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Oasis of the Seas for the Disabled
There is good news for those who have any disability, but who enjoy cruising, or perhaps those who wish to sample this holiday for the first time. Royal Caribbean’s latest ship, the huge ‘Oasis of the Seas, ’ which is 220, 000 gross tons, is one of the most accessible cruise liners afloat. With a passenger capacity of 5, 400, she represents Royal Caribbean’s ongoing commitment to designing innovative but accessible ships for those with disabilities. From its two-storey loft suite which boasts its own elevator to staterooms with accessible balconies, Oasis of the Seas has more accessible staterooms than any other ship. Royal Caribbean has provided accessible staterooms which have connecting doors, enabling those who need carers to have them stay nearby.
Incredibly, there are 24 dining venues on Oasis of the Seas and every one of them is designed to accommodate guests in wheelchairs. But it doesn’t stop there as there are viewing spaces for those in wheelchairs in lounges, theatres, and the ice rink. There are even lower card gaming tables in the casino. For those who love to relax in the pool, and for the first time ever, this ship has a portable lift which allows access to three different pools. There is even a lift for the whirlpool. When the ship docks there are gangway ramps which make it easy for those in wheelchairs or power scooters to get on and off the ship.
‘Oasis of the Seas’ also caters for guests with hearing problems, and state of the art technologies are available in staterooms and public rooms. For those who are blind or who have low vision, daily activity schedules, ships directories and, importantly, menus are available in Braille, and large print, on request. Not only is there Braille signage all over the ship, including stateroom numbers and elevator information, there are even Braille deck numbers on the staircase railings. Should you need to bring a guide dog onboard there are 4ft x 4 ft ‘relief’ boxes provided for them which are filled with cypress mulch.
Staterooms are available with a variety of aids for those in wheelchairs to access such things as the safe, which is at a lower level than normal. Of course grab bars are provided in the bathroom and shower, and there are raised toilet seats and fold down shower benches as well as roll-in showers.
‘Oasis of the Seas’ has a sister ship, ‘Allure of the Seas, ’ which is due to set sail in December, and this ship will also feature the same accessibility.
It is now wonder that cruising offers some of the best accessibility to those with disabilities of any vacation, and whilst Royal Caribbean may be in the forefront, all of the cruise lines are adding and improving accessibility throughout their fleets.
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