Pier side pick up of equipment designed to facilitate easier on and off for special needs cruisers and also provide service for cruisers who need equipment at the “last minute”
FT. LAUDERDALE, FL (JUNE 25, 2009)- If you arrive to board your cruise ship at Seattle’s new Pier 91 and realize you may need a wheelchair or mobility aide, or if you’ve reserved special needs equipment in advance and prefer to receive it pier side rather than onboard, no problem. Simply look for the signature kiosk provided by Special Needs at Sea (www.specialneedsatsea.com) a global provider of special needs equipment for travelers and the travel industry, now open at Pier 91 at New Smith Cove Cruise Terminal.
The kiosk at the Port of Seattle marks the second roll-out of a new kiosk program recently introduced by Special Needs at Sea. Placing equipment kiosks within cruise terminals facilitates cruisers who have reserved their equipment in advance as well as those who may realize at the last minute that they need mobility aides to make their cruise experience and shore excursions easier and more enjoyable.
According to Andrew Garnett, founder and CEO of Special Needs at Sea, “Cruisers with mobility limitations are referred to us by the cruise lines or travel agents when they book. They order their equipment in advance. However, the majority of rentals at Special Needs at Sea are to cruise travelers without disabilities who may not use scooters or wheelchairs at home but are concerned about walking long distances on shore excursions or walking from bow to stern on the larger new cruise vessels. Our kiosks provide a last-minute solution for those travelers as well as an added service for those who book in advance.”
Special Needs at Sea has been providing special needs equipment and services to all the major cruise lines since it was founded by Garnett in 2007. However, 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 can pick up and drop off their equipment in the terminal, making embarkation and debarkation much easier.
“If you have limited mobility, or just bad knees, it is so much easier to pick up a wheelchair at the pier and embark,” says Garnett. “At the end of the cruise, simply roll off the ship and return the equipment at the kiosk.”
The first Special Needs at Sea kiosk opened in Port Everglades, Florida in December 2008 at the Holland America Line terminal. If the program proves successful, Special Needs at Sea will expand to include other ports nationwide.
The Special Needs at Sea kiosk at Seattle’s Pier 91 is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the prime turnaround time for ships. Pier 91 handles Royal Caribbean International, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.
“Initially, the kiosks will provide equipment on a first come, first served basis for those who did not reserve in advance,” says Mr. Garnett. “We still advise making early reservations, just as you do for your cruise.”
Special Needs at Sea is a preferred partner benefits supplier for the Cruise Line Industry Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise line association and a member of the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH), an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities.
For more details, to reserve equipment or to request a brochure, call Special Needs at Sea toll free 1.800.513.4515, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto www.specialneedsatsea.com.
ABOUT SPECIAL NEEDS AT SEA
Special Needs at Sea, a Special Needs Group Inc., company, is a one-stop resource for special needs cruising around the world offering a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase and rental including wheelchairs, scooters and power chairs with capabilities to support 500 pounds or more; oxygen (liquid, cylinder, and concentrator); hearing impaired equipment, Braille printing, and more. Recommended by the world’s major cruise lines for superior service and value, we also provide consultation services for cruise lines regarding policy and new-build design. Special Needs at Sea, a U.S. company, is not a travel agency, nor do we compete in any way with travel agents.
Adventures in PR.
Cheree H. Liebowitz
Special Needs Group, Inc.
Phone: 954 585-0575