Royal Caribbean International became the first Autism Friendly Cruise Line in February 2014. Our Autism Friendly program offers a unique and robust collection of products and services designed to provide a welcoming and autism-friendly environment onboard our cruise ships.
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:
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, teenagers and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. These “Staffed Cruises” include:
Availability: Autism on the Seas “Staffed Cruises” are offered on select cruises. for a list of Autism on the Seas group cruises, click here.
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 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 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.
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, 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 now.
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 skills to initiate a conversation with a parent about his or her child’s needs.