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Keith Lerner November 23rd, 2004 09:55 PM

Cruising with a disabled child
We would like to take our two children on a cruise vacation (7 days)but our 10 year old son is developmentally delayed and functions more like a 4 or 5 year old. We would like to find a cruise that offers a camp program or sitter service where our child can receive one-on-one attention throughout the day and maybe part of some evenings and we are willing to pay extra for this service. However, we were surprised to learn that no cruise lines offer such a service.

In the interest of families with disabled children everywhere, we urge the cruise lines to look into this situation. Every family and every child should be able to enjoy a cruise


Keith Lerner

Heidi Lerner

CruisinOkie November 24th, 2004 02:34 PM

Re: Cruising with a disabled child
I can sympathize with your situation, but I think it would be inefficient to provide the very specialized type of attention you might need on a regular basis. As a possible workaround, perhaps you have a trusted caregiver for your child that you might wish to bring along on a cruise. You could book an additional cabin, and perhaps have your child in your own cabin during the night. It would cost more, but you would be assured that your child is getting attention from someone who knows and understands your child.

edited to add: You might also look into group cruises for parents in your situation that would provide the services you need. I'm not sure where you might find the info, but IMO if you Google it, you'll find it. It might not give you as much choice for ship and/or itinerary, but those considerations might be secondary to you anyway.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Post Edited (11-24-04 13:39)

pg November 24th, 2004 02:38 PM

Re: Cruising with a disabled child
Keith a solution for you might be to bring your own assistant for your child. This assistant would know your child better than anyone you would hire on a ship for a week or two. Plus they would be available at all hours.
I sympathsize with your dilema, but the reality of any ship hiring and having available a staff member capable of dealing with the different needs of the various special needs kids that would be cruising each week is pretty unlikely.
I hope you can find a solution that works for your family, I am sure a cruise vacation would be nice for you guys, only unpacking once and having the same room each night would be less stressful than some other vacations.. Good luck !

CruisinOkie November 24th, 2004 02:40 PM

Re: Re: Cruising with a disabled child
pg - great minds think alike!

DavidB November 24th, 2004 04:58 PM

Re: Cruising with a disabled child
PG and Okie make good points. I'm afraid the cruising industry is not geared up for your needs. In fact I would be very surprised if most land based vacations are as well.

But having said that that it is important that you guys get a vacation that will allow you all some special time.

Right now I cant see any other alternative. But I agree maybe at a price such care could be made available and allow people some time to recharge their batteries, it will come one day

pg November 24th, 2004 08:22 PM

Re: Cruising with a disabled child
Ha Ha , Cruisin Okie, my post was only a few minutes after yours, I guess my slow typing has caught me up again! It takes me so long to post sometimes that when I finally hit " post" I don't even go back and look at the post!

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