By GDB alumna Holly McKnight
When I graduated with my third guide Pollyann, in the summer of 2006 I knew we would have many wonderful adventures together. I would like to tell you about one of my favorites.
In the summer of 2009 some family friends of ours said that they were planning a cruise in January 2010 and that one of the ladies who was going with them needed someone to share a room with. Our friends thought of me and Pollyann. I jumped at the chance because I had wanted to cruise for years.
The first thing we had to do was figure out what was needed to take a dog on the ship, and Carnival Cruise Lines was very willing to work with us. They told us where to find information about traveling internationally with a dog and it turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be. We gathered all necessary papers and set out for South Texas.
When we arrived at the cruise terminal we got on the ship and when I went into my room there were towel animals on my bed. One representing me, and the other, Pollyann. I knew from that moment that it was going to be a great week.
The crew went out of their way to make my trip great and they loved having Pollyann on board. She had bandanas each day that were the same colors that I was wearing. People would seek us out each day to find out what Pollyann was wearing. The cruise line had information in Braille for me. It was great.
The only thing that was a bit rough on our trip was the fact that it was cold. We were thinking that leaving Texas in January meant that we would get away from the cold, but it was not to be.
We went from Texas to Key West Florida for our first stop. It was really neat watching the ship dock and move sideways. I have enough sight to be able to watch things pass us. Other than that, I could not tell that the ship was moving.
In Key West we had arranged to take a city tour so we went on an open train and froze. We all took turns holding Pollyann so that she could help us stay warm. We also got some Key Lime Pie that was very good.
Our second stop was Freeport in The Bahamas. We took a city tour there as well. By that time we had learned our lesson and rode on a regular bus. It was much warmer, although still not what we would consider toasty.
Our final stop in The Bahamas was Nassau where my dad and I got in the water with dolphins. Pollyann waited for me on the beach with my mom and had many people admiring her. She loved it.
In short, our cruise was amazing and I would never have tried it without my amazing girl. She easily traveled through the hundreds of people on the ship and made it such that I could too. I could tell how many people there were and in her usual style Pollyann easily went around them. Our table staff at meals were also very happy to have a dog on the ship. We were in many pictures and had a great time on our wonderful cruise.
The most frequently asked question that I got was "where does she go to the bathroom on the ship?" Well, the crew had a box set up for her in a private area away from the public and it worked great.
In short, if someone is considering taking a cruise with one of GDB's amazing guides, I say do it!