Agent Newsletter - August 2009

Special Needs Group

August 2009

 
Special Needs at Sea Launches Newsletter
 

MESSAGE FROM ANDREW J. GARNETT, PRESIDENT & CEO

Welcome to the first newsletter from Special Needs at Sea, a Special Needs Group, Inc. company! Our company was created out of our own passion for travel coupled with a conviction that the fun and adventure of traveling the world should be available to everyone, regardless of physical challenges. For this issue, we wanted to reflect on how much our team has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time and also look ahead to the future.

Since Special Needs Group was created in 2007, we have fulfilled thousands of vacation dreams. Through our rentals and sales of wheelchairs, scooters, oxygen, hearing impaired equipment, baby cribs and more, we have made travel not only accessible, but a reality. 

My fondest memories range from our participation providing equipment for the world's largest deaf charter to the thank you call from a woman on supplemental oxygen who thought she would not be able to travel again. She said that her seamless cruise to the Mediterranean reopened the world to her. Times like that make all of this more rewarding.

From a business standpoint, I am proud that all the major cruise lines have recognized our superior service and some of them, like Royal Caribbean and Holland America, have named us a preferred vendor. We are also the Preferred Accessibility vendor of organizations such as CLIA after they recognized our ability to consistently address passengers' needs.

We still have much we want to achieve but have several new exciting changes in the works that we believe will be beneficial to all. We wanted to thank everyone who has supported us. Thanks to you, we have become the one-stop solution for travelers all around the world. We look forward to continuing to serve the needs of you and your customers.

SAVE UP TO 30% OFF RENTALS IN AUGUST

In celebration of our country's independence, Special Needs at Sea, a proud American company, was pleased to offer discount pricing during the month of July. Because of the great consumer response, we extended the discount pricing for the month of August. A reservation can be made for future sailings and the special price will still apply. Contact your travel agent today! 

NEW KIOSKS AT SEATTLE'S PIER 91 CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL

In June, Special Needs at Sea rolled-out its signature kiosk at Pier 91 in Seattle. Similar to Special Needs at Sea's equipment kiosk in Port Everglades, Florida, the kiosk will enable customers to pick-up and drop off wheelchairs, scooters and other aides right at the cruise terminal. Until now, when a passenger arranged for mobility equipment, the wheelchair or scooter was delivered to the onboard stateroom. With the new kiosk system, cruise passengers may pick up and drop off their equipment in the terminal, making embarkation and debarkation much easier. If you book a cruiser who has limited mobility or just bad knees but still wants to see all the great sites, make sure to book their mobility needs through Special Needs at Sea.

PORT OF HIGHLIGHT: BARCELONA, SPAIN

Barcelona, Spain is a city filled with museums, galleries and various other cultural attractions. It is also one of Europe's most accessible cities for people with disabilities and mature travelers.

Principal sites of interest such as Sagrada Familia by Antonio Gaudi, Parc Guell, The Monastery Montserrat, Picasso Museum, Fundacio Joan Miro, the Olympic Stadium and the Castell Montjuic are all wheelchair accessible as well as areas including Las Ramblas and the Gothic and Roman Quarters. Some beaches in Barcelona, such as Nova Icaria, Sant Sebastia and Nova Mar Bella have also been made more disabled-friendly with changing rooms and boardwalks that lead right down to the water. Additionally many stores and restaurants have ramps. Accessibility details are on most of the websites for the respective attractions, but we also recommend advising visitors to call in advance to make sure lifts and toilets are working.

Interesting Fact: Las Ramblas, the major center of activities in Barcelona, has an average of about 150,000 visitors every day.

Cruise Information: Celebrity, Costa, Crystal, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Azamara, MSC Italian, Silversea, Oceania and Seabourn all sail from Barcelona. Call Special Needs at Sea now to order your equipment.

 

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DID YOU KNOW?

  • 40 million Americans have limited mobility, oxygen requirements or other form of disability.
  • The majority of rentals at Special Needs Group are to cruise travelers without disabilities who may not use scooters or wheelchairs at home but are concerned about walking long distances.
  • In 1776, Stephen Hopkins (1707-1785) referred to his cerebral palsy when he signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence saying, "my hand trembles, but my heart does not."


10% DISCOUNT ON MEMBERSHIP WITH SOCIETY FOR ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY (SATH)

As a proud corporate sponsor of SATH, Special Needs at Sea is pleased to offer you a 10% discount on the posted membership rates for SATH. Since 1976, SATH has been raising awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, removing physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expanding travel opportunities in the United States and abroad. To learn more about your membership benefits, visit www.sath.org. To get your discount, please let the SATH representative know that you are a Special Needs at Sea customer.

Travel Agents Earn Commission on Every Rental.

Toll Free: 1-800-513-4515
International: 1-954-585-0575

2860 West State Road 84, Suite 107, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
www.SpecialNeedsGroup.com

 
About Special Needs at Sea and Special Needs Group...

SATH representative 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.