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October 7, 2004

'Signing At Sea' Caribbean Cruise Helps To Meet Needs Of Deaf, Hard Of Hearing

From: League for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing - Oct 7, 2004

League for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
415 Fourth Avenue South * Nashville, Tennessee 37201

For more information:
Bonnie Funk, 615-248-8828 (voice/TTY) or
Sharon Limpus, 615-599-0080 (voice) or



[Nashville, Tenn. – October 7, 2004] - The "Signing at Sea" Caribbean cruise, sponsored by the League for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Nashville, Tenn., and CruiseOne, Franklin, Tenn., will help the Deaf and Hard of Hearing sail to new horizons.

Members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities from the United States and Canada and their friends and family can register for the four-night cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas which sails June 20, 2005. Interpreting services will be available to all members of this group courtesy of the League.

"Since cruise lines do not guarantee that they can staff sign language interpreters on board their ships, the League is meeting a need for the Deaf community," said Bonnie Funk, vice president, Interpreting Services. "We plan to staff our group with an appropriate number of interpreters to aid them in checking in, navigating their way around the ship, maximizing their enjoyment of onboard activities, and escorting selected shore excursions and tours."

The cruise will sail from Port Canaveral, Fla., to Cococay and Nassau, Bahamas. It will include all meals including 24-hour room service; entertainment such as Broadway and Las Vegas style shows, comedians, bands and dancing; and accommodations. Activities aboard ship include sports and recreational activities, movies, shopping, card and board games or relaxing by the pool.

CruiseOne is using technology to further assist the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community with its travel plans.

"Booking a cruise vacation for someone who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing has typically been a very difficult task for any travel agency," said Jeff Olsson, CruiseOne owner. "We have put website technology in place to automate the booking process so that any language barrier between our agency and this audience will have no impact on our ability to complete the transaction quickly and efficiently."

The partnership between the League and CruiseOne meets a need for those in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.

"Our Middle Tennessee consumers asked us to explore this travel opportunity since the League is the sole provider of qualified, comprehensive services in the 16-county region," said Les Hutchinson, Ph.D., League president and CEO. "We are pleased to partner with CruiseOne to offer this affordable vacation package."

For more information about the Signing at Sea cruise including accommodations and pricing, visit, call CruiseOne at 615-591-7245 (voice) or 1-800-594-7245 (voice), the League at 615-248-8828 (voice/TYY), or email Funk at