Celebrity Cruises recently was named the 2018 Power Partner by the Special Needs Group (SNG), an organization that seeks to educate travel industry professionals about the issues faced by some travelers with accessibility challenges.
Celebrity Cruises, an FTA member, is the first supplier to have successfully completed SNG’s Certified Accessible Travel Advocate (CATA) program, and was recognized for being “at the forefront of awareness and significance of special needs travel,” SNG said in a press release.
“Celebrity Cruises is to be recognized and applauded for embracing the special needs, mobility challenged and mature market segments,” said Andrew Garnett, SNG President & CEO. “They are deserving to be among those who have preceded them as true Power Partners”.
In early November, on the occasion of SNG’s 7th Anniversary launching the CATA program, the organization also announced a new Special Needs at Sea White Glove Service for travel professionals to offer their cruise clients sailing on Carnival Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises.
The service provides SNG “ambassadors” personally meeting cruise guests at embarkation, delivering and demonstrating the equipment, as well as answering any questions the guest might have. When the cruise is completed, an ambassador meets the guest at curbside for return of the equipment.
SNG White Glove Service is initially rolling out at cruise ports in Boston, Massachusetts; New York, New York; Galveston, Texas; Tampa, Port Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami, Florida; Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, California; Mobile, Alabama; and Vancouver, British Columbia, with additional locations being added on a regular basis.
SNG has conferred a CATA designation on more than 5,100 travel professionals who either successfully completed the organization’s online 3-module syllabus and met mandated testing requirements, or successfully completed a live presentation and testing session.
The SNG CATA Program is available at specialneedsgroup.com/advisors. The Certification is available at no charge to travel industry professionals who possess a valid Industry Identifier (e.g. ARC, IATA, CLIA, TRUE). Certification ”jump-start” webinars can be scheduled and live/in-house training delivered for large groups.
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