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What does it mean to be an "Autism Friendly Cruise Ship"?

What does it mean to be an "Autism Friendly Cruise Ship"?

The most-certified cruise lIne that offers Autism Friendly services is Royal Caribbean. Many others offer autism-friendly services but Royal Caribbean is leading in accommodating families with autism that are wanting to travel.


Royal Caribbean offers an autism-friendly initiative for families living with autism, Down 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 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) Availability: These Autism Friendly products and services are available on all cruises

In addition, Autism on the Seas offers “Staffed Cruises” catering to 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 2-3 special needs guests)

  • Assistance with Royal Caribbean’s products and services

  • Specialized respite sessions

  • Private activities and sessions

As a Certified Autism Travel Professional (CATP) our agency works with many families who are wanting to venture out for the first time or looking for new ideas on how to prepare and deliver a get-away for the entire family. As we develop and recognize services for the child with autism, the program also helps relieve the family so that they too can have a great trip, without all stress and anxiety of their day-to-day lives.

EVERY family is different and so, therefore, no one answer. Look to our agency helping you explore the opportunities and put together a plan where everyone traveling is well prepared.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on Autism Friendly Cruise Ships, see Royal Caribbean’s page:

Autism Friendly Vacations: Great Resource

Autism Friendly Vacations: Great Resource

10 Things Every First Time Cruiser Needs to Know

10 Things Every First Time Cruiser Needs to Know