Autism Friendly Vacation
Autism affects the lives, directly or indirectly, of many families today. Vacations can present challenges to insure everyone has a good time. Crowds, loud noises, unfamiliar environments, long waits in line and bright lights can ruin the day for an autistic child and every parent wants their child to have a grand time on vacation.
Thanks to Royal Caribbean’s desire to allow everyone to enjoy life, create wonderful memories and experience the pleasure a cruise provides they have put systems and services in place to assist families with autistic family members. As a result of their efforts they have been awarded the Bronze Level of Autism Friendly Certification by implementing extensive autism friendly services. They are working diligently to achieve the Silver Level by adding further training to better serve the identified needs of some guests.
Some of the things they have in place are priority check-in for boarding and departure, i.e. no long waits in line, special dietary offerings including gluten-free options, Adventure Ocean (children’s program) flexible age grouping and toilet-trained policy exception and pagers for parents of children in Adventure Ocean.
They also have implemented activities that assist with the special needs they face like Autism Friendly Films with lower lighting and volume where guests are not discouraged from walking around or talking during the movie. Royal Caribbean will offer these films on all autism group cruises and other cruises where as few as 5 autistic guests are on board.
Autism friendly toy lending is also offered. The children receive a “toy tote” complete with toys selected by parents that aren’t too stimulative; dominoes, blocks, pictures books, etc. Other autism friendly activities are offered and a cruising “social story” is available to help prepare the guests for the cruise experience.
If you would like more information about how your family or group of friends could benefit from the programs Royal Caribbean offers, click HERE or give us a call at 512-585-7108.