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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, our Have Wheelchair Will Travel community is the best. The sharing of information makes travel so much easier for others and you are all so generous. I recently received photos and information from one of our HWWT families who travelled on a 4 day/3 night sampler cruise on Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas. They travelled as a party of four, two adults, their daughter and a support worker.

Photo credit Wikimedia.

From the notes the family provided the stand out element of the trip seems to have been the willingness of Royal Caribbean staff to assist where needed, including Guest Services calling the family each day to ensure all was well.

Thanks to Julie for sharing the following points and photos.


Julie reports the accessible state rooms are equipped with self-opening doors, making entry easy. The room has lowered light switches, lowered towel rails and a visual alarm. An emergency call cord and phone is available in the cabin.

The bedding was tricky as “the 3rd bed was a Pullman bed which they pulled down from the roof and added ladders. Not helpful if you can not stand up. They then brought in a fold out bed which was much more user friendly, however we could not use the hoist with it as there was not enough room.”

The bathroom looks to be well equipped with grab rails throughout, a shower bench seat and wheelchair accessible sink. The clothes line is lowered and lever taps are fitted to the height-adjustable shower and sink.

Radiance of the Seas

Photo credit – Julie & family

Radiance of the Seas

Photo credit – Julie & family

Radiance of the Seas

Photo credit – Julie & family


Julie reports access throughout the ship is also good, with self-opening doors to accessible public toilets, Braille on many signs and in the lifts. Signage assists with finding an accessible table in the buffet restaurant with some reserved for wheelchair users. Self-opening doors to outside areas were also appreciated by Julie’s family.

We all know what a long wait it can be for a lift so it was refreshing to hear the ship has signs asking guests to give way to wheelchair users in the lifts.


Julie’s daughter requires pureed meals and Julie reports the main dining room staff were happy to help. She said it “took a few days to get the right consistency” but both the main dining room and buffet can offer the same service.

Lifeguards are on duty and willing to help people access the pools with a hoist into one of the pools and into a spa.

Like many ships, Julie says, “We did find the walkways to the rooms on the lower levels at least very narrow, specially when the cleaning carts lined the hallway.” and some areas of the ship were inaccessible for the wheelchair, ie we could not go all the way round the promenade deck as there were stairs up to the front of the ship.”

Sampler cruises are a good way to get a feel for if cruising is for you and if the facilities provided will meet your needs. Our booking team at Travel with Special Needs specialise in cruise bookings and know the ships well. Feel free to email or phone them to enquire about a cruise – 1300 404100


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