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Cruising with Disabilities – Planning My Summer Vacation

In a few weeks I’m going to be heading off on vacation with my family.  Now I know that for everyone, a vacation takes A LOT of preparation but for me it’s even more.  For those of you who follow my blog you know that I have a son with Intellectual Disabilities and a husband with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.  My other family members include my two daughters (age 11 and 14) and my mom (we’re celebrating her 80th birthday!)  One of the things on my mom’s bucket list was taking a cruise with her family.  So we’re going to be heading off to Bermuda on The Norwegian Breakaway.

We also chose a cruise because we figured that would be the easiest for Greg, my hubby, to navigate and also give Spencer, my son the independence to walk around the ship and not get lost.  Plus, he’s 18 and eats me out of house and home so figured the option of food around the clock is a bonus!

Travelling with someone with a physical disability requires a ton of planning and dealing with unknowns.  Our cruise specialist was super helpful booking a handicap accessible room for us and an adjacent room for our kids.  Since Spencer has intellectual disabilities and my youngest is only 11 I wanted to be sure that our cabins were close to each other.

But we’ll never really know how accessible it is until we get on the ship.  A ton of questions run through our head – will there be enough room in the cabin for his power chair to turn?  How difficult will it be to get into the bathroom?  How hard will it be to get into bed?  How handicap accessible are the restrooms around the ship and in the restaurants?  The good news is that Norwegian offers an Accessibility Assistant to help plan and answer questions.  Greg will be calling this week so stay tune!

Greg has never been on a cruise so that makes it even more stressful.  He’s going to take Dramamine as a precaution.  I’m just looking forward to laying by the pool and not having to wash a dish or cook a meal for a week!

So here we go – the countdown has begun!


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