Wheelie Good Cruises but PWD may pay twice as much!

Wheelie Good Cruises introduction

Wheelie Good Cruises promises ‘Hassle-free cruises for people with a disability’. And I’ve heard that they deliver on their promise. The best person to know about cruising with a disability is a person with a disability. 

Wheelie Good Cruises is owned by Robert De Pasquale, who has Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. Apparently, he has been on cruise holidays for over 25 years.

The Poll with a silly question

Should the NDIS fund cruise holidays? is the question with a dog being the yes vote and a black man being the no vote

Robert created a poll with the question ‘Should the NDIS fund cruise holidays’. The NDIS have already said they would NOT do this. Why should they? Many taxpayers cannot go on a cruise, so why should the NDIS fund them? I agreed with the reply by Gyl.

Gyl says 'what a ridiculous polling question; it's been made very clear that NDIS is not there to fund holidays'

Some PWD pay double the fare to go on a cruise

The NDIS may fund the cost of a carer, for the duration of the cruise. The carer is there to work and not have a holiday. But the carer fare typically is paid by the PWD. This was confirmed by Robert.

Wheelie good cruises mention 'at the present time they don't fund holidays, only respite, they will fund carers, but you'll need to pay for there (SIC) fare'

Advocacy is about all PWD, not just your own situation

My next cruise was likely to be with my partner. They would provide the care, and we would negotiate on the cost of their fare. Not all PWD are in a position to do this, and I put on my advocacy hat. And I asked a question.

my question included 'so to go on a holiday you paid double that of a person without a disability? I don't think this is right and NDIS should pay the fare of a carer, as well as the cost of care. You keep paying your own fare'

Robert replied with his own question.

Robert replied 'on what basis do you base your response on? If the NDIS pay the fare of a care (SIC), that just opens up the system to be wrongly used and rorted'

Robert had already mentioned ‘at the present time they don’t fund holidays, only respite, they will fund carers, but you’ll need to pay for there (SIC) fare’. So he already agreed that some PWD will be paying two fares to go on a cruise, just because they have a disability. I was merely saying the same thing as him, so I had to give him an example.

Apologies for not being able to share those posts, as they were removed by Robert. Some sort of violation of the posting rules. I mentioned ‘If a PWD pays their fare of $10,000, and the fare of the carer, then the total cost is $20,000. This is double the cost of the holiday of a person without a disability. Is this fair? 2 X 1 = 2′

I was happy for Robert that personally he didn’t have to pay the fare of a carer when he cruised. But where does that leave the other PWD who pay double? Either they are rich (and I don’t know many PWD in this situation), or they don’t go.

Companion Card in Australia

Sample Companion Card

In Australia, the National Companion Card Scheme helps eligible people with a disability. The PWD can attend events at venues and activities without having to pay for the cost of the ticket for the carer. At some stage in the past, the PWD had to pay the cost, unless the venue decided not to charge. 

The idea of the scheme probably started with one person. Why doesn’t a similar scheme exist for cruises?

Asking Wheelie Good Cruises about the scheme

Robert and I chatted privately, and I challenged him to be the person that pushes the idea of a ‘disabled cruising companion card’.

I replied to Robert 'at one point there was no card and PWD or their carer paid for their ticket. Now they don't at thousands of venues. Wouldn't it be good for PWD to have something similar for cruises. Only those that need sufficient care. Someone could start the companion card for cruises that was accepted internationally.  Ideally someone who had a disability and involved in the industry.'

Possibly asking the person that collects fees from cruise sales was the wrong person to ask. A conflict of interest. Why would they want to decrease their income to help PWD? Or get a bad name with the big cruise lines for pushing the idea?

Hopefully another person in the cruise industry can pick up on the idea, and help eliminate the need for some PWD to pay double fare.

Read about my experiences in a court that wasn’t accessible.

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