[caption id="attachment_3340" align="alignnone" width="225"]Mr. & Mrs. Allcorn Mr. & Mrs. Allcorn[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3341" align="alignnone" width="209"]Cruising the seas Cruising the seas[/caption]
Thanks to Letisia and Michael Allcorn, newlyweds and great self-advocates, who shared their story of spending their one-year wedding anniversary on a cruise.  Read on... [caption id="attachment_3069" align="alignnone" width="183"]CLICK ON THE EAR TO LISTEN TO THE ALLCORN's STORY! CLICK ON THE EAR TO LISTEN TO THE ALLCORN's STORY![/caption]
In February, the Allcorns joined our friends on a cruise to the Bahamas. As we boarded Norwegian’s boat called The Breakaway, I didn’t know what to expect. Now I know it’s called The Breakaway because it broke away from the “traditional” passenger ships.Of all the joys that my recent cruise brought me, what really made this cruise special for me was that it was accessible. I danced with a girl in a wheel chair to Thriller on 80’s night; experiencing this made me think of all my own friends who also deserve to experience the joy of a cruise. I learned that anyone with special needs who plans on signing up for a cruise, needs to contact the cruise line to let them know what accommodations you will need. They will assign you an access officer who will be your go-to person on board. As for some of the rooms: they are equipped with power doors for easy opening as are all public areas. Bathrooms have low sinks and toilets for easier transfers. You can ask for shower chairs. There are grab bars throughout the bathroom to help you keep from slipping. There are also emergency call buttons throughout the suite to help you if there are any emergenices. The closets have adjustable shelves to make it easy for you to have access to your belongings. The beds can be raised or lowered to help you get into or out of bed. The rooms are hard-wired for people who have difficulty hearing or speaking; there is also a text messaging system so you can easily contact staff. Lifts are available to those who want to go into the pools or sit in the Jacuzzi. Service animals are welcome too. Norwegian isn’t the only cruise line that offers accommodations - I also researched Holland America and I discovered that they have similar accommodations for people with special needs. Though it will be hard to fill you in on all of the activities available to passengers, I will fill you in on the ones that I chose to experience. The Breakaway has 9 specialty restaurants from Cagney’s steak house that has the best potato soup to La Bistro the French restaurant. For those of you are fans of The Cake Boss there is a bakery of his right on the ship! There are also 10 bars to “let your hair down and party” including the ice bar where everything including the bar and table and chairs are made out of ice (!!!). We went to an Irish pub that has snacks all night – the place to go when you have a case of the munchies.If you’re bored it’s your own fault because this ship has everything for even the most skeptical cruiser. There is a sports center that has everything from rock climbing to tightrope walks and water slides. You want entertainment? Well, they’ve got it! From rock of ages to burn the floor (which is just like dancing with the stars), you'll be thoroughly entertained! You can enjoy wine tasting or go to the casino and gamble your hard earned savings. The ship has numerous game shows that the guests participate in. But anyone who knows me, knows that I am more thrilled by 80’s night-jamming to the hits of my youth. The ship has lots of hot tubs, pools and a spa to help you totally forget your troubles. The ship stops at different ports to let your experience things at your own pace - shopping, the beach or whatever it may be. So what’s next? Pack your stuff and get on board to give yourself the pleasurable and accessible experience that you so richly deserve!