Connie George Travel Associates

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Wheelchair Cruising Division



Online Questions Asked Regarding Our Oasis of the Seas Inspection

Prior to going on her ship inspection, Connie George asked member of Cruise Critic's Disabled Cruise Travel section, our Facebook and blog followers and our clients if they had specific questions to be checked.  Here are the questions and answers posted to that board along with photos to support many of the questions.


Would you please check to see if there are any public unisex wheelchair accessible bathrooms throughout the ship.

There are no public unisex bathrooms on the ship. 


Are all of the public restrooms accessble? 


Yes. There are at least 13 sets of ladies' and men's public restrooms.  Each has a white automatic door opener button outside the door.  Inside you'll find one door that looks different from there rest of the doors which is the accessible stall.  They are in need of signage as most people aren't finding them. I've been assured that signage will be added. Near those accessble stalls are white automatic door openers marked "Inside Door."  If you push that, the door will open to what I refer to as a "bathroom within a bathroom."  It is very large contains a toilet and sink.

 Public restroom doors have handles & automatic door openers Accessible stalls have automatic door openers.   Accessible stalls have plenty of space & its own sink.


Since they have grassy areas in the "Central Park" area, I am curious to know if they have also made a grassy area for service dogs to relieve themselves on? ..... 4'x4' box of mulch ....


There actually are no grassy “lawn” areas.  There are raised plant beds and in a couple of those there is a plant that I guess some people may consider to be “grass”, but it’s more of some kind of plants that have grass-like blades, but not something that you’d have in a lawn or that would be mowed.   I know that they are using a 4’ x 4’ mulch-filled box in an enclosed outer deck area of deck 5 near the jogging trail this week. 


 


Please check to see if their theaters have hearing assistive devices.

I was told that they do have an ALD in the Opal Theater and in Studio B.


 

Could you find out what, if any, pools and hot tubs have wheelchair lifts or are otherwise accessible?

The lift was installed at the main pool on Saturday.  One of the hot tubs is to get a lift, but I’m not sure which one or when.  If kids are kept from playing on it, my guess is that they will keep it on the pool permanently instead of it having to be put together each time it’s needed.  There’s a small section that houses the electronics that will not be kept on the lift.  Instead, it can easily be retrieved and put onto the lift to operate it by a pool attendant as needed. 

The "Beach Pool" has erroneously been referred to as a "zero entry pool" which is absolutely not the case.  There is a slanted splash area which has been made into what already seems to be a popular "beach" with umbrellas and lounge chairs on a tan painted surface covered in water.  However, when you get to the actual pool, it drops immediately down to the 4 foot plus depth.

This ship seems to have more stairs and railings into her pools and hot tubs than with previous ships.


     

 

Can you find out if the theatres are accessible for seating at the front or middle areas or if all of the wheelchair seating is at the back with steps blocking the ability to go farther up toward the stage?

There are accessible seating areas in the back rows on both levels.  Also, I believe it was on the starboard side in front of the first row on the first level (just to the front right side of the stage when facing it) that had a lot of open space.  Guest Relations advised that anyone in a wheelchair preferring to sit there can contact them or a theater staff member to be shown how to access the elevator not normally available to guests to get to that area.

   


Will there be food trays available in the Windjammer?


They are not using trays in Windjammer.


Can you provide information on the layout of the Windjammer? On some of the other RC ships, the various food station are arranged around the room. This causes people to wander aimlessly (an sightlessly!) around trying to find what they want. Several of them will suddenly spin around and run into people in wheelchairs and scooters.

 

 

 

There are four large round, one small round and one straight food stations on each of both sides of Windjammer along with the beverage station.  It’s as you said… people wandering aimlessly.  I do NOT like the lack of a traffic pattern which causes a bit of chaotic foot traffic.  The station counters are probably about 40” high.

   

Please note whether there are steps in the Windjammer.

Oasis’ Windjammer has no steps so you’ll enjoy everything being on one level.  Note that one of only two bad (not beveled) lips in doorways that I saw on the entire ship happens to be as you go from the outer deck into Windjammer.  I watched someone trip on it.  It’s at least a ½” straight up lip.  


Please check to see if the Rising Tide bar is wheelchair accessible.

I never thought I’d be talking about “boarding” a bar, but I think that would be the best term for getting on the Rising Tide Bar. <g>  Boarding it is accessible on each deck.  However, tables are tall and are fixed.  There’s a section opposite the bar that is empty which is technically for anyone who may be performing in the bar.  That is also where a wheeler would go to if there’s no one performing.  The person in the wheelchair would not have a table and any companions would have to stand.

 

   


Please check the width of the standard room doors as many people could travel with scooters if the standard doors were wide enough to allow access.

I measured a 25” clearance in the doorway of a non-accessible cabin.  On Sunday I had lunch with the owner of Special Needs at Sea / Special Needs Group.  One of the things we discussed was that they have 18” wide scooters which can be rented so definitely some people’s personal scooters and some that can be rented can fit into these.  Please note that the outlets in non-accessible cabins on this ship have a very odd and inconvenient placement.  (VERY odd!)  They are UNDER the vanity.  Actually they are on the side wall of the drawers next to where your knee would be if you were sitting in a chair at the vanity.  However, accessible rooms still have an outlet above the vanity.


Do you remember seeing a step into any of the shops or restaurants? Someone on CC mentioned it.

Technically there's really only one shop/restaurant with steps. The Seafood Shack has 2-3 steps at their front entrance, but to the right (when facing it) behind a big metal barrel looking thing is a ramp.

   

What you probably read about is Central Park which is confusing everyone. I took over 300 photos. Probably around 150 or so are going to eventually be posted with a couple being the Seafood Shack and a bunch for Central Park. Hopefully they will assist people in understanding how the set-up is. First off, when you enter the park you can go right or left. Left there are three steps. Right (only a few yards away) is the sloped entrance. They've (obviously) gone for a park feel. You have all stone walkways that are more or less all shades of grays and whites so they kind of blend in with a natural look. Walkways meander a little it. Causing the confusion is, in part, because they've created kind of a "street" to walk in as well as what you'd maybe consider a "sidewalk", but with it meandering a little. As with any sidewalk, there's a curb that you step down on. The curb is about 3.5". Where you would think of stepping up or down, there's a railing. First off, there are no steps from the "sidewalk" into any stores or restaurants. BUT to "cross the street" or get to things in the center, you need to get into what I am referring to as the "street." Particularly into the area that feels like it's the center of Central Park where there are also tables and chairs. Really important is that there are two slopes (one port and one starboard) for getting into that section to avoid the curb. During our cruise, these two areas were blocked. I was told that once the naming ceremony was over, the camera equipment and furniture that were blocking these two spots that are going to be the make it or break it for wheeler to successfully navigate the park will be cleared. I feel I need to report what I saw because I think it's possible that any time there could be something going on or just people moving furniture that this could be an issue. It's going to really depend on the understanding and diligence of the staff. Also, because of the stone (crowds and people looking all around), wheelers and non-wheelers were having issues with not seeing the grade changes at the curbs. The ship was busy adding yellow and red tapes to the curbs. I was told they completed that the other day.

     

 

Are there any areas not accessible for someone in a chair?

 
Areas completely unavailable to "roll into" would be the H2O Zone, all pools (lift into the main pool) and hot tubs (lift to be put onto one hot tub). There are spots that are easier to get into than others or that are helpful to know tricks for navigation that will go on a photo gallery and blogs, but there aren't any other areas that can't be accessed.

 

Does Oasis of the Seas have a ramp into anyof her pools?

 

Unfortunately she does not.  It was originally said that there would be a 'zero entry" or "sloped entry" pool, but that was incorrect.  The Beach Pool has a sloped splash area (catches water splashed out of the pool) that purposely begins low enough to keep it wet so it takes on the feeling of being along the surf at the beach.  But when you get to the edge of the pool, it's a straight drop down into the 4'9" pool.  In fact, there's nothing at all to indicate where the pool starts except for seeing the edge if a person is paying attention. 

 

 

(Note from agency owner:  Approximately 6-8 hours of inspections, notes, photographing and videotaping took place during the two day cruise.  We happily share much of this through social networks and our website, but there is always additional information that is held back for us to share with our cruisers who book through our agency.)



For additional photos, visit our Oasis of the Seas' photo gallery. 


Video added!  See our video on of an accessible cabin's bathroom on You Tube.