Sunday, August 2, 2009

vacations stories

First and formeost, I want to say that we had a good time despite the many challenges we had thrown our way.

The cruise line we chose, although we have cruised with them before, could not fathom the thought of a person with a disability traveling anywhere. I guess they all believed I should be locked in a room decaying from boredon. Oh no, not this chick ! Not by any stretch of the imagination will I sit and decay like yesterday's garbage.

It was painfully obvious the passengers, who mostly did not speak english, couldn't comprehend my independence or spunk.

We planned on having obstacles getting around the ship. Every doorway has to be air tight in case of a situation where water was coming onboard so we knewthere would be lips andsteps everywhere. I am okay with that for my situation.

The bathrooms were ridiculous. In one I had to back into the main door and then the stall. When I managed to get the main door closed my walker rested under the handle so nobody could enter it after that. That was a bit scary incase I fell. But when you gotta go you gotta go.

The passengers, I believe because of their inability to recognize that a person with a disability is NOT Disabled, were beyond rude. My husband believes it is the European mentality. I can't and won't make that generalization. ( OK, my family is from Europe)

I got shoved a few times and bruised from people trying to get to the buffet. Like they hadn't seen food in days. And trust me some of these people could do without a meal or two.

I'm posting a picture of my knee when somebody pushed me because I wasn't walking fast enough.

I also was pushed on the tender and fell into the wall. The tender operator told us to stay until everyone else got off the boat so he could assist me. However,he didn't tell the man seated next to me ( who could have walked a few steps to disembark). I don't speak Italian, however I did learn some of the bad words LOL so I was unable to communicate that with him.

All in all we had a good time. My advice with a vacation like this is "travel with a cruise line that "gets it" and understands the needs of a person with a disability" This ruise line did not get it or make any attempt to learn it.

Costa Cruises please take a Royal Caribbean cruise sometime. They get it. They treat every passenger like they were the only ones on board. Costa treated nobody well.

Costa cruise lines, if you are reading this, please sit back and rest. My letter is on it's way.

Have a great day everybody !



Judith Parker Harris said...

Great story, Cathy. You have what it takes to live symptom-free from MS. In 1985 I was numb from the waist down and partially blind. I've been symptom-free since 1990 by busting through the thought and emotional blocks in my life. I call it moving from Blocked to Blockbuster. On that cruise, you showed them all how to Bust through Blocks. Kudos to you. Here's an article you might enjoy about the villains who obviously all booked passage on that cruise.

Libby said...

good job, cathy! they need to hear this! we don't expect our lives to be easier than everybody else's but, dammit, they could at least work with us!

Sean B. Halliday said...

First off, I have to say that I LOVE cruise ships.
I spent over 12 years working on them as a Scuba Instructor,
Shore Excursion Manager and an IT Officer.

For 2 years I also worked shoreside in Miami as a database IT guy.

During my years on ships, I have to stay that many things happened
and that life is definately stranger than fiction on cruise ships.

Many people have asked me to share the stories I have collected over
the years, so I am complying with their request.

My site is:

If you had any stories of your own to add, please
send them to me and I will be happy to add them.

Sean B. Halliday