Since 2007, Autism on the Seas in an international organization who serve individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. As a name, it is claimed as they accept only individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. Nevertheless, it is wrong. They did not restrict their services. They provide service to individuals with special needs and their families. These special needs include autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and all the disabilities you can imagine. They work with Royal Caribbean International collaboratively.
The mission of Autism on the Seas in enriching and enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs and their families. It is their main purpose. Even though it does not mean that they do not accept normally developed people, those people do not prefer them for traveling. They provide required support for vacation. They are aware of the fact that the struggles and challenges they may have lived through. That’s why they do their best in order to reduce stress, give relief, reduce barriers, and increase autism awareness. They are working with special travel agencies in order to fulfill both parties’ needs.
This is the only autism-friendly cruise line all around the world. It is very popular among the autism community. They receive awards every year thanks to the services they provide. They organize land and resort vacations. They make these families’ vacations easier and more comfortable. With lots of date opportunities, you can easily book the best one for you. There are different port options as well you can choose from. You can choose the nearest port for you. These are;
- Seattle Port
- Los Angeles Port
- Boston Port
- New York Port
- Bayonne Port
- Baltimore Port
- Norfolk Port
- Port Canaveral Port
- San Juan, Puerto Rico Port
- Ft Lauderdale Miami Port
- Tampa Port
- New Orleans Port
- Galveston Port
Apart from providing regular services that are provided to anyone on cruise vacations, they provide Respite and Private Activities/Sessions in their autism-friendly cruise vacations. They have always someone who can assist individuals and their families. Their staff is composed of mostly volunteers. These volunteers could be both educational and non-educational about disabilities. Even if they are non-educated, it cruise vacations they are needed in different contexts. They accompany guests in ships. They provide excellent vacation experiences to these families.
There is no restriction to apply and participate in these cruise vacations. They are open to the general public. One way or another, they are willing to provide amazing experiences to individuals with special needs and their families. With a good accommodation facility, they will experience a real vacation.
With the help of these vacation opportunities to be shown to the world, they aim to increase autism awareness all around the world. And in this way, individuals with a special need, especially with autism, and their families will find an opportunity to do everything that the rest of the world does. They do not mind age, ethnicity, race, or socioeconomic status. They are willing to provide services to everyone. Each family can join without any hesitation.
There are different activities available to participate in. While children with special needs participating, families can relax and know that their children are having a good time. Both families and children have amazing times and big laughs. This is one of the biggest reasons why these cruises are very beneficial for these families. They have great and adventurous times.
It gives an opportunity for families who have someone with special needs autism to meet and connect with other families like them. They can share their experiences. They can talk about their struggles and difficulties without being afraid of criticized by others. These families, maybe the first time in their lives, do not feel isolated during these cruise vacations. It is a very beneficial time spending to be surrounded by people who experience exactly what they have been experiencing. They can easily find a way to connect with each other.
What Is Included in Autism On The Seas Vacation?
They provide private activities, respite, and services on these cruise vacations. There is no need to arrive early in order to find your seats. They will be already reserved for you.
- Adults with special needs services
- Adults group home services
- Dining/meal assistance
- Dietary needs
- Extended family and friends
- Pre-cruise planning and services
- Mobility and disability access
- Service animals
- Private venue entertainment sessions
- Shore excursions
- Special needs accommodations and services
- Standard cruise services
- Strategy services and resources
- Overcoming vacation/cruise special needs challenges
- Staff assistance and respite
They provide customized activities to individuals with special needs and their families to have fun and spend quality time. Before your reservations, they ask what kind of activities you and your children like. According to your likes, they organize activities. These planned activities could be karaoke, dance parties, games, board games, excursions, art sessions, and even more. These activities could be both private and group sessions.
During private entertainment sessions, you are able to do whatever you want to do. They provide a list you can choose from among them. Individuals can participate alone or with their families. Their activities can vary depending on the agency you choose, cruise lines, and resorts the ships stop. There are different purposes for these sessions. These individuals and their families have an opportunity to receive assistance, they do not need to wait on the lines, and they have a chance to use the venues. During these sessions, height and weight are taken into consideration.
About food, they work with professional and experienced staff. They take into consideration individuals’ diets. They think about allergies, being vegetarian, low-fat and low-sodium balance, lactose intolerance, Kosher requests, gluten/casein-free diet necessities, and so on. The only thing you need to do is letting them know about certain rules.
If you are a crowded family or want to participate with friends, they have an extended family and friend option. They can easily receive the same benefits and services. In addition to regular services, they have other benefits as well. These are priority boarding, private muster drill, reserved table during mealtime, private sessions, reserved seating during shows and activities, and participating in respite sessions.
For them, it is important to deliver an accessible world. They provide help and assistance in terms of;
- Mobility impairments
- Visual impairments
- Hearing impairments
- Accessible staterooms
- Medical needs
- Dietary needs
- Transportation needs
- Oxygen and dialysis
Staff Qualifications and Requirements
- The staff should provide bilingual services, both in English and Spanish.
- They have to have a degree in related areas, such as child development and therapy methods that they practice with individuals with special needs.
- The staff is chosen from all around the world.
- The staff has to have experiences with individuals with special needs of any age.
- They need to be able to manage problems.
- They are mostly volunteers.
- They provide complimentary services to meet unique needs and challenges.
- They should not have any background problems related to sex and ethnicity.
- They need to complete the interview and criteria successfully.
- If it is required, families can meet with the staff before their departure.
- There is 1 worker for every 2 individuals.
- The stuff is 21 or over.
- They are able to answer all of your questions and requests.
- Adaptation problems when a child with special needs away from home
- Challenges and struggles in the ship and during departure time
- In the case of drowning in the ocean or during swimming activities
- Overcoming fears
- Sleeping problems
- Accommodation problems
- Concerning about meal times and their restrict rules
- Dietary and food concerns
- Participating activities and being able to provide proper behaviors
- Managing difficult and self-harming behaviors
- Handling each child one-to-one
- Therapies that child receives
- Letting parents know about everything
- Communicating with parents frequently about child’s situations if the family does not participate in the cruise vacation
Partners They Work Together
As Autism On The Seas organization, they are working with different organizations and partnerships. They get help and assistance from them. These partners are Autism Society (the most well-known organization in autism community), Fun and Function (for sensorial and socializing activities mostly), Make-A-Wish, Recruiting for Good, Sensy By the Sea, Special Needs Group (SNG), and SABRE Security Equipment Corporation. Most of these organizations are run by donations. And, if you participate Autism On The Seas vacations, it means that you will donate to those organizations as well.
Prices vary depending on many variations. Everything affects the price. There are discounts available as well. If you are willing to participate in these cruise vacations again or any other activities that are organized for individuals with special needs, you will get discounts. Even better, you can join freely.
They provide different payment options. It is easy to find the proper one for you. There is no need to worry about money at all. The only thing the Autism On the Seas gives importance is how much you enjoy and get benefit during your vacation.
Another opportunity is if you participate as a group, you will get a discount as well. They offer different services and activities if you participate as an extended family or with friends. Participating in schools, groups, friends, families, and affiliated groups have different discounts.
- Address: Autism on the Seas, 494 Bridgeport Avenue, Suite 101-346, Shelton, CT 06484-4762
- Phone: (800) 516-5247 / (203) 604-0278
The Most Beneficial Travel Toys on Amazon You Can Take With You for Long Trips
Foxfamilyboutique Latch Board, Travel Busy Board, Toy for Autism, Toddler Busy Toys, Mini Activity Board, Sensory Board, Montessori Kid Toy
It is a perfect kit that keeps your child busy with transportation you use. There are many different options you can choose according to what type of transport you travel. It is a highly beneficial and multifunctional toy. While keeping your child busy, they have a chance to learn. It develops motor skills and imagination. It is made of wood and handmade. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Toddler-activity-Sensory-Montessori/dp/B07563ZTVD
CyrillicShop Travel Busy Board Toy for Toddlers – Busy Cube – Activity Board Toddler Toys – Montessori Toy – Educational Toy For Babies – Sensory Toy – Activity Cube – Latches Toy – Puzzle Toy – Lacing Toy
It is an educational toy to keep your child busy during vacation. It developed based on Montessori principles. Motor skills, memory, imagination, and creativity have been developed with the help of this toy. There are many different elements in it. It attracts children’s attention easily. https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Toy-Toddlers-Busy-Board/dp/B07KPFY74N
Wellchild Magnetic Drawing Board for Toddlers, Travel Size Toddlers Toys A Etch Toddler Sketch Colorful Erasable with One Carry Bag Magnet Pen and Three Stampers
It is a kind of must-have product that each person has to have during their childhood. There is no way to get bored with it. It boosts creativity and fine motor movements. It is an excellent toy. With its highly affordable price and being colorful, it will be a good option for traveling. https://www.amazon.com/Wellchild-Magnetic-Toddlers-Colorful-Erasable/dp/B07NX7N1NP/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=toddler+travel+toys&qid=1597666822&sr=8-4
Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition Tablet, 7″ Display, 16 GB, Easy-to-use Parental Controls, Blue Kid-Proof Case
It is a highly recommended product you can find on Amazon. You can download everything you want when you connect to Wi-Fi and during vacation, your child can use this tablet. You can download videos, photos, movies, and music. It has 12 GB storage capacity. There are different color options available which are blue, pink, and purple. It will be a great investment because your child can use it for a long time. https://www.amazon.com/Fire-7-Kids-Edition-Tablet/dp/B07H8WS1FT/ref=sxin_7?ascsubtag=amzn1.osa.86fb062b-531c-486a-8fd3-32d8180b71af.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&creativeASIN=B07H8WS1FT&cv_ct_cx=toddler+travel+toys&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osa.86fb062b-531c-486a-8fd3-32d8180b71af.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_wn=osp-single-source-gl-ranking&dchild=1&keywords=toddler+travel+toys&linkCode=oas&pd_rd_i=B07H8WS1FT&pd_rd_r=bef94ebd-a17f-40d5-907d-12fd060a96ee&pd_rd_w=FWeni&pd_rd_wg=vcdHS&pf_rd_p=215d02cd-1dfa-4f52-adfa-365154472adf&pf_rd_r=YE9KNGFCNTDF051KNBP5&qid=1597666822&sr=1-3-d9dc7690-f7e1-44eb-ad06-aebbef559a37&tag=ezvid-wiki-reviews-20
Battat – Hide & Seek Alphabet Pop-Up – 50 Shapes Colors Letters Numbers – Learning Toys for Toddlers – Phthalates & Bpa Free
It is an excellent toy during vacations and traveling. There are 50 different colorful buttons to teach numbers, letters, colors, and shapes. It is a very educational and beneficial set. It has great illustrations with it road-friendly design. It can be played easily in vehicles. Even though it looks like it is an easy alphabet game, it is more than that. It encourages learning and develops motor skills. With its affordable price, it gives you an opportunity to spend a great time during vacations. https://www.amazon.com/Battat-Alphabet-Learning-Toddlers-Phthalates/dp/B01N146D5O/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=toddler+travel+toys&qid=1597666822&sr=8-5
Fat Brain Toys Dimpl Digits Baby Toys & Gifts for Babies
It is a bilingual designed toy. It gives the opportunity to teach Spanish words and numbers at the same time. It is very beneficial for early learning. It encourages fine motor development. Even though it is for babies, toddlers can benefit from it as well. https://www.amazon.com/Fat-Brain-Toys-Dimpl-Digits/dp/B081JWCVH2/ref=sxin_7?ascsubtag=amzn1.osa.86fb062b-531c-486a-8fd3-32d8180b71af.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&creativeASIN=B081JWCVH2&cv_ct_cx=toddler+travel+toys&cv_ct_id=amzn1.osa.86fb062b-531c-486a-8fd3-32d8180b71af.ATVPDKIKX0DER.en_US&cv_ct_pg=search&cv_ct_wn=osp-single-source-gl-ranking&dchild=1&keywords=toddler+travel+toys&linkCode=oas&pd_rd_i=B081JWCVH2&pd_rd_r=bef94ebd-a17f-40d5-907d-12fd060a96ee&pd_rd_w=FWeni&pd_rd_wg=vcdHS&pf_rd_p=215d02cd-1dfa-4f52-adfa-365154472adf&pf_rd_r=YE9KNGFCNTDF051KNBP5&qid=1597666822&sr=1-4-d9dc7690-f7e1-44eb-ad06-aebbef559a37&tag=ezvid-wiki-reviews-20