Just returned from South America on Oceania's Insignia. Bought power chair small enough for their 24" doors, but threshold was to high to go over. Crew tried to put me on deck for the lifeboat drill. They did! On my knee and side with chair on top. It seemed they did not want wheelchairs. Would not provide an employee to assist on any of the tours. With minor adjustmemts--one door access to deck; and a slightly educated staff, it would have been a pleasant cruise.
Maybe I'm reading this wrong but I wouldn't expect *any* cruise line to provide an employee to assist a wheelchair-user on shore tours. In fact most of the cruise lines state in their policies/conditions that they will not provide such assistance, and tell passengers that if they need that assistance they should travel with an aid/companion.
Editor, Emerging Horizons
***edited to remove commercial reference***
The only accessible travel magazine
What type of research did you do on this ship before going? I have heard since they started this line that their wheelchair access was very poor and that they do not encourage anyone who uses a chair to travel with them. I note that they have only inside cabins that are marked as accessible. I am sorry you had a bad time...are you an experienced wheelchair cruiser?
We did South American on HAL and had a good accessible cabin, but would never expect that they would provide a crew member for shore trips, nor even accessible tours. We made all our shore excursion arrangements on our own on that trip and saw pretty much the same things as those on the tours (at a cheaper price).
I cruised on Renaissance to Med before bankruptcy with a manual chair and alone. The gal doing the tours was from Evergreen, Colorado and on one of the tours, one of the girls from gift shop came alone. Except for a 'pit' stop, it was mostly a riding tour; as were several others I took. I manage bus steps as well as others and try not to delay the trip.
I'm not paralized from waist down, just 'neck-up'.! The handicap rooms on the Insignia are inside rooms on Deck 4 next to medical center. I prefer the standard stateroom with veranda. I met many wonderful people on the cruises, but many also had 'age-related' health problems.
I found the handicap rooms on Princess Sun to be overkill for my needs.
As replacement parts for worn out knees, hips, shoulders, hearts, etc . become the norm for retirees, more will be travelling. AS the teens would say ' Get Used to It'
I kinda thought the s ame fellows were running Oceania that ran Renaissance. Too bad about the investors!
The ships are a very nice size and layout. Lots of room for improvement, especially in food service.