My youngest niece said "Daddy, can we go to Venice?" and that started a domino effect of trip planning so that by the time we booked, there were a total of 15 people travelling, two extended families including three kids, two teenagers, five adults and five seniors, two with limited mobility.
Once we got to the terminal at the Port of Venice where NCL handlers expertly took care of my mom in her wheelchair, we were fine but it was a nightmare before that.
Our privately booked wheelchair accessible vaporetto had to cancel because it was too rough to transfer my mother safely so we took the regular Alilaguna to the cruise terminal.
Our suite 12032 was slightly modified to make it more accessible. There was no walk-in closet to get into the bathroom and there was no tub, only a zero-entry shower. We were three people sharing and there was plenty of space and privacy for me when I pulled the curtain around the sofa-bed. I loved watching the moon over the water through the floor to ceiling windows. I didn't even *want* to sleep fearing that I'd miss some beautiful whale or mermaid shadow.
There are are few improvements that could be made. It was kind of odd that the light switches for the overhead were only on one side of the bed...invariably too far for my mom to reach. Also, the lights in my little "private" section were on the same switch as the lights where my parents were so they could only use the bedside lamps at night. My dad also needed a US voltage plug by the bedside to run his CPAP machine but there was only one European outlet where the lamp was. I rigged up an adapter with an extension cord but it literally sparked so we had to run a long extension across the room to the desk with the 110 volt plug. Dangerous trip hazards on a moving ship are not a good idea!
I made the same comment after our cruise on the Jade last year but it's really important: Safety-grab bars are not towel-racks. Please, please, please add hooks on the walls and add loops to the towels to hang them. When my parents need to grab a bar to support their weight on a rocky ship, it needs to be free of wet or loose fabric. Our room steward did a great job but he kept hanging the towels and we kept moving them.
The other improvement is that accessible cabins should have automatic door opening. My mom wasn't able to get into or out of the room unassisted and once had the embarrassment to have to ask strangers to help when she dropped her belongings struggling to open the door.
Other than that, the set-up was terrific! We invited the children to play games borrowed from the library across the hall and it was big enough for the girls to rehearse their dance routines! It really was a Family Suite for a sweet family trip!
There was a long walk from the ship to the bus that takes you to the visitor centre. My dad would have appreciated knowing that in advance and golf-cart shuttles would be nice for those with mobility issues.
The information provided by the ship was accurate regarding the long-wait times for the cable cars and the steep inclines to navigate. This was much appreciated by my dad with mobility issues. Santorini was worth all the sweat and struggle though!
This was the easiest port from which to get transportation after leaving the ship! Taxis were abundant and we lucked out with an amazing driver who took us on a lovely tour.