One of the sheer delights of cruising has to be the people you meet on board, my transatlantic on the Navigator of the Seas from Miami to Southampton was no exception. I’m also always interested in the cruising experience for passengers with disabilities, so meeting Dave Moore was a real bonus. His story is both inspiring and uplifting.
So Dave, how did you come to be in a wheelchair?
When I was 32 years old, I was driving home from work, I rolled my car down a ditch, broke my neck in three places, and was paralysed from the neck downwards, they didn’t think I’d ever get anything back into my arms, but it came back partially, then I just kept working on it over the years and it’s still getting better.
You’ve written a book about your experience – can you tell us a little bit about it?
Well, when I was in the hospital, I didn’t know what to expect, no idea and I thought, you know what I’m going to write a book to at least give some access to information for people with spinal cord injuries. So the book goes through what I went through in the hospital.
A big part of my recovery was in positive thinking, the power of the mind is amazing. I would visualise healing, work hard with therapies and after a while I’d feeling burning sensations in my body where I couldn’t feel anything before and I learned that was what needed to be activated. I kept working at it and after a year I could take a few steps, and I’ve been improving for the last 24 years, which shows what anyone can achieve.
I had written about 35 pages of my book, but then I left writing for around a year and a half and started again when I started cruising. I’ve had very positive feedback from so many people especially people who want to be inspired. I titled it “I Still Run In My Dreams” because I’m always out of my wheelchair in my dreams.
How did you start cruising?
My brother gave me a cruise as a gift, a transatlantic very similar to this one, on Vision of the Seas but going the opposite direction. One of the few vacations that I’ve ever taken that when I got back I felt completely relaxed, the weather was great, the last six days were really hot.
I stayed in London for 4 days. Not real keen on their food – but I tell you what, Londoners are some of the most respectful people towards those with limitations of any place I’ve ever been. As someone with disabilities I don’t expect anything special, I just expect equal treatment.
What is it that you find so special about cruising?
I like the fact that you don’t have much stress cruising, we have everything we need, food, lodging, entertainment, bars, its almost like living in a little piece of a large city. You don’t have to worry about driving in traffic. I just find it really relaxing and enjoyable.
And you were saying about the people on the ship too?
Well, the people are amazing, the staff on the ship are amazing too. Everyone seems friendly, because I think you know, when people aren’t stressed they tend to be happier and friendlier and nicer.
How do you feel about access on the ship?
I think I’d give it an A-, it’s very very very good. You can get around. Although not having a disabled room is a problem, we booked too late, so maybe they could include more accessible rooms.
If you could choose 3 dinner guests, living or dead to share a table with you on a cruise who would they be?
Einstein, Tesla and Jesus. I’ll tell you a quote Einstein was asked what it’s like to be the smartest man in the world and he said, I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Tesla!
Dave’s book, ‘I still run in my dreams’ is available on Amazon.