Saturday, March 27, 2010

Getting on the Carnival Ecstasy

Once we arrived at the Galveston port for the first day of our Carnival Ecstasy cruise, we loaded our scoots with tote bags and a small case each, and got a porter to take the big luggage from the car and get it checked in. I left my Peterboro basket at home (a good decision), had my CrampBuster in place (another good decision), and off we went to start our adventure.

The embarkation process amounted to waiting in long lines to jump through the necessary hoops to get on the ship. There were lots of employees around to help us from one place to the other, and because we were on mobility scooters our party of 4 was taken to different (and much shorter) lines. There is a LOT of walking and standing in line involved before you're on the ship. This was a case where having a scoot (or a wheelchair, walker, or cane) gets you extra assistance.

A side note: If you are in the process of deciding if you need a TravelScoot for your cruise or not, please know that in addition to the walking, there really is a lot of standing in lines involved in checking in.  The scoot gives you an instant place to sit. 

The last thing you have to do before you're on board the Ecstasy is make it up the final ramp. It's not a long or particularly steep ramp but it is narrow and the beginning and the end parts aren't connected firmly to the middle. Melissa, daring woman that she is, tried to drive her scoot on. Uh... no. We both ended up getting off the scoots and walking on and getting the scoots on separately.

Our rooms weren't immediately ready, but we were able to get into them within about an hour of boarding. The narrow hallway leading to our room was carpeted but it was easy on my scoot. I mention this because hotel carpet is often plush and causes the motor to have to work harder and the battery to drain quicker. If there was no luggage, carts, or people in the hallways, two TravelScoots could probably sit side-by-side, but that is RARELY the case so there's a constant need to dodge, drive around, and avoid people who open doors and run out without looking.

We had an outside cabin, which means it had a view of the water, but it was not a handicap accessible cabin. I really hoped we'd be able to get my scoot in without a lot of trouble, but it just did not fit through the narrow doorway without being folded. This meant that every time we entered or left the room we had to assemble or unassemble it. I was under the misconception that handicap room had wide doors, roll in showers, and lots of other cool things for folks on wheels, and I didn't want to deprive anyone who truly needed those features of the room. I was able to actually go in a handicap cabin and found that yes, the door was a few inches wider and there wasn't as high a step up into the bathroom, but other than that things were the same, including the size of the room. I will most definitely request a handicap cabin the next time I travel.

Once we were in the room we unpacked, got the batteries set up to charge, and parked my scoot in the corner. Our cabin only had ONE place to plug in a single item, so put a power strip on your list of items you MUST pack for your cruise.

The messy picture shows the counter where we charged the batteries. The other shows the corner we used to store my scoot. This picture was taken after one of the times when we were able to get it just right and tilt the scoot in a way where we could get it in without breaking it down. We gave up on being able to do that consistently and just folded it each time. There was plenty of room to walk by the scoot and walk around the bed. If you need every inch of floor space you could also fold the scoot and put it under the bed. That's also where we put our empty suitcases.


  1. I was on cruise 4 time since last 8 years and mostly Royal Caribbean was my choice,I’m not sure how many days you will be going but it seems to have more exciting ports.Carnival is more for teenagers while RC will cater to all ages. If not try Celebrity Millennium.
    carnival cruise

  2. For hotels and cruises, I find you just can't say handicapped. You need to be very specific that
    you need room access and bathroom access doors XX wide, roll in shower or even shower stalls of a certain size. Also toilets x inches tall. It is just amazing what you are squeezed into if you don't. I took a similar cruise out of Galveston last March, on a newer ship called "Voyager of the Seas". I did not say I wanted a handicapped room. However, on that cruise there were two men with MS rolling around on those excessively big and heavy power chairs (also saw a travel scoot), so I feel certain they had rooms with all the above criteria. In general, I find that the newer hotels and the newer cruise ships are more likely to have access accommodations for all sizes and abilities of people. Does anyone know of cruise blogs or forums where these needs can be researched?


  3. Can the Travelscoot make it up ramps?

  4. Can the Travelscoot make it up the ramp without stalling?

    1. Fred, the ramp to get on the Carnival Ecstasy was narrow so we just walked my scoot up it. If it had been wider and I could have gotten a good start, I could have driven it up the ramp.

      In the 3 1/2 years I've been using my scoot I've been able to get it up *most* ramps. I approach ramps straight on, going as fast as I reasonably can, and I lean my body slightly into the handlebars to change my center of gravity.