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Starting back in 2013, Royal Caribbean became the first cruiseline to undergo full certification with Autism at SeasTM. Their Staff is Silver Certified in Autism Awareness. 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.
Royal Caribbean offers an Autism friendly initiative for families living with Autism. This includes sensory friendly films (low-lit & low volume environment) and toys, dietary menu options, and overall autism friendly training for Adventure Ocean staff and more. Beginning late October 2015, The Autism Channel will be available via the complimentary on-demand section in guests’ stateroom televisions. There will be over 35 TV shows and short programs for children and parents to choose from.
In addition, 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
This month, I completed the Royal Caribbean’s Autism Friendly Certified Training Program in order to better understand and serve my clients. It was important to me to understand the needs of families with Autism and make sure that ALL have a great vacation.