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Cruising with Care for Handicapped

Full disclosure: If what you are about to read sounds like a plug for the company involved, it isn’t intended. We do not know the company or the principals. We personally have not used the company’s product (thank goodness). Our cousins have, and that’s the reason we’re passing along their endorsement.

The company is called Care Vacations. The business is providing physically challenged people with the tools they need to navigate their way around a cruise ship. Lyle and Marilyn, our cousins, qualify. They also love cruising.

“We’ve used them four times now,” says Marilyn. “We’ve never had a problem. When we get on the ship, the scooter is waiting for us in the stateroom.”

This company is not the only one in the field. Searching the Internet turned up another, called Scootaround. Both provide mechanical mobility — Care Vacations seems to specialize in the cruise business, as opposed to travel in general. It also provides respiratory equipment, patient lifters, shower chairs and even hospital beds. It’s been around 20 years and services 20 ports in the U.S., three more in Canada and select ports world-wide…and it has the authorization of all major cruise lines.

People with disability issues have a tough enough time being able to travel, so anything that makes it easier is welcome, no matter what the cost. For Marilyn and Lyle, being regular Care Vacations customers also delivered a bonus…no, not a frequent-user points bonus.

Last year, they booked a Royal Caribbean cruise on Jewel of the Seas, through New England and into Canada. Embarkation was at Cape Liberty in New Jersey. Their flight from central Wisconsin had a stop in Detroit and ran into weather problems. The ship left at five o’clock. They arrived at 5:45.

Not only were they able to work out compensation with the cruise line, but Care Vacations gave them a full credit for their scooters. That’s how companies like this build customers…for life.

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