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Old August 30th, 2005, 10:06 AM
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WeLove2Cruise WeLove2Cruise is offline
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Default Re: Re: Re: Stop ABs booking disabled cabins

Kimber, et al

You asked that I write and tell you about my experience on the Monarch of the Seas regarding my power wheelchair in the hallway.

We arrived back home on Friday morning so I thought now would be a good time to tell you that I had NO PROBLEM leaving my power wheelchair in the hallyway overnight and running an extension cord under the door to plug it in. Please be aware though that we were in cabin #4098. I specifically picked this cabin after looking at the ship's layout because it is at the end of a dead-end hallway. There is NO through traffic and no crew access doors where I parked the chair. You can look at the ship's layout on their website and see where your cabin is located. If it is anywhere in a hallway where there will be through traffic they WILL NOT allow you to leave it in the hallway.

As far as being able to get the chair through a doorway, there is no way to get my chair through a doorway that isn't wide enough to accommodate it. However, if you have a 3 or 4 wheel scooter with a removable seat you can rotate the scooter on it's side and shove it through most any doorway. We had to do this on our last cruise because we were unable to get a room at the end of a hallway nor were we able to get an HA room. My only choice was to remove the seat every night and turn the scooter on it's side and my wife and son pushed it through the door.

As far as the Monarch of the Seas goes, the standard cabins (ours) are NOT big enough for two people and luggage much less big enough for an added power chair. We also brought my manual chair for emergency and our cabin was barely large enough to fit it (folded up) with our luggage.

The pools on this ship are tiny and have no handicap assisted entrance. Ladders only. I'm not fond of extremely crowded pools full of {peeing} children and I'm not fond of cold water anyway so this wasn't an issue for me. If you want to go into the pool you'll have to have someone help you. I found that the crew were always at the ready to help me with anything I needed help with and I'm sure they would have been more than happy to help me into the pool.

A few things to be aware of on the Monarch of the Seas for wheelchair-bound folk .........

** If you are in a wheelchair you are not permitted to use the Library or Gaming area. Apparantly handicapped people can't play games or read books because the egress to this area is only via a very steep staircase.

** If you are in a wheelchair and want Pizza, you'll have to travel all the way from one end of the ship, go up an elevator and return all the way back to the other end of the ship. You see, the Pizza bar is located directly above the Windjammer Cafe. You can see it up the STAIRS, but you can't get there without going all the way back to the other end of the ship and taking an elevator up one level and then coming all the way back to the other end.

** If you want to buy something from any of the onboard stores there is only one pair of itsy-bitsy, teenie-weenie elevators wheelchair folks can use to get to the level where the stores are located. The two Atrium elevators are the only ones that stop on that level. All other egress to the shops area is via STAIRS. The atrium elevators were just wide enough for my power wheelcahir and deep enough for my chair and 3 (normal sized) people. And of course these glass elevators are the most popular because they are the kids' favorite toy. My suggestion - Grab one going up or down no matter which direction you {really} want to go. If there's room on it - TAKE IT! It'll eventually get you where you want to go!

All in all we had a pretty good time. The ship is nice and clean and the food was adequate. I won't cruise this ship again and probably won't cruise RCI again due to the crappy layout of the ship as stated above. I've cruised the Carnival Paradise 3 times prior and it is a WONDERFUL ship with no wheelchair associated problems. I'm sure there are other ships with more wheelchair-friendly intelligent layouts.

Hope this helps you out!

Ron

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