Marina Cruise Review by yorkshirelady
- Sail Date: December 2011
- Destination: Southern Caribbean
- Cabin Type: Inside Stateroom
Embarkation was quick and simple even with our own wheelchair and although the cabins were not ready till 3.00 we were able to sit in comfortably in a lounge for the few minutes wait.
One minor point for anyone bringing a self propelled wheelchair and expecting to be able to move around the ship independently was that the carpets are so new and thick that it was very hard work to do so and I ended up having to push my husband around, and there is quite a slope up into the theatre !
We had booked an inside cabin as you spend so little time there and it was very good. Always clean with the most comfortable cruise ship beds we have ever had. Storage space looked tight but in fact there was room for everything and although the bathroom was small it had everything you needed and no dreaded shower curtain. Our cabin steward was great, stored our suitcases which did not fit under the bed, often opened the door for us to make manipulating the wheelchair easier and asked if there was anything he could do to help us, finally removing the coffee table so it was easier to store the wheelchair.
We eat mainly in the main dining room and were a bit concerned about anytime dining having heard of long queues on other ships but found that provided we went down before 7.30 in the evening there was no queue and the dining staff would always make sure we had an easily accessible table.
We ate in Pepin's, Toscana and the Polo Grill which were all excellent but did not take up our possible booking for Red Ginger as my husband does not like such food - there did not seem to be an option for only one of you to book !
We did not try the self service restaurant other than for coffee as it is too difficult with a wheelchair passenger.
It was pleasant that the main dining room was open for lunch every day as so many ships now only provide this on sea days, and it was never crowded.
We tried the main dining room for breakfast but soon decided to be lazy and order room service, again this is the only ship we have ever been on where everything we ordered arrived correctly every time !
We enjoyed the inclusive soft drinks, waters and coffees, and found the price for a bottle of easy drinking wine to be comparable with other cruise lines, and were very surprised to find that even with anytime dining and also using the speciality restaurants if you did not finish the bottle the staff would always save it for you and retrieve it the next night.
Evening entertainment was surprisingly good, both guest artistes and production shows for a ship this time, and the singers could actually sing. It was also good that the ship's own orchestra was not as brassy as some of the larger ones.
Entertainment during the day was fairly predictable and the program could have offered more however with the very small entertainment staff this may not have been possible.
The library was excellent, I could always find something to read, and the coffee shop served wonderful frappucinos - lovely in the late afternoon.
We did not book any excursions due to concerns about being able to use the wheelchair but found the tour staff helpful, for example advising us in the Turks and Caicos and it was not worth trying to go into the town as it would be difficult, but on the other hand St. Croix was very easy to get around with the wheelchair.
One minor complaint was that even the lower gangway was quite steep and had two steps at the shore end rather than a ramp, and there was not always anyone around to assist with the wheelchair.
Sadly my husband had two suspected heart attacks while on the ship, from which fortunately he recovered very quickly and has had no lasting effects. I cannot thank the crew's medical staff sufficiently for the care and attention he received, I will never worry about being taken ill on a cruise ship, they were fantastic.
Finally does anyone know how to get public liability insurance to take a collapsible mobility scooter to the US ? We had been advised that because we were staying a couple of nights in Miami we would need this cover but could not find any way of arranging this from the UK? because of this we took a wheelchair instead but the scooter would have been much better