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Thread: Advice on disabled cruising

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sea queen View Post
    I am sure any cruise company would be ok with no footwear or even socks (black) on formal night for someone who had a disability, as for the formal wear it can just be a black suit, white shirt and dicky bow. For ladies just a long dress/skirt/trousers and sparkley top is fine, you don't have to be in full regalia. I always take a small selection of sparkley costume jewelry as well - I never take any expensive stuff.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the tipping either as many regular cruisers think it's not on for the cruise lines to dictate what/who to tip and many just give who/what they want at the end of the cruise. But --- just be aware that Royal caribbean will automatically add the money onto your cruise cost if you don't watch them --- as one irate gentleman found out on our Dubai to India cruise earlier this year. I can tell you he was NOT a happy bunny!!
    If the cruise companies paid the employees a better wage they wouldn't need the tipping to make up their wage (so other cruisers tell me) but then --- that would probably push up the cost of cruising! Can't win can we!
    There is a lot of misinformation out there about tipping. Much of it dispensed by people who are not aware of the way cruise lines work. I work as a cruise travel specialist and I hate to say this but the examples you have quoted could quite easily have been avoided if the gentleman in question had been advised of the way that Royal Caribbean operate. Royal Caribbean offer all guests the opportunity to pre pay their gratuities at the time of booking. The guest can ask not to pre pay gratuities but if they do I always make sure that they are aware that they will have it deducted from their on board account on a daily basis. If you look in the brochure they actually do quite clearly tell you about this. Should a guest decide to distrubute the tips themselves they need to speak to the purser on their first day. This will avoid the money being deducted daily. The vast majority of regular cruise guests actually prefer to pre pay their gratuities as this means one less thing to worry about and they have the knowledge that the tip is shared not just among the customer facing crew members but also the back room staff who so often get forgotten when the tips are doled out by individual guests!!! People forget that these heroes are the people who paddle madly to allow the front of house staff to give you the effortless service that you see. Finally if you feel you have not received good service then you can ask to adjust the level of gratuity. I have heard of guests who have actualy increased the gratuity because they have been treated like VIPs! Finally I should point out that agents do not make a commission on prepaid gratuities so we have no vested interest in promoting pre paid gratuities other than to offer a service that lessens the stress. So I think the guest does win as they get genuine great service. But as with tips in a hotel , tipping is an expression of gratitude for great service and is totally at the guests discretion.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stepheninleeds View Post
    How can they prevent electric wheelchairs? They have to abide by the law too, do they not?
    I have travelled with Thomsons cruises and they have an aging fleet in cruise industry terms. Hence their ships tend not to be as disabled friendly as the mre modern ships of NCL, P and O, Roya Caribbean etc. Who have added many new accessible features. My advice is for the best accessible cruises look at the latest ships. It has little to do with legalities and more to do with the age of the ship. I should pont out that for the age of ship, Thomsons ships are very nice if you are able bodied.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    Well, I have learnt a few things. I always wanted to go on a cruise. I cannot fly anyway so would have to if I wanted to go to America, etc.

    Maybe pre-paying is more convenient, but I still prefer to pay someone I decide deserves it, & not those who do not. Plus, if you tip well they tend to be more attentive & helpful, lol. I would be curious to know how much they charge for pre-paying tips.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Stephen

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stepheninleeds View Post
    Well, I have learnt a few things. I always wanted to go on a cruise. I cannot fly anyway so would have to if I wanted to go to America, etc.

    Maybe pre-paying is more convenient, but I still prefer to pay someone I decide deserves it, & not those who do not. Plus, if you tip well they tend to be more attentive & helpful, lol. I would be curious to know how much they charge for pre-paying tips.
    Stephen I am of the opinion that it is very much the choice of the guest and I always take off the prepaid grats if a client decides to pay the tips themselves. To prepay Royal Caribbean they would normally charge around £7.50 a day. The thing to remmember is to ensure you let the purser's desk know as soon as you get on the ship that you will pay the tips individually otherwise they will deduct them on a daily basis. If you are looking at saling from Southampton you will find you have a great choice. The main lines to sail from Southampton are P and O, Royal Caribbean and of course Cunard. I hope you don't mind me sending you an email and you are more than welcome to give me a call at anytime if you need any advice or help. My number is on my website and on the email.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    This is all good to know. I am not in a position to take a cruise now, & if I did it might be more to get me from A to B, because I cannot fly. I was always worried about how a ship would deal with disabled people & this tipping issue.

    I do not mind, because I asked the questions. As I said above, I would need advice & even help to arrange the right shhip & company for me. My needs are not large compared to others, ATM. My help would be some of the things you cannot get here. We do not usually go to cafes, even in supermarkets, as we cannot carry drinks or food. So it is issues like that I would want reassuring on. I would assume one would need to let them know your needs. I would also assume they would expect you to travel with someone who could help you.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Stephen

  6. #16
    Senior Member sea queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverservicecruises View Post
    There is a lot of misinformation out there about tipping. Much of it dispensed by people who are not aware of the way cruise lines work. I work as a cruise travel specialist and I hate to say this but the examples you have quoted could quite easily have been avoided if the gentleman in question had been advised of the way that Royal Caribbean operate. Royal Caribbean offer all guests the opportunity to pre pay their gratuities at the time of booking. The guest can ask not to pre pay gratuities but if they do I always make sure that they are aware that they will have it deducted from their on board account on a daily basis. If you look in the brochure they actually do quite clearly tell you about this. Should a guest decide to distrubute the tips themselves they need to speak to the purser on their first day. This will avoid the money being deducted daily. The vast majority of regular cruise guests actually prefer to pre pay their gratuities as this means one less thing to worry about and they have the knowledge that the tip is shared not just among the customer facing crew members but also the back room staff who so often get forgotten when the tips are doled out by individual guests!!! People forget that these heroes are the people who paddle madly to allow the front of house staff to give you the effortless service that you see. Finally if you feel you have not received good service then you can ask to adjust the level of gratuity. I have heard of guests who have actualy increased the gratuity because they have been treated like VIPs! Finally I should point out that agents do not make a commission on prepaid gratuities so we have no vested interest in promoting pre paid gratuities other than to offer a service that lessens the stress. So I think the guest does win as they get genuine great service. But as with tips in a hotel , tipping is an expression of gratitude for great service and is totally at the guests discretion.
    You are correct in saying the guest had not read his paper work as we knew he obviously hadn't. I can appreciate however that not all guests can't offord to pay the full gratuities. They do as you say inform people of this in the brochures and these days the T/A's will also ask if you wish to pre-pay. We generally pre-pay ours as it gets it 'out of the way' and our money we take is then just to spend as we wish, on our last Canaries cruise this autumn we did give our cabin steward extra tipping as he had worked over and above his duties - and we knew it!! We also like to choose our tours before we go and if I remember rightly Royal Caribbean likes it paid before you go if you do this but I don't think P&O do, again it's just another expense out of the way before we cruise. Thomsons didn't used to allow pre-booking of tours though and to be honest I didn't like this as I just want to get on with my first day cruising without having to sort tours out! All the staff on cruise ship work long and hard hours and earn every penny they get, the but is of course the tipping extras can be a lot of money for some especially if they have saved long and hard to have this once in a life time experience. On the cruise sites pre paid tipping always generates heated debates.
    Can't say I have ever heard or thought of commission being paid to agents --- why would it???

    Basil Brush - I hope you go on your cruise and do enjoy it - all I can say is choose your destinations carefully and be mindful of the time of year to where you are cruising, also choose your room/deck carefully, I always go middle to back of the ship (never front) and like to have only state rooms above and below mine --- no bars - no running track!!
    Good luck with choosing your cruise
    Sea Queen

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sea queen View Post
    You are correct in saying the guest had not read his paper work as we knew he obviously hadn't. I can appreciate however that not all guests can't offord to pay the full gratuities. They do as you say inform people of this in the brochures and these days the T/A's will also ask if you wish to pre-pay. We generally pre-pay ours as it gets it 'out of the way' and our money we take is then just to spend as we wish, on our last Canaries cruise this autumn we did give our cabin steward extra tipping as he had worked over and above his duties - and we knew it!! We also like to choose our tours before we go and if I remember rightly Royal Caribbean likes it paid before you go if you do this but I don't think P&O do, again it's just another expense out of the way before we cruise. Thomsons didn't used to allow pre-booking of tours though and to be honest I didn't like this as I just want to get on with my first day cruising without having to sort tours out! All the staff on cruise ship work long and hard hours and earn every penny they get, the but is of course the tipping extras can be a lot of money for some especially if they have saved long and hard to have this once in a life time experience. On the cruise sites pre paid tipping always generates heated debates.
    Can't say I have ever heard or thought of commission being paid to agents --- why would it???

    Basil Brush - I hope you go on your cruise and do enjoy it - all I can say is choose your destinations carefully and be mindful of the time of year to where you are cruising, also choose your room/deck carefully, I always go middle to back of the ship (never front) and like to have only state rooms above and below mine --- no bars - no running track!!
    Good luck with choosing your cruise
    First of all you will be surprised what people think agents get paid commission on. I agree that not every one can afford to pay a full tip and that is why I always make sure people are aware they can by talking to the bursar on the first day of their cruise make arrangements to how they wish to pay gratuities. I have to say I like many regular cruisers read the cruise review websites but generally find that they rarely reflect the views of the majority. I guess in many ways I am lucky because I talk to so many travellers that I get a much better picture of what is happening in the industry. If I had believed some of the sites I would have missed out on some really fantastic holidays and many of my clients tell me the same. I think sometimes that people have unrealistic expectations because inexperienced agents or those seeking to make a quick sale do not match the right holiday to the right client. One of the joys of having my own agency is that I can afford to take my time with clients and tailor their holiday to the client and I never mind going the extra mile to ensure I have a client who will book with me because they know they can trust me.

  8. #18
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    Hi Stephen, I am sure by talking with you that we would find the right cruise for you. One of the things I do is talk with my disabled clients about their assistance needs and I build a profile so I can match the right cruise and ship with their needs. I talk to the cruise line on their behalf and ensure that all assistance is available to be booked and at the time of booking ensure that any necessary assistance is booked for them. Once the holiday is booked the cruise line tends to ask clients to fill in a special assistance form to confirm the passenger's assistance needs. I always offer my clients assistance with filling in these forms if they wish. Shortly before they go I double check alll assistance is in place so my client can just relax and enjoy their holiday.

    Dependent on the disabilty and the person's assistance needs the cruise line may ask the person to be accompanied. However I have known it where cruise lines have taken solo disabled travellers. It is something I always check with lines before I book clients.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Stepheninleeds's Avatar
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    If it ever happens will see how easy it all is then. It would be nice if it was as easy as you say it is. The cost is the main issue now though.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    Stephen

  10. #20
    Senior Member sea queen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stepheninleeds View Post
    If it ever happens will see how easy it all is then. It would be nice if it was as easy as you say it is. The cost is the main issue now though.
    It easy Stephen we have done it but as ssc has said it does depend on the disability, I do know that gurests have taken oxygen cylinders on board. We prefer to go from southampton if with my wheelchair friend as it cuts the flying out and stresses that can go with it (not always of course). Also Canaries are a good starting point as most ports you can get off and wander round thus saving money on tours.
    Hope you manage to save and get a cruise one day.
    Sea Queen

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