Rachel Gibson-Leigh from Brighton, who lives with restricted mobility, has just proven holidaying on cruise ships with a folding TGA Minimo Plus mobility scooter is ‘absolutely liberating’.
Rachel is an accomplished book and graphic designer who took early retirement due to severe Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis. She now lives with her wife, Debbie, who has also recently retired from public service as a long standing civil servant. Debbie now cares for Rachel and with the help of two TGA folding mobility scooters, a compact Minimo Plus and mid-sized Maximo, they both live life to the full in Brighton. By owning a Minimo Plus Rachel was able to attend the Buckingham Palace Royal Garden Party last year in recognition of Debbie’s service to the nation where they shook hands with The Queen, Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Rachel has now experienced another ‘royal’ first in her life thanks to the Minimo Plus – a cruise around the Norwegian fjords on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth ship.
Rachel explains: “We have just come home from cruising the Norwegian fjords aboard the majestic Queen Elizabeth. I took one of my scooters, the Minimo Plus and found it absolutely liberating and essential in allowing me to enjoy the holiday to the full. An Minimo Plus will empower you to travel just like me!”
Rachel continues: “On the small and nimble Minimo Plus I was able to navigate the large ship with ease from cabin to restaurant and spa – so essential as the QE is huge. On excursions it was vital in allowing me to appreciate all the sights and scenery that majestic Norway has to offer. I felt completely independent and free to savour everything I wanted to. No one batted an eye, the tour guides were helpful and the coach drivers on the excursions were more than happy to pop the folded Minimo Plus into the coach hold while we drove from place-to-place.”
Rachel adds: “There were a good number of mobility scooter users aboard ship however none as nice looking as mine, some looked a bit homemade. Cunard offers adapted cabins and makes a great effort to welcome the less able traveller aboard. Having said that, I was the only person on all the excursions we went on with a scooter. It surprised me given how many there were aboard and I wondered whether people felt less confident about taking their scooters off the ship which is a great pity. Whereas with a Minimo Plus you can have confidence and absolutely no difficulty on any part of the holiday, even when we disembarked via a small boat, my scooter came with me. The crew had no issues lifting and folding it as my scooter is so lightweight. Most of the time I just drove up and down the gangplank which was a huge benefit to me as walking is practically impossible these days.”
Rachel concludes: “Having grown in confidence about the ability to travel and see the world with my TGA scooter via a cruise to and from Southampton, we have already booked another for next year when we’ll be going to The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Russia. In 2019 we are going on another cruise to Iceland, Newfoundland, Canada and the US. In other words, there is absolutely no reason why mobility issues should hold anyone back and I have rediscovered my wanderlust and joy of travel since owning my TGA scooters – particularly the Minimo Plus which is a plucky and game little travel companion. I call her ‘My Liberty’ as she is simply that.