Onboard a cruise ship with Elana Hand

Elana Hand is a wheelie friend born with Spina Bifida. She recently went on a four night cruise to Morton Island with a friend and caregiver. Feeling anxious she went on her first cruise and first holiday without her parents.  This is her experience.

The Good 

The cruise, or floatel as I called it, was huge with eleborate decoration and an array of services onboard.

The crew and staff were polite, enthusiastic, warm, friendly and accommodating.

There was an abundance of food including a three course meal at a restaurant owned by the well known Australian chef, Luke Mangan.

There were fun activities on board including comedy and music. I had fun at the Gatsby and White Party themed nights dressing up in costume and partying the night away.

The weather was great. I enjoyed spending time onboard soaking up the sunshine.

The Bad 

The bed was far too low making transfers difficult. I requested another mattress to be put on top but it still wasn’t the same height of my wheelchair and made transfers difficult when combined with the softness of the mattress.

I wanted to do as little moving as possible on the thick, plush carpet. This was problematic when each activity was spread out over the 12 decks.

I had to choose whether I wanted to spend the majority of my time indoors or outdoors because of the large speed-bump like humps I had to get over at the doorways.

We docked at Morton Island but unfortunately the ship wasn’t capable of allowing wheelchairs onto shore so I didn’t get to go onto Morton Island and missed out on feeding the dolphins and wheeling in a beach chair on the sand.


I’m not sure if I will go on another cruise but I did have a fantastic experience and enjoyable time at sea.


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