This is one of my rare trips where I had a companion; and in this case, it was Erin, one of my two best friends in the world. I had originally planned to go on this cruise alone, and while I think I could have managed it, everything was definitely easier–and more fun–because she was
with me. We both arranged to fly into Vancouver the day before the cruise so we could relax a little and not be so rushed to get to the ship. I can’t speak enough about how incredibly wheelchair accessible Vancouver is as a city. I had no trouble getting a wheelchair taxi from the airport to the hotel, and our room at the Sheraton Wall Center in downtown Vancouver was very accessible. The bathroom was small, but the roll in shower was absolutely wonderful.
The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast and did a little bit of shopping before taking a taxi to the port. Our cruise was on Princess cruise lines’ Star Princess, which holds only roughly 2700 passengers, but the boarding process was the cattle call anyway. I won’t bore you with the details, but the important thing is to say I had no trouble getting through any of the rooms or the lines in my scooter. Once we made it onto the ship, we went to our cabin to start unpacking our stuff. We had an accessible cabin with a balcony on the Baja deck, and it was incredibly spacious. I had plenty of room in the bathroom to maneuver, and the roll in shower had plenty of space and grab bars for me to get to the fold-down seat in the middle. The twin beds were, well, twin beds, and not super comfortable; I’m sure the mattresses were quite old, but I was able to get enough sleep each night.
After getting settled, we went to get something to eat, then headed out on the deck to watch our departure through the channel. We explored the ship as best we could, and started looking for fun things to do that night after dinner. Erin and I are both huge fans of music and karaoke, so we were doing one or the other pretty much evry night on the cruise.
The first full day of the cruise was spent at sea on the way to the inside passage, so we slept in, had breakfast in bed, played bingo, and just a bunch of other cruise ship activities. We got a little dressed up that night, and took part in the ship’s version of the voice singing competition’s preliminaries. All throughout the day and the evening, I had no problem getting around the ship on my scooter. There were some areas leading to outside decks where the doors were very heavy and the ramps to get over the doorway thresholds were quite steep. There is always someone around, so had I been by myself I’m sure I would’ve had some help. But it was definitely nice to have Erin there with me to open the doors.