Buddy Cruise Blog

The official Blog for Buddy Cruise. We are a non profit, dedicated to the advancements of individuals with Down syndrome.


clock October 13, 2011 09:13 by author MJ

We are now down to just 2 days to the reception...3 to SAIL!!! I have thought of a few more items that may be needed.  One is ANTI NAUSEA medicine, or patches. The large ships are not as bad as the small ones but some of you just may be overly sensitive in rough waters. The other is, now dont laugh, Sweater and Mittens!! Yes, winter wear.  This ship has an ice skating rink and if you would like to try out the ice, you may want to be prepared for the cold. (Refer to the last post on things not to forget!)

Looking forward to seeing you all in just 2 days! If you are driving, take your time and be safe.  The weather for Saturday is suppose to be in the low to mid 80's...


Only 10 Days...Megan keep count!

clock October 5, 2011 21:38 by author MJ

Good evening fellow travelers!!! Ten days from now many of you will be heading to Cocoa Beach whether it is flying in like us, or having the luxury of being close enough to drive the distance.  Either way, it is now time to start getting ready your final preparations. 

First off for those that are new to cruising (and if I repeat myself, please forgive me, don't want to miss anything) your luggage will be brought to you mid day the first day.  So pack what you need in a small carryon (backpacks work great, more use of your hands).  If you have medication that needs to be taken anytime during the day, say at lunch for example...this will need to be carried.  My recommendations are: PASSPORT/BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND PHOTO ID (YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ON BOARD WITHOUT THESE),  SUNSCREEN (especially for those Irish, northerns like myself with fair skin), CAMERA (great time to take shots while waiting to get into your room) BATHING SUITS (did I mention that it is hot!!) MEDICATION (mentioned above) READING MATERIAL (may just want to grab a lounge chair and relax)

One last thing, if you haven't checked in on line, do that now...you must carry with you your SET SAIL PASS, this needs to be printed out within 4 days of sailing.  My recommendation if it means anything thing, is if you are reading this and haven't done so...do it NOW.

Please feel free to throw out ideas, appreciate the company here!  Looking for to seeing those I know and meeting all the newcomers...you will have a great time


24 Days and Counting DOWN!!!!

clock September 22, 2011 10:08 by author MJ

Good Morning, I guess since we are starting to get a little closer to departure we can start making a few plans.  I decided today to talk about packing...and yes, sometimes less is more, unless you have kids who like to wear their food as well as eat it and then there can never be enough.  The thing I have found handy when traveling with my kids, both the big and small ones is ziploc bags.  I generally buy them at the dollar store for a buck, gallon or 2 gallon depending upon which child I am packing for.  I select the outfits for the day and place the clothes, underwear and socks in the bag. Simple as that, iron, fold, bag...suitcase.  Come time for the vacation they are able to pull out a bag and have their clothes ready for the day. I even do this with their dresses for the evening, complete with ribbons and clips.  Just throwing this out, definitely makes my life easier.  This also works great for carry-ons too.

  One other thing I want to mention since I am talking about packing is plan on bringing a carry-on to the hotel with a change of clothes for the following day, possibly a swimsuit.  This way you won't have to deal with your luggage during your overnight stay and you will be ready for the next day heading to the ship.  If you need meds etc make sure you have enough on hand as your luggage may not reach you to late in the day. 

Happy Packing Everyone!!!!

Message from Holly, one of the Buddy Ambassadors

clock September 21, 2011 16:57 by author MJ
My name is Holly I am a retired special education teacher living in FL.  I have been a part of Buddy Cruise Inc. since 2008 when I went on the first cruise.  In 2009 I had to cancel my reservation at the last minute but I was back in 2010 and am packed and ready for 2011.  In 2010 I was asked if I'd be interested in being a Buddy Ambassador, a behind the scenes volunteer working on special projects.  For 2011 my 'special project' has been securing donations for the raffle and the goodie bags that each family/cabin receives.  I am VERY excited about the donations we've received and hope you will be as well.  Please go to the Buddy Cruise website http://buddycruise.org/home.aspx and look through the list of sponsors and donors for this years cruise.  Take a look at all the fantastic companies supporting the event.  There is something for everyone! Looking for jewelry?  Check out http://www.meridanedesign.com/ .  Working on getting that little, or not so little one toilet trained? The following are just a few of products that can help:  http://www.littlelooster.com , http://pottymd.com/, http://pottytots.com/site.php, http://teachtoileting.com/
If you are on Facebook please take the time to LIKE the donor pages and post a comment telling them Buddy Cruise sent you.
See you onboard!

You ready for some Fine Dining?

clock September 4, 2011 22:10 by author MJ

The Grand Dining Room-Dinner is served here everynight. 

Now Back to Buddy Business

clock September 4, 2011 21:55 by author MJ

Today, Pam our wonderful host and director went aboard the Freedom of the Seas. During this trip she is making sure everything is all set to make this another memorable cruise for all of us. We are able to get a few sneak peeks of the ship too.

 This is the solarium, looks great doesn't it...make sure you pack that sun screen...more on packing later!

Good evening Folks, Back and ready to hit the High Seas

clock September 4, 2011 21:35 by author MJ

Sorry, I haven't been around to amuse you a bit...but August was a little more then busy and stressful.  First off, we are having a major renovation done to our house.  Our son Joseph who will soon be 18 will be getting his own small apartment.  So through all of this we have dealt with the hammering and a crazy dog barking while the work is being done.  During all this I had been fostering a newborn who sadly (for me anyways) went back to his mother two days ago.  He was a wonderful baby, but as babies go they enjoy being up when we all should be sleeping.  My sleep deprivation didn't help me getting to this blog... I would of just fallen asleep at the keys. The last change in our household Pam told you about...my daughter Fallyn.  She was adopted at the age of 2 1/2 from China, she is now 7 1/2.  At the time we did not know the seriousness of her medical condition, only that she had some sort of surgery to the throat.  Upon arriving to get Fallyn, we noticed her breathing was very loud but from looking at her did not seem to bother her in the least, she was a chunky little girl which when you look at her today is hard to imagine since she is tall and lean.  After arriving home, and several doctor visits we went to see a Pediatric Airway Specialist in Boston for an initial bronchoscopy.  The news was not good, Fallyn's airway was almost completely closed and she would not be going anywhere without having a trach put in.  The diagnosis was that she was somehow burned by some sort of chemical and her airway was all scared.  Her nose was sealed closed and everything was where it did not belong.  After 2 1/2 yrs we were thrilled to have Fallyn trach free and we thought we were home free, at least until she was older and a candidate for reconstructive surgery.  We weren't to be so lucky, a few weeks ago we returned for an annual checkup...her airway is almost completely closed, the trach had to be put back in.  My heart broke for her that day and worried about the limitations it would throw at her now that she is older and in school.  This we are already dealing with.  But anyways...that is where we are today, back to humidifiers, pulse ox and suction machines.  A way of life we had gotten used to a few yrs back.  My princess is a strong, happy little girl and I am sure she will make it through it.

61 days and counting...

clock August 16, 2011 07:19 by author Pamela

Greetings! My name is Pamela and I am one of the Directors for Buddy Cruise Inc. I am sure you have been wondering where Mary has been. Don’t worry …she will be back…you will only have to hear from me for a little while! Mary’s daughter, Fallyn, had to have emergency surgery and she is busy taking care of her.  So while I have your attention let me tell you a bit about the ship we will be sailing on.

The Freedom of the Seas

She weighs 154,407 tons

Built in Finland for an original cost of  $590,000,000

Entered Service in June 2006 and is registered in the Bahamas

1,112.2 feet in length

There are 15 passenger decks

1,397 crew members onboard and she can hold up to 4,375 passengers

And….. The crew is very excited to be having Buddy Cruise onboard this year!





Let's Start Checking Off Our Things To Do Ahead Of Time

clock July 24, 2011 23:37 by author MJ

Yes, I have been jumping around on topics here...will get back to tell you about some of the guests that will be joining us on the Buddy Cruise, and more on the various ports we will be visiting.  But there are things to be done ahead of time...and as we get closer we can talk packing and preparations.

Hampton Inn, Cocoa Beach        http://hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/groups/personalized/C/COIBHHX-B11-20111015/index.jhtml?WT.mc_id=POG  If you will be travelling on Saturday, Oct 15th, there are rooms available for a discounted rate at the Hampton Inn.  There will be a reception at 6:30 in the evening where you can mingle and meet up with others that will be travelling. This is a great ice breaker for those who are new to the Buddy Cruise.  So click on the link to make your reservations.  Looking forward to seeing you all there.


 Final Payments are coming due (7/31)..Just shows you that it is getting close and before you know it we will be boarding the Freedom of the Seas.  I am so excited to see this ship as there are so many wonderful things on board.  Who is up to giving it a go on ice skates? My ankles can already feel the pain!! Been many many years, but might take to the ice, isn't it kind of like riding a bike, you never forget.

Conference Registration   If you haven't sent in your registration, now is time for you to do this.  You can find your form here: http://buddycruise.org/registration.aspx 

Guess having this blog is a good thing for me, because while I try to remember things to tell you, I also remind myself of the things that I still need to get done too.  Yes, Pam I will send in my registration!!



Have we met on Facebook?

clock July 20, 2011 16:32 by author MJ

If you haven't checked out the Buddy Cruise FB page, why don't you drop in and say hello. Any updated info on the Buddy Cruise will be posted there in case I am lazy or miss telling you about it.


Maybe you would "like" to be friends with Buddy...take a visit and see what our mascot has been up to these days.



Buddy Cruise Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit founded in 2008 by 2 siblings in honor of their brother who has Down syndrome. Their events are a forum for prominent educational speakers who present on a wide range of special needs related topics.  Their programs are not only supportive of families touched by Down syndrome but other disabilities as well. 


The mission of Buddy Cruise is to provide educational opportunities for families, while promoting awareness, acceptance & inclusion for individuals with Down syndrome.


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