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Autism friendly Adventure Ocean program

Vacation with the First Autism Friendly Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean International was named by Autism on the SeasTM 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.


Autism Friendly Ships

Enjoy the comforts of home while on vacation

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, 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:

  • 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)

Royal Caribbean introduced the following new autism friendly features in 2014:

Autism Friendly Films

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 Program

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.

Autism Friendly Activities

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.

Cruising Social Story

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.

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
  • Our 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
  • Our 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.)

More information

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Want to learn more about our autism initiatives? See our FAQs.

PRINT YOUR CRUISING SOCIAL STORY

Prepare for your cruise with our Cruising Social Story booklet.

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