CRUISING WITH A SPECIAL NEEDS CHILD
Cruising is an excellent vacation choice for families with a special needs child. It’s a chance to visit multiple destinations without flying or driving from city to city and the family only has to unpack once – – important plus for your special needs child. Once settled into your stateroom, there are few disruptions to routine.
Today’s passenger cruise ships are very accommodating to persons with special needs, and more kid-friendly than ever. Almost all ships offer supervised, age-appropriate activities for children plus menu options that appeal to young people, from pizza and hot dogs to ice cream and cupcakes. Flexible dining hours and multiple venues make it easier for families to dine together, or for parents to feed the children early and enjoy a quiet dinner alone later. Importantly, there are activities for your child throughout the day, and often into the evening.
If you are considering a cruise with your special needs child, here are a few tips to ensure smooth sailing. Read More.
CRUISE LINE SPOTLIGHT: OCEANIA CRUISES
Formed in 2002, Oceania Cruises has positioned itself as the cruise line of choice for travelers seeking a truly refined and casually elegant travel experience. Oceania’s fleet includes three intimate and luxurious 684-guest ships that allow guest to explore the world in style and comfort.
The Oceania fleet includes the Regatta, Insignia and Nautica. All three ships have three accessible inside staterooms in the G category. Two more ships, the Marina and Riviera, will join the fleet in 2011 and 2012 respectively. These ships will each have six accessible staterooms, two inside-facing staterooms, two ocean-facing and two verandas.
The median age for cruisers on Oceania’s ships is 67 years old, and understanding their clientele, the ships themselves are accessible. The accessible staterooms have wider doorways to the staterooms and bathrooms to accommodate wheelchairs; roll-in/roll-out showers; grab bars in the bathrooms; and an alert button. For guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, room kits featuring a visual and tactile alert system are available upon request and televisions provide close captioning on some channels. Read More.
CITY OF HIGHLIGHT: CAPE CANAVERAL, ORLANDO & CENTRAL FLORIDA
Located in Central Florida, Port Canaveral is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Travelers can take advantage of 3-, 4- or 7-day voyages to places such as the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas or Mexico. For travelers cruising out of Port Canaveral, pre-cruise or post-cruise stays in the home city of Cape Canaveral, Orlando and surrounding areas offer travelers many options.
The best known tourist destination in Cape Canaveral is the Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center is NASA’s launch headquarters and provides visitors an opportunity to tour launch areas, meet veteran astronauts, see giant rockets and train in spaceflight simulators. Visitors can also view launches, the next one being the Space Shuttle Discovery, scheduled for an April 5th launch. The Space Center offers many ADA services to make visits for individuals with disabilities enjoyable. Accessible features include special wheelchair accessible seating, audio guides, assistive listening devices, American Sign Language interpreters, guided tours for guest who are blind or low vision and more.
The city of Cape Canaveral also houses the 35 acre Jetty Park. Jetty Park includes a beach, campground and full range of activities. One of this park’s best-loved features is the 1,200 foot Malcolm E. McLouth Fishing Pier. The Pier is open 24 hours, is paved, lighted and equipped with fish-cleaning tables with running water. Additionally, the Pier is fully accessible to the physically challenged. Guest may also rent one of the two beach wheelchairs that give access to both the beach and pier. Read More.
Interesting Fact: In homage to its spacefaring heritage, the Florida Public Service Commission allocated "321" as the telephone area code for Cape Canaveral and surrounding counties.
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QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
SPRING BREAK SPECIAL
Need a wheelchair, scooter, oxygen concentrator or other special needs equipment for an upcoming cruise vacation? Book any piece of special needs equipment from Special Needs Group during the month of March and pocket savings up to fifteen percent. Additionally, Special Needs Group is waiving all fees for one-way rentals booked in March – an added value for anyone taking advantage of seasonal positioning voyages. Savings and one-way fee waivers apply to all new bookings and equipment reservations made through March 31 for travel through December 31, 2010. For more information or to book equipment, call 1-800-513-4515.
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.