CRUISING FOR A CAUSE - THE REWARDS OF BOOKING SPECIAL NEEDS GROUPS
The average size for Sandra Cline's group cruises is 300. She has 360 passengers booked for Alaska this season and her 2011 Alaska voyage - just announced - is already selling out. Sandra owns Palm Beach County Cruise & Travel in Palm Beach, Florida. Her specialty is booking group travel for persons with Multiple Sclerosis - MS. Sandra is one of the growing numbers of travel professionals who have discovered the benefits of arranging group travel for persons with special needs.
Special Needs group travel is an underserved market niche. According to census figures, approximately 51.2 million persons in the U.S. - 18% of the population - have some form of disability. That's a marketplace larger than Canada. And it makes sense that persons with special needs want to travel with others who share their disability and be helped by those who understand the unique requirements for special needs travelers.
Booking special needs groups is a rewarding and profitable niche. Here are tips for getting started. Read more.
CRUISE LINE SPOTLIGHT: CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
Carnival Cruise Lines is like no other when it comes to delivering fun, memorable and affordable vacations to travelers. Onboard their "Fun Ships," guests are treated to a variety of onboard entertainment, dining and other activity options while the friendly and attentive hallmark staff of Carnival attends to guests' needs. Carnival strives to ensure that guests with special needs are also able to have a relaxing and enjoyable experience. As Carnival says, fun for all, all for fun!
With this mantra in mind, Carnival has made substantial modifications to enable travelers in wheelchairs, electric scooters and other mobility devices move about their ships. Carnival offers three types of staterooms: (1) fully accessible, for guests with limited or no mobility and regularly use a wheelchair or motorized scooter; (2) modified cabins, for guests with limited mobility who use a wheelchair or modified scooter for distance; (3) standard cabins.
In the fully accessible cabins, the closet rods, shelves, safe and desk are all lowered. Also, the bathrooms have grab bars, a fold-down shower seat and an accessible lavatory. Exclusive to the fully accessible cabins, are a widened entry doorway and bathroom doorway, which are both 32" in width. Read more.
CITY OF HIGHLIGHT: SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
San Diego is one of America's finest cities to visit with its near-perfect weather and tourist-friendly attractions. With its abundance of accessible shopping, dining, parks, attractions, sports, recreation, transportation services and lodging options, San Diego is also a desirable location for travelers with special needs.
For a fun afternoon outing, Seaport Village on San Diego's Embarcadero is one of the city's most enjoyable destinations. The beautiful waterfront area combines shopping, dining, museums, parks and other entertainment experiences. Visitors can take a stroll, interact with street performers, listen to live musical entertainment, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy good food from the 70 shops, galleries, restaurants and eateries at Seaport Village.
Located nearby are the USS Midway Museum and the Maritime Museum. The unique USS Midway Museum is the only Aircraft Carrier Museum west of the Mississippi. Aboard the longest-serving Navy aircraft of the 20th century, visitors will experience a floating city at sea. Approximately 60 percent of the museum's exhibits are wheelchair accessible. The museum provides elevator access from Navy Pier onto the ship, from the hangar deck down to the second deck and access up to the flight deck. Read more.
Interesting Fact: People travel for miles to the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch in North San Diego. In the spring, 53 acres of colorful ranunculus bloom as well as a mixture of specialty flowers. Over 3 million cut flowers and 6-12 million bulbs are harvested each season in Carlsbad.
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Home Based Travel Agent Show 2010
Dates: April 14-16
Location: Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Visit the Special Needs Group booth to get your free Eco-friendly reusable tote, pen and to check out our equipment.
Special Needs Seminar
Date: Thursday, May 13th
Location: Piccadilly Cafeteria
4500 Hollywood Blvd; Hollywood, FL
Seminar hosted by the OSSN Miami Chapter
Date: Saturday, June 5th
Travel Agents Earn Commission on Every Rental.
Toll Free: 1-800-513-4515 | International: 954-585-0575
2860 West State Road 84, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
About Special Needs at Sea and Special Needs Group...
Special Needs Group, Inc. is a one-stop resource for special needs travel around the world. We offer a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase and rental including wheelchairs, scooters, power chairs with capabilities to support 500 pound or more; oxygen (liquid, cylinder, and concentrator); hearing impaired equipment, Braille printing, baby cribs and more. Recommended by the world's major cruise lines and hotels for superior service and value, we also provide consultation services regarding special needs policy and new-build design. Special Needs Group, a U.S. company, is not a travel agency; we do not compete in any way with travel agents.