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Howard Rose

Age: 72


Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Golden Princess

Sailing Date: 2009-03-18

Itinerary: Los Angeles-Hawaii-Los Angeles

I am permanently in a wheelchair (spinal cord injury). The Golden Princess was a nightmare experience for all of the non-walkers because only two elevators went to the dinner restaurant. You had to go up an elevator to get out because there were no walkways at that level. It was hell to get to the restaurant, and worse to get out. No bathrooms at restaurant level which created an urgent-to-emergant situation for some. I can't believe this ship is in compliance with basic health requirements because it certainly is not with ADA standards. Princess Lines was minimally responsive to numerous complaints during the cruise, and totally non responsive to letters afterward. Almost everyone we met using walkers, WCs, etc. vowed they would never go on Princess again. This is too bad because aside from this problem the cruise was excellent: very good food, attentive wait staff, it was excellent. No complaints at all.

There was an unsafe ramp from our stateroom to the balcony. We had ours changed; the wheelchair-bound guest in adjacent stateroom tipped over on this ramp, fell out of wheelchair and barely avoided serious injury. Again, poor oversight by Princess executives. The stateroom was otherwise satisfactory for a handicapped person.

The onboard activities were OK. We like a good library, but found this one very limited. We missed news bulletins. I was irritated with the TV always turning on to Fox News; for much of the trip Fox News was the only current events channel. My paranoid belief is that Princess Lines and Rupert Murdoch have some kind of collaboration. I have no evidence for this, of course.

The best "excursion" was when the captain could not get the ship into Nawiliwili harbor because of winds, and he circumnavigated the island of Kauai. We very much appreciated this "ad-lib".

For a non-disabled passenger I believe that Princess Lines offers good value. We have cruised with Regent Seven Seas which was outstanding, but too expensive, and with Crystal which was very good, but also very expensive and not as good as Regent. For a disabled passenger I cannot warn strongly enough to stay away from Golden Princess or any other ship of Princess with similar configuration.

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