Rest-home residents off on Fiji cruise

Setting sail . . . Glendale Retirement Home staff (back from left) caregiver Casey Brown, caregiver Nadine Brown, diversional therapist Gayleen Dunn and companion Ian Dunn and residents (front from left) Gavin Nicol (82), Bob Wilson (85), Patrick Byrnes and Susan Blok (60) are looking forward to their cruise to Fiji next week. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

Glendale Retirement Home residents and staff are escaping Dunedin winter and setting sail to Fiji.

Four residents and four staff will spent eight nights on Pacific Jewel next week.

Retirement home diversional therapist Gayleen Dunn said staff had been thinking about taking residents on a cruise for a while but had only started planning for it about three weeks ago.

Even though the residents were in a home, it was “still nice to go on a holiday and look forward to something”, she said.

Mrs Dunn said since it was the first time they had been on the trip and eight days seemed like a good amount of time.

She said the retirement home staff often took residents to Aramoana to watch the cruise ships go past, so it was nice that they got their turn to be on board.

“We have watched them enough times.

“It’s a shame we’re not leaving from Dunedin.”

The group will fly to Auckland on July 13 and board the cruise the same day.

She said the group was looking forward to dancing, eating, sunbathing and getting massages.

Companion Ian Dunn said “if anyone is extra brave”, they could go snorkelling.

Resident Gavin Nicol said “there’s always something going on” on a cruise.

He said when he was talked to about going on the trip, he thought “why not?”

“Let’s go get the hell out of here for a few days,” he said.

None of the residents had been on a cruise before and it would be the first time resident Patrick Byrnes had been overseas. Until now, he had not had a passport.

Mrs Dunn said there was a great group of people going.

“It’s just going to be so lovely.”