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Buddy Cruise Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: To provide educational resources, awareness, inclusion and advocacy for individuals with special needs and their families.

Target demographics: Serving individuals with special needs and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 4, 000

Geographic areas served: The Buddy Cruise! A Life Changing conference at Sea...and SO much more!

Programs: The Buddy Cruise, THe INSPIRE Program, Buddy Cruising in the classroom, Ambassador program and Buddy Gives Back. Learn more at www.buddycruise.org

Community Stories

113 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Carla E.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such a wonderful opportunity for families with children and adults with Down Syndrome to come together. I love that it is a cruise that combines learning, information and fun for everyone for all ages. It is so hard to find activities to do with our children where their needs are thought of. This cruise has it all. I'm glad that families through out the world can enjoy it too. It brings everyone together. And besides the Buddy Walks this is the only other event in the entire the year that is like that.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe that Buddy Cruise is the ideal get-away for Down syndrome families. Where else can we learn so much, fellowship with other familes, promote awareness, and have what I consider to be the perfect family vacation, all in one event? The speakers are top-notch, the cruise line is wonderfully accomodating, and the bonds that are formed among families and between the children are indescribable.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a co-founder of a regional support group representing individuals living with Down syndrome, I have to say that this group is one of the best in advocating for individuals living with Down syndrome. My family has been on two Buddy Cruises and we will be making our third cruise in October.

I would strongly recommend the Buddy Cruise to anyone, especially those who life has been enriched by Down syndrome in some fashion, to come aboard and see for themselves what all of the excitement is all about. You will leave with a lifetime of memories to share for many years to come.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome you spend your every waking moment searching for someplace your child and family can feel "normal". Buddy Cruise is just that place! It gives families the opportunity to share their lives and experiences that enables you to take a deep breath and realize that your life is more "normal" than you had realized!!

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Buddy Cruise is a wonderful and exciting way to serve families with disabilities. It is so rare that familes with children with Down Syndrome have the opportunity to enjoy a time of relaxation, instruction, and good, no pressure family and friend time. I can only speak with the highest praise for the dedication and service of those individuals who have organized Buddy Cruise adventures.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Buddy Cruise is a fabulous opportunity to share experiences, meet wonderful new people and have a great vacation at the same time! The folks who put this trip together offer such a wonderful combination of cutting edge information, top notch professionals and great entertainment that it's impossible not to have a fantastic time! There's something for everybody on the Buddy Cruise!!

Review from Guidestar

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Buddy Cruise is an organization that from it's first voyage has changed my life forever.
I am one of the founders, as well as a parent of a child with DS. When we started the organization our son was three and the thought was to bring together families that shared a common bond. What we got has been so much more. The Buddy Cruise has become our extended family. Everyone who sails with us will forever be connected to each other through the bond of shared experiences, hopes, dreams and memories.
Words can not express the gratitude we have for the educational speakers that have donated their time and expertise to enlighten us. My hope is that this family continues to grow and continues to spread the mission of education, awareness and inclusion that Buddy Cruise has come to represent.
I can't wait to see everyone on the 2011 sailing.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a co-founder and executive director of a regional support group representing individuals living with Down syndrome, I have to say that this group is one of the finest in advocating for individuals living with Down syndrome. I have been on two Buddy Cruises and will be making my third cruise in October, this time as a presenter and ambassador.

For many in the Down syndrome community, this event is a once in a lifetime opportunity and they are treated with a very classy and most informative venue. From seminars and meetings to romps on the beaches, each person has time to step away from the everyday life and into something magical. An experience where they not only will learn so much, but a week to meet and make new friends, hear new ideas, celebrate accomplishments and just simply have fun doing it.

I would strongly recommend the Buddy Cruise to anyone, especially those affected by Down syndrome in some fashion, to come aboard and see firsthand what all of the excitement is all about. You will disembark with a lifetime of memories to share for years to come.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had an absolutely amazing time on the Buddy Cruise. This adventure was extremely entertaining and informative at the same time. I met so many inspiring people and it was truly the experience of a lifetime. The Arnoldson family are incredible people and have created a fantastic opportunity for a remarkable cause. It was an honor to be a part of something so magnificent!!!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

This past summer was my first time attending the Buddy Cruise, my sister has Down syndrome and I was thrilled for her to be able to spend time with friends and peers. The whole trip was a blast and exceeded any of my expectations for it! All of the staff who work to put this amazing group together make everyone feel welcome and cared for. I got to better know other families who were greatly effected by this organization as well. I would recommend getting involved with this unforgettable crew to anyone who needs encouragement and a unforgettable vacation! :)

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This past October was our third Buddy Cruise and we cant wait to go on each one year after year! They share helpful information for individuals of all ages with Down Syndrome. They have so many exciting speakers and work shops that are so helpful for us. Its just an awesome organization and we love it, we get to meet people from all around the world and build some wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime!

Review from Guidestar

1 Dana A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My friend, Pam Arnoldson, is the one that put the Buddy Cruise together. She got the idea from the Buddy Walk and ran with it. She has done a magnificent job of getting information and making sure that it got out to all those that needed it. With the Buddy Cruise, there are speakers, seminars and lots of fun!! The Buddy Cruise is something that will grow and grow and help more people each and every year. They deserve all the help they can get, they are a VERY WORTHY cause!!!

Review from Guidestar

1 Andrea C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

2010 was my 1st Buddy Cruise, and it was life changing! The amount of information and support that is offered to individuals, family, and friends of Down Syndrome is incredible. This group is really focused on breaking the stereotypes associated with DS. Everyone has such a great time making life-long friends, being included in ship activites, and attending seminars. This really is an amazing experience for anyone affected by Down Syndrome.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

BUDDY CRUISE IS WONDERFUL - they don't exclude anyone - everyone is welcome - we had the best time - learned so much and are coming again next year.

Review from Guidestar

Roger Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Buddy Cruise is a life changing experience. Spending a week with these kids and you will see how full of life and love they are. I will never forget it!!!

Review from Guidestar

Jorge A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One word: AWESOME!! It was a fun time, and I got to be in the Buddy costume, greeting kids.

Heather L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Buddy Cruise is an awesome way for families to share amazing memories together and for those with down syndrome to be treated with the utmost importance!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Buddy Cruise is both an amazing experience and organization!!

It runs like a finely oiled machine ... participants and speakers/presenters collaborate and enjoy each other's company in a fun and exceptional learning environment.



The hundreds of others onboard have the added benefit of being "educated" on Down syndrome and realizing the value and worth of people with disabilities. The benefits are numerous!

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Buddy Cruise is brillant! What an opportunity for all ages to get together and enjoy socializing,learning,dancing! I saw my grandson bloom and experiment with independance in a caring loving giving group. May there be many more Buddy cruises and may more people come to try it.

Review from Guidestar

Dayna C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Buddy Cruise is a wonderful opportunity to make life long friends in the Down syndrome community. You also have have the chance to attend seminars, promote acceptance and have all the fun of the cruise!

Review from Guidestar

Penny G.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved in the Down's Syndrome community for over 20 years, first as a parent and then after the death of my son as a volunteer and worker for a UK charity that helps families whose member woth Down's Syndrome has heart defects too. Over that time I have learned how invaluable it is is for families to meet and socialise and how much they can learn from each other in an informal setting.

Buddy Cruise offers an opportunity for families to hear from professionals in the field, to gain increased expectation for their youngsters from the example of advocates with Down's Syndrome and time to socialise in a relaxed environment where their child is not the only 'different' one.

It also provides an excellent social platform for people with Down's Syndrome to meet and make new friends which can be difficult for them, particularly as they get older and leave the education system.

I think Buddy Cruise is an excellent venture, the feedback from families I know who have attended is so positive - I just wish I could join them!

Review from Guidestar

Mj C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having attended the last two Buddy Cruises, I would have to say that the experience was fantastic. People come from all over the country and some from across the ocean with a common interest, our children and family members with Down Syndrome. The team that organizes the cruises have done a great job in putting together an educational, entertaining and rewarding experience for all those that attend. They have found a place where the DS community can mingle with one another and the general population at the same time. I, myself have gained friends who I believe will last a life time. Looking forward to the next trip.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last year, I wanted to take my daughter on a Buddy Cruise for her 40th birthday. From my first call asking for information, I was impressed with the Buddy Cruise staff and looking forward to meeting everyone. I was not disappointed. The social opportunities and the special events for Buddy Cruisers truly made our experience richer and more memorial. My daughter loves to tell people about her trip and she can hardly wait to take another Buddy Cruise. This organization truly fills a HUGE needs for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. I can not recommend them enough.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Buddy Cruise is an amazing and creative way for families of children with Down syndrome to come together for an extended time of fellowship and learning. So many different pertinent topics are presented by professionals in the Down syndrome community. Lots of great planned activities, but lots of down time and free time. Would just prefer that the cruise not go during hurricane season!

Andrea

Client Served

Rating: 5

Buddy Cruise was a wonderful opportunity for my family and I to socialize with and learn from other families that have a child with DS. Since our daughter was only 4, the Buddy Cruise allowed us to socialize with people of all ages with DS. It was an amazing, inspirational and heartwarming experience. Thanks to all the hard working volunteers and generous donors who made Buddy Cruise possible. :)

Joyce P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family accompanied my daughter who is 21 and has Down syndrome. This is now the event that my daughter will look forward to every year. Meeting and interacting with other people who have Down syndrome has been so important to her development. Adults with intellectual disabilities need to have opportunities to make friends with others like themselves. This is a "normal" activity that exposes them to people they would never have met.
The speakers were encouraging to parents and kids alike! We heard positive stories of other people with struggles like our own.
And the effect our group must have had on the other cruisers who were not in our group! This is one of the best settings to promote Down syndrome to the world! Our cruisers fit right in with the rest of them having fun! We had the winner of the belly flop contest and we all did our share of the dancing!
It was awesome as my daughter would say!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Buddy Cruise since their inaugural voyage in October 2008, as their photographer. Buddy Cruise provides quality education and fun activities on a cruise. Workshop topics include education (including IEPs and working with public school), health issues, sex, and more! Aside from the workshops, they organize dances, ice cream socials, group tours, and more for the conference attendees. They strike a good balance between "free time" to explore the ship & the island(s) and Buddy Cruise-specific events (workshops and social functions).

Past speakers include Emily Perl Kingsley (Sesame Street writer), Chris Burke ("Corky" from Life Goes On) with Joe & John DeMasi, Troy McClain ("The Apprentice"), musician Sujeet Desai, and many others.

The best part of Buddy Cruise is the friendships that are forged. Each year, I look forward to seeing past cruisers, as well as meeting new families. It's such a friendly group of people and I hope to be a part of it each year.