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Vacations for Canadians

Traveling with a loved one with Special Needs can be a daunting undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Operating since 2007, Autism on the Seas is an international organization that offers cruises that accommodate families living with Special Needs. These staff-assisted cruises offer perks including priority check-in, boarding and departure, front of the line service, reserved spaces and venues for activities, group shore excursions, exclusive parties and much more

What is Autism on the Seas?

Autism on the Seas cruises are hosted by professional staff who have degrees related to child development, behaviour therapy, and/or special education. The staff offer a high level of service to assist families in accommodating typical cruise services and provide specialized respite for caregivers. The staff have vast experience caring for adults and children of all ages, have completed background checks, and gone through extensive interviewing and training.

Pre-Cruise Planning Services

Autism on the Seas cruises are hosted by professional staff who have degrees related to child development, behaviour therapy, and/or special education. The staff offer a high level of service to assist families in accommodating typical cruise services and provide specialized respite for caregivers. The staff have vast experience caring for adults and children of all ages, have completed background checks, and gone through extensive interviewing and training.

Autism on the Seas provides a pre-cruise planning service and will answer all your questions and concerns. Staff will communicate with the actual ship notifying them of your needs and accommodation requirements, will provide you with images of the ship and activities, and send you documents with tips and information before you travel. A list of excursions that have been recommended and reviewed by previous Special Needs guests making it easier to decide what, if any, excursions you may wish to book will also be sent to you ahead of the cruise. Staff can also assist with equipment rental including mobility, visual and hearing devices, accessible staterooms, transportation needs and service animals (depending on the cruise line). 

On Board Services

Once on board, you will attend a private session with the onboard excursion specialist who will make recommendations and answer any questions and concerns you may have. Staff will coordinate beach excursions at ports and will escort and assist with children on the beach. You may also request staff accompany your family on individual excursions, however, the cost of the excursion for the staff member will be at your expense. This can be arranged once on board the ship. Worry-free adventures await on shore with Autism on the Seas! 

Food and Dining

Food and dining are one of the best parts of cruising, and Autism on the Seas will assist families so that they can enjoy this experience to the fullest. They will work with cruise lines to meet dietary needs and restrictions such as food allergies, preferences, vegan/vegetarian diets, gluten/casein-free and much more. Autism of the Seas staff will provide assistance during all meals (i.e., they will watch your children while you get food from the buffet, go to the washroom, deescalate, etc.), and offer reserved tables for all meals in a specially selected area of the dining room. Guests of Autism on the Seas are exempt from dinner dress codes and are allowed to wear what they are most comfortable in.

Is there an Age Limit?

Another great aspect of the program is that there is no aging out of Autism on the Seas services. Parents and caregivers of adults will receive the same respite that parents with children do. Adults with Special Needs will be able to socialize in quiet areas and participate in private gatherings allowing them the opportunity to enjoy ship venues and amenities such as autism-friendly films, parties and toy lending programs. These cruises are also open to all extended family and friends who will receive the same benefits and services. 

Autism on the Seas offers cruises on Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, and Celebrity Cruises. If you are considering or planning a cruise with a loved one with Special Needs, we would be happy to assist with answering your questions and finding a cruise that will be unforgettable and worry-free for your family.