EMBARKATION DAY:- We booked car parking with CPS and although we have used them many times, we were a little apprehensive but just like every other time it was smooth and easy. We pulled up where they directed us, we got our luggage out and me into my electric wheelchair and the CPS worker walked round the car and took pictures and then we handed over our keys and headed towards luggage drop off. The Sky Princess was docked at Mayflower terminal dock gate 10, We were the first embarkation group A, time 11:00-11:30am, as we got into the terminal I had our passports and proof of covid vaccines checked and then got given our medallions. After this and me getting it into my wrist sport band we headed to and through security. We were on board by 11:30am So took us about 20 Minutes.
MEDALLION WARNING – the medallion uses RF and magnetic technology which can interfere with a pacemaker or ICD’s, so cannot be worn on a lanyard as has to be a certain distance away. I have a pacemaker so I wore mine on my right wrist (opposite to pacemaker) Be prepared for the check-in staff to know nothing about this. I popped it into my sport band nice and easily. You can purchase the medallion accessories on the app when you order your medallion, or you can buy on the ship. I got mine from US Amazon as it worked out cheaper but I will add, a lot of people are using certain Fitbit bands or the apple airtag wrist bands as these are not magnetic and are a lot cheaper. The reason I chose the official magnetic one was because I was afraid I would lose the medallion.
We then made our way to our stateroom which was an Adapted Club Class Mini Suite A432. The mini suite was a great size and lots of storage, sleeping up to 4 guests, 2 on the sofa. The suite can be separated via a curtain shown in the pictures at each side of the room. There is also a vlog of this stateroom on my YouTube channel if you want to take a look, here is the link https://youtu.be/sD4BelkTEmA
It is disappointing that the door wasn’t automatic, although the medallion unlocks the door as you approach. The bed is a little high, at 66 cm – if your wheelchair doesn’t raise and you transfer via a slide board/ banana board it will not work and you would need a hoist or you can hire one from mobility at sea. Both sides of the bed have access to all lights.
Storage is almost all at wheelchair level except one cupboard which has shelves up high. There are 2 telephones, one next to the bed and the other on the dresser. There are also two televisions, one opposite your bed and the other in your lounge area opposite the sofa which was lovely. There is also a fridge under the dresser and if your elite or in a suite you get a free mini bar set up. There are bedside lights next to the bed with one USB socket on it and another light next to the sofa which also has a USB socket. The plug sockets were 1 euro and 2 USA located around the dresser, one is used by the kettle.
They also supply a kettle, tea and coffee facilities which was nice to have. Overall I felt is was a great mini suite also located midship, not far from lifts but nice and quite.
The balcony is an odd shape narrow one end and wider the other, but with a little change of table and chairs I could get out and turn around to come back in, unlike a lot of the new ship’s balconies these days. The balcony door is manual and heavy unfortunately it would be great if they could make all their doors automatic.
I found the Wetroom a little on the smaller side but this seems to be the case with newer ships and no lower storage at the sink, only in the shower. The Wetroom door is a little heavy opening outward, meaning you have to reverse back to open then drive into Wetroom, turn around and drive back out to get door handle and reverse back into Wetroom, it can be a little challenging and that’s in an electric wheelchair. The toilet has great grab bars and a pull down bar as you can see in the vlog, the toilet height is 45 cm and the shower stool is 47 cm in height.
We then watched the muster drill video on our phones while on the Lido having a cocktail as our cabin wasn’t quite ready as it was just 11:45, when you have finished watching the muster drill video a green tick shows next to your name. Then you need to proceed to your muster station, ours was station F on deck 6 located at the Estrella Main Dining Room. Here they scan your medallion and then the second green tick shows by your name and that’s it, your all done! This process is so much better now and you can do this when you want but it must be completed before you set sail. It is so much easier to be honest and there are no excuses not to get this done straight away so you don’t delay your fellow cruising guests and staff.
After we completed the muster drill we went to our cabin and started to unpack our hand luggage and medical stuff. While we waited for our suitcases we got our mini bar set up changed, confirmed our soft drinks and water to be delivered, we also enjoyed the goodies we had extra in our mini suite. Once our suitcases came we then fully unpacked and got changed and went to the main dining room for our Club Class Dining. The service was excellent as was the food, we both went for the special of the day which was surf and turf. This was their first cruise with no compulsory mask wearing for staff, as I’ve said in my vlogs we both will keep wearing ours due to my health and I was a little nervous but life has to go on.
Sea day, We had to change course due to bad weather so instead of crossing the bay of Biscay (BOB) we hugged the coast, it did affect us by having to miss Tenerife which was disappointing but these things happen and safety has to come first.
Like all these new bigger ships they are not good in the wind and it was quite rocky even though the sea wasn’t too bad. We had breakfast in our cabin and wanted to have a chill out day as we both felt worn out even though we slept well, we tried to enjoy the Lido deck with a cocktail in the sun but the wind was so strong and cold we just couldn’t take it so we ended up in the Estrella MDR for lunch. We have never tried lunch in a MDR before and we really enjoyed it, it was that nice I forgot to take pictures!
After we ate we looked around on deck 6 at the shops and casino and video called my in laws as they too enjoy cruising but have not sailed with Princess yet so we showed them around deck 6 and up to our cabin. After we went to the Spa for a tour and made sure we could still have our couples massage tomorrow as it’s due to be on deck 17 in a Cabana however if it’s still cold and windy we were concerned we would get too cold. We spoke to them and they have what is called “The Villa” in the spa area so they showed us it and don’t get me wrong it’s lovely with two massage beds a corner sofa and even a bath! but it’s just a room, I certainly wouldn’t call it a Villa, to be honest it looks just like the couples massage room we had the last time on the Sky but just in a different area, however at least we still can enjoy a couples massage as planned. We went back to our cabin and chilled out with a movie and some snacks and that was the end to our day.
Sea day again, unfortunately the weather wasn’t on our side, the wind was still strong and cold so our couples massage couldn’t be done on deck 17 on a Cabana so we went into the spa’s “Villa” and enjoyed a lovely couples massage for a good hour. After this we went back to our stateroom to shower and get ready for our pre booked meal in the Crown Grill.
The Crown Grill never fails us, we LOVE it in there i really recommend paying the small extra surcharge, as the food is amazing. We both went for filet mignon and lobster tail with sides.
After our meal we headed back to our stateroom and ended our night in a food coma. Eugene the room service manager who looked after us our whole cruise with regards to our food brought us breakfast every morning at our desired time and not a minute late with a Mimosa each, cappuccino each and what ever we wanted hot food wise along with fruit, yogurt and pastries!!
Sea day again due to weather and a medical emergency which resulted in the coastguard helicopter off Lisbon to collect the poorly passenger we actually were on track to pass my dads final resting place a lot closer than before. Originally we were to be 154 nautical miles west but we ended up being something like 20 nautical miles at the most. Unfortunately the Captain let us down but due to my knowledge of reading maps, knowing dad’s longitude and latitude and asking guest services what our co-ordinates were I found we were very close. I got guest service to page Song who was trying to sort out a remembrance ceremony with flowers as it was before her work start time and she called us in our cabin just as we were leaving at 08:00am on the 23rd and said she will meet us there.
Carl and I got there first and a few minutes later song arrived who filmed us having some rum for dad and pouring the rest over board for him. I took along the dog I had made from my dads Hawaiian shirt. The weather this day had completely changed the wind had died down and it was a lot warmer with a lovely sunrise, I think this was dad!
When we got back Carl got our suitcase back out which had my manual wheelchair in for the beaches which we were going to in Tenerife and Gran Canaria to make it up, I’ve put pictures up for you all to see how we do things. We also used the suitcase to pack other items as the wheelchair is only 12kg
After a mad rush to see dad so to speak and the weather had turned we made the most of it and got up on deck and sat by the pool enjoying the sun and of course cocktails, we were good with food as we were having the ultimate balcony dinner this night which is a huge meal.
We got back to our stateroom for a shower and chill before our lovely balcony meal which Eugene was our server, as usual Princess didn’t disappoint, our meal was lovely. It’s frustrating for me as I physically cannot eat a lot due to my stomach being partially paralysed so hubby ends up eating what he can of mine too, I hate seafood but order it so hubby can have it, just look at this food, I think it’s about 5 courses!
LAND…… today we arrived in Gran Canaria and we couldn’t wait to get off ship and get down the the same beach we went to back in 2018, which is about a 12 minute walk from port. Once we got there nice and early it was a little chilly and cloudy, we got 2 sun beds and brolly with a table for €9 (cheap!!) and once settled we waited patiently for the sun to burn through. The sea this time was even more rough than the last and I don’t have pictures this time only a 5 minute video from the go pro with hubby and I trying our best to get through the surf which was impossible and absolutely hilarious, he lost his shorts and i exposed my boobs a good few times! I think after 10 minutes we were shattered and gave up.
When we got back to the ship we enjoyed a swim in the wake pool but didn’t realise how hot it was and we both got a little sunburnt (oops)
Today we were in Madeira where we booked our own excursion of a Tuk Tuk ride with Tuk Madeira City Tours. Carla Mota our guide was fantastic and I really do recommend using her if you ever visit Madeira, the prices are good and if you have a small manual wheelchair it fits on the back but would a good idea to bring some straps to secure it. ( you’ll see what I used in my YouTube “Bits and Bobs Bag” and as long as you can step up into the Tuk Tuk. Her website is https://www.tukmadeiracitytours.com
We had an hours tour around the city and was dropped off back at the ship, the weather was warm but wet and drizzly and unfortunately the weather was turning back again to windy and cold so that was the last of our warm dry weather. When we got back on ship we went and had lunch at Alfredo’s Pizzeria which is included and yummy!! We got a hot spot outside which was lovely
We had a sea day next which was just like when we were coming down with the winds and rain so open decks were off the cards, we shopped and brought way too much stuff that we didn’t know how we would get it off the ship and in the evening we tried for the first time Sabatini’s which we pre paid and booked. We enjoyed it but compared to the Crown Grill it doesn’t match although cheaper and it took over 2 hours which for us is a real long time. We would try again on another ship which I believe we already have booked on the Island next year.
Today we arrived in Vigo Spain where it was heavy rain and this was forecast for the whole day, in between the breaks of rain we nipped off but being in an electric wheelchair and heavy rain unfortunately doesn’t mix well so we abandoned going into town as we are back here in May 2023, accessibility wise it’s not too bad, there are large cobblestones at port then a flat promenade to the shops but hopefully I’ll get a better review next year. What I would say is if you have a travel ramp it would be extremely useful in getting off ship using Vigos gangways, I certainly will be taking mine next time. Later in the day a few hours before we were due to leave the sun did come out but we had settled back in and dried off which was enough for us plus hubby broke the bank buying a Hawaiian Spanish shirt (hehe)
That evening Eugene wanted to spoil us still so he brought up the same meal we enjoyed in the Crown Grill but in the comfort of our stateroom and at no charge which was absolutely lovely, Eugene was so attentive and he literally fed us to death but it made him so happy. We were extremely lucky to be fair.
The next day was our last sea day before arriving back into Southampton so we just had a lazy day and packed what we could up and then mooched around the ship. Disembarking we always do self walk off which was at 07:15. It was a huge struggle this time due to the amount of extra stuff we got and in hindsight maybe we should have got our cases taken the night before.
Overall we enjoyed our cruise there were ups and downs and emotional due to dad but was lovely to be back cruising and just hope for better weather next time in 2024 when we go back to the Canaries.
4 Comments Add yours
Thank you so much for sharing your cruising adventures. My DH is in an electric WC and before his accident we cruised twice a year. Since then and covid we havent cruised as much as we’d like and try to leave from the US east coast ports that are driveable to avoid air travel. So happy to read about your adventures and the joy of it all. Be well.
Thank you so much and I’m really glad you enjoy my blogs. It is harder to travel but with good planning and information nothing is impossible. I do hope you both get back to cruising again soon, our next adventure is in 20 days!
Thats great! Have fun, stay safe and be well!
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