Cruises

Royal Caribbean is Autism-Friendy Certified

by Jennifer Wieland
Royal Caribbean: The first cruise line awarded Autism-Friendly Certification

Did you know that one in sixty-eight children is now on the Autism Spectrum? That is a staggering statistic and it means that there are many families, mine included that have someone in their lives living with this. In my case we have two special kiddos on the Autism Spectrum, my nine-year old Luke and my six-year old Jackson are both on the Spectrum. Luke is high functioning Autistic and Jackson has Asperger’s and since we have other kids too, traveling for us can be a chore. Heading someplace with a large group can be a headache to begin with but add-on having to worry about if a place understands the unique issues of children with developmental disabilities, sensory and emotional issues and it can just add a whole extra layer to travel planning. Luckily though Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line awarded Autism-Friendly Certification by Autism on the Seas. Autism on the Seas is the leading travel organization catering to vacationers with autism and other developmental disabilities. 

Royal Caribbean: The first cruise line awarded Autism-Friendly Certification

I know what you are thinking… So what does Autism-Friendly Certification mean?

There are four levels of certification and they include bronze, silver, gold and diamond. Depending on the level of certification awarded, the ships can be required to meet seven categories, including:

1. Cruise Staff Training
2. Youth Program
3. Pre-Vacation Planning & Services
4. Dining/Dietary
5. Disability Accommodations
6. Guest Satisfaction & Feedback
7. Support for “Cruises with Autism on
the Seas Staff”

From the press release from Autism on the Seas here are the details on the certification and what each one entails:

  • Bronze Certification: Confirms the ship’s readiness to accommodate guests with autism and other developmental disabilities to provide equal access on-board services and
    amenities. Some of the reasonable accommodations include providing sensory related toys and cruise social story, autism friendly modification to youth activities (where
    appropriate), autism friendly movies, priority boarding, dietary offerings (including gluten-free and dairy free), and several modifications to services for groups of guests with disabilities.See AutismontheSeas.com for a full list.
  • Silver, Gold and Diamond Level: Focuses on increased staff training. Silver Level ensures that all Youth Staff have received basic awareness training in autism and other
    developmental disabilities. Gold Level ensures that all Youth Staff have received advanced training, and we provide other shipboard staff with basic awareness training. Diamond Level ensures that we provide “hands-on” training for our Youth Staff.

This is such a major advancement in travel for families nowadays and I am so pleased that Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to be awarded the Autism-Friendly Certification because they are always trying to make their guests have the best possible experience. To learn specific details about what Royal Caribbean is doing on their ships for Autism families head on over here, you can also check out the FAQs or you can download the Cruising Social Story too.

 

 


Royal Caribbean, The Cupcake Cupboard and Decorating a Cupcake Dog

by Jennifer Wieland
The Cupcake Cupboard aboard Royal Caribbean

Being the baker that I am I was elated to learn that Royal Caribbean has a cupcake shop called The Cupcake Cupboard aboard several of its ships. I was even more excited to learn that the ship I was sailing on, the Liberty of the Seas was one of the ships and wouldn’t you know it but one of our scheduled things was to decorate cupcakes in one of the classes offered. So in addition to drooling over, debating which flavor to eat and eating the cupcakes they offered we got to sit down and learn how to make a special cupcake.

The Cupcake Cupboard aboard Royal Caribbean

The cupcake decorating is available on each cruise and is definitely something worth checking out. They have classes on board for both adults and kids so everyone can learn to make a beautiful and tasty treat. Don’t worry though if you have never decorated a cupcake before. You will be walked through what to do step-by-step and in the end you will find it was so much easier than you expected it to be. 

The Cupcake Cupboard aboard Royal Caribbean

The Brandcation blogger group took up three classes and between them were instructed on how to make two different cupcake designs. I was in the first group and we made a dog cupcake. The second group did the same thing and the third group made a hamburger and french fry cupcake meal. Everyone’s cupcakes turned out beautifully, even those who were a bit nervous about decorating.

I decided I would share with my readers how to make the dog just to give you an idea about how easy they make creating an edible work of art at the classes.

The Cupcake Cupboard also sells cupcake themed merchandise and has its own cookbook and decorating kit for purchase. So if cupcakes are your thing you will definitely want to check out this shop, it’s sweets and the adorable cupcake gifts the next time you sail Royal Caribbean.

The Cupcake Cupboard aboard Royal Caribbean

 Would you like a sneak peek at some of the cupcake recipes that can be found in the Cupcakes & Scoops cookbook that you can buy on board any Royal Caribbean ship with the Cupcake Cupboard shop? Then here are a few recipes and what you’ll need to make a monkey cupcake.

 

 This is a really great cook book and if you would like a chance to win a copy of it then be sure to enter below. Not only are the recipes great but the ideas on how to decorate the cupcakes are wonderful.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 


Behind the Scenes: Cruise Dining on Liberty of the Seas #SeasTheDay @RoyalCaribbean

by Jennifer Wieland
Dining Options aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas #LibertyoftheSeas @RoyalCaribbean #SeasTheDay

This post is done in partnership with Royal Caribbean but all thought and opinions are my own.

If you have ever been on a cruise or known anyone who has been on one then I am sure that you have heard all about or experienced first hand all of the food that is available to you on a cruise. It is something to behold, the vast amounts of food that is at your disposal night and day, but how does all of that food happen to appear seemingly, endlessly throughout the entire time you are sailing? While aboard Royal Caribbean‘s Liberty of the Seas we were given a behind the scenes tour of the galley by the Executive Chef Donna. She showed us one of the ships three galleys and explained how her staff makes everything happen.

Dining Options aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas #LibertyoftheSeas @RoyalCaribbean #SeasTheDay

Executive Chef Donna oversees all of the galleys and the galley staff. That is no small task on a ship the size of the Liberty of the Seas with 13 restaurants and room service. Decks 3, 4 and 5 are homes to the ships galleys. The deck 3 galley is where all of the main food prep takes place, the deck 4 galley is for desserts and appetizers and the deck 5 galley is where the foods for the buffet and specialty restaurants are prepared. All of the food is made fresh on board the ship and then transported by elevator to the correct locations. To ensure quality the food is probed for temperature before it leaves the galley and after it arrives at its location. Now that just shows you how seriously they take all of the food on board the ship.

Fun food facts from Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas:

Up to 30,000 meals a day are prepared.

On a four-day cruise the guests can go through 40,000 eggs and 70,000 slices of pizza. Wow! Talk about having to break a few eggs to make an omelette.

The galley staff also has chefs native to many of the employees home countries to cook for them.

Dining Options aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas #LibertyoftheSeas @RoyalCaribbean #SeasTheDay

I know you are thinking well what kinds of food options are available on the Liberty of the Seas? Let me tell you there is something for everyone, the pickiest child to the biggest food connoisseur, vegetarian to carnivore will find something they will enjoy. The best way to explain this though is to tell you about the restaurants and share some photos.Dining Options aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas #LibertyoftheSeas @RoyalCaribbean #SeasTheDay

Included restaurants:

Main Dining Room – Seats 2101 guests and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The wait staff is phenomenal and you can ask to have items made to your liking or for more than one of something. Two desserts are a really great option.

Windjammer Cafe – Seats 774 guests and is a buffet style restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Great if you have the kids along because they will find something they like and you will get something you like too.

Jade – Seats 224 and is a sushi and Asian fusion restaurant. Sushi, fried rice, pan noodles and other Asian dishes make this a worthy meal choice.

Sorrento’s – Seats 79 and here you can get pizza by the slice, salads, sweets and other Italian fare.

Cafe Promenade – Seats 72 and this is nice little coffee shop with pastries and lighter fare.

Room service – Breakfast menus are in the rooms and you can make selections and hang them on your door with a scheduled delivery window. Trust me it’s nice to enjoy this on a balcony overlooking the water.

 

Dining Options aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas #LibertyoftheSeas @RoyalCaribbean #SeasTheDay

 

Restaurants that are an up-charge:

Botticelli – Seats 883 guests.

Michelangelo – Seats 500 guests.

Rembrandt – Seats 652 guests.

Chops Grill – Seats 104 and serves dinner.

Portofino – Seats 100 and serves dinner.

Dining Options aboard Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas #LibertyoftheSeas @RoyalCaribbean #SeasTheDay

Restaurants you pay for:

Johnny Rockets – Seats 84 and has specials daily.

Ben & Jerry’s® – Seats 9 and who doesn’t already know what kind of goodness they serve?

Cupcake Cupboard – Seats 14 and is a sweet lover’s paradise. (Stay tuned for another post on this.)

Royal Caribbean will definitely not leave you wanting when it comes to food. If you want to learn more about their dining and drink options on this ship or others then head on over to their website. You can also find more information about Royal Caribbean cruises on their Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube channel.

 

 


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