GROUP TRAVEL FOR PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Group travel options for persons with special needs are becoming more popular and more varied. Whether you use a wheelchair, need oxygen, have a hearing impairment or rely on a service animal, there is a group trip for you. Here are a few tips for finding and enjoying the right trip.
Use an agency with solid experience organizing group trips for persons with disabilities, preferably one that specializes in your disability. Connie George Associates works with wheelchair users and slow walkers; Passages Travel concentrates on Deaf Cruises; and Palm Beach County Cruise & Travel works exclusively with Multiple Sclerosis. SATH (Society for Accessible Travel and Tourism), the internet, and national non-profit agencies for your disability are resources for locating specialty travel agents.
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.
Delivering an Accessible World.
Toll Free: 1-800-513-4515
2860 West State Road 84, Suite 107, 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.