As you know, I have a passion for chatting with and interviewing travellers with mental and physical disabilities, who have surpassed the odds and made their dreams of travel come true. Of course, many of them have to adapt their trips to their disabilities, which can be more difficult for some than others. Recently I chatted with Sean, a young man with Aspergers Syndrome, a mental disability on the autism spectrum. He enlightened me to so many things I didn’t know – how he often had to meticulously plan his travels to make sure he would feel comfortable and not out of his comfort zone. Things like going through airport security – intuitive to most – is confusing and overwhelming to him, and in a situation where it’s usually too busy to ask for help.
Clearly, there needs to be ways for autistic travellers to be able to enjoy a vacation without all the stress it can put on them to be out of their home environment.
Fortunately, I just learned about the most awesome thing: autistic cruises. Cruise companies like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises are now offering autism friendly cruises. While many are aimed at children with autism, teens and adults who want to cruise the seas would also love these trips, and there are activities tailored to all ages.
So what does an autism friendly cruise actually mean? So much. Staff are trained in autism awareness, allowing them to better understand and help people with autism. And the cruises offer so much more; there are things like autism friendly films, in which the lighting and environment is more suited to comfort the autistic mind. They also have activities that are autism friendly, and the ability for parents to discuss and modify these activities for their children’s specific needs. Furthermore, and my interviewee Sean would love to hear this, they offer expedited check-in and boarding, which can make all the difference to someone with autism. For the kids, the autism friendly cruises even offer a toy lending program, specializing in autism friendly toys. Seriously, these cruises have got it figured out!
A trip on an autism friendly cruise includes everything you could want to be able to have a fun holiday, whether with your autistic child or as an autistic adult, while still feeling comfortable and able to enjoy. In this day in age nothing needs to hold us back, and these cruises are easier than ever to find. Just check out a cruise agency to find the next autism friendly cruise headed to your favourite destination.