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3rdtimescharm September 13th, 2004 12:04 PM

Special needs child on Victory
I have a daughter with Down Syndrome. I am taking her on the Victory, Feb 2005, for her 18th Birthday. This will be her first cruise! I have a couple of questions if anyone is able to answer.

1.) Will she be able to participate in Camp Carnival, if she wanted to? (she will be 18 I know, but mentally on some things she is like a 4-5 year old, other things she is like 9-10, and yet others typical 17 year old). She is a 10th grader in High School, where she mainstreams.

2.) Will I have any problems taking her to any of the shows? Age appropriate of course.

3.) Being this is her first cruise, which side of the boat would be best for when we are heading into ports? I am getting a balcony room and want her to see the sights as we enter and leave. (crowds can overwhelm her sometimes, so figured this would be best). I've been on 2 carnival cruise's before. First was the SS Mardi Gras, (retired after my cruise,) second was the Destiny in 99. On deck leaving a port was quite crowded.

4.) Is there anything else you can recommend to help make this more memorable for her? I saw where you can let them know you are celebrating something on the sights. Not sure if they offer anything else. I already have plans to take balloons etc and decorate our cabin for her :-)
Thank you for the advise or help in advance. I really appreciate it.

buffetfan2004 September 13th, 2004 04:42 PM

Re: Special needs child on Victory
What a wonderful gift and special time to spend with your daughter. Ask others on the site here if they know which side of the ship faced port (dock) at each of the stops. I do believe most times they try and make it even. We booked our last cruise Destiny June 2001 with a balcony and were on pool deck waving with all the people when a light bulb went on in our head and said lets go to our balcony for a better railing view! You will enjoy the balcony. I know you will watch her, and balconies they have tall chest height glass panels- just be careful as dampness on balcony deck can be a hazard (there's that mom instinct looking out a child!)
Not sure about the Camp Carnival policies, although if they allowed she may enjoy the crafts and small activities that are less overwhelming. We brought our son then 10 years old to the shows in the evening. They were completely family appropriate. If you are not sure of attention span etc. choose a seat in balcony were you can exit easily.

Cruznut2 September 13th, 2004 06:14 PM

Re: Special needs child on Victory
Hi, I work with developmentally disabled/mentally retarded people. Last year I was on the Carnival Spirit and there were a lot of DD/MR people aboard. The crew was wonderful to them. During the day they seemed to be in a group and with supervision all the time. In the evenings they were with their families in the dining rooms and public rooms. I do not know Carnival policy on Camp Carnival so I am no help there. Advise your travel agent of the birthday. I would also just talk to your waiter the night before her birthday, they will arrange to bring a cake and sing to her. What date in February are you looking at? I have a 66 year old mr (mentally 6 yrs.) woman that I am taking possibly on the Victory we are currently looking at the February 27th sailing. Taking your daughter on a cruise is a special gift. I know she will have the time of her life.


3rdtimescharm September 15th, 2004 04:56 AM

Re: Re: Special needs child on Victory
Hi Cruznut,
She will have what they call a Winter Break from school in Feb. It is the week starting Feb 19th - 27th. The Victory sails Feb. 20th - 27th. She does not know anything about this. Its a surprise!! Sounds like they had a group of special needs kids on when you were there. I've been thinking perhaps I need to go directly to the source, Carnival themselves and see what they tell me. Thanks so much for getting back to me. I appreciate it. Have a great cruise :-)

3rdtimescharm September 15th, 2004 05:01 AM

Re: Re: Special needs child on Victory
Hi buffetfan2004,
Thanks for the response. She stands about 4' 11" and knowing me, she will NOT be out on the balcony without me. That is the only thing I have been nervous about. Her wanting to look out, not from the balcony but up on deck. But I know she will not be out of my sight. I just didn't want her to get bored, so thought perhaps she could participate in some of the things Camp Carnival had to offer. I hope someone can tell me which side of the ship to book on. I think I am going to have to contact Carnival direct it looks though. Thanks again, appreciate a response back :-)

Lisa September 16th, 2004 01:35 AM

Re: Special needs child on Victory all depends on sea and wind conditions as to which side of the ship will be facing the port side when in port (and sometimes just on which way the Captain wants to park the ship so to speak.) What are the ports on your cruise? Maybe we can give you an indication as to which side we have seen on the port side?

3rdtimescharm September 16th, 2004 05:24 AM

Re: Re: Special needs child on Victory
Hi Lisa,
The port of calls are San Juan, St Thomas, and St Martin. The ship is Carnivals Victory.

fitzla September 16th, 2004 12:27 PM

Re: Special needs child on Victory
Also, as far as decorating the bacin for her birthday, if you let Carnival kno, and tell them you want birthday decorations, they will do it for you so when you board, it is already done. I had it done for my birthday this year and the decorations were quite nice. Have a wonderful time.

Lisa September 16th, 2004 01:09 PM

Re: Special needs child on Victory
In St. Thomas, usually the right side of the ship is next to the dock, on St. Maarten, I have been on either side of the dock. Haven't been to San Juan so can't help you with that one.

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