Accessible Journeys magazine Winter 2022 - Page 38

Features

Cruising on Wonder of the Seas

By Rosemarie Rossetti , Ph . D .
ave you ever dreamed of taking

H a cruise ?

For those of us with a disability , we are cautious about taking vacations . Many potential obstacles will limit our access , especially for those who use mobility devices . I use a manual wheelchair due to a spinal cord injury I acquired in June 1998 . On some vacations , I bring a folding scooter so I can be more independent .
Planning a vacation aboard a cruise ship has advantages since luggage only needs to be unpacked and packed once . If the ship is designed for accessibility , many typically encountered obstacles have been removed . Cruise ships must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act . This makes cruises popular for people with mobility limitations . Meals and entertainment are included in the cost . Many people view cruising as a bargain .
My husband and I recently returned from a trip of a lifetime , a sevennight Western Mediterranean cruise on Royal Caribbean ’ s newest ship , Wonder of the Seas . I read about this ship before our trip and was in awe of the description . Launched in March 2022 this is the largest cruise ship in the world ! The ship has 18 decks and can hold 7,000 passengers and 2,000 crew . We reserved an ocean-view balcony-accessible stateroom on the sixth deck .
We traveled from our home in Columbus , Ohio to Barcelona , Spain the port of call . We spent a week in Barcelona before the cruise . Our cruise was organized by Sage Traveling . We were joined by two tour guides , three other people who used mobility devices , and five of their family members .
Overall , I found this ship to be wheelchair accessible . Here are some of the features that I saw in our stateroom .
• To enter the stateroom , I held my SeaPass card over the pass reader on the wall next to the door lever handle and the door opened automatically .
• To exit the stateroom , I pushed a button on the wall by the door and the door opened automatically .
• The stateroom door from the hall has no threshold and is 36 inches wide .
• The carpet is easy to roll on in the stateroom .
• There is ample room in the stateroom to maneuver in a scooter or wheelchair .
• The balcony sliding door is easy to open and the threshold platform is easy to roll over in a wheelchair .
• The balcony is large enough for a scooter and a chair for a guest .
38 Accessible Journeys To Table of Contents