My husband travels in a wheelchair and Solstice Class ships make life easy. We selected this cruise because we could see the Holy Land and the Pyramids on the same adventure. The rest was icing on the cake.
We spent the night in Rome at the Hotel Cicerone, which is centrally located with opportunities for excursions on foot to virtually any of the landmarks except the Coliseum. The land staff was friendly and helpful. Embarkation couldn't have been easier.
We always travel Aqua Class and it is well worth the small increase in cost. Our stateroom had easy access with an automatic door and ample room for my husband to be comfortable. Various bathroom facilities around the ship also have automatic doors for those in wheelchairs. Tea is provided every day in your stateroom as are canapes, if you wish.
The ports of call were the highlight of the cruise with an overnight trip in Israel as well as Alexandria, Egypt. The guide in Israel was outstanding, one of the best. Telling Israel's story is one of his passions. It is unfortunate that ships have limited tours for handicapped customers. The steps of the tour buses are difficult for those who are mildly impaired; impossible for those with limited mobility. That said, we booked a private tour with Ramses tours, which I would recommend for both abled and disabled passengers. We were able to see all the main sites that you would on a crowded bus tour and spend the time that you wanted at each venue. The guide and driver helped my husband in and out of the van and when they needed additional help, passers-by pitched in. Try that in any major American city.
One of the great perks of Aqua Class is the Blu Dining Room. It's a smaller venue with superb food and service. Their "Clean Cuisine" is delicious, with smaller portions. Which is not to say that we ever left hungry. The Aqua Spa cafe, open to everyone, offers great healthy fare for both breakfast and lunch. Healthy should not be confused with boring.
We found that their "Attention to Detail" is everywhere. There is a lift to help you enter the "adult" pool, if you need it, but the pool itself is designed so that people with limited mobility can enter it easily. This is an improvement over the Celebrity Solstice, which has the lift in the deep end of the outdoor pool. On an earlier cruise they discovered it was inoperable after my husband got into the pool. There is also a lift into one of the hot tubs.
On the down-side,our room steward was not quite up to the rest of the ship's standards but adequate. We find that the entertainment on board is often boring, but then we do not particularly like musical shows. We prefer individual entertainers. But we have booked future cruises on Solstice Class ships. They are unmatched in our opinion.
1522. Superb handicapped room. Far exceeds minimum standards for ADA rooms. Roll in shower is and shower seat are great.