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-   -   A Cabin review. Inspiration. E-259 (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/disabled-cruisers/276073-cabin-review-inspiration-e-259-a.html)

Seahunks March 18th, 2004 08:35 AM

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

http://www.cruisemates.com/animated/...ing_smlCLR.gif
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...

kyriecat March 19th, 2004 05:00 PM

Re: A Cabin review. Inspiration. E-259
 
Steve,

It sounds like you had a good ship experience. I am traveling with my mom, who is in a wheelchair in October. I noticed that two of our stops, Cozumel and Grand Cayman, are the same as the Inspiration. Did you do any shore excursions in either of those ports? Do you have any recommendations? I want her to enjoy herself since she hasn't cruised before. I am having problems locating excursions that are accessable. I have contacted several private tour companies, but they will not allow her to join due to either lack of facilities or insurance concerns. I have also contacted our cruise line (RCI) for information. Both my e-mails were ignored and the one time I was able to reach a person by phone, I was put on hold for 30-minutes while they "searched for information" then hung up on. There has to be some information for diabled cruisers, but I can't seem to locate it.

Thank you,
Dee

Seahunks March 20th, 2004 06:27 AM

Re: A Cabin review. Inspiration. E-259
 
No, I'm not a shore excursion kind of guy. I cruise mainly for the joy of being aboard ships and at sea. And there is a very limited number of excursions that don't list strenuous walking advisories. In fact, the only shore excursion I've ever taken while ashore is one I arranged myself at Grand Cayman last year--a 2 hour sail aboard the replica caravel, La Nina.

At the time I took that trip, I was able to spend more time on my feet with the assistance of canes. This time however, do to a recent bout with debilitating sciatica, I was more wheelchair dependent and did not attempt to load the wheelchair into a tender to go ashore. In fact, I suspect the ship's crew would have probably discouraged such an attempt in the fairly rough harbor waters. So I busied myself aboard the ship and still had a wonderful time, while my wife had a wonderful time ashore spending our money.

That's really all I know about Grand Cayman, except I think negotiating the streets would probably be dangerous for wheelchairs. As I remember, the sidewalks were very narrow and uneven, even for using canes to get around. And the automobile traffic is full of folks in rental cars who are unfamiliar with "keep to the left" driving.

Where you dock at Cozumel depends upon which ship you're aboard. The longer ships--Voyager, etc.--dock at Punta Langosta in the downtown area of the island, or tender in. The smaller ships--Enchantment, Empress, Radiance, etc. use the TMM pier, about 3 miles south of the downtown area. Some of the smaller ships might even use the Punta Maya pier, which is immedately south of the TMM pier. BTW, the "downtown" is actually the town of San Miguel.

At Coz, I have been ashore only as far as the shopping areas at the end of the TMM and Punta Maya piers. So I don't know how chair friendly the town is. I can only tell you the shopping villages at piers are negotiable, if somewhat rough. What appears to be the main shopping building at TMM has a very steep ramp to accommodate wheelchairs. It should be attempted only with the assistance of someone pushing. And whoever pushes better be able to maintain a very straight line because the ramp has no guard rails. Any veering could dump the occupant of the chair onto a rough stairway.

The shopping area at the Punta Maya pier seems quite a bit newer, and more wc friendly. The only rough spots I remember are that the plaza is paved mostly with octagonal flagstone. They're not hard to get over, but it can be a bumpy experience.

The streets and sidewalks beyond those areas may be another matter entirely.
I wish I could give you more information, but that's all I have. I hope it helps.

I am curious, Dee. Is kyriecat short for Kyrie Eleison catholic? As Bernstein said, "I miss the Gloria Tibi..."

Steve

http://www.cruisemates.com/animated/...ing_smlCLR.gif
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...

kyriecat March 20th, 2004 07:59 PM

Re: A Cabin review. Inspiration. E-259
 
Steve,

Thanks for the information. I'm sure my mom will have a great time on the ship. I think Mom is more laid back about the things she can't or shouldn't do than I am. I have engineer's mentality - nothing is impossible. We've taken Mom hiking through places no wheelchair should ever go. She still thinks we were trying to dump her off the side of a mountain in Colorado! : ) We need to find her a wheelchair with shock absorbers. My dad is getting close to retirement age so this is their trial run to see if they want to take up cruising for a hobby. I told my mom if Daddy doesn't like cruising, maybe we can get him to take up baseball. Then he and my husband can visit baseball stadiums while Mom and I cruise.

Kyriecat is actually for one of my cats, Valkyrie. I haven't previously heard the term Kyrie Eleison. I had to look it up. "Lord have mercy" in Greek. I'll have to tell my mom that one so she can use it next time I tell her, "Hold tight, I'll drive". : )


Seahunks March 23rd, 2004 11:32 AM

Re: A Cabin review. Inspiration. E-259
 
Interesting that you got it from Valkyrie. The Wagnerian Ring Cycle was the first Operas to ever capture my attention. Historic misuse as political doctrine not-withstanding, some of the best symphonic music ever composed. .

And, yes, "Kyrie eleison" is "Lord have mercy" in Greek. It was the only
non-Latin phrase used in the pre-Vatican II Catholic mass worldwide. Ten years after the council that changed the mass to vernacular language, I met a girl in Crete. She was quite surprised when I uttered the phrase, and to learn that any Greek was used at all in the Roman Catholicism. I was the first American catholic she had ever met. She expressed her surprise in flawless English and taught me a few useful phrases of Greek, most of which I subsequently forgot. I still remember Greece, though!

Steve

http://www.cruisemates.com/animated/...ing_smlCLR.gif
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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