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Rostock – Germany by P&O – Disability report.

Rostock is a northern coastal city in Germany, it is a beautiful city and small enough to walk around in a few hours.

Be warned the further you go out of the city centre the steeper and bumpier it gets as most of the road outside the city centre are cobbled stones and very difficult to manoeuvre. If you get a map it will highlight the churches you can visit, the ones on the outer line of the city are the ones to avoid if you’re in a wheelchair or scooter, you will struggle to get up the steep slopes in a wheelchair and my battery on my scooter took a battering on the steep slopes. But that does not mean you can not have a good time, as there is lots to do and see in the city centre. There was also difficulty with people parking over the dropped kerb as parking spaces are scarce, making it more difficult to get around.

I took my charger for my scooter in case I broke down, you will need an adapter, but there easy enough to find. I got mine in a shopping centre from an electrical shop called Saturn on the main city centre stretch.

The tourist information centre is in the centre of the town and were more than happy to charge up my battery for me.

Overall getting around Rostock was easy in a scooter and will be easy in a wheelchair, you should not come across too many issues if you stay in the centre.

What was more interesting was the trip back to the ship organised with P&O. It should be noted there was a member of staff at the collection point called Holly who works as a receptionist on the ship. Holly bent over backwards to try to help the disabled customers trying to get us all back to the cruise ship, but it was the failure of the people who booked the shuttles that caused an unacceptable drama.

When you go ashore and 5000 people are trying to get back there are going to be long line of people waiting for busses. What should have happened with the shuttles that have disabled spaces, one set off from the ship and the other at the drop off point. It was a thirty minute to Rostock but instead of us getting back in 30 minutes, it took almost two and a half hours. The reason for this is there were simply not enough disabled spaces on the busses so when seven people in wheelchairs were waiting and only one or two people can get on the busses, you have a long wait to get back. In the time it took us to get back to the ship, 20 normal busses had collected over 1500 people safely back to the ship while the disabled passengers were swept aside, waiting and getting very frustrated, annoyed and feeling let down.

We were going to get a taxi but were advised that P&O would not refund us even through we had been waiting for two hours. At one point there was going to be a rebellion of disabled passengers and the situation should not have happened.

Staff were apologetic and Holly who I mentioned before was very sympathetic and wanted to do her best but was against the odds.

A spokesperson for P&O did say: “This was the first time that they have docked at Rostock and are not usually 30 minutes from the city centre. The bus company were not communicating with each other relating to the busses with disabled spaces, this is why they were turning up at the same time making it an hour turnaround”.

P&O have advised that this will never happen again, have apologised a number of times and have sent the information back to head office. They have also advised that this will not happen at future excursions, we also got a box of chocolates as an apology but we gave them to Holly for trying to do her best to get things sorted.

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