Royal Caribbean – Autism Friendly Cruise Line

Total Assessible TravelIdeally families travel as one entity and need not worry about vacationing separate; recent incidents have left families questioning this. The recent incident with United Airlines is one example where more sensitivity was required.

There is a fear that appears to have crept up when planning any type of vacation; will we be asked to leave a venue, resort, flight..?

I wish that I could assure you that a course in empathy is part of all training for all travel suppliers; however, this sadly is not the case.

How do you ensure that you are not stuck at home when you would much rather be visiting and exploring sights? The trick is to choose your destination where there is a successful protocol in place for children and adults on the Spectrum.

One of the many reasons I separated from the ‘travel agency model’ is that there needed to be a knowledgeable and accepting resource for the disabled traveler to arrange a vacation. As someone who knows firsthand the challenges that arise when planning a holiday; I enjoy creating inclusion in travel.

Autism on the SeasThe good news is there are some wonderful travel suppliers who embrace Autistic families and have proven this by investing in creating the perfect environment. Royal Caribbean International was named as the first certified Autism Friendly Cruise Line in February 2014. Autism Friendly Certification is awarded to cruise lines for their efforts to ensure their products and services are accessible for inclusion and participation by the autism and developmental disability community.

Royal Caribbean has achieved the following Autism Friendly Certifications fleet wide:

  • Bronze Level – all required autism friendly products and services in place
  • Silver Level – all Youth staff trained on autism awareness

Developed by Autism on the Seas’ Advisory Team, autism awareness training covers following topics:

  • characteristics of autism and developmental disabilities
  • correct person-first language and terms
  • skills to initiate a conversation with a parent about his or her child’s needs

In addition, all Youth staff is required to have a four year University degree or international equivalent in education, recreation or a related field. They also have at least three to five years qualified experience in working with children ages six months to 17 years.

logo-royal-caribbean-cruisesRoyal Caribbean offers an autism friendly initiative for families living with autism. This includes sensory friendly films and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism friendly training for Adventure Ocean staff and more.

Royal Caribbean offers a wide range of autism friendly products and services, and they include:

    • Priority check-in, boarding and departure
    • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free and dairy-free
    • Adventure Ocean flexible grouping by ability for children 3 to 11 years old
    • Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exception
    • Pagers/phones for parents of children in Adventure Ocean program while signed into our care (subject to availability)

What Do You Offer For Teens With Autism?

    • Expedited check-in, boarding and departure
    • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free
    • Autism Friendly Toy Lending
    • Autism Friendly Films
    • Social Story
    • Teen Program with teens-only hangouts and activities. Please note while some activities are hosted, they do not provide supervision or one on one attention.

What Do You Offer For Adults With Autism?

  • Expected check-in, boarding and departure
  • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free
  • Austin Friendly Toy Lending
  • Autism Friendly Films
  • Social Story
  • Cruise Activities Program. Please note while some activities are hosted, they do not provide supervision or one on one attention. (Adults are not permitted in Teen or Adventure Ocean spaces.)

Royal Caribbean promoOne of the many wonderful reasons for cruising is that you only unpack once and you can use the travel tips from my previous articles to prepare your family member for this great adventure! Let us help with all the steps you need to make this a wonderful family experience! Call us and receive a “New Cast Promo” ** Free Shipboard Credit USD $ 50.00 per cabin, a “Free Storybook” to begin the conversation with their child, a “Free gift for their child/children”.

Tarita banner Total Travel – Introducing Tarita Davenock our new travel expertYou can reach Tarita Toll Free 1-888-993-9295 or internationally at +1-250-585-5525

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About Tarita Davenock

At the age of 29, Tarita was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was struck with the realization that her life would never be the same.
Seventeen years later, Tarita has found her place as an expert in creating dream vacations for those who thought dream vacations were for other people. A Certified Special Needs Travel Advocate, she takes great pride in ensuring that, regardless of your level of mobility or ability, you will have the experience of a lifetime.
www.taritastravelconnections.com