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Buddy Cruise Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Autism, Birth Defects & Genetic Diseases, Disabilities, Down Syndrome, Health

Mission: To provide educational opportunities and resources for families, while promoting awareness, acceptance, inclusion and advancement for individuals with Down syndrome and developmental delay through unique venues.

Target demographics: Serving families touched by Down syndrome and developmental delays globally.

Programs: Expenses associated with providing expert presenters for buddy cruise conference and events. Educational resources for families touched by special needs.

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing group of people. Very helpful and informative. One of the greatest bonding experience for any person with any special need. I have a daughter with Down Syndrome it's hard to find activities she enjoys. Once you board the ship you don't stop smiling.

Ashley Marie H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization only went once this will be second cruise and the friends I have made have become like a another family. I love the Buddy Cruise .

Shannon M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Buddy cruise allows my family to have a safe, educational and relaxing vacation all in one.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organzation and the annual events are amazing! My son and I attended Buddy Cruise 2009 and had so much fun. Then in 2010 my new husband joined us for our 2nd trip on this amazing cruise. The resources are amazing and helped us all know that we are not alone. We have met not yet fellow cruisers but life long friend and have joined a new family. This year I have had a rough time with my teenager with DS and I knew right where to go,..my buddy cruise family. Without them I would have been totally lost. They truely are my salvation. My son finally has a place to go that he has so many people that understand him and it is amazing watching him grow from the experience. I love this so much that I was actuallysad to find out I got pregnant when I did because that means we are missing 2011's cruise. Trust me if there was a way we would be going. Thank you Pam, Jorge and the kids for having such an amazing idea that will change our lifes forever!

Review from Guidestar

Maria141

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter and I took our first Buddy Cruise knowing only a couple people however we left with a family of life long friends. Always great motivational speakers and fun for all. Bet you cant do just one ...Buddy Cruise!!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!!!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Buddy Cruise is an awesome organization. So many families with disabilities, from across the globe, come together to attend fun events and workshops; building lasting bonds.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My 36 year old son has Down syndrome. Prior to his first Buddy Cruise in 2008, he was very hesitant to travel with us (my wife and I are retired). He enjoyed the cruise so much that he has since travelled with us to 36 countries. The travel on the Buddy Cruise is not the main attraction, it is the opportunity to meet with others who are in the same "boat", so to speak. The 2017 cruise will be our 4th. We are both on the Steering Committee of our local Special Olympics and the timing sometimes conflicts with the Buddy Cruise. He looks forward to this event every year.

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been on two Buddy Cruises with my 30 year old son, who has Down Syndrome. It was a great opportunity to meet others in the same situation. My son and I both made new friends and had some nice trips. Patrick has travelled extensively with his mother and me. The Buddy Cruises were a good way for him to meet some peers. It was a good opportunity for me to meet some of the other parents and speakers to know that we are not alone.

Review from Guidestar

Andrea105

Client Served

Rating: 5

LOVE LOVE LOVE this team! Such a special, extended opportunity for fellowship and life skills learning aboard the Buddy Cruise! We make friends for life and I encourage ANY family with ANY extra needs to participate if you're able.

camarodelacoke

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Where did I even start. From Jet skiing in Saint Martin to Dune buggy's in Jamaica to Dancing the night away to workshops with other families, buddy cruise has greatly impacted the lives of many families, mine included. What we have here isn't just a group, but a family where everyone is not only accepted but truly cared for. The networking within the group is phenomenal in connecting families with similar situations, along with offering a grand support group within itself. My family has been part of Buddy Cruise for 5 Years now & we are lifelong members. Come check us out & get involved!

Gina Terrasi G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hands down the best vacation we have ever had! We went to have fun and meet other special needs families and walked away with friends for life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This will be our first Buddy Cruise and we are so excited. The amount of information, help and support in the pre-planning has been nothing less than excellent. Everyone is so friendly, making this so much less stressful for first-time Cruisers like us!

Client Served

Rating: 5

One of the best family vacations ever. Made many life time friends. We now go every year. My daughter asks to go many times during the year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Awesome experience! Top-notch conference, fun activities throughout the entire cruise, great spirit of "family" and fun. Highly recommended!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

Debbra K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Teresa

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

Deborah141

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!!