Agent Newsletter - Nov./Dec. 2010

Special Needs Group

Nov./Dec. 2010

 
 

 

NEW ONLINE RESERVATION AND BOOKING SERVICE FOR WHEELCHAIR AND SCOOTER RENTALS
 
Travel agents assisting their special needs vacationers and slow walkers can now book wheelchair rentals and scooter rentals for passengers' cruises online through Special Needs Group's new internet booking tool. The new online booking tool enables travel agents to book equipment 24 hours a day / 7 days a week - whenever the travel agent works. Additionally, when travel agents order the equipment through Special Needs Group's travel agent portal - Starboard - their commission tracks back directly to the agent.

Travel Agents may choose from a variety of scooters, accommodating travelers weighing up to 500 pounds or wheelchairs, accommodating travelers weighting up to 750 pounds. Once booked online, the equipment gets delivered directly to the traveler's cruise ship stateroom. Passengers receive everyday low rates when making reservations through the website. The payment gives assurance that the equipment will be available upon arrival. Transactions are quick, easy and safe.

"Our goal is always to help passengers enjoy the full benefits of their trip experience without barriers and without hassles," says Andrew Garnett, founder and CEO of Special Needs Group. We hope the simplicity and ease of booking equipment online contributes to that goal."  
 
CRUISE SHIP SPOTLIGHT: ALLURE OF THE SEAS 

Royal Caribbean International's (RCI) Allure of the Seas joined her sister ship, Oasis of the Seas, last month at Port Everglades. Allure is more than 1,100 feet long, 215 feet wide and sixteen passenger decks high. The size of Allure may sound daunting, but as she is also one of the most accessible ships, people with disabilities and slow walkers needing scooters and wheelchairs will have an easy time navigating around.
 
We toured Allure in November and had the opportunity to view first hand her accessible features. Allure offers 46 accessible staterooms. The staterooms include wider stateroom and bathroom doorways, five-foot turning radius areas, lowered closet rods, lowered safe, lowered vanity and open bed frames. The bathrooms in the staterooms have a roll-in shower, grab bars, raised toilet, fold-down shower bench, hand-held shower heard and lowered sink. Accessible staterooms are distributed throughout the decks, ensuring ample choices for location and category. Additionally, of the 46 accessible staterooms on the Allure, 33 have balconies; eight with Central Park or Boardwalk views. Read More.        
 
CITY OF HIGHLIGHT: ST. THOMAS, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
 
St. Thomas is one of the most popular cruise ship ports of call in the Caribbean. Virtually every ship sailing an Eastern Caribbean itinerary travels to St. Thomas. The small, 31-square mile island is home to the U.S. Virgin Islands capital. The pristine beaches, warm weather, friendly residents and duty-free shopping are just some of the reasons St. Thomas is a favorite destination. 
 
St. Thomas has been known as having some of the best duty free shopping in the Caribbean; downtown Main Street has over 300 stores with items including jewelry, perfume, alcohol and clothing. The Vendor's Plaza is a fun place to shop or browse. The open-air market is filled with over 50 local vendors who sell t-shirts, island clothing, hats and other souvenirs. The plaza is wheelchair accessible and provides curb-cut access. Visitors should be aware that the plaza tends to get crowded and difficult to maneuver in a wheelchair when cruise ships are in port. Read More.

Interesting Fact: The United States Virgin Islands is the only place under United States jurisdiction where the rule of the road is to drive on the left side. So, look both ways and be careful when crossing the street.

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Quote of the Month:
"We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge to attack our civilization"
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt


HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Happy Holidays to all of our travel agent friends! We hope the new year brings you much love and happiness!  


 
UPDATED TRAVEL AGENT PORTAL

In addition to the new online booking capability, our Travel Agent Portal now includes:
- Web link generator - put a banner on your website to place equipment orders. Any orders linked from your website will earn commission as well! 
- Cruise Ship Checklist - gather special needs information for your ship inspections
- Traveler Questions - ask your clients questions pertaining to their special needs requirements
- AND MORE
All can be found on Starboard.  
 
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
www.SpecialNeedsGroup.com

 
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.