AUTISM FRIENDLY SHIPS 

Royal Caribbean offers an autism-friendly initiative for families living with autism, Down's syndrome and other developmental disabilities. 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 from 3 to 11 years old
  • Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exception
  • Pagers/phones for parents of children in the Adventure Ocean program while signed into our care (subject to availability) Availability: These Autism-Friendly products and services are available on all cruises


In addition, Autism on the Seas offers 'Staffed Cruises' catering for families with children, teens and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. These 'Staffed Cruises' include:
  • Extra professionally trained staff in caring for individuals with developmental disabilities (provided at one staff member for every two-three special needs guests)
  • Assistance with Royal Caribbean’s products and services
  • Specialised respite sessions
  • Private activities and sessions
Availability: Autism on the Seas 'Staffed Cruises' are offered on select cruises. For a list of Autism on the Seas group cruises, click here.

 

THE AUTISM CHANNEL

Royal Caribbean International is the first in the hospitality industry to offer complimentary on-demand access to exclusive content from The Autism Channel® onboard most of its ships.

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 is 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


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 sailings on Oasis Class ships and on other ships, when there are autism groups or at least five individuals 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 colours, 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, behaviours, 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 holiday. 

Download our Cruising Social Story.


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 teen-only hangouts and activities. Please note while some activities are hosted, they do not provide supervision or one-to-one attention.

 


WHAT DO YOU OFFER FOR ADULTS WITH AUTISM?

  • Expedited check-in, boarding and departure
  • Special dietary accommodations, including gluten-free
  • Autism-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-to-one attention. (Adults are not permitted in Teen or Adventure Ocean spaces.)

 


TRAINING

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.

In addition, all Youth staff have received autism-awareness training developed by Autism on the Seas. This training covers the following topics: characteristics of autism and developmental disabilities, correct person-first language and terms, and the skills to initiate a conversation with a parent about his or her child’s needs.


To customise your accommodation to meet your specific needs, please complete the Guest Special Needs Form
To customise your accommodation to meet your specific needs, please complete the Guest Special Needs Form

We encourage you notify us of your needs at the time of booking, to guarantee the availability of specific equipment or services. Please note that 60 days' advanced notice is needed for sign-language interpreting and 30 days' advanced notice if you need special-needs equipment or services. If we do not receive enough advance notice, we will make reasonable efforts to provide requested equipment and/or services. You must provide 72 hours' advance notice if you are travelling with a group of 10 or more passengers with disabilities.

MORE INFORMATION

Call our Access Department on +1 866 592 7225,  or send an email to special_needs@rccl.com, or have your local travel agent or International Representative contact us. Our fax number is
+1 (954) 628 9622.

ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE

 
Feel free to ask for a Complaint Resolution Official (CRO). Our CROs have been trained and are aware of applicable U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) disability regulations as well as our policies and procedures regarding guests with disabilities. Our CROs are available at all U.S ports of departure and ships.

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