One of my goals this year is to be a bit more regular with my blogging. So, here I am! The second goal is to try to move forward with my life/our life.
I’m pretty sure I could move forward a little easier if there weren’t so many obstacles that creep up nearly every day to remind me of what I’ve lost that terrible day in 2016. All that is now past and as I said Hello 2023, I briefly eluded to our next big, no HUGE, trip; we are booked for a cruise 🚢 to Alaska! I say HUGE because this is my first cruise and for me, taking a cruise at all is makes me nervous but add in doing it in a #wheelchair 👩🦼 makes me even more nervous.
I’m trying to stay true to my 2023 goal and keep MOVING FORWARD, I think cruises in general have always made me nervous because of the media attention they receive regarding people getting sick, and I am not referring to #COVID. I have heard so many stories about this that I never had a great desire to take a cruise. Now being in a wheelchair, my thoughts go to stability; if we hit any “rough” waters will I roll away LOL? Sounds funny I know, and I realize I wouldn’t actually roll away but the thought still came to the forefront of my mind.
We will be stopping in four ports (Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan (Ward Cove), Victoria, British Columbia and cruising Glacier Bay. Even if you have never taken a cruise, I am sure you are aware that at each port there are various excursions available to all ship guests if they choose. Once again, I can not simply scroll through the options and choose the ones I think look interesting or appealing to us, no, I need to contact #Norwegain excursion desk and identify which excursion is or is not wheelchair #accessible.
I call the excursion desk and tell the agent which excursions we have selected based on both our interest and the excursion being identified as wheelchair #accessible as per their website. Not surprisingly, this did not go smoothly at first try. The agent precedes to tell me the excursions we have chosen are not wheelchair accessible…WHAAT? I now begin to stress a little but I somewhat calmly inform the agent that we specifically choose those excursion because their website indicated they were wheelchair accessible. Well, long story short, I became frustrated and again, somewhat calmly said thank you good-bye. After a day of calming down, I try again and I am so so thankful that this time a connected to the absolute BEST agent Kelly! After explaining the painstaking experience I had the day before with a different agent who kept insisting that the excursions we chose were not wheelchair accessible even though their website identified them as accessible and his unwilling to investigate further, Kelly too be frustrated. Kelly took a lot of notes, reached out to her supervisor and questioned why the conflicting information. Kelly was so thrilled to be able to resolve this issue for me that she was given special permission to make one phone call to either me, the guest, or the travel agent (mine is a long time friend, Darlene Medeiros of Dolly’s Travel) and Kelly chose to call me. Kelly was so excited to inform me that not only were all the excursions we chose accessible but that she went ahead and booked them for us!!
Next issue to tackle was airfare. Our cruise departs from Seattle, WA so we need to fly out to Seattle. We have decided to fly out the day before as a precautionary measure in case of any delayed flights, etc. Prior to becoming #paralyzed in 2016 (as a result of surgery gone wrong), I didn’t think twice about booking flights, however, now is an entirely different situation and one that I have not have pleasant experience with. I have only attempted to fly once in the last 6.5 years and actually booking a flight turned out to be such a disaster that we cancelled our trip. I need to contact the airlines accessibility desk, but I’m not sure if I do that prior to booking tickets or after. I need to find out where I get a #aisle_wheelchair. As of this writing (1/24/23), I have not yet attempted booking flights or finding out about the aisle wheelchair; I need to have myself prepared for another potentially stressful task.
Last fairly large task, at least for me, was to get a passport, I know, I know, you’re laughing 🤣 again. Anyone that knows me knows that I never wanted to get a passport. Now, stop laughing but, I think that stems from the movie Not Without My Daughter is a 1991 American drama film based on the book of the same name, depicting the escape of American citizen Betty Mahmoody and her daughter from her abusive husband in Iran. The movie is thirty something years old but it’s always stuck with me. In addition, I’ve seen various news stories about people being obtained in a foreign country for crazy reason like unknowingly crossing border while hiking 😬 However. . .wait for it…wait for it, I pushed through, again staying true to my 2023 moto of moving forward and I’m pleased to say that yesterday we went and applied for our passports! 🛂
So while making plans and arrangements for any trip is a job in itself, I’m up for the challenge now and truly looking forward to first and foremost spending quality time with Kurt as together we experience what many say is the most beautiful places on Earth!
As always, I wish you a journey filled with exploring new people, places and things – take time to learn from and enjoy each new adventure along your way!
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