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  #21  
Old January 20th, 2012, 12:46 PM
Philomath Philomath is offline
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Hi everyone -

When we booked for an upcoming Solstice cruise with our travel agent, he told us that very few cabins were left in the category we wanted (2B) but that there was a handicap cabin available. He said that since we are not disabled (and would never ever fill out a form saying we are), that it was fine to book that cabin but if ANY other passenger on the ship filled out the form, we could be moved by Celebrity into a nonaccessible stateroom in the same category. I am totally comfortable with the idea of having to move, at any point, if someone books this cruise in the next 2 months and needs the accessible features. I am not sure if this still would upset those of you who need the features. I do not by any means want to limit accessibility for those who need it!
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  #22  
Old January 20th, 2012, 01:54 PM
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[quote=Philomath;32052632]
He said that since we are not disabled (and would never ever fill out a form saying we are), that it was fine to book that cabin but if ANY other passenger on the ship filled out the form, we could be moved by Celebrity into a nonaccessible stateroom in the same category.



That will never happen. I have never heard of someone being moved. Once that room is booked it's gone. A passenger is not going to fill out a form unless they book a handicapped cabin. TAs need to be educated on this.
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  #23  
Old January 20th, 2012, 02:20 PM
minidog minidog is offline
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Thank you to everyone that responded and for those who didn't blast me for asking!!

The point of this thread is for people that don't know to ask those who do. My intentions where never to take a cabin away from a disabled person who needs one. My question was to help me understand that if there are limited #s of cabins left how dioes that process work. Like some of you replied...other abled bodies get placed in those cabins all the time and others are asked to move if they have booked them and a disabled person needs one.

I called the ship and they did state that you would need to fill out a form to be booked into the room stating your disability and that if an abled person where to take one of those cabins they would be asked to move if necessary.

Last edited by minidog; January 20th, 2012 at 02:22 PM.
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  #24  
Old January 20th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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BKboomers BKboomers is offline
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minidog .. considerate of you to ask about the HC cabins.

Yes, they are bigger, about 50% in an equivalent category. I ride a scooter because of a car accident years ago. That extra space allows me to c a r e f u l l y turn my scooter around in the room and park it off to the side so my able-bodied wife doesn't have to climb over it when moving around the cabin. Also, the doors are wider and have an automatic door opener, so I can get my scooter into the cabin, without having to hold the door open and drive in my scooter at the same time. The bathrooms have lots of grab rails so I don't end up on my keester on that cold tile floor. These cabins are also setup for those with hearing and vision impairments. In short, a HC cabin gives me the freedom to enjoy a cruise experience similar to yours .

I understand Celebrity wanting to sail with all cabins booked, so they allow able-bodied to book them (6 weeks out, I hear). That means if someone NEEDS a HC cabin, they must book early. No last-minute sales for us. I would assume that once the cabin is booked , by anyone, it shows as sold. I wonder if there is a notation "HC cabin booked by able-bodied, but will move if required by HC guest". Sorry, a little tongue-in-cheek there.

Whatever cabin you finally decide on, I hope you enjoy your cruise.
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  #25  
Old January 20th, 2012, 03:10 PM
Karen@Steve Karen@Steve is offline
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To play devil's advocate. Why punish the cruise line for having extra HC cabins then people need? If they consistently can't sell HC cabins during cabin clearance periods will then reduce the number available overall?

If no one is portraying themselves falsely and are eligible to book the cabin and then want it, why not? If they don't become available to the general public until 6 weeks out, then it would be just as available to someone who needs that accomodation until that period. How last minute do people expect to be able to book?

Personally, I don't usually like those accommodation as the lower sinks, no shower lip, etc are not my favorites so I'll pass but why not if it doesn't bother you?
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  #26  
Old January 20th, 2012, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minidog View Post
Like some of you replied...other abled bodies get placed in those cabins all the time and others are asked to move if they have booked them and a disabled person needs one.
One person said that and they were incorrect; once the room is booked it is booked.
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  #27  
Old January 20th, 2012, 05:54 PM
rucruisn2 rucruisn2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty9 View Post
I'm disabled and cannot abide when an able bodied person books an accessible cabin "because they're bigger".

Minidog, do you realize how FEW accessible cabins are available on cruise ships? And do you realize how many disabled people are shut out of cruising because insensitive people book those cabins???? You know, maybe someday you or a member of your family will be disabled and you won't be able to cruise because some thoughtless persons booked them.

As to whether you can book them, well all I can tell you is if you do, you will have to fill out a form stating your needs, and you'll have to sign that form. So, if you have no moral problems doing that, no one can stop you.

Now, before anyone trashes me, I will tell you that we disabled never advocate keeping those cabins empty. What we say is, they should never be released into the general inventory until after final payments are made. After that, everyone have at it.

Minidog, why do you keep asking about these cabins? Do you only want them for the extra space? If that's the reason, and you're not disabled, might I suggest spending the extra money and paying for a bigger cabin and leaving the accessible cabin to someone who REALLY NEEDS it.
I'd just like to add, "Ditto, Minidog, you make me sick"
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  #28  
Old January 20th, 2012, 06:41 PM
Philomath Philomath is offline
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Just an update - I called Celebrity after reading these posts and told the Service representative that I did not want to take an accessible cabin away from a disabled person. Her response was that there are multiple other handicapped-accessible cabins still available upon request for our cruise which is why our cabin was put into general inventory. She followed up by saying "It's a great cabin! You don't want to switch, trust me!" She also confirmed that if they run out of accessible cabins and a passenger needs one, Celebrity would move us elsewhere, likely a lower category balcony room.

I sympathize very much with what the posters who need accessible cabins have said. In this situation, however, I don't think what we're doing is unethical. Our travel agent booked us the cabin and we've never pretended to be disabled to the agent or to the cruise line. We were never asked to fill out a form and made it clear that we are not disabled. Celebrity itself is encouraging us to stay in the cabin!

Last edited by Philomath; January 20th, 2012 at 06:43 PM.
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  #29  
Old January 20th, 2012, 06:52 PM
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There have been times I needed the room, and had not been able to get one because it's Celebrity policy to not move people. They CANNOT (legally) ask you if you need the room, that is the reason for the form. But if you don't fill out the form, or ignore it, there is nothing they can do.
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  #30  
Old January 20th, 2012, 06:53 PM
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We have always been asked to fill out the form for a HC cabin,which i think is a great thing.Although my husband is not in a wheelchair he is still in need of a HC cabin.After having 10 surgeries on one knee and five on the other the knees do not work very well any longer ,and the seat and bars in the bathroom are a life saver.

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  #31  
Old January 20th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philomath View Post
Just an update - I called Celebrity after reading these posts and told the Service representative that I did not want to take an accessible cabin away from a disabled person. Her response was that there are multiple other handicapped-accessible cabins still available upon request for our cruise which is why our cabin was put into general inventory. She followed up by saying "It's a great cabin! You don't want to switch, trust me!" She also confirmed that if they run out of accessible cabins and a passenger needs one, Celebrity would move us elsewhere, likely a lower category balcony room.

I sympathize very much with what the posters who need accessible cabins have said. In this situation, however, I don't think what we're doing is unethical. Our travel agent booked us the cabin and we've never pretended to be disabled to the agent or to the cruise line. We were never asked to fill out a form and made it clear that we are not disabled. Celebrity itself is encouraging us to stay in the cabin!
It's a myth that if you book an accessible cabin and a disabled person needs it you'll be moved. Once a cabin is booked, it's out of inventory, plain and simple. There's no way to annotate a booking to say an able bodied person booked the cabin. OP, your travel agent booked you a cabin that a disabled person will not be able to book, ever. One thing you must realize, 90% of the time those phone agents at Celebrity don't have a clue about anything. So basically, you took one of the very few accessible cabins away from someone who might need it. I guess I'm wondering why, with ALL the hundreds of regular cabins available to able bodied persons, you just HAD to pick an accessible one? Kinda makes me wonder???? I think your TA is unethical for booking this cabin.
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  #32  
Old January 20th, 2012, 07:21 PM
kitty9 kitty9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen@Steve View Post
To play devil's advocate. Why punish the cruise line for having extra HC cabins then people need? If they consistently can't sell HC cabins during cabin clearance periods will then reduce the number available overall?

If no one is portraying themselves falsely and are eligible to book the cabin and then want it, why not? If they don't become available to the general public until 6 weeks out, then it would be just as available to someone who needs that accomodation until that period. How last minute do people expect to be able to book?

Personally, I don't usually like those accommodation as the lower sinks, no shower lip, etc are not my favorites so I'll pass but why not if it doesn't bother you?

Maybe you didn't read all the posts? I've clearly said that once final payments are due, then release the HC cabins to anyone. But they should not be booked by just anyone beforehand.

As far as being able to book, if you're not disabled you probably don't realize this but, we disabled are usually forced to book wayyyyyy early because the HC cabins book early. Unlike you, we don't usually have the luxury of booking last minute and perhaps getting the great deals you might.
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  #33  
Old January 20th, 2012, 07:40 PM
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I agree with Kitty9 that once booked, the stateroom is taken out of inventory and not available to be booked by a disabled person. Even booking almost a year in advance, we were unable to sail on the Solstice for our birthday in August, but none of the accessible veranda or aqua class were available. When I asked them to check whether the all of the passengers in all of those cabins did indeed need the accessible features, the response was "they could not have booked the stateroom had they not been disabled and needed the stateroom--I could not get anyone from reservations or special needs to check. So NO, they do not even check--or at least they did not.

With the new federal regulations which took effect on Jan 1, I am hoping that Celebrity is going to take this more seriously and make certain these rooms are available to the disabled passengers who need them-- and there is some evidence to support that hope. On Celebrity's web page is posted the following:

"Please note we investigate and take action on potential misuse of
accessible staterooms where there is good cause to believe that such
staterooms have been booked fraudulently."
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Last edited by montgomeryfamily; January 20th, 2012 at 07:51 PM.
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  #34  
Old January 20th, 2012, 09:57 PM
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[quote=Philomath;32057327 She also confirmed that if they run out of accessible cabins and a passenger needs one, Celebrity would move us elsewhere, likely a lower category balcony room.

[/QUOTE]

I see you are new to Cruise Critic. Please listen to the longtime members here who are very knowledgeable about cruising and about Celebrity. Celebrity customer service telephone reps and telephone reservationists are notorious for providing inaccurate information. It is COMPLETELY UNTRUE that Celebrity moves able bodied people out of accessible staterooms if they are needed by someone. If it is past final payment time there is no harm taking an accessible stateroom that Celebrity has released for general booking; Celebrity does need the opportunity to see all staterooms in inventory. However if it is outside of final payment time you really ought to switch to a regular stateroom; while you made an honest mistake based on bad information you received from a misinformed travel agent and Celebrity telephone rep, now that you know the truth it would really be selfish to keep the stateroom (again this only applies if the cruise is outside of final payment time; no problem keeping the stateroom if the cruise is past final payment date).
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Last edited by Gonzo70; January 20th, 2012 at 09:58 PM.
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  #35  
Old January 21st, 2012, 02:43 AM
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PartyAllDaTyme PartyAllDaTyme is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rucruisn2 View Post
I'd just like to add, "Ditto, Minidog, you make me sick"
No call for that. Minidog has made clear that they do not intend to occupy an HC under false pretenses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty9 View Post
I guess I'm wondering why, with ALL the hundreds of regular cabins available to able bodied persons, you just HAD to pick an accessible one? Kinda makes me wonder???? I think your TA is unethical for booking this cabin.
Uhhh, because they're bigger? It's a little like getting a suite for the price of a standard balcony cabin. The standard cabins can get a little claustrophobic. Those who have ended up in an HC have mostly gushed about how nice they were and how lucky they were to get one. I once started a thread asking about how to go about "upgrading" (poor choice of words on my part) to an HC cabin once they're released-- I had my eye on an M-class aft C1 HC cabin that was right next to the one we were booked in.

I'll add my voice to those who say that, once an HC cabin is booked, they're not going to move someone if they don't need it. First of all, the only way you can find out if a cabin, such as 6004, is available is to call and ask if it is-- if X hasn't released it, it cannot be booked online. The procedure is supposed to be for the Celebrity rep to say the cabin is available, but only for someone who has legitimate use of it and completes the special needs form. If the form is not turned in 30 days before sailing, they lose the cabin. Unfortunately, anyone can say they qualify, and that will hold the cabin until 30 days before sailing. By that time, it may be too late for someone who needs it to book it, since X may have decided to release all unbooked HC cabins to the general public. While the person who first booked the cabin (without needing it) might not get it, it will have the effect of having denied the cabin to someone who does.

There are unscrupulous TA's who will say, "Sure, I can get you one of those bigger cabins if I can get your business," then send in the form themselves. Their clients are impressed with their TA's savvy and become repeat customers. By law, X cannot require further proof of disability and is unlikely to scrutinize a forged signature.

Adding to the confusion are woefully underinformed Celebrity reps who will spout off the top of their heads, "If someone with a disability needs the cabin, you'll be moved." Possibly they're referring to a situation with a GTY booking, where cabin assignments can be made early but can change at the last minute-- I don't believe a GTY cabin assignment takes that cabin out of the inventory, so if it gets booked, you get bumped. I could be wrong. In any case, as has been pointed out, the cabin won't show up in inventory as available, so how would a disabled person even be able to attempt to book it? Up to 30 days prior to sailing, the presumption would be that it's been booked by another disabled person who just hasn't turned their special needs form in yet.

A couple of questions-- has anyone, disabled or not, ever booked an HC cabin, failed to turn the form in, and been booted out of the cabin? If so, did you get reassigned another cabin? What was the process-- did they call you and ask what other cabin you'd like, or did you just find yourself with a different cabin assignment? I'd like to hear of any action ever taken against someone with whom they have "good cause to believe that such staterooms have been booked fraudulently," but I doubt anyone would ever 'fess up to trying to cheat and being caught. Who would they take action against? The customer, or the TA who falsified the special needs form?
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  #36  
Old January 21st, 2012, 10:18 AM
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I beg to disagree with you, Party all the time, but Minidog started out the post inquiring about a disabled cabin being bigger and"nicer". Seemed to be looking for an upgrade within the same catagory. I am disabled, but fortunately I do not need to book an hc cabin. I know that there are many folks out there much worse of than myself that truly need these cabins in order to be able to cruise. Therefore, I think anyone who books these cabins looking for a "bigger and nicer" cabin" is not a nice person or one I would want to be friends with. Let them feel the pain I and others live with on a daily basis and then see if they want a nicer cabin for the same money.
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  #37  
Old January 21st, 2012, 10:50 AM
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I would like to share a very recent experience on this exact issue. A few weeks ago (Jan 4?), we were booking 2 balcony cabins with our TA and he mentioned that 2 HC accessible cabins side by side were just released that day by Celebrity and highly recommended booking these due to the larger size, etc. This took place approx 10 weeks from our cruise date. We felt funny about this but he assured us that the cabins were released to the general public due to a number of HC cabins still being unsold and that if a disabled passenger needed our cabin(s) then we would be moved to a higher cat balcony cabin. So we said OK...

2-3 days later, our TA contacted us saying that due to a new law in effect Jan 1 - Celebrity will not allow able bodied passengers to book a HC accessible cabin until all other cabins were full. Our TA found us 2 other side by side cabins in a desirable location and all is well!
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  #38  
Old January 21st, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Interesting. And, I'm glad. So many times, I've seen threads from people who just found out that they were going to need to use a wheelchair or a scooter but were unable to change to an accessible room because none were available. Now, this will hopefully allow some last minute changes. Wonder what law?
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  #39  
Old January 21st, 2012, 11:17 AM
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I looked into it and we did book our cabin after final payments are due, which I hadn't noticed before since we paid in full at the time of booking (about 6 weeks prior to cruise date). I guess this was why it was possible.

I am indeed new to Cruise Critic! I wasn't the OP but came across this thread because I am so excited for our upcoming trip. I really appreciate everyone's insight and thoughts, and I think raising awareness of accessibility issues is really important. I'm sorry so many of you have had trouble booking these cabins and hope it gets better with these (possibly new?) policies!
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  #40  
Old January 21st, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruise pup View Post
The signature line is in the State Room Accommodation section. Have another look.
You are absolutely right! My mistake. For this particular cruise we were not requesting an accessible cabin so I guess I didn't notice.

I request an accessible stateroom because I have a mobility disability or other disability that requires the use of the
accessible features that are provided in the stateroom.
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