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Old October 10th, 2014, 01:27 PM
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Where should I begin! Our trip was the 7 day Hawaiian Island Cruise through Norwegian Cruise Line with both pre & post hotel stays. The cruise was from September 13 – 20th of 2014. This trip was supposed to be the trip of a life time. My Father, is 80 years old and very handicapped and this was explained when we booked this trip. We discovered that the room initially booked would be too small for two people and a scooter so I upgraded from a regular handicapped room to a suite hoping for more room. I was told that although it was not specifically considered a handicapped room it was by all means handicapped accessible. Anyone who has traveled with a person who is wheelchair or scooter bound understands the challenges faced when traveling. I was assured that everything would be worked out great. We could get a seat riser for the toilet and a chair in the shower. It was never mentioned that there was a step to get into the toilet stall.
Day one of trip was pre-excursion hotel, Waikiki Marriot Beach Resort. Unfortunately, the room that we had booked, two double beds, for my Dad and I turned out to be a king size bed. We had to return to the desk to be told they didn't have a double room. I had to be firm that the situation would not work for a father and daughter and finally after waiting for a long time and lots of complaining, they finally found a room for us.

Once aboard the ship we had to go through a process of meeting and greeting staff, whether we wanted to or not. It was a long time for my Dad not to be able to rest and get his legs elevated. Finally into our room we found there to be none of the handicapped items I ordered when I upgraded. No seat riser, no shower chair, toilet was broken it would not flush and to add to the problem there was a step to even get into the toilet stall. Also with no handicapped button for the door it made it impossible for Dad to get in or out of the room unassisted. I was told by a staff member when I called regarding the problems that they came and tried a seat riser but it didn’t fit, oh well I will let someone know. When they finally got to the room with a seat riser, that one didn’t fit properly either, the seat would slide left to right and was very unstable.
Day two, no seat for shower and still had to get a seat riser that would fit so you didn't fall of the toilet. A maintenance man finally came to the room and I had to suggest he take the lid off the toilet in order for the riser to fit. Toilet still broken, wouldn’t flush and no shower chair. It took three days to get toilet to flush and 4 days to finally get a chair for the shower.

When I booked the excursion to the Maui Plantation & Lao Valley I was told it was a handicapped excursion. However, they would not lift the scooter onto the bus. I was told that I had to do it myself. The Justice Department stated in a suit against NCL on October 25, 2010 that “NCL will also ensure that individuals who use wheelchairs get accessible bus transportation between the airport, cruise ship and hotels, and on shore excursions.” I was very upset and asked to speak to a manger or person in charge that then finally they did find a man that offered to help me lift it onto the bus. I have broken my back and have my own disability so this was unacceptable.
The Luau Kalamaku was nice but we were told that they had no handicapped bathrooms, which I believe is illegal in the United States, please reference the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. My Dad wouldn’t eat or drink anything out of fear of an accident.

One of the main reasons for even taking this trip was so my Dad could go to the USS Arizona. The excursion we booked was also supposed to be handicapped accessible. After all of our problems with "handicapped" accommodations, I checked the USS Arizona website to find that his scooter would not be allowed at the actually memorial destination. When I booked the handicapped tour for 4 hours we found out that at the end of the tour we would not be brought to our hotel but to the airport instead when tour was over, even though we were book for a post-excursion stay at the same Marriot hotel which was part of our travel plans with NCL.
I had to contact the hotel and book my own excursion and get my own wheelchair again and get a taxi to the hotel with no assistance from NCL. Although I know NCL doesn’t control the taxi drivers, ours yelled obscenities and charged us an illegal gratuity.

The food was mediocre at best. I actually had to send food back in the main dining room. We paid for the Exclusive Dining package and although we were supposed to be priority seating (I was told that this was also included in our suite accommodations) could not get reservations when we called.
A staff member at the excursion desk was rude and of no help at all.
One of the bartenders in the Pink Lounge complained constantly that he had too many customers and had to work too hard.
Drinks are way over priced at $ 11 for a glass of wine.
The Murphy bed in our suite couldn’t be any more uncomfortable.
I was lucky to run into a gentleman standing at the main customer service desk who happened to overhear my discussion with the desk clerk that I had not received any of the handicapped equipment. Jason happened to be in charge of this service. He called his assistant and finally after 4 days we got a chair in the shower, probably because I told him I had to take one of the outside chairs and put it into the shower. If I hadn’t run into Jason I don’t know if we would have ever gotten the equipment we needed.

I believe that when I called the NCL booking agent regarding upgrading she gave me incorrect information just so I would pay the upgrade, even when I voiced my concerns about handicapped accessibility in the bathroom and all of the equipment I could get that was needed I was assured there would be no problem.
I have cruised a number of times with many different cruise lines and have never been treated with such disregard. The way a handicapped person is treated is terrible aboard your ship. I had planned to use NCL for a cruise to the Panama Canal, needless to say, I will never travel with NCL again and would not recommend it to anyone.
I hope that this letter will help the company to address these very important issues regarding handicap necessities aboard their ship.
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