Written by Chillie Falls, Access Adventure, March 28, 2022
Accessible Embarkation on Adventure of the Seas, March 28, 2022, Galveston, Texas. What could be, and should be a reasonably easy accomplishment, the act of making accessible embarkation a simple act carried out without hassle. And yet, so often it is the most abused act through the entire cruise experience for the mobility challenged. Perhaps the profoundly disabled have it better as they almost always travel with their own scooter or wheelchair, while someone like me, who tries to avoid traveling with my personal mobility device and opts for wheelchair service on to the cruise ship and to the cabin where a rented scooter is waiting.
Why do I go this way? I am trying to avoid damage to my scooter from mishandling on airlines, plus since I do not need my all of the time at home since I can walk some, it is too small and light weight for a cruise ship, getting on and off at ports of call, traversing sidewalks and walkways, etc.
While some of my recent experiences with cruise ports have been awful, bordering on criminal, Galveston almost got it right. At least I was put through difficult challenges that would negatively affect my first couple of days on the cruise trying to recover.
First, the Galveston port authority folks allowed my shuttle driver to literally drop me at the door. I was no more that 10 feet from the entrance and was assured that just a matter of a few feet inside the door, I could get a wheelchair. That, in fact, was true and with a walk of about 30 yards, I was able to get a wheelchair. This also points out why I say they almost got it right. To be truly accessible, the first person I encountered outside the shuttle should have called for a wheelchair, which would have been brought to the curb to get me.
From then on, the embarkation was fine. The first wheelchair pusher got me through all of the security, checking in, etc, and through the terminal to the “hand off” to Adventure of the Seas personnel. That “driver” took me on to the ship and when it was determined that my cabin was not ready yet, stayed with me until it was and took me to my stateroom to retrieve my scooter. A detailed report on accessibility of the embarkation procedures on Adventure of the Seas is contained in the attached video. While not perfect, all in all I would rate Royal Caribbean’s and the Galveston Port Authority folks with a strong B+.
All of these problems for the mobility challenged could be eliminated if the port folks and Scootaround or any other scooter vendor, could deliver the scooter curbside instead of in the cabin. That would make our lives, and the cruise experience so much more enjoyable.
See also: https://accessadventure.net/accessible-cabin-1535-adventure-of-the-seas-%F0%9F%98%8E