I wanted to express to you and Steve a special holiday wish and to thank you for expanding my horizons. Many times during the past year on TV I’ve seen streets, locations, parks and locales where I’ve traveled with you. I look forward to our upcoming adventures too.
My dreams are coming true thanks to you!
This was our first cruise in 35 years. Debra booked our Alaska cruise package with Regent Seven Seas and assured availability of appropriate transfer assistance as needed. When we decided later to change our airline return plans she handled those arrangements and we enjoyed a trouble free and worry-free journey. For our final transfer to the Vancouver airport a motor coach with wheelchair lift was not readily available so we were met by a Regent representative who escorted us to a wheelchair taxi, which Regent had arranged and paid for. Regent personnel were friendly and helpful without exception. Regent Seven Seas Mariner is a nice size: comfortable, quiet, not too large. Amenities and food were excellent, and the bed was the most comfortable one I have ever slept in! Alaska is gorgeous. To top it off, we enjoyed wonderful weather, with only one rainy day (in Juneau). Kudos to Regent and especially to Debra: she was meticulous in making arrangements appropriate to my handicap.
My name is Arden and I am a psychologist who works with people who have sustained serious injuries in Canada. Many of my clients have had traumatic amputations. Quite by chance, I ended up on the same ship as your group was on a few years ago and I was so taken by the idea of cruising as a group that I have shared your information with my clients. I tell my clients that it was so beautiful to see your group laughing and singing and partying and dancing and swimming and hottubbing and dining and integrating with everyone else on the ship…. Things that some of my clients, especially in their acute stages, wonder if they will ever be able to do again.
Interestingly, my husband lost his finger in a log splitting accident not long before the trip. Seeing your group living it up had a really good impact on him and helped him with perspective.
This is the first free time when I was not exhausted since our return home to write you of our trip. You out did yourself when you arranged our travel plans!!!! Our 14 days were exceptional and the longest vacation trip I have EVER had. We felt we were treated as royalty our entire trip, even in the airports. The 16 days my mother and I shared with our long time friend Helen were a life time of memories combined with the 12 days of new experiences in Europe.
The 3 of us were calling ourselves “the 3 queens” during our trip!
I highly recommend the Allure of the Seas ship of the Royal Caribbean fleet. We were treated as royalty by ALL the staff. The manager of the 3 main dining rooms made sure his staff treated those within their dining rooms with respect, warmth and as long lost friends. The food and service were exceptional. We ate most of our meals in the main dining room mostly due to the service we were given by the staff!! We felt most everyone went out of their way to see we lacked nothing in the quality of the food and service we experienced from the moment we entered until we left. I have eaten in top quality restaurants and can not say any of them gave us the wonderful, caring, personable service we had. We shared so many laughs and moments while enjoying our meals there.
Our days in Rome were a wonderful start of so many magical moments. The hotel staff were fantastic and personable. From our arrival until the day we left, we felt the staff worked very hard to make our stay exceptional. For such an old building, we found it to be very well taken care of in cleanliness and up dating. The woman on our floor who managed the daily room linen, restocking of room supplies/cleaning had soo much energy and enthusiasm. Her smile and energy radiated her quality service. The regular “door man” treated my mother as though the world evolved around her. The front desk were most helpful and always cheerful. We left the hotel feeling they loved their work. Our excursions in Rome were outstanding. Rosella (forum, Vatican museum tour) is an exceptional guide. She was wonderful with my mother, being sure she heard the verbal descriptions of historical significance. I would love to have her as a neighbor. She loves her work and we felt “her clients” were cherished members of her family. Her historical information was given with “love of her city and enthusiasm” which held one’s attention.
Thank you for all your work, especially when Helen changed her mind about her flight to Rome instead deciding to join us in Dallas. I know that took A LOT of time on your part. By the way, Mom and I ended up 5-6 foot from the Pope when they stopped the pope mobile right in front of us!!! They remained there no less than 3 min while he greeted the crowd. I got a wonderful photo of him for Mom to show when she tells her story.
Mollie B., Edna H. and Helen L.
We had the most amazing two weeks in Alaska you could ever imagine! Everything went brilliantly and was beyond my expectations! If you are ever in need of a travel agent give Debra Kerper a call at EASY ACCESS TRAVEL she will make sure you have a top notch vacation anywhere in the world! If you think you might be too old to travel, or you require a wheelchair, power chair or scooter, whatever your needs are, travel is possible and she will make sure of it. Wheelchair accessible transportation, excursions, hotel rooms, staterooms, whatever it is you name it she will take care of it. So if you want a great travel agent, looking for a group trip, trip on your own, have some travel needs or don’t have any, give her a call. It is well worth it and she will take good care of you!
Alaska Cruise Tour Group
The cruise on the Reflection exceeded our expectations. The scooter and wheelchair were in our cabin as promised. There was not one part of the ship that was not easily accessible. The stateroom and bath facilities were roomy and well equipped with the correct equipment. The airlines and cruise personnel were waiting for me at both ends of the trip with a waiting wheelchair that removed all anxiety about transferring to and from the flights and boarding the ship.
Your guidance and insights were invaluable to the success of our experience . Thanks again for a job well done.
I had an amazing time on this cruise because I was able to to connect with so many old friends with spina bifida from so many different walks of life (my New Jersey SB community, my Massachusetts SB community, friends from national conference, friends from online communities when I was a teenager, and even my friend Khadene, who I hadn’t seen in ten years when we met on our first international experience in England as part of a delegation of young adults with disabilities). I was able to participate in fun activities with my old friends (instead of just sitting around a hotel attending sessions by day and drinking in the bar by night like at national, regional, and even international conferences), it was really awesome seeing those friends from different walks of life get to know each other, and I met so many new people who weren’t regular national conference attendees and I wouldn’t have met otherwise. The educational experience of the national conference is valuable, but it’s a totally different beast than the “real-life” experience that this cruise was, and I attend the conference mostly to do Leadership Day as a delegate for my chapter (I’m on the board of directors) and to work as a youth teacher for the Kids!Camp program. I think that what many first-time independent travelers and first-time cruisers can take away from this cruise experience is that it IS possible and enjoyable to travel with a disability, as long as you do some research beforehand and pack some creativity and flexibility for inaccessible/unanticipated situations (creativity and flexibility like we all had the opportunity to exercise on the dolphin swim, for example – it was an inconvenience to have an inaccessible bathroom but a powerful learning experience for us in learning how to encounter inaccessibility with a proactive attitude and sense of humor, and a powerful learning experience for the people at the dolphin swim location, who will very likely improve on their accessibility after our visit). Even though it’s amazing to connect with our SB community on trips like these and Michell and Debra worked to make this trip as accessible as possible, we can use this experience as a springboard, take what we’ve learned, and become empowered to continue to get outside our comfort zone and participate in all sorts of travel opportunities and not just limit ourselves to travel with SB groups. My experience in England with other young adults with disabilities gave me the knowledge and courage to travel abroad again independently, including studying abroad in Germany and going to Ireland – I was in Dublin on my own for the international SB conference, I researched tours beforehand, and I ended up having the time of my life spending a week seeing the Irish countryside with a tour company that never had experience with any wheelchair users before. It will be awesome for these SB trips to be just a starting point for a lifetime of cruising, international travel, and/or independent travel.
On the tender, Debra Stein Briscoe Kerper was one of the organizers for the cruise and she did an amazing job. We had such a fantastic time, Alex was able to do whatever he wanted with no barriers, the excursions were top notch. If you are ever in need of a travel agent, especially one who deals in accessible travel look up Debra, at Easy Access Travel, you will not be disappointed.
Thank you for all you and Debra have done! Your passion and commitment to creating this beautiful experience for so many shines through. ….and we are all truly grateful…thank you, thank you…
Wow! For everyone that said going on a cruise would be an awesome experience…you were right! I also gained a bunch of new friends
I had the most amazing and forever life changing experience of my life last week on my very first cruise ever. It was all made possibly by some very special people who will forever be close to my heart now. I don’t know how to even thank you Debra Stein Briscoe Kerper, Michell Huber and Rebecca Boudos. I also made some great new friends and just had a blast and can’t wait to do it again! ?
I wish to echo other’s sentiments about last week’s YASB 2013 Caribbean Cruise and say that never in my life have I ever felt so comfortable and so completely understood by a group of people!! I am truly blessed to have had this opportunity to meet everyone and I wish to send a heartfelt thank you from the deepest part of my heart to Michell Huber, Debra Stein Briscoe Kerper and Rebecca Boudos for making this amazing opportunity a reality for all of us! You guys rock!!
This trip changed my life, thank you for all you did to make it happen
I want to give a HUGE shout out to Michell Huber, Debra Stein Briscoe Kerper, and Rebecca Boudos for putting together the most amazing experience for so many people. I think it’s safe to say that everyone tried something new, stepped a little outside their comfort zone, and made new friends and countless memories. I am so glad that I went on this cruise and cannot wait for the next! I love you guys!!!! ?
I would like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to Michell Huber & Debra Stein Briscoe Kerper of EASY ACCESS TRAVEL for organizing one of the most fantastic, life-changing trips of my life. I could not have a imagined a more flawless, fun & exciting adventure filled with friends both new & old. I am forever grateful! ?
After much reflection it has finally sunk in. I had the most amazing time on the cruise and gained dozens of new friends. I feel incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to enjoy paradise with friends old and new while bonding over Spina Bifida and beyond. When are we going on the next one?
Alex and I just wanted to thank you for the most amazing time! I know you did a lot of work on this cruise, and we appreciate it. We did not have one single problem, everyone was so nice, helpful, and the accessibility was amazing. Alex was able to do anything he wanted to without barriers, and what an amazing accessible experience he had. Words can not describe what a wonderful week it has been for him and I. Thank you.
I’m glad to see you mentioning Moon Palace. When I approached you with the request that you find me an all-inclusive resort for me to fulfill my dream of spending a week with my husband, my two kids and their spouses, and my five grandchildren, I had NO IDEA how complicated it would be, nor did I have any idea how much determination you would have to make this dream vacation happen for us. THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
FIRST, you asked me if we would like to do a cruise. I would have loved it, since you did such a wonderful job planning the Alaskan Cruise Tour for my husband and me last year. But, alas, my daughter gets sea sick – not a good option!
THEN, we explored the possibility of our renting a house – with 5 grandchildren between the ages of 5 and 10, most of the adults would have been stuck in the kitchen cooking or shopping, or at least looking for restaurants, a nightmare with young kids.
THEN, we started talking about all-inclusive resorts. Without the benefit of the ADA accommodations, once we set foot outside of the US, we were quite limited. You found a few, but none of them would work for my daughter and son-in-law, since they have 3 young children. Most places limit rooms to 2 adults and 2 kids.
No cruise, no house rental, elimination of those resorts that don’t have accommodations for 2 parents and 3 kids – I thought we would never be able to pull off this multi-generational vacation, with my mobility issues.
I don’t know how many hours you spent working on fulfilling my dream, but you pulled it off! We had an amazing time. The place was wonderful. The huge pool, with water warm enough for none of us to complain, and the wide, gradual ramp with a handrail for me to walk down to enter the pool – playing in the pool with the 5 kids, and some of the adults, was just one of my favorite parts of every day!
My daughter and family only eat vegetarian food out of the house, and there were lots of options – also something we needed to be sure would work for us.
The kids (including my husband, who is 79, but doesn’t have mobility issues) went snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, out on a glass-bottom boat. I was not disappointed – spending time on the balcony or at the pool reading was great for me.
Debbie, before Alaska, when I first started working with you and I described my mobility issues, you immediately recommended a scooter, to make our trip work. It was amazing in Alaska, so of course I knew I’d need it in a large resort like Moon Palace. Again you faced the challenge of being certain that you could find the right scooter rental for me, and you did. For those with mobility issues, a scooter is essential there.
For our little multi-generational family trip, Moon Palace worked really well. We’re still talking about it a month later. We all loved it.