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Old 05-02-2002, 11:46 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Cool More questions on balcony locks and room #7138


I've been reading this forum for a couple of weeks, and have learned a lot about Disney Cruises, but I finally had to come out to ask a few questions!

I was very concerned about getting a room with a balcony, because I have two young children. But I was told I have no choice, as my husband is disabled and we need at least a category 5 to accomodate my family. So we're booked in cabin #7138 on the Wonder. I called the cruise line directly to find out if the locks to the balcony in that room are lower because it is wheelchair accessible. They are. Now I'm really worried!

I know I've read here that the doors are hard to open, but my son is freakishly strong, and I'm so afraid of him getting out while I'm sleeping. Has anyone stayed in this room before who can describe the locks better to me? Is there something I can bring from home to make them childproof?

Also, off topic, I noticed the balconies for the cabins next door (7136 or 7636) are much bigger. Is is worth changing my cabin for one of these rooms if they are available? Are the rooms themselves bigger, too? If I have to have a balcony and shell out the extra money, I might as well go for the biggest, especially since we're booking somewhat in advance. I'm also worried about people smoking on the "secret overlook" that would be right next to our cabin, especially since three of the four of us have asthma.

Only one more question....I promise! Does anyone have any experience with the accomodations for a wheelchair around the rest of the ship (dining rooms, shows, etc.)?

Thanks so much! Sorry this was so long!

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Old 05-03-2002, 07:20 AM   #2
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I don't have answers to most of your questions, but maybe you can tie a bell or some kind of noise maker to the curtains, so that if your son tries to get to the door while you are sleeping, it will wake you up.

Just a thought. Good luck!
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Old 05-03-2002, 07:21 AM   #3
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the veranda doors are tricky

I would not be too worried about a child being able to open the veranda doors, I am fourty and still have problems! They are kinda tricky as you have to turn one thing (the lock nob) and then lift the handle up and down and then pull. I still get confused doing it. I think it would be too complicated for a child. Plus they are heavy to slide. Ann
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Old 05-03-2002, 07:27 AM   #4
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We just got back not too long ago and had a room with a balcony. I have two young girls. I had the hardest time opening that door. My husband usually had to do it for me. There are locks and the lock itself is tricky as well.

If you are very worried, you could ask to have the balcony furniture removed (table and chairs). I am sure they would do this and it might make you feel a little less worried.

Formerly of #462 and #737 Disneyland-1967&1987 : Prior trips to WDW-1971,1975,1976,1981,1986,1991,Every year since 1994 Disney Wonder Cruises: 2001,2002,2003; Nov.3, 2004-DVC AKL (last trip as a CM~ )December 7-10, 2004 Pop with DD for 1st trip to Pop Warner ChampionshipsJune 2005-DVC SS; Dec. 8-11, 2005 All stars with DDs for Pop Warner ChampionshipsDec. 23, 2005 - Boardwalk~Christmas at WDW!! Royal Carribbean Cruise 2005July 6-13, 2006 ~ Boardwalk DVCDLR ~ February 17-22, 2007~1st time in 20 years!June 18-25, 2007~OKW DVC September 9-13,2007~AKL DVC;June 2008~OKW DVC;JUNE 2009~ OKW DVC September 2009~DVC WL; 2 trips in one year!;Aug29-Sept.5,2010-DVC OKW~Taking DD to WDW for CareerStart!!;December 9-15, 2010 @DVC SSR to see Steph! February 26-March 4, 2011~OKW DVC to see Steph as a Character Performer!!:May 11-16,2011~OKW DVC to help move Steph permanently to Florida!;June 22-27,2011-quick trip to see Steph;Oct. 13-22, 2011-Girls trip!;Dec.4-10, 2011~DVC SSR to see Steph in the castle show!,3/27-4/1/12~Off property to help Steph move!:Nov.8-13,2012~DVC-F&W5K&visit Steph!
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Old 05-03-2002, 07:49 AM   #5
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I agree, the door are quite hard to open. I wouldn't fret too much about it. The bell idea is a good one. Enjoy

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Old 05-03-2002, 08:23 PM   #6
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You should check our hiddenearth's cruise reports on the other board. He discusses the use of wheel chairs and I think mentioned he would be willing to answer direct questions. Writes beautifully too!
Have a great cruise!
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Old 05-05-2002, 09:09 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the advice, and for helping to put my mind at ease. I think I will bring some noisemaker along, and I just may sleep on the floor in front of the balcony door at night!

Thanks again!
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Old 05-05-2002, 10:12 PM   #8

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I was thinking that a small adjustable pole would be a good item to increase the chance that your son or anyone else couldn't open the sliding door without your knowledge.

It's the same idea of a stick or pole wedged into the tracks of a sliding patio door so that it can't be opened, but in this case, you'd want to place it high in the air so he couldn't get it open from the inside. The problem is that we don't know what the dimensions of the sliding door are, but I was thinking that an inexpensive curtain rod that is expandable would work, like what you would use for light cafe curtains.

I do have experience with pushing someone in a wheelchair around the ship and it isn't too difficult after you're out of the elevator. In the theatre areas, they have space allocated at the rear so that someone in a chair can be wheeled into a space and at least one companion can sit in a theatre seat next to them. In the dining rooms, the wait staff can just remove one chair and the person in the wheelchair can sit close to the table. The same for the lounges. it would be a little difficult going through the buffet line, but with the help of another person to maneuver the tray, it would work.

As a coincidence, I was looking at the deck plans of the ship and I made a list of all of the cabins that are Accessible. There are 16 cabins, ten have balconies and six do not, and they are available in different cabin categories. It could be that the Accessible cabins in the lower categories were not available on the cruise you were interested in.

Anyway, here's a list of the Accessible cabins and their categories:

Cat 3, 4 on deck 8.
(cabin 8100, 8102, 8600, 8602)
Cat 5, 4 on deck 7.
(cabin 7136, 7138, 7636, 7638)
Cat 6, 2 on deck 6.
(cabin 6154, 6654)
Cat 8, 2 on deck 6.
(cabin 6000, 6500)
Cat 11, 2 on deck 6.
(cabin 6147, 6647)
Cat 11, 2 on deck 7.
(cabin 7131, 7631)

I don't know what the number of passengers that each cabin will accomodate, except for the Category 3 Suites, which will hold 5.

The Category 8 and 11s would not have balconies.

I looked on the DCL Deck Plans and it does appear that the balconies are larger in cabins 7136 / 7636, but then the Cabin is shaped a little larger in 7138 / 7638. You will have a solid metal veranda instead of a plexiglas veranda, so it might not look sointeresting or tempting to your active son.

I wouldn't be very concerned with the amount of cigarette smoke that could come in from the open area from deck 7 aft. There is a large metal partition that separates the common area with your veranda area and it seems unlikely that anyone would be leaning there while they are smoking for very long. They have chairs and lounge chairs out there so it seems like it would be more attractive to sit out there rather than just stand and lean. Also, the area is locked after a certain hour in the evening so that should help too.

hope that helps
Al Biats °o°

Last edited by albiats; 05-05-2002 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 05-06-2002, 06:08 AM   #9
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Wow, that answered a lot of my questions, thanks! The problem with the handicap staterooms is that anything under a category 5 will not accomodate a family of four. I was a little annoyed by this, because I wanted a cheaper cabin, and not a balcony. I actually called Disney Cruise Line to confirm this information, and the only "helpful" suggestion the woman had with me is that I could always leave my son at home! Hmph!

Thanks again!
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Old 05-07-2002, 01:09 PM   #10
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Smile balcony locks and Room 7138

Sorry, I can?t answer any of your questions, but wanted to ask you which ship and which date you will be sailing?

We will be in room 7638, which is the starboard-side, mirror-image copy of your room 7138, which is on the port side. June 27 on the Wonder.

Also, on another board (can?t remember where), someone stated that the actual entry into the neighboring staterooms--the ones with the larger verandas (7136 and 7636)--is awkward with a wheelchair because the wheelchair needs to make a 90-degree turn to get through the doorway. So if your husband is using a wheelchair, your current stateroom may be better for you than the one next door, anyway.

The bell is an excellent idea for alerting you about balcony access!
And perhaps you can move a piece of furniture to block the balcony door for when you are sleeping or showering. Your stateroom host will probably have a good idea about this problem, too.

I?m sure there will be some way to make your stateroom safe.
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Old 05-07-2002, 08:00 PM   #11

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Sliding Door Lock

I was thinking about the problem of keeping the sliding door to the Veranda closed and I came up with another suggestion.

This is a picture (drawing) of a simple device that is used to keep sliding windows from opening and I think it should work for this situation also.

I had some for my previous house in Ohio and they worked fine and were easy to install and remove. They wouldn't take up much packing space or cost much either (about $3). I found the picture on the Internet from a place that sells maintenance parts for mobile homes, but I'm sure you could find it at a Home Depot, Loew's, Ace Hardware, or other large hardware stores.

Again, I would mount it on the top rail of the sliding door so your adventerous son couldn't reach it. I would even suggest getting two of them. As long as you didn't tighten it so much that it would make a dent in the frame, I can't see any reason that DCL would possibly object to its use.


here's a link to the site that has the item, it's their product WP-1015.
Mobile Home Parts Store

hope that helps
Al Biats °o°
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Old 05-07-2002, 09:36 PM   #12
Earning My Ears
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Seeing your drawing was a really nice way to end a REALLY stressful day! I can't believe how much trouble you went through for me! People on this board are great! I ventured into another one the other day, and I couldn't believe how nasty people were!

I will definitely check out those door locks!

Pjkds, we aren't going until January. That's good to know about the cabin next door, though! I think I'll stay with what we have! My husband is fairly newly disabled, so we're still trying to learn the ropes!

Thanks again, everyone!

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Old 05-07-2002, 10:30 PM   #13
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Cassi, welcome to the Cruise Board.

Please don't worry about your son and the requires MUCH MORE than just strength, it requires a LOT of manual dexterity. The childproof locks are difficult for most ADULTS to open, and I have never heard or read of ANY child being able to open them, even in a handicapped accessible cabin.

By the way, we were in a handicapped accessible Category 3 and the locks on the verandah doors were up high just like they are on the regular cabins! I'm not sure if the person at DCL was correct in what they told you about them being lower. You may be worrying needlessly.

Enjoy your cruise!
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