David Abbott, resident at Jersey Cheshire Home for the last 25 years and since the age of 53 has just embarked upon his holiday of a lifetime! He has always wanted to visit Italy but suffering with both Schizophrenia and Muscular Dystrophy he has, in the past, been wary about venturing off island. So when a cruise was suggested as a convenient and accessible way for him to fulfil his ambition he was delighted.
Part of Jersey Cheshire Home’s philosophy is to provide access to activities and trips that allow residents to live their lives to the fullest,
and every 2 years they have the opportunity to go abroad on holiday, using funds gathered through events, grants and public donations.
David sailed off earlier this month on his 16 night cruise around the Mediterranean with carer Kriss Polanski, taking in the sights of Sorrento, Morocco and Lisbon to name but a few. Departing from Southampton the first city they docked at was the busy port of A Coruña on the Northern tip of Spain from where they continued south to Tangier in Morocco. Here they enjoyed the sights and the warm weather from the comfort of the deck, sipping lattes and reading up on the next part of their journey to the highly anticipated Italian coast!
Upon reaching Italy the first stop was Sorrento which had to be reached by tender – an experience in itself! Getting from the cruise liner onto the small boat was challenging but fun for David and he found the motion of the waves to be quite surreal experience. Once he’d got himself seated to make the trip ashore he looked at Kris, gave a huge smile and said “this is like a true adventure!”
They spent a wonderful day in Sorrento in glorious sunshine, exploring the 14th Century cathedral (pictured) and the beautiful buildings off the main square such as the baroque Chiesa del Carmine Maggiore.
From here they travelled on to David’s favourite city – Rome, and to ensure they could enjoy all the sights Kriss booked them onto a full days guided excursion. Touring the city from literally 7am-6pm they spent a long but fabulous day enjoying all the sights and even made it to the top of the dome of St Peter’s Basilica Church, so in Kriss’s words “Hats off to David for managing such a long day!”
With Rome a distant but wonderful memory the next destination was the French Riviera, where they were warmly greeted by traditional folk men and women in the port of Toulon. A tourist train took the pair on a ride across the city allowing David to enjoy the sights in comfort and after which they settled down outside a cafe for a latte (what else!), to sit in the sun and watch the world go by.
The pair thoroughly enjoyed their trip together, in between the sightseeing David would spend his mornings relaxing on the boat; drinking lattés (no surprise his favourite drink) and reading books from the library – swotting up each day on what the next city had to offer. They only had a couple of rough days at sea during which David coped fine, it was Kriss that looked a little grey!
Kriss summed up their time on the boat, saying “The food was to die for, the evening entertainment fantastic and the staff looked after us extremely well, David couldn’t have been happier.”
As they headed towards Lisbon, the last port of destination on their trip before their return to Southampton a few days later, David was already dreaming about his next cruise!