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Agent Newsletter – October 2010

October 2010



With the cruise industry’s recent building "boom" – – 52 NEW vessels delivered or on order between 2009 and 2010 – – the pace for inspecting the industry fleet can get hectic. While there are similarities between ships in the same class (i.e. Holland America Line’s Vista Class), the job of inspecting so many ships is daunting, especially with the diversity of passengers you must accommodate.
For example, the Special Needs cruiser is among the fastest growing segments of the cruise population, encompassing baby boomers and slow walking elders. At roughly 20 percent of the population, the special needs market equals almost 3 million of the 14.3 million consumers who plan to cruise in 2010. 
Here are some simple guidelines for inspecting cruise ships with an eye to accessibility for your special needs customers. If you are already working with clients who have special needs, use their feedback as a guide for your ship tour. Take thorough notes, or better yet, photos (or video) to keep details fresh. Read More.   
Regent Seven Seas Cruises offers guests an ultra-luxury cruise experience that is ‘upscale but not uptight.’ Their three ships – the Seven Seas Voyager, Seven Seas Mariner and Seven Seas Navigator – travel to more than 300 ports on all seven continents and provide unique programs of exploration and discovery. Their all-inclusive fares include roundtrip air, ground transfers, shore excursions, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and more. As the vessels are designed for hundreds, rather than thousands of guests, the ambiance onboard is personal, individual and accommodating – especially for individuals with special needs.
All three of Regent’s ships have accessible staterooms. Seven Seas Mariner offers six accessible cabin suites; the Voyager and Navigator offer four, two of which are the highly desired Penthouse suites. As the ships do not have many accessible suites, it is highly advised to book early to reserve them. The staterooms are equipped with lowered closet rods and shelves. The bathrooms have a roll-in shower, grab bars, a lowered sink, a fold down shower stool, a handheld showerhead, a toilet seat riser and ramped thresholds. Read More.      
With the temperature averaging between 75 and 85 degrees year-round and about 340 sunny days per year, Nassau, Bahamas is an ideal tourist destination. If you’re looking for a relaxing visit, the Caribbean island has pristine beaches, a scenic harbor and well-preserved colonial architecture. For a faster-paced experience, visitors can enjoy the duty-free shopping, dazzling casinos, lively nightlife and exciting attractions. 
Cruise passengers disembarking in Nassau are a short distance away from Bay Street, the main shopping area. Bay Street has high-end stores such as Gucci and Fendi as well shops featuring duty-free liquor, jewelry, cigars, perfume and other favorite items. Near the Bay Street shopping center is the largest and most famous of the Straw Markets. At the Nassau Straw Market, visitors will find an array of straw products including baskets, hats and mats as well as some homemade foods and woodworking goods. If you’re looking for souvenirs, this is the place to visit. Traveling from the pier to the Bay Street area is wheelchair accessible; sidewalks have curbed ramps and the Straw Market is wheelchair accessible. Visitors in wheelchairs may want to avoid the Straw Market during the middle of the day as it tends to be crowded. Read More.
Interesting Fact: According to astronauts, the brillant blue waters of the Bahamas are some of the clearest and stand out the most from space.
Cruise Lines out of the Port of Nassau: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebration Cruise Lines, Costa Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

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Quote of the Month:
"The only disability in life is a bad attitude."
– Scott Hamilton, Olympic figure skater


Free Webinar: Making Travel Accessible: Increase Your Sales and Grow Your Business by Tapping into the Special Needs and Slow Walker Market
Date: Wednesday, November 3
Time: 12:00-1:00pm EST
Note: Webinar is limited to the first 100 registrants only
Home Based Travel Agent Show & Conference
Date: October 27-29, 2010
Location: Atlantic City Convention Center  
Info: Visit the Special Needs Group booth to get your free Eco-friendly reusable tote bag and pen, to check out our equipment, enter a raffle and to say hello!
Booth: #701



If you need brochures to distribute to your clients, please email your quantity requests to:


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.



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