One of the best parts of having this website is that our Facebook community send me photos and tell me about their holidays. I’m a travel addict and a sticky beak so it combines two of my favourite things. Back in December one of our Facebook friends sent me photos of her holiday on Ovation of the Seas. I was particularly happy to see photos of the spacious accessible cabin. I’d seen the ship on morning TV and it looked ultra luxurious so I was happy to hear of someone’s personal experience. A big thank you to Kathryn for sharing photos and information about the ship.
As many of you will know, an attraction or cruise ship can boast all kinds of fancy facilities but from a wheelchair user’s point of view, if the wheelchair access isn’t good then there’s nothing fancy about it at all. Luckily, Ovation of the Seas appears to deliver both on the facilities and access.
I was so impressed to see that Kathryn could fit two wheelchairs and three suitcases in the accessible cabin and still have room to move around easily. Kathryn said “overall the best part of the cruise was the high level of accessibility in the ship, in part due to the ship being new and the influence of American disability access laws”
This cabin is an ocean view accessible cabin.
Kathryn says, “one thing that is really exciting about the cabin is that the main cabin door is automatic, just use a swipe card and it opens. Usually I need someone to open the door to the room in hotels or cruise ships due to low strength in my arms, on this ship I can be independent, it’s excellent.”
The accessible bathroom has roll-in shower with hand held shower head, grab rails throughout and a flip down shower seat.
There is wheelchair access to the bathroom sink and lever taps.
The Ovation of the Seas has its very own London Eye-style observation capsule which offers 360 degree views and it’s wheelchair accessible.
Not fancying heights, Kathryn sent her husband to take the pictures from the capsule.
Kathryn advises “the ship has excellent wheelchair access in all parts of the ship, including the spa that has a lifter.”
Kathryn was very complimentary of the facilities on the cruise ship but did add, “the only thing that they need to improve is shore excursions for full time wheelchair users. We ended up using local NZ provider for tours as the cruise company only gave us one tour option and it was very expensive.”
ACCESS TO TENDERS
One of the difficulties that our readers often tell me about is access to the tenders and shore excursions. It seems that if you are not mobile many cruise ships can’t accommodate wheelchairs in the tenders. I was thrilled that Kathryn took this great photo showing the access on Ovation of the Seas. How refreshing to see a ship with wheelchair access to the tenders.
Kathryn says, “being a brand new ship built in 2016 it’s very accessible, they even have wheelchair lifts to the tender boats. Here is the porthole at the bottom of the ship that I was able to get to to use tender boats using my manual wheelchair.” Kathryn does warn that, “people do need to realise that transfer to tender can be dependant on weather conditions, especially if you use a wheelchair, the water was pretty calm so that was good.”
Thanks so much Kathryn for sharing photos and information about your experience. I always think it’s so helpful to our readers to see photos inside the cabins and hear of other’s experiences.
Guests are encouraged to fill out a Guest Special Needs form to give the staff a better idea of your needs. You can click through to the form here.
You can read more about the general features of the ship here.
I toured the Pacific Jewel a while ago and shared photos of the accessible cabin and details of the ship here.
I hope to have the opportunity to tour more ships this year as this is such an easy way for people with mobility restrictions to holiday.