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Jess4214

Adventure Ocean & other activities for children with autism

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Hello all,

 

I am new to the forum!  We are taking our first cruise on Harmony of the Seas in Sept 2019.  We are so excited!!  We are bringing our 3 and 4 year olds both of them have autism.  They are not toilet trained.  Do you know if Adventure Ocean will make an exception?  Can they still go in the infant pool or Splashaway bay wearing a swim diaper? Any advice or tips on the cruise would be so helpful and greatly appreciated!!  Thank you!!

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5 hours ago, Jess4214 said:

Hello all,

 

I am new to the forum!  We are taking our first cruise on Harmony of the Seas in Sept 2019.  We are so excited!!  We are bringing our 3 and 4 year olds both of them have autism.  They are not toilet trained.  Do you know if Adventure Ocean will make an exception?  Can they still go in the infant pool or Splashaway bay wearing a swim diaper? Any advice or tips on the cruise would be so helpful and greatly appreciated!!  Thank you!!

It looks like they'll make an exception to the toilet training policy. Not sure about the pools. 

RCI has been lauded for their autism program. This link has some useful tips ( that's where I learned about the toilet training exception)  https://www.royalcaribbean.com/experience/accessible-cruising/autism-friendly-ships 

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There is a very small area on Harmony within Splashaway Bay that will allow swim diapers as it has its own filtration system.  They won't allow swim diapers in the rest of Splashaway Bay as the swim diapers are a public health issue.

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On 3/2/2019 at 1:19 AM, Jess4214 said:

We are bringing our 3 and 4 year olds both of them have autism.  They are not toilet trained.  Do you know if Adventure Ocean will make an exception?

While Adventure ocean is very accommodating with kids with special needs, they do require kids to be 100% potty trained.

I admit, neither of my kids went to AO and were 100% potty trained.  I doubt most kids are at 3 years old. But if they can go a couple hours, that will suffice.  What we would do is take the kids to the bathroom before dropping off and then periodically head up to check on them.

AO does have a "three strikes and you're out" policy, so one or two accidents is not the end of the world.

Ultimately, I think you will need to talk with the staff onboard and explain the situation. Hopefully it will work out.

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Hi Jess4214,

My daughter has autism. We have been on two different ships and used the Adventure Kids club with her. She isn't potty trained yet we are working on it. But she wears a pull-up and they give us a phone and they call us if she needs anything. Sometimes it's as simple as a new pull up.  We will take her and get her changed. Then bring her back. The kids club has been wonderful. The ships we have been on are Adventure and Anthem. The pool area is small for the kiddos that aren't potty trained. But we did use the one on Adventure but she wasn't interested then.

 

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Hello Everyone,

Thank you so much for your great tips!! On our first day I will go to AO registration and have all my questions ready for them!!  I LOVE that RC is so willing to go the extra mile for all its guests.  Even though this is our first cruise and we haven't even sailed yet I think this is the start of a loyal RC family! 

@Matt  Thank you for the great suggestions!! I love this forum!! I've been doing all my cruise research here from videos, blogs, message boards, sample menus, especially the cruise compass... I feel we are preparing so well thanks to royalcaribbeanblog.com THANK YOU for all the tips, hacks, reviews!!  WE ARE LOVING IT!!!  We're already talking about our next cruise, possibly Autism of the Seas on a RC ship or Symphony.  

@Terri Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience with me.  I think that's a great idea and I will be sure to follow suit.  If we get accepted to AO, we only plan on using them for 1 or 2 times, 1-3 hours max, enough time for the husband and I to catch a show and a drink at the bar or a date night at a specialty restaurant kid free!!  It's so good to know these things in advance.  Much appreciated!! 

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@melski94  Thanks for the tip.  I was looking at a picture of Splashaway Bay and I assume the area that you're referring to within SB ,where the not potty trained kids go, is the area without water slides (the smaller area).  Is that correct?  

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7 hours ago, Jess4214 said:

@melski94  Thanks for the tip.  I was looking at a picture of Splashaway Bay and I assume the area that you're referring to within SB ,where the not potty trained kids go, is the area without water slides (the smaller area).  Is that correct?  

Its actually a nice splash pad within Splashaway Bay.  There are 2 very small waterslides.  There are videos on You Tube which I had to look up myself to be sure.  I just realized that Harmony was the first time we didn't use Splashaway Bay at all as my DD was finally tall enough to use the big slides.  

 

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@Jess4214 This is what Royal Caribbean said on their website

"Royal Caribbean offers an autism-friendly initiative for families living with autism, Down's syndrome and other developmental disabilities. This includes sensory friendly films and toys, dietary menu options and overall autism friendly training for Adventure Ocean staff and more.

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 from 3 to 11 years old

Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exception

Pagers/phones for parents of children in the Adventure Ocean program while signed into our care (subject to availability) Availability: These Autism-Friendly products and services are available on all cruises"

And I believe that you can use splashaway bay since it mainly for under height and non-toilet trained children. I hope this helps you.

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No worries. Our Family have 2 teens who are on the spectrum too. We will use priority check-in and boarding tips when we head off on our next cruise in December on Ovation of the Seas out of the OPT or Overseas Passengers Terminal in Sydney. I hope you enjoy your cruise on Harmony of the Seas. We enjoyed that ship.

Edited by SEQFamilyCruisers
Minor edits.

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On 3/15/2019 at 8:36 AM, SEQFamilyCruisers said:

No worries. Our Family have 2 teens who are on the spectrum too. We will use priority check-in and boarding tips when we head off on our next cruise in December on Ovation of the Seas out of the OPT or Overseas Passengers Terminal in Sydney. I hope you enjoy your cruise on Harmony of the Seas. We enjoyed that ship.

Thanks so much!! We can't wait!!  I hope you enjoy your next cruise as well 😀

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On 3/5/2019 at 5:51 AM, melski94 said:

Its actually a nice splash pad within Splashaway Bay.  There are 2 very small waterslides.  There are videos on You Tube which I had to look up myself to be sure.  I just realized that Harmony was the first time we didn't use Splashaway Bay at all as my DD was finally tall enough to use the big slides.  

I've been watching those YouTube videos with my kids and they are just as excited as I am!!

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If the staff is willing to work with you and they will because they have a special autism program, take advantage of it and use it for a few hours a day at least.  It will be good for you and your children.  Enjoy some time with hubby.  As a parent of a special needs child, not autism, I know that you need a break and this is the perfect time to take it.  Give yourself this gift by allowing Royal to provide you with an autism friendly cruise and some parent time.  They were great with my daughter on both the Navigator and Empress.  It will also give your kids a feeling of being big kids.  Have fun and I'm so glad you and I both found Royal who is great with special needs kids.

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I am traveling to Alaska in 2 weeks with 2 Autistic teens. This is their second cruise and I think cruising is a great option for special needs families! We use Autism on the Seas organization to help us facilitate priority boarding, private muster drills (usually inside with the senior citizens) and frankly so much more! They have cruises with staff or you can cruise on your own with assistance. We cruise on our own with assistance which is basically them notifying the ship that we are coming and organizing the things I mentioned above. If you book with them directly or transfer your cruise to them, the assistance package is free. If not, there is a charge. Our last cruise I didnt notify them in time to have the reservation transferred and I think it was $75 (2 years ago). This time we transferred the reservation with plenty of time and got the assistance package for free.  The website is worth a look for special needs families. www.autismontheseas.com 

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I am glad these things exist now.. I am 32 years old and I have Asperger syndrome.. I am very verbal and open to talking about it.. But anyway when I was a kid my first cruise was at age 9 and it was very difficult for me.. I was extremely shy and scared of going to the kids program.. In fact I am not so sure back then they would of known what to do with a kid like me.. Now I still have my issues but I am high functioning (Went to a great college program that helped me really come into my own).. Anyway I love cruising but I still have issues especially sensory issues and even at 32 I call the cruise line and explain my issues and they help me anyway they can.. I am always allowed to have separate muster drills (the loud noise really bothers me also don't like to be touched by people so being herded outside like cattle doesn't work for me) But its great to know that they have come leaps and bounds with regards to their children's programming. Just thought I would share my perspective as an adult on the spectrum. 

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