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Royal Caribbean International was named by Autism on the Seas FoundationTM 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:
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, and skills to initiate a conversation with a parent about his or her child’s needs.
In addition, all Youth staff are 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.
Royal 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:
Royal Caribbean International will be the first in the hospitality industry to offer complimentary on-demand access to exclusive content from The Autism Channel® onboard most of its ships starting in late October 2015.
The Autism Channel is a streaming television service providing information and resources to families and professionals supporting and improving the lives of people with autism spectrum disorders. Educational and entertainment programming on The Autism Channel ranges from a look inside the daily lives of families with children on the spectrum, to interviews with medical and legal professionals.
The Autism Channel will be available on all Quantum, Oasis, Freedom, Voyager and Radiance class ships. To access The Autism Channel content, select The Autism Channel folder under OnDemand Movies from the iTV (interactive TV) menu.
Autism friendly films are presented in a low-lit and low volume environment. Guests are encouraged to freely talk and walk around during the film. These films will be offered on all autism group cruises and cruises when there are at least five children with autism onboard. Dates and times will be highlighted in the Cruise Compass.
Autism friendly toy lending is available in our Adventure Ocean Youth Program on all ships. Upon request, we will provide a tote bag of autism friendly toys that may be used in Adventure Ocean or in their stateroom. Parents may select other autism friendly toys that are more appropriate for their child. Examples of Autism Friendly Toys include: non-toxic crayons, markers, water colors, building blocks, dominoes, and picture books.
We offer activities for children of all abilities. Families are encouraged to consult with Adventure Ocean staff regarding any special needs that their children may have in order to identify which activities are appropriate for their child and any possible modifications.
A Social Story is a written or visual guide describing various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills or concepts. These Social Stories help individuals with autism to better cope with social situations. Royal Caribbean offers a Cruising Social Story about cruising to help families with autism prepare for their cruise vacation.
Download our Cruising Social Story now.