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Consumer Newsletter – November 2009



November 2009



Travelers and agents are often confused and uncertain about traveling with oxygen, especially the rules and regulations for dealing with cylinders or other forms of portable oxygen on a cruise. Like everything in life, cruising with oxygen is simple, once you know the guidelines. To ensure smooth sailing, we’ve provided a few basic facts.
All cruise lines welcome oxygen onboard. However, each line has specific guidelines or requirements for guests to follow. Princess Cruises, for example, requires a prescription or note from your doctor with a diagnosis of your breathing problem and the prescribed dosage and flow rate. You are also required to have this at least 30 days prior to sailing. Some lines also require, or suggest, that you have a release form from your doctor. We think it is a good idea for anyone traveling to have medical clearance.

Complying with paperwork and meeting specifications can take time, so it is always a good idea to begin planning early and to contact the medical or access/special needs department of your cruise line at least three to four weeks before your sailing date. Read more.

Princess has long placed a high priority on making cruise vacations accessible for passengers with special needs. Princess initiated its AccessSM program in 1992 to raise the standards of cruise ship accessibility across the fleet. Since then, for their innovation and commitment, they have been honored by the National Business & Disability Council and the Western Law Center for Disability Rights; the only time such honors have been awarded to a cruise line.
For travelers with limited mobility, all of Princess’ vessels have ADA wheelchair accessible staterooms. The Crown Class Ships, specifically the Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess, and the Diamond Class Ships, specifically the Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess, have the most accessible staterooms, with 30 and 27 accessible staterooms, respectfully, and are in a variety of categories.
Accessible rooms have widened doorways into the cabin and bathroom; wheel-in showers, hand held showerheads and bath distress alarms; lowered closet railings, sinks and handrails; and removed or revamped thresholds. The Princess fleet also has access-friendly restaurants, theatres, spas, lounges and open deck space. Elevators have at least a 36" doorway, and wheelchair seating is available in show lounges and other public spaces. Read More.
Warm weather, pristine beaches, historic attractions, museums and vast dining options make Fort Lauderdale a highly appealing city to visit. Once a spring break destination for college students, Fort Lauderdale now attracts a more sophisticated tourist due to its variety of cultural, historical and social activities.
In the downtown area, Las Olas Boulevard is a popular spot for visitors. Points of interest along this one mile stretch include the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Museum of Discovery and Science and the Museum of Art, all of which are wheelchair accessible. Visitors can stop in the numerous art galleries, restaurants, outdoor cafes and boutiques that line the way. All sidewalks and street corners comply with ADA requirements for wheelchair access.
Sometimes called the "Venice of America," Fort Lauderdale has more than 300 miles of canals, channels and rivers. Sightseeing cruises enable visitors to see the homes, yachts and the cruise ships of the beautiful city. Tours such as Jungle Queen and Carrie B are both wheelchair accessible but the bathrooms on the Carrie B ships are not. Read More.

Interesting Fact: Greater Fort Lauderdale houses the world’s largest discount shopping mall, Sawgrass Mills.



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"Placing one foot in front of the other, I’ve climbed to higher lengths. Reaching beyond my own limitations, to show my inner strength. No obstacle too hard, for this warrior to overcome. I’m just a man on a mission, to prove my disability hasn’t won." Robert M. Hensel, poet, referring to his spina bifida

Delivering an Accessible World.

Toll Free: 1-800-513-4515
International: 1-954-585-0575

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.




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