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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

101 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!


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!


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.