Our Winter Getaway on the Breakaway (part one)

Uncategorized Feb 11, 2020

 About us

My wife and I are both in our 60’s, and my wife has mobility challenges.  She has had her back fused, and several joints replaced.  So as a result, she uses a walker at home and is quite active, but when she has to travel longer distances, and when she may have to sit for extended periods, she then uses a wheelchair.  We are both outgoing and like to meet and talk to new people.

One thing to know about us is we are very much G or PG people.  We have no tolerance for vulgarity or sexual material.  This affects the choices of the shows we attend.  You will read more about our options in later posts.

This blog will address our travels and adventures.  While I will try to provide an abundance of information for those with mobility issues, I will also try to provide information for everyone. 


I would consider us as experienced cruisers, and I will share tips, things we learned, and mistakes we make so that everyone can learn through our journeys.  For trips that are not cruises, I will share our experiences as well.

In addition to having the mobility challenges, we are also on a limited budget, so we tend to be very thrifty when we travel.  I traveled a lot for work and thus built up a number of air miles and hotel points, which we use when possible.

My wife and I are very different when it comes to preparing for travel, I want to spend time researching and finding out as much as I can about what to expect, and my wife likes to study less and enjoy the experience as it unfolds.


Booking and Insurance

My wife and I booked our Jan 17th cruise on the NCL Breakaway on a spur of a moment decision.  I received an email in early December from NCL advertising some desirable rates, and this sailing fit our needs very well.  It is our longest cruise; we had been on several 7-day cruises and thought we would like to try a longer one. 

We looked at the information online, and the “Sail Away rate” for this cruise was $549.00, which was very attractive for a 10-day cruise.  We called NCL, and while we were talking to the cruise consultant, she was able to reserve a handicap inside cabin at the special rate. Typically, the sail-away price is a guarantee, and you can’t choose your cabin, you get what is available closer to sailing.  When booking the cheapest rates, you also forfeit any of the other special perks that you would get for booking at the higher rate.  For us, the savings was worth it.  The perks are very nice if you want to book specialty restaurants, or if you don’t have to worry about the bar tab, but for us, the low rate was a better value. I will provide a summary of all our expenses for this trip at the end of the blog. 

One thing we recommend for everyone is to read the terms and conditions of the fare you purchased, and the legal documents that are part of the contract for the cruise.  One thing you will see is that you as the passenger have minimal rights if something happens, and if you can’t make the trip for any reason after the final payment date, the cruise line has no liability.  For this reason, I firmly believe that trip insurance is a must. 

There was a recent account where someone had a medical emergency that required them to be admitted to a hospital in a foreign port.  They did not have insurance, and so the cost of everything had to come out of their pocket.  The cruise ship personnel did help them get their belongings off the ship, but that was the end of the cruise lines responsibility.  They had to pay for the medical expenses and their transportation back to their home.

In another case, a person booked a cruise and found out she was pregnant and failed to cancel the cruise.  It turned out that when it was time to sail, she was too close to her due date and so the cruise line would not cancel her cruise and refund her payment.  She was out for the full cost of the cruise.  If she had either had insurance or canceled before the final payment date, the situation would have been much different.
NCL does offer some insurance for a reasonably low rate that provides limited benefits. Still, we opted for a more robust policy that included pre and post-cruise coverage until we arrived back home.  Please be aware that there are limits on how long you can wait to purchase insurance, and not all insurance provides coverage for canceling your travel plans for non-emergency conditions.

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