We have cruised 5 times on other lines but this was a "Bucket List" cruise for us. We felt we were very lucky to get any disability cabin, let alone in Princess Grill. Embarkation in Sydney was fairly smooth, and we were on board ... Read More
We have cruised 5 times on other lines but this was a "Bucket List" cruise for us. We felt we were very lucky to get any disability cabin, let alone in Princess Grill. Embarkation in Sydney was fairly smooth, and we were on board in about 30 minutes, with our luggage waiting for us at the suite. We have a small electric wheelchair which is the same size as a normal wheelchair, but entry through the door was so tight that we constantly hit door frame or wardrobes getting in or out. It required a difficult "S" turn to get in, due to free standing wardrobes, in front of the entry, which were mainly unsuitable for disabled persons, being nearly all shelves with only one small hanging rail in one robe unit (no walk-in robe, as pictured online). The accessible bathroom was OK, but access past there, to the rest of the suite, was not wide enough for the wheelchair to pass. Space between beds and lounge furniture, chair & table was too narrow to get to the second bed or balcony and the lack of space also meant that there was no access to lounge or chair seating without moving furniture. The TV was also on the wall behind the lounge, so not view-able, except from the beds. Power points were also badly placed. We had 3 at the writing desk, but none at the fridge & mini bar cabinet where the kettle and coffee machine were positioned. These had to be moved to the desk, to be used. Bedding however, was very comfortable.
In all, this cabin, sold as an "accessible Princess Grill" was false, and when we checked a non-accessible suite, it was the same size and space as ours, but with a walk-in robe next to the bathroom and direct access down the passage into the cabin. We spoke to the Grills Concierge about lack of accessibility in cabin and also later, to an officer in the purser's office, but despite their promises to respond within the day, neither of them got back to us for the duration of the cruise.
The other problem for wheelchair access was to the outside decks. All door frames we encountered, had no ramps, but more like a house wood door frame, with vertical edges. All were very jarring to cross and some were too high for the front wheels of the small electric chair to climb, so the chair had to be manually pulled backwards (with help from other passengers to hold doors), to get back inside. This difficulty, and possible chair damage, effectively prevented wheelchair use on the upper decks for us. Although the lifts were small, access within the ship was generally no problem, and while there always seems to be some people who show no regard for disabled, the majority of passengers and crew were considerate & helpful.
The entertainment we saw was, in general "average" and not as good as on other lines we have previously cruised with.
We were unable to take the tender to Port Arthur, but went ashore in Hobart, where special disabled access busses were provided to transfer to and from town.
Meals in the King's Court buffet were mainly average and selections seemed to be minimal, compared to some other cruise lines.
On a good note, the quality of meals and service in the Princess Grill dining room was superb. We were seated on a table of eight and our dining companions were great company. They were very friendly, well travelled and we always had interesting conversations which sometimes extended our dinners to around 10pm!
Would we sail with Cunard again? No. Lack of accessibility in the Suite and Cunard's lack of response to the issues, made for a disappointing experience. Read Less