Last year we shared Toula’s story, which mentioned her dream goal: going on a holiday cruise. We were delighted to hear that she has now achieved her goal.
To make her dream come true, Toula with the assistance of her Lifestyle Attendant (LA), began researching cruises. They eventually they settled on a seven-day cruise around Queensland on the Coral Princess.
Toula knew she needed various support on the cruise, so she started to plan. Toula required a mobility scooter on the cruise and contacted the airline to understand exactly what she was allowed to take it on the plane and gain clearance to take it .
Toula’s Tip: Make sure you take the airlines written approval with you to the airport as you’ll need to show it when you check-in.
The airline was extremely helpful and now armed with the right knowledge, Toula tested various models and found one that could be disassembled in four parts, making it perfect to fly with.
Toula’s Tip: If you can afford it, purchase spare keys and another battery so you don’t miss a moment.
Once Toula knew she’d be able to move around the ship freely, she wanted to know more about life on board and to make sure there wouldn’t be anything stopping her from enjoying her cruise. She reached out to the Coral Princess Team, and they put Toula’s mind at ease, so she felt comfortable booking the cruise. She learnt more about the features in their accessible cabins, including a larger turning space for a scooter and roll-in shower, and that there would be staff who had been trained to assist people living with a wide range of disability, aboard the cruise.
They also explained about the MedallionClass app and how a pendent linked to the app would be used as her room key and for all onboard purchases. Toula’s LA assisted in downloading the app and she discovered how to book events, make dinner reservations, and use the navigator to find her way around the ship.
Toula said, “Without my LA this holiday wouldn’t have been possible, I’m so fortunate that they supported me with everything I needed”.
Toula’s Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask questions as the staff at the airline and cruise ship were very helpful. Make a list of questions before you call them to make sure you don’t forget to ask anything.
Lastly, before departing Adelaide, Toula spoke with her doctor to get the repeat prescriptions she needed, and then purchased everything at her local pharmacy so she wouldn’t have to worry while on her holiday.
Toula’s Tip: Ask your GP for a letter to say what medication you require, that way if you’re asked, you have it all listed in one place.
After months of planning, Toula embarked on her cruise, and it didn’t disappoint. Toula met some incredible people aboard and really enjoyed visiting Airlie Beach, Cairns, and Willis Island. Other memorable moments included high teas, immersing herself in the nightlife, and enjoying the most delicious food.
Toula said, “This was the best holiday I’ve been on by far; I felt so lucky being out at sea, everything about it was amazing. I felt so supported and looked after during my trip; the staff went above and beyond to make sure I was comfortable and happy.”
Now that Toula has a taste for travel, she can’t wait to do it all again as she has her sights set on 14-day cruise next time around.