All aboard!

Helen enjoys a seven-day cruise to Spain and Portugal complete with a meal at the Captain’s table

Helen has been talking about her dream of taking a cruise for some while, having enjoyed a similar holiday a few years ago. As soon as it was practical following the pandemic, the support team at her home in Suffolk helped her to book up for 2023. This type of holiday is ideal for Helen as flying can make her very anxious.

Spain and Portugal were the top destination choices, as Helen has visited Cordoba and Granada previously. Having lived in her current home for more than 20 years and always enjoyed travelling, Helen is well known at her local travel agent. Her Support Worker, June, accompanied her there to explore and discuss her options. Helen soon chose the Aurora for a week in late August, with her family’s blessing.

Summer outfits

Next it was time to shop for some new summer outfits for the cruise. Helen loves to shop! She visited a nearby city on several occasions to find just the right clothes including shorts, tops and dresses. June, who also loves fashion, was only too happy to offer advice. In the run up to the holiday, Helen was heard to say: “I can’t wait, I just need a break.”

As Helen has had knee surgery and is wary of it giving way, her Support Team bought a wheelchair for the trip. It meant that Helen could enjoy the week without having to worry about how she was going to manage getting on an off the ship.

Brunch on the way

A local taxi company, run by a couple who used to work in care, drove Helen and June to Southampton. for the start of the trip. Helen knows them well as they often drive her to activities and outings. They even arranged to stop off so that they could all have brunch on the journey. Brunch is part of Helen’s daily routine, and the familiarity of this activity was a great way to break the drive.

The week was a huge success with Helen and June enjoying walks around the ship together as well as taking onshore expeditions at most ports. Helen particularly enjoyed dining at the Captain’s table, going for drinks at the bar, and listening to the evening singers. She also enjoyed reading on a sun lounger and watching the receding shore from the ship as they sailed away. Naturally sociable, she would chat to fellow passengers, too.

The munchies

Although there was a casino on board, Helen said she didn’t visit it as she was saving her money – instead she bought herself a new cap and watch while out and about.

When asked which was her favourite part of the cruise, Helen has no hesitation in declaring it to be the breakfasts…egg, bacon, sausage and toast… and the ice creams. She also had the munchies one night and indulged in a packet of crisps in bed at 2am! After all, she was on her holidays.

On her return, Helen had the lovely surprise of a freshly decorated bedroom incorporating all the items she had carefully chosen in the weeks before her departure.

Home Manager, Mel, says: “Helen has been telling everyone how much she wanted to take a cruise. It’s really lovely that we were able to do that this year. She is already talking about going again next year.”