Royal Caribbean is Autism-Friendy Certified - My Sweet Sanity

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 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.



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Jennifer is a mom to 5 boys, 1 girl and 1 husband. Her kids range in age from 8-24 so things are always crazy with everything from school life, to autism and to college and beyond. She tries to bake, craft, travel and blog her way through all of the chaos and craziness that life, her kids and her husband throw her way.

11 Responses to “Royal Caribbean is Autism-Friendy Certified”

  1. 1

    This is so awesome to read! It’s nice to know that families can take a vacation together, especially if they have an autistic child and that their unique needs are recognized and catered to.
    Audrey at Barking Mad! recently posted…Yesterday’s Post Made Possible by Cotton Balls, Canned Chicken Broth, and ShoelacesMy Profile

  2. 2
    Michelle says:

    With so many more kids being on the spectrum, it’s really comforting to see more places take needs in consideration.
    Michelle recently posted…Rigatoni with Spicy Pumpkin and Sausage Sauce RecipeMy Profile

  3. 3

    This is so cool, and it’s something that gives families a peace of mind in traveling with this cruise line. To know that they’ll be well taken care of, so they can relax and enjoy their trip. So amazing.
    Mel {MamaBuzz} recently posted…Grocery Shopping? 5 Tips for Making Great Choices and an Easy Snack Idea #FactsUpFrontMy Profile

  4. 4
    Lisa says:

    This is pretty awesome to find out. My cousin’s children are on the spectrum so I’ll have to pass this along.
    Lisa recently posted…Join Me For The #StartYourGrill Twitter Party 4/30My Profile

  5. 5

    I love that Royal Caribbean has such a great, and more importantly, INCLUSIVE program for kids on their ships.
    Jen – Life With Levi recently posted…Spring Ergo Baby Carrier GiveawayMy Profile

  6. 6

    That is awesome! I didn’t know this but I think its great they got involved!
    Jennifer @ Mom Spotted recently posted…NEW Oscar Mayer Deli Fresh BOLD Lunch Meats! #DeliFreshBOLDMy Profile

  7. 7

    How awesome! Way to go Royal Caribbean for making it easier and more possible for ALL families to enjoy the cruise!

  8. 8
    Toni says:

    This is amazing. I love that they are certified autism friendly
    Toni recently posted…House Leaks, Spelling Bees, & A Sports Mom…Oh MY! #ThisIsMyLIfeMy Profile

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Lara says:

    This is AWESOME! I am not sure why ALL cruise lines are not certified!
    Lara recently posted…When Things ChangeMy Profile

  11. 11

    While I do not have any children with Autism, I am still absolutely in love that companies are taking the steps to include families with children who need a little more love and attention. Every family deserves to go on vacation.
    Chelle @ oh just stop already recently posted…My Mother’s Day Wish List from & $150 GiveawayMy Profile

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