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Old May 13th, 2006, 08:00 PM
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Default Mini-review of Summit cruise from LA to Hawaii 4/23 to 5/7

Well, as I've heard, the customer service onboard the Summit was very impressive as opposed to their terrible service pre-cruise. With a few exceptions, every crew member was friendly and went out of their way to take care of any comments we had.

One major problem was that my husband could not sit in the downstairs area of the theater since it was all stairs. On the 11th day of our 14 day cruise, John Howell, the cruise director, called us and said there WAS a pathway which could be accessed. However, it was marked "CREW ONLY" in very bold letters and stated that any passengers inside must LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY!!! When we went to use this passage way, my husband was told again by crew members that it was NOT to be used! Amazingly enough, the pianist who was performing said that it WAS for wheelchair access and to allow him through. John advised us that that would be changed in the future.

Also, there was NO access to the pools or spas for those in wheelchairs, which was EXTREMELY disappointing considering we spent NINE days at sea and Bingo isn't our biggest draw! That was surprising considering the wheelchair accessible staterooms and restrooms around the ship. Not even a ramp or lift was available onboard this ship which was built in 2001. John also advised us that Celebrity was updating all of their ships with lifts or ramps. Too bad it was too late for us.

Otherwise, we enjoyed ourselves immensely! The shows were great, the food spectacular, and we ended up with the most enjoyable table guests one could hope for! Some local, some not, but we plan to get together in the future. And yes, even dressing up for dinner was fun! And I surprised myself by not changing back into my "scivvies" for the after-dinner shows.

We plan to do a land vacation in Hawaii to be able to enjoy more of the islands. My suggestion for shore excurions, pass on the Parker Ranch trip, unless you're REALLY into history and viewing fine china, although the trip back along the coast was beautiful.

And yes, this review is short since I came down with acute bronchitis and conjunctivitis upon our return. It's definately no fun and has been difficult to get over, along, with my low energy level, but I am at least thankful that it didn't happen whilst on our cruise! THAT would have been REALLY bad!!

So it's nice to be home and see all of our pets, friends and family. Hope everyone is enjoying themselves!

ALOHA!
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Old May 15th, 2006, 08:58 AM
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Jean,

Otherwise, we enjoyed ourselves immensely! The shows were great, the food spectacular, and we ended up with the most enjoyable table guests one could hope for! Some local, some not, but we plan to get together in the future. And yes, even dressing up for dinner was fun! And I surprised myself by not changing back into my "scivvies" for the after-dinner shows.

I'm glad to hear that you and your husband had a wonderful time!

One major problem was that my husband could not sit in the downstairs area of the theater since it was all stairs. On the 11th day of our 14 day cruise, John Howell, the cruise director, called us and said there WAS a pathway which could be accessed. However, it was marked "CREW ONLY" in very bold letters and stated that any passengers inside must LEAVE THE AREA IMMEDIATELY!!! When we went to use this passage way, my husband was told again by crew members that it was NOT to be used! Amazingly enough, the pianist who was performing said that it WAS for wheelchair access and to allow him through. John advised us that that would be changed in the future.

I think that most cruise ships have limited accessibility for handicapped passengers in their theaters due to the stairs. A wheelchair area near each entrance, at the rear of the theater, seems to be normative. This area usually does have very good visibility, though. The Grand Princess, Diamond Princess, and Caribbean Princess classes of vessels are unusual, in that they have public access to the front of the theater through the casino. On ships that have a Vegas-style show lounge, it's usually is much more accessible, with terraces interconnected by ramps.

Also, there was NO access to the pools or spas for those in wheelchairs, which was EXTREMELY disappointing considering we spent NINE days at sea and Bingo isn't our biggest draw! That was surprising considering the wheelchair accessible staterooms and restrooms around the ship. Not even a ramp or lift was available onboard this ship which was built in 2001. John also advised us that Celebrity was updating all of their ships with lifts or ramps. Too bad it was too late for us.

Holland America Lines (HAL) is the leader in accessibility for handicapped guests, with special lifts for pools and their tenders. I'm not sure what provisions HAL makes in the fitness centers, though. It sounds like this is important to you, so you might want to give HAL a try.

Norm.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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This is a DIRECT quote from Celebrity's home page:

Hydraulic lifts for one pool and one Jacuzzi on each ship (available upon request)

When my husband requested the use of a lift from a pool area staff member, he got a look as if he had asked when the aliens would be landing. A search was done and NO lifts were found anywhere. Another woman in a wheelchair onboard told me she was told that ALL pools and jacuzzis were wheelchair accessbile.

As I stated previously, Celebrity's pre-cruise customer service is the WORST we've ever dealt with! In comparison, Carnival was extremely helpful and there was no reason to make numerous phone calls to enjoy our trip to the fullest. It was a very stressful time before we left, as we are very active people and do NOT like just to sit onboard while in port, as one Celebrity "customer service" person told us that people in wheelchairs usually do! To be told this is both insulting and terribly insensitive, especially in this day and age.

We are currently dealing with a law firm who specializes in ADA related lawsuits, so we will see what sort of difference we can make.

Happy cruising, all!
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Old May 15th, 2006, 12:25 PM
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We were just on the Radiance of the Seas and they had two lifts available at the pools and jacuzzis, so I am somewhat surprised that Celeb isn't similarly equipped.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:58 PM
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One thing I will say about Summit. I had never seen so many wheelchairs provided by any other ship. You would think that since they expect that many wheelchair dependent pax, they would have lifts available. Seems odd that they don't.

You can see quite a variety of wheelchairs aboard Summit. Most bear the logo and name of the cruise line and the ship. Occasionally you'll see one from another \X\ ship or with a Royal Caribbean logo ship name--understandable since RCCL and \X\ are related corporately.

But Chris and I were cracked up by a rather obvious incongruity. It was our second day aboard and at sea, so we were still finding our way around the ship. She was pushing my chair. And, as she is prone to do at times, she obsitinately refused to listen when I told her we were at the wrong elevator bay to get to our cabin. So instead of getting off on our deck in the forward bay, we got off amidships and had to squeeze the rest of our way forward, past the chairs and housekeeping carts in the hallway. As we rounded the bulkhead to enter the midships passageway, I noticed an unusually marked chair outside of a cabin. It was clearly labeled "Carnival Victory."

Wrong ship! Wrong cruise line! Wrong corporate family! It was even the wrong apparent home port, since Carnival uses Long Beach, not San Pedro. We even took a picture of it. I can see so clearly in my mind some department head aboard Summit, "We don't have enough wheelchairs for this cruise. Put a shore team together to hijack some before the passengers start boarding." 21st Century wheelchair piracy! Whoda thunk it!
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Old May 15th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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Steve,

We also had problems w/the towel carts in the middle of the hallways. We preferred to take the hallway route from our stateroom to the dining room which was at the other end otherwise we were forced to go thru the smoking areas in the lounges & casinos. Many times we had to find a room steward to begrudgingly move the cart so that we could pass.

To her credit, the housekeeping supervisor tried to keep the hallways clear each morning we went for breakfast (usually around the same time) but we never knew when we would be returning to the room, and this got to be a bit of an annoyance.

It was very surprising that their pool access was completely contrary to what they had posted on their website. I do hope they make major changes and do what they say, because a LOT of people in wheelchairs were VERY disappointed!!!
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