When we found out about Buddy Cruise, the thought of taking my brother-in-law who is now 58 and has Down Syndrome on a cruise with is peers intrigued us. We found out how fantastic the people who plan this event every year are. They make sure there are activities to include all folks no matter what their disability, chances to do something you can not do at home, and make new friends who you can keep in touch with through the year.
My husband and I have taken my brother-in-law on the Buddy Cruise 3 times now and it has been an forgettable experience each time.
Buddy Cruise has the most caring and helpful people working to make the experiences unforgettable to the people who attend whether they are young or old, family or friends.
I would recommend this cruise to anyone who has a family member or friend with a disability.
Our family first found out about the Buddy Cruise several years ago while we were living in Alaska, and have since attended 3 sailings. It has been a fantastic experience for us being the person in our family who has a disability is my 57 year old brother in law with Down Syndrome.
The experience of going on a ship for him has been wonderful great. There are so many people and being with his peers makes him very happy. Even though he is older, there are always activities he can participate in.
Jorge and Pam Arnoldson who founded Buddy Cruise, their family and the crew who help them (they work year round) every year, think of everything for the inclusion of the participants no matter what age. Parents are always included each trip with seminars to help them cope with happenings in their lives.
I can't say enough about the Arnoldsons and the cruise. Anyone who has a child, sibling or any member of their family with a disability should attend a Buddy Cruise to have a fantastic memorable experience.
We cruise ALOT. But traveling with three special needs children is challenging and at times, in the past, isolating. UNTIL we met Buddy Cruise! From my first contact with Pam Arnoldson (director of BC), I felt like family! Not many understand an autistic child with sensory issue that cries and hides because the "lights were too bright" or a child with difficult to understand speech, or children with very complex medical issues, but Buddy Cruise understands and welcomed us. We travel with a suitcase of meds, IV poles and pumps- not a problem for BC.
In the past we may have "travelled " but never felt "included". With Buddy Cruise we were not only included- we had an instant sense of "belonging".
I loved advocating for our children on the Buddy Walk at Sea and showing folks that our kids are more alike than different.
We made great friends, formed strong bonds and enjoyed chatting with people who truely do understand.
The workshops were fabulous- so much to learn.. There was great food and fun and the time went by WAY to quickly. We are registered for BC 2916 and will book soon for 2017.
THIS is acceptance, equality, love and family fun.
Buddy Cruise Inc.-Lithia, FL in three words… AN AMAZING ORGANIZATION! 2015 was the first year my sister and I stumbled across their website, BuddyCruise.org by way of search engines affiliated with Down syndrome. As a sister, caregiver, and a nervous nelly about travel all together I spent just a couple of hours discussing and pointing our family, friends, and my sister’s physicians to Buddycruise.org regarding this opportunity, their response was very positive and encouraging. From the time I contacted the assigned travel agency until the time we returned home, the entire Buddy Cruise organization was very prepared, responsive to all my questions, and made us feel part of a much bigger family. We were welcomed with so many hugs, included in a variety of activities, educated about additional resources, and made many forever friends. The Buddy Cruise organization has given us an opportunity to share our story and experiences on a day-to-day basis with people we work with and meet along life’s journey. Thank you Buddy Cruise Inc.! We’re excited to be seeing you and making more forever friends in 2016!
I had been looking at joining the Buddy Cruise for a few years and finally signed up last year to take my daughter. I was worried about going alone however we met so many wonderful people . It's like a family reunion. There was so much for my daughter to do. My biggest surprise was how everyone one the ship outside of our group was so curious about wanting to know more about us and joined in on our Buddy Walk. I am looking forward to bringing my daughter again .This is one cause worth supporting!!!
The Buddy cruise is a life changing adventure, I looked into it for several years and finally booked a trip this last Oct (2015) I took my daughter who is 16 with me. There was so much to see and do but the best part for me was all the other travelers who were not part of our group coming up to us asking questions about the "Buddy Cruise "experience, asking about Down syndrome and many joined in our events. We meet so many other families and came away with some lasting ties and new friends. Pam and Jorge who started this foundation put there heart and soul into making sure everyone young and old has a great experience and leaves the ship with lots of great information.
Having been with Buddy Cruise since its inception in 2008, I have seen this organization grow. What started off as just a conference at sea has become like a yearly family reunion. I have met so many amazing people and it is truly a blessing to call them my friends.
I have been on every Buddy Cruise since the first sailing. At the beginning of each cruise you barely know anyone but by the end, it is like we are one big family. The cruise includes a variety of amazing speakers and between the entertainment that the cruise line has and what Buddy Cruise provides there is no way you will be bored. If you have the chance to join Buddy Cruise on a voyage one year, I definitely recommend it.
Review from Guidestar
I have been to my first Buddy Cruise in 2015 and loved it! we went with four families and we all booked for the 2016 Buddy Cruise before leaving the ship. It's a great family to be part of!
Buddy cruise is a wonderful conference and social activity at sea! Educational, while having fun! Our family loved the cruise and can't wait until October!
Love Buddy Cruise. The Founders of this organization truly are an inspiration to the rest of us. They give from their hearts.... and it shows. Buddy Cruise is a spectacular event. So much to learn, and so many folks to meet and share experiences with. Priceless!!!!
Review from Guidestar
Buddy Cruise, Inc. is one of our favorite organizations in the world and we have participated in many. We have sailed on 5 or 6 Buddy Cruises and each year the experience just gets even better. One of our favorite things about Buddy Cruise is the 'family' that develops as a result of the camaraderie with other passengers and families. We also love the conference, the excursions and especially the dances. This is a professionally run organization that definitely fulfills its mission and purpose!
The best combination of family vacation, friendship and fun! Also a conference with infirmTion and events. They plan events with the cruise line and other passengers so that it's a safe and inclusive environment. I'll continue going on Buddy Cruise as long as the ship is sailing!!