Disney Cruise Line WDW at Large
Bonnie – January 2006 – DISNEY MAGIC CRUISE (7-day Western)
After seeing my Disney cruise travel planning DVD, and seeing arms on almost every dining room chair I knew I might have trouble. I'm 5'8" and 350lbs, most of which resides in my hips which are about 65-70inches around.
When I boarded the ship my first priority was to try out the chairs in the different restaurants: Lumiere's, Parrot Cay, and Animator's Palate. Lumiere's has typical formal high backed dining room chairs some with arms and many without so I had no problems there. However Parrot Cay and Animator's Palate both have ALL armchairs. My roommate is about 240lbs and 5'6" she wears a size 20-22 bottom and she found the chairs just big enough for her! I couldn't even wedge my butt into the chairs. We went to guest services on board and requested that a chair without arms be made available at our assigned table throughout the cruise. We were asked to see a manager, which we did and our request was met and followed through with every night of our cruise.
I only had one other problem when trying to attend lunch at the buffet in Parrot Cay, b/c I don't have an assigned table there was no chair w/o arms easily obtainable. As the host led us to a table where others were sitting, I felt as if I was on parade for everyone to see as I just stood there b/c I couldn't sit down. We had advised the host that we needed a chair w/o arms prior to being seated, but were still led to the armchairs. They had to obtain a chair from halfway across the ship.
I am happy to report that Palo has great arm-free chair seating (even some bench seating) and the chairs on deck with arms are extremely roomy even for me! The topsiders buffet also has armless chairs and bench seating available indoors.
When we started attending the shows in the Walt Disney Theatre and movies in the Buena Vista Theatre, I also found these seats to be too small! Again just big enough for my size 20/22 roommate. It took some effort (with no real help from guest services) but we eventually had reserved chairs w/o arms always present at our 6:15 show time in the WD Theatre.
My recommendation is to skip Guest Services and just ask for a manager, as Guest services kept making promises and never getting back to us. Asking the attendants for an armless chair outside the BV theatre turned into a "translation nightmare" but we were eventually provided with a chair (again through management).
Our stateroom which was a Category 10 (outside) midship on deck 2 was plenty room. The bathroom doors swing inward which make getting past the sink and to the toilet a little bit of a squeeze, with the door handle poking me in the backside or side often! The shower/sink room was easier because the sink was straight ahead, not to the left when walking in. The shower has a small angled safety bar with soap tray right about mid hip level which considerably narrows the shower, there was no standing with my back to the shower head, I had to stand sideways with my belly or backside always sticking to the curtain. The shower head is fully adjustable in many directions so it wasn't too much of a problem. Still I could have done without that bar.
Other areas of the ship were very "LARGE" friendly for the most part, most of the bars had choice of arm or armless seating, some of the cloth arm chairs are not very roomy for large hips but they are nothing like the dining room chairs!
Having returned about 6 weeks ago from a cruise on the "Wonder", I felt I had to write to add my comments to the WDW At Large page. My husband and I are both large people, and really hesitated about taking a cruise (any cruise), but we heard so many good things about the Disney ships, we didn't want our ("normal-sized") daughter to miss out just because we're heavy. Are we glad we took the plunge. Everything was wonderful! We fit in all the theatre seats, had no problem in any of the restaurants, and the cast and crew were terrific!
I never once felt embarrassed to swim in the pools, or lounge on the deck chairs in my bathing suit. And I even got up the nerve to have a massage in the spa – again, nothing uncomfortable at all. The only small negative we experienced (and it was no one's fault) was the shore excursion to Atlantis we took when the ship docked in Nassau. It was an unbearably hot day, and there is extensive outdoor walking involved in this particular excursion. Both of us had to drop out of the tour. Our daughter continued with the group, then she and the tour guide came back for us later. But the guide couldn't have been nicer or more understanding.
My husband, who is even more sensitive than I am about weight issues and what other people think, has already said we are definitely going to book a 7-day "Magic" cruise! Wahoo!!! (Carol)
Our voyage was on the Wonder. We stayed in an outside stateroom – the bathroom was TINY but I fit ok in it, just had to squeeze a little sometimes. I am 5'10 and about 300 lbs. Also – they make you do a drill when you first get on the cruise where you have to put on a life jacket – these are pretty small and I fit in it with just a little slack – but if I was about 30 or 40 pounds bigger, I'm not sure I would have fit. If you are very large, you may want to try on the life jacket before the drill and if there are any problems, talk to a cast member. The seats in the big theater are pretty small – I just squeezed my butt into them. At the back of the theater though, they have a bunch of folding chairs – so if you can't fit, I am sure you could use those.