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Old March 18th, 2004, 08:35 AM
Seahunks Seahunks is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Columbus, Oh.
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Default A Cabin review. Inspiration. E-259

This seems the best forum to post this information. There is an accessible cabin which does not appear as such on any deckplan I've seen. It is E-259 aboard Carnival's Funship, Inspiration.

With two cruises worth of experience, my wife and I knew I would need to take the wheelchair along on our third cruise. When we requested an accessible cabin, our TA at first said none were available. She then called us back with an offer of an aft cabin she thought would closely approximate such accommodation.

I can't say how much I looked forward to having an aft cabin. Juxtapose that with my trepidations about whether or not I'd be able to stand long enough to shower, especially if the seas got rough. We knew the cabin would be slightly larger than most Category Ds and we knew it would have a view of the wake. We had no further definite expectations beyond that.

Although the main entrance to the ship was on the same deck as the cabin, to avoid the housekeeping carts we have previously encountered clogging passageways during the boarding process, my wife and I took a rather indirect route to the cabin. We went up two decks to a deck without cabins, the Promenade, and proceeded to the aft elevator.

In the Aft Elevator lobby, on Empress Deck once again, we looked down the center passageway and saw part of our door at the end, as the deckplan indicated. With a slight jog at the intersection of the mid and aft passageways, we faced our cabin door for the first time.

The first thing we noticed was that the lock was not on the door itself, but on the bulkhead next to the door way. Inserting the key, we heard the click. And then came first surpirse.

The door, with barely a moment's hesitation, hummed opened welcomingly. It was completely automatic. My wife attempted to push me over the sill, but my front wheels butted uselessly against it. I had to tilt the chair back myself to clear the sill, before the door closed. ****Please don't tell my wife she's a terrible wheelchair motor. She's an otherwise excellent wife and I don't want her to know there's a chink in her skill inventory**** On every subsequent entry, the buck and over would be the only way to clear the sill.

In the room, directly across from the bathroom door, was a sign warning against opening the door manually, due to the potential for damage to the opening motor. It also warned against pushing it closed--it would close on its own in 30 seconds. The door is meant to be opened by key from the outside, by button from within the cabin.

The sine qua non of accommodation is the bathroom. In cabin E-259, the bathroom door is wider than in a standard cabin. In addition, it is intended to be a roll-in. Its sill is flush with the remainder of the cabin, rather than a step up. My trepidations about showering washed away when I saw the permanently mounted fold-down bench on the shower wall. The design of the bench even included a notch for sliding from w.c. to the seat. The height of the showerhead is adjustable and removable. In short, I was clean and happy in all sea conditions encountered.

However, even with the bathroom's interior accommodations, I still don't consider it practical for anyone permanenlty wheelchair bound. The tight clearances of the cabin make maneuvering into it a little too inconvenient--not impossible, but certainly not easy or quick as may at times be necessary. The bathroom doorsill may be as abrupt as the main cabin entry. I admit that I don't really know since I never attempted a roll-in but I don't think it would be an easy bump to get over, especially with the maeuvering involved to get to an optimal angle for the bump over.

But even with that shortcoming, I consider it an excellenlty arrayed and equipped cabin
for occasional wheelchair users, or prosthetically ambulatory passengers. Trip hazards are minimal. And the washbasin is close enough so you can even sit on the showerseat while shaving or brushing your teeth.

One last caveat: Start the coldwater first with the shower head aimed at the near corner, then slowly bring the hotwater up to desired temperature. As on both of my previous ships, there is a scald hazard otherwise.

I hope this information is helpful to anyone planning to cruise aboard Inspiration.

Bon Voyage.

Steve


I may dwell on the land, but I live at sea!

Sensation 2/03 I disembarked, but never really left the ship.
Enchantment 9/03 Just had to go back.
Inspiration 3/04 Just have to go back again, and again, and again...
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