It is much larger, has a roll in shower with a seat, and emergency call buttons. Most important, the standard cabin door is too narrow for a wheelchair. This one is big enough.

That said, a couple gotchas: the entry door is very heavy and Dad was unable to open it himself. (the bathroom door did not have this issue) Second, the only outlets are on the desk and require an extension cord for a CPAP or O2 concentrator. The extension cord provided by RCI barely made it to the right side of the bed. It would not have made it to the left side. If you need more than one plug, you'll need to bring a power strip.
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