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We are on Day 3 of our cruise on Sapphire Princess to Portugal and Europe Southern in October 2018. The company tag line is "Come back new". In our very short experience on board, that will not be the case. I feel we have to comment - because princess do not listen. As the carer for my disabled wife, we want a rest and minimal stress to relax and enjoy. The Sapphire Princess dies not deliver. Cabin - On arrival room had blocked toilet, too much furniture for wheelchair to access, broken toilet door, broken fridge and beds too high for easy wheelchar to bed transfer. Shower eventually did not work and only tepid water available. Excursions - None of the excursions (even on enquiry to customer services) were suitable for passengers in wheelchair. Where the cruise terminal was a number of kilometers to town, customer services could not guarantee transport (which you have to pay for) was suitable for wheelchairs! Disgraceful when you consider there were at least 50 people on board with wheel chairs/scooters. We have to walk and make our own excursion arrangements. Entertainment - The theatre had spaces for eight wheelchairs at the rear of the hall. During performances you had to curtail your evening meal and get there 60 minutes early to ensure you got one of the very few places where you could sit together. Wheelchairs were three deep and the carer could not sit beside the disabled person by the time the performance started. As well as being stressful, it was a fire and H&S risk as the wheelchairs, and other people standing in the walkways, blocked the rear exits from the theatre. Dining - Part of the enjoyment of a cruise is the luxury of good food prepared and served to you. Breakfast and lunch (lunch only on at sea days) were restricted to a restaurant at the lower rear of the ship. Since our cabin was at an upper level at bow, and due to configuration of deck plans, it took three elevator rides to get there. Not an easy journey, when you have no option but to use elevator, on a busy ship at peak times. Talk about stressful. We soon gave up on breakfast and lunch. Food has been very mixed. The alternative was to go to the cafeteria dining. This meant you had difficulty getting a table, had to collect food for both disabled person and carer - but they did not allow trays. This resulted in the carer having to make numerous trips to queue and get food, then drinks - if you found a suitable accessible table. This must also be a nightmare for parents with children who have similar issues. So much for being on holiday and having a stress free, relaxing vacation. Service has been reasonable - although they seem incapable of making any changes to alleviate things. In summary, accommodation below par; excursions below par; food service below par, ship configuration poor and entertainment not thought through. I cannot see us "Going back new" as a result of this experience. Very poor show Princess cruises.

Disabled passenger experience on Sapphire Princess on Southern Europe cruise

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by Harry1959

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Trip Details
We are on Day 3 of our cruise on Sapphire Princess to Portugal and Europe Southern in October 2018. The company tag line is "Come back new". In our very short experience on board, that will not be the case. I feel we have to comment - because princess do not listen.

As the carer for my disabled wife, we want a rest and minimal stress to relax and enjoy. The Sapphire Princess dies not deliver.

Cabin - On arrival room had blocked toilet, too much furniture for wheelchair to access, broken toilet door, broken fridge and beds too high for easy wheelchar to bed transfer. Shower eventually did not work and only tepid water available.

Excursions - None of the excursions (even on enquiry to customer services) were suitable for passengers in wheelchair. Where the cruise terminal was a number of kilometers to town, customer services could not guarantee transport (which you have to pay for) was suitable for wheelchairs! Disgraceful when you consider there were at least 50 people on board with wheel chairs/scooters. We have to walk and make our own excursion arrangements.

Entertainment - The theatre had spaces for eight wheelchairs at the rear of the hall. During performances you had to curtail your evening meal and get there 60 minutes early to ensure you got one of the very few places where you could sit together. Wheelchairs were three deep and the carer could not sit beside the disabled person by the time the performance started. As well as being stressful, it was a fire and H&S risk as the wheelchairs, and other people standing in the walkways, blocked the rear exits from the theatre.

Dining - Part of the enjoyment of a cruise is the luxury of good food prepared and served to you. Breakfast and lunch (lunch only on at sea days) were restricted to a restaurant at the lower rear of the ship. Since our cabin was at an upper level at bow, and due to configuration of deck plans, it took three elevator rides to get there. Not an easy journey, when you have no option but to use elevator, on a busy ship at peak times. Talk about stressful. We soon gave up on breakfast and lunch.

Food has been very mixed.

The alternative was to go to the cafeteria dining. This meant you had difficulty getting a table, had to collect food for both disabled person and carer - but they did not allow trays. This resulted in the carer having to make numerous trips to queue and get food, then drinks - if you found a suitable accessible table. This must also be a nightmare for parents with children who have similar issues. So much for being on holiday and having a stress free, relaxing vacation.

Service has been reasonable - although they seem incapable of making any changes to alleviate things.

In summary, accommodation below par; excursions below par; food service below par, ship configuration poor and entertainment not thought through.

I cannot see us "Going back new" as a result of this experience. Very poor show Princess cruises.
Harry1959’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IC L250
Cabin was spacious enough with plenty of wardrobe space and ability to lower hanger rail for wheelchair passenger.
Had to ask steward to remove unnecessary furniture to allow wheelchair person sufficient space to move around cabin.
Had to ask, on arrival, for repairs to bathroom door, wardrobe door, fridge and blocked toilet.
Had to ask for clean kettle as original kettle caked in detritus and smear - not nice.
Had to ask Steward to clear under bed to store cases. they were storing spare duvets, pillows and blankets there.
Bed was too high to climb in to for many smaller people. Impossible to easily transfer from chair to bed on a board.
Only two US type sockets by television. If an UK adaptor is used, only one socket then available. Insufficient sockets to charge chair and other equipment for disabled passenger.
Roll-in bathroom, in general, was okay. Shower head could only be lowered to above wheelchair users head height - not the most convenient if you want to keep your hair dry.
Stewards had a habit of parking cleaning trolleys in the bays to access disabled cabins for large parts of the day. Not easy for the disabled person themselves to move trolley to access cabin door. Staff clearly do not think through needs of disabled passengers.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins