Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal 2021

Cruise Memories

Elite Cruises Costa Rica Live Music
There’s nothing like the music of the Caribbean to get you going! Grabbing a pair of maracas and joining this Costa Rican band was a blast. Music is a big part of daily life on our cruises since our programming always focuses on neuroplasticity.

Elite Cruises Panama Canal Front Row Seats
Seeing the magnificent Panama Canal is always jaw-dropping. Its size and scale are just incredible to view, especially from these prime seats or when we are so close we can reach out and touch the walls of this engineering marvel!

Elite Cruises Beach Day
We love getting to put our feet in the ocean again! Everyone deserves a fun day at the beach, and no one ever gets left out of the fun when they travel with us.

Elite Cruises Caregiver Group Session
Toni Giles is a favorite guest speaker of ours, and she always has some wonderful insights to share during caregiver workshops. We love seeing caregivers return home relaxed, reenergized, and ready to conquer their caregiving tasks with new tools and resources.

Elite Cruises Group Happy Hour
Getting together to enjoy the best the ship has to offer is part of our programming, but caregivers seem to really love our happy hours and wine tastings! Our group events really bring everyone together, and at the end of the cruise, it’s like we’re all one big happy travel family!


Southern Caribbean & Panama Canal

November 16-24, 2021
Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Lauderdale

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S Caribbean Panama RTE

Elite Cruises Half Moon Cay

Join us on a Caregiver Retreat as we set sail on the timeless M.S. Eurodam and head off to tropical dream destinations! Enjoy your own private island in the Bahamas,  relax in a charming Costa Rican town, and revel in the magnificence of the Panama Canal. Relax, recharge, and reconnect with family on this caregiver respite, supported cruise! Enjoy perks for our groups such as a complimentary beverage package, free WiFi, $100 excursion credit, and additional amenities including professional group support.

We offer the following on every Elite Cruise so you can bring your loved ones and enjoy life to the fullest:
  • Group accompanied by medical professionals, including RN support 24/7, as well as trained support staff. Staff to client ratio is 1:4.
  • Meet and greet at the airport.
  • Accompanied excursions.
  • Group dinner seating.
  • Exclusive group events such as music therapy, interactive educational and support seminars for caregivers, and Memory Cafés sessions ensure all caregivers have time to themselves each day.

Clients with neurological diagnoses, post CVA, slow walkers, diabetes, heart disease, and families that feel more comfortable with RN clinical support are appropriate to travel with us.

Wheelchair accessible and mobility accessible staterooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All cabins on the ship can be retrofitted to be accessible with elevated toilet seats, shower chairs, and detachable showerheads at no additional cost. Arrangements can be made to rent assistive devices such as scooters, power wheelchairs, power recliners, etc.

Tour Group

Caregiver Conferences & Support

Connect with other caregivers on our cruises and find the support you need with caregiver circles and educational seminars on caregiving managing, self-care, diagnosis/prognosis, and neuroplasticity concepts and activities. These sessions are exclusively for our group and feature new guest speakers on each voyage as well as our team of professionals, including Kathy, a geriatric neurology nurse with adaptive technology certification. Additionally, get the time to regroup, relax, and recharge with daily two-hour respite sessions where our team will take over your caregiving duties, and you have the break you deserve.

Introducing Cruises for Former Caregivers

Holland America Ship

M.S. Eurodam offers vacation experiences for all ages!

Create lifelong memories with all generations of your family on this impressive vessel. Younger family members will enjoy dedicated activities and entertainment at Club HAL while adults unwind at Greenhouse Spa or keep things lively at B.B. King’s Blues Club. All generations can come together for some fun at the spacious Sea View Pool or at one of the many music venues onboard.


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Guest Speakers and Elite Cruise Team

Kathy Speer ShoafKathy Shoaf, the owner of Elite Cruises and Vacations, is uniquely qualified to understand travel challenges and develop effective solutions. She has 30+ years of clinical and management experience in Geriatric, Neurology, Rehabilitation, and Senior Housing as a registered nurse and adaptive technology professional. She is a Certified Dementia Educator, A Certified Accessible Travel Specialist, a Fellow at the American College of Healthcare, an Athena Nominated Senior Care Advocate, and an American Express Travel Agency Award Winner.

For the past 10 years, she has had the privilege to work with hundreds of families throughout the country to create multi-generational travel opportunities and support travel experiences for clients with cognitive and mobility challenges. She is thrilled to be starting a new chapter as she ventures into travel programs for former caregivers and tackles what no one else talks about: what happens when caregiving ends.

She personally accompanies each and every Elite-supported accompanied group cruise and caregiver retreat and, as a caregiver herself, often brings her own parents along!

Lesli Jenkins WangLesli Jenkins Wang, President & CEO at Free2Go Mobility Products, Inc., is fiercely committed to developing products that enhance the lifestyle of the aging and mobility impaired, enabling them to retain their independence and - most importantly - their dignity.

Lesli is a patented mobility expert and device inventor whose personal journey led her to develop a unique device that has allowed countless clients with muscle deterioration, including her mother, to be able to continue to live a productive and happy life outside of their homes. She is passionate about keeping people safe and loves to share unique and user-friendly ideas and techniques that help to reduce falls and increase the quality of life.

Barbara RobertsBarbara Roberts is the owner and CEO of Barbara Roberts Consulting, LLC, and she has worked as a Registered Nurse in Eldercare Services for 30+ years. She is a former Director of a Residential Care facility specializing in Dementia Care, as well as a CRMA and CNA Instructor who specializes in Education, Regulatory Compliance, and Recertification Medication Competency. She holds a degree in gerontology and is devoted to helping families who have loved ones with cognitive impairments. She’s also an avid cruise traveler and holds the distinction of being a Four Star Mariner on Holland America Cruise Line!

Joe BrazealJoe Brazeal is a former Information Technology Analyst at Entergy Corporation whose life completely changed when his wife, Kimberly, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s when she was only 48. While at Entergy, he played a significant role in raising dementia awareness in the workplace, and he currently works with The MIND Center at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he implements data are trending worldwide to create an international database to aid their collaborative studies of Alzheimer’s risk factors in an effort to crack the code of this disease.

Joe is also the author of “Living with Thunder: Alzheimer’s Untold: A Family’s Journey,” which was written as a guide to help those whose loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, with practical advice on everything from navigating Medicaid to managing a work/life balance to strategizing life plans for moving forward.

Dr. Dennis Dulniak

Dr. Dennis Dulniak earned his doctorate from Montana State University with 40 years in higher education before retiring as University Registrar from the University of Central Florida in 2014. His dedication to caregiving came from focusing care partnering skills on his wife Nancy, who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s recently passed away after seven years. He now serves as key resource and facilitator for a large Men’s Support Group, member of the Central Florida Care and Cure Initiative, Founder of Central Florida Dementia-friendly Dining, and President and Founder of Nana’s Books Foundation to honor his wife, a lifelong librarian.

Dennis has been on several Elite’s Dementia-friendly and Caregiving-friendly cruises with Nancy, as well as supporting others independently. He is an enduring advocate with a desire to share his knowledge, insights, and journey with others as they seek quality life experiences with their Loved Ones and in their lives moving forward.

In addition, Dennis is a very dedicated member of the Lions Club, Past President (5 years), Zone Chair, Melvin Jones Fellow, and recent District and Multiple District Crusader Award winners that epitomizes the Lions’ “We Serve” motto.

Toni Gitles

Toni Gitles is a Certified Caregiving Consultant ™, Educator™, and Support Group Facilitator. She held a Master’s Degree in Audiology and was on the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, 1972-1984. Toni spent over 40 years in the healthcare industry, presenting programs across the United States and in nine other countries. She is also a #1 International Best-Selling author.

Toni was a caregiver for her mother and started Heart Light Enterprises, LLC, to help family caregivers overcome the stress and negativity of caregiving. She helps caregivers find meaning and resilience in this life-changing journey.

Toni currently serves on the Dementia Care and Cure Initiative, State of Florida Task Force, serves on the committee for Dementia-Friendly-Dining in Central Florida, and is a frequent Keynote speaker and provides Caregiver Support on Dementia-Friendly and Caregiver-Friendly Cruises with Elite Cruises and Vacations Travel.

Eric Roberts

Eric Roberts, loving husband of Barbara Roberts, RN, is an expert traveler just like his wife and often accompanies her on Elite Cruises voyages as part of our support staff. He’s an experienced family caregiver whose outgoing personality and friendly demeanor seem to win over everyone. Chances are you and your loved ones will end the cruise with him in more than one picture!