Cruising with the Joy Rider

“I arrived at embarkation a wheelchair novice and disembarked a veteran.”

Keeping a diary is a wonderful way to capture your holiday experience by hand. Take a notebook with you and record the sights, smells and tastes in dated entries to share with others (and to reminisce when you have a case of post-holiday blues!).

This summer, Tony Gregory has documented his holiday on a cruise ship – noting, in particular, his experience with the Joy Rider Electric Folding Wheelchair.

 

Joy Rider diary

 20 July 2018

My two boys and I are setting off today to Southampton to embark on the Queen Victoria on a cruise around the Mediterranean.  What makes this venture different is that I am, for the first time, taking an electric wheelchair, the Joy Rider, with me.  It’s certainly been named on a positive note for a Vehicle that deals with disability. As wheelchairs go, however, the Joy Rider is at the top end -lightweight, genuinely foldable, easily manoeuvrable and good looking.

This holiday has been planned for many months without any suggestion of wheelchair assistance. My approach has long been that wheelchairs are for disabled people so I don’t qualify.Unfortunately, a recent dip in my health has left me quite weak, so I had little option but to agree when family members pushed me to take one.

The first mistake I made was to allow the wheelchair to be sent on ahead with my luggage when we arrived at the port. I think that my decision was based upon misplaced pride and a general nervousness. When we were directed to our cabins I discovered that it was a very long walk which left me knackered. So much so that I was unable to walk to the restaurant for lunch. My legs had simply given up!

My first venture, then, was to attend the compulsory safety meeting. At our designated meeting point there were about 500 people. As we were about to return to our cabin at the end of the meeting I was approached by a passenger who was very interested in the wheelchair. We also met his wife who was in a wheelchair. One of her difficulties is that she cannot bend her right leg. Her husband clearly has engineering skills and has made adaptations to her present chair. I propose to lend the Joy Rider to her.

 

23 July 2018

I have now had the benefit of a couple of days’ use of the Joy Rider. Aboard ship it is very useful. Our cabins are a long way from the restaurant and the wheelchair is very helpful. It even fits perfectly at the dining table, so I use it instead of a dining chair.

One slight problem is that the corridors are narrow and are populated by devices used to collect laundry and to house cleaning devices.  This makes the gaps very tight indeed.

My main concern is that I am likely to lose the use of my legs if I make sitting in a wheelchair my default position!   I therefore intend to walk into Cadiz today. We have docked here this morning.

  1. Did not walk in to Cadiz. Stayed put

24 July 2018

Day at sea. Unremarkable

25 July 2018

Barcelona.

The boys did not get up for breakfast, so I went alone. It was only when the restaurant staff expresses astonishment that I realised that I had forgotten about the wheelchair and walked! Don’t know whether this will be treated as a miracle or as a fraud!

 

29 July 2018 onwards.

I have by now become familiar and comfortable with the Joy Rider. It no longer feels unfamiliar or alien. One internal debate I have with myself is whether to walk or use the wheelchair. One tactic I have used, for example, is to go by wheelchair to the restaurant but to hand over to the boys after the meal. They then drive back whilst I walk

Charging the wheelchair is simple and there is a good unit on the controls which gives a good warning if the battery becomes depleted

I think that there is a reasonable chance that one of the passengers will buy a Joy Rider. We are just getting the figures together.

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The Joy Rider is sprightly. Its turning circle is very tight and it is very comfortable to handle. People are very courteous. Almost without exception they afford me right of way. They are particularly helpful when we use the lifts. We are all familiar with lifts when demand is high and one waits for an age for the lift to arrive. The other guests would always insist that I get on first even if it meant that there was no room for them

I did not use the wheelchair on dry land. I was familiar with the ports at which we docked and the weather was very hot. Two stops were on tender, where we dropped anchor at sea. There was no possibility of putting the machine on the tender boat. It was much too choppy.
So, I arrived at embarkation a wheelchair novice and disembarked a veteran. I was agreeably surprised how easily I adapted. It made life on board very comfortable.

 

“I would urge anyone who has misgivings that their nervousness is misplaced. The Joy Rider will make your holiday most enjoyable.”

You can view the Joy Rider by clicking here, or call our friendly electric wheelchair experts on 01865 339 366 for more information.

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