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Old 10-09-2013, 10:35 AM   #31
susanv
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Our Disney Dream 3 Day Cruise this past May was the BEST vacation to date! Oldest DD(10) has High Functioning Aspergers and she did great. It's the only type of vacation she wants now, all four kids actually agree that they would rather cruise than any other vacation - even camping and they love camping. We ended up with a table of our own without requesting it. Missed the sailaway party entirely, oops. Had a cabin down on Deck 2, Outside Stateroom with a large porthole and the kids were almost fighting over them (2 connecting cabins) the whole cruise. They would sit in the windows and just stare out at the ocean. The horns weren't loud in our cabin, and that is usually where we were when they went off.

They loved the Aquaduck and the kids clubs. It was a May cruise so there weren't a lot of kids on it. DS(7) is potty trained but because of issues has involuntary stool leakage so we had to check on him every 30 minutes, but so worth it. The kids did not go to any of the shows, they spent a lot of time in the kids clubs. They especially loved baking cookies.

During muster my youngest and I were asked to leave our muster station as she was freaking out. We also had a problem with the Pirate Party - that did not go over well! Next time we cruise we will be skipping that one.

We had issues with the Wave phones not working though and our middle daughter had some anxiety issues when she couldn't get a hold of us. She wanted to leave the kids club but the Wave Phone didn't ring to let us know she wanted us (actually apparently it rang to the wrong one of our two rooms), so she wouldn't go back in much after that.

All the kids loved doing the MidShip Detective Agency game and would go back on another cruise tomorrow if we could.

We started out at WDW and did our character meet and greets there first, so we did not end up going to any of the ones on board not even the final night of the voyage one. They looked VERY crowded with long lines so maybe that worked out better as I don't know how well waiting in those lines would have gone over (probably NOT) and some of the characters did visit the kids clubs.

I pray you have an even better experience than we did.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:45 AM   #32
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just an add on

LOL when I look at my reply it looks like we had a horrible cruise - it wasn't it was amazing!!!! Every vacation has issues, no matter how much you plan, and whether you have special needs children or not. I'm sure you are used to dealing with the little or big things that occur every day. We didn't even think to ask about what accomodations they provide for special needs. So smart that you are planning ahead and will be prepared. Have a super cruise, we sure did!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Irishgrl View Post
I actually Called Guest Relations Yesterday and got a wonder gentleman on the phone that walked me through every area on a cruise that could be an issues and documented everything for us on our reservation. He said as long as i was willing to go back every hours or so and made she he went on the potty or was changed than there was no reason he could not use the Kids Club. He brought up things that I didn't even think of. Here is the number if you want to call and ask any questions. 407-566-3602.
I don't want to turn you off, because it does sound like you might have reached a knowledgeable phone CM. However, never rely on promises made by DCL phone reps as to how kids or special needs will be handled onboard. Decisions are made onboard and made for that specific cruise; what you experience may not carry over to another person taking the same cruise the following week -- same ship, same ports, etc. Circumstances change and decisions are made onboard.

That said, it is likely your child will be allowed to use the Club/Lab (assuming age 3-12) and you can check back to deal with toileting. But if the cruise is full, or the Club/Lab is full, or staff is short-handed, or something else impacts, DCL may decide they cannot make that accommodation on your cruise. So please have a "plan B" in place.

Enjoy your cruise!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:25 PM   #34
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We are using Autism on the Seas for our next cruise. Not one of the cruises w/ the staff, but they will be making contacts for us, arrange for a seperate area for the muster or arrange for us to be able to stay in our room for it, also, there is a seperate boarding time just for the Autism on the Seas families so we can get on board w/ less stress. Also, if your child isn't potty trained, you will get a waiver to allow them into the kids clubs and much, much more. Their services are, for most people, absolutely free (for cruises w/o their staff). We booked on DVC points so we had to pay but only $50. They'll be taking care of a LOT of stuff. Google them and read up! Having cruised once w/ our austitic son, holy hannah, we didn't want a repeat of that cruise where I spent nearly the whole time in our room and only got to eat w/ my DH and oldest son once. It CAN be done! Just ask for help! Me? I prefer to go to the people that are experienced in it like AotS. ...
Much of what they are claiming to be "arranging for you" is available without their services. And as a PP indicated, some of what their website promises is simply not allowed on DCL cruises. But if you are happy working with them, I'm glad it sets your mind at rest so you can relax and enjoy your cruise!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:41 PM   #35
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I don't want to turn you off, because it does sound like you might have reached a knowledgeable phone CM. However, never rely on promises made by DCL phone reps as to how kids or special needs will be handled onboard. ...
In this case, the CM was in the special needs division so they do have specific training and have each been onboard and met with the managers in the different departments to know what will work. Some things may change, but for the most part I have found everyone in that department to be extremely helpful and reliable. The CMs we spoke with onboard confirmed that they had spoken with the CMs we in that department.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:46 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by lbgraves View Post
In this case, the CM was in the special needs division so they do have specific training and have each been onboard and met with the managers in the different departments to know what will work. Some things may change, but for the most part I have found everyone in that department to be extremely helpful and reliable. The CMs we spoke with onboard confirmed that they had spoken with the CMs we in that department.
Thanks for clarifying...the poster only indicated "called Guest Relations" and not the Special Needs Department. I didn't want others to think that they should expect that random phone CMs promise; there are too many posts on the DIS complaining about that scenario!
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:56 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
Thanks for clarifying...the poster only indicated "called Guest Relations" and not the Special Needs Department. I didn't want others to think that they should expect that random phone CMs promise; there are too many posts on the DIS complaining about that scenario!
ITA with you there! Unfortunately, calling DCL CS number is unreliable and inconsistent.
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Old 10-10-2013, 09:44 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
Much of what they are claiming to be "arranging for you" is available without their services. And as a PP indicated, some of what their website promises is simply not allowed on DCL cruises. But if you are happy working with them, I'm glad it sets your mind at rest so you can relax and enjoy your cruise!
I know this. I know I can arrange these things on my own, but honestly, I'd prefer someone who knows who to call, what to say and how to say it better than I do. I'm using them exactly for that peace of mind. I did also contact them yesterday to clarify the things they can't provide they still claim to on their site. They asked me to call them but I haven't had a chance. I'll update here when I do.
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Old 10-11-2013, 01:05 PM   #39
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Old 10-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #40
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Our daughter was 12 last year when we took her on her first Disney Cruise. She has aspergers, anxiety and auditory processing disorder. She has been to WDW 5 times. We are going on our second Disney cruise in December. We made sure our daughter had her bag with her at all times -( backpack with headphones, ipod, nintendo dsi, sketch pad, pencils and zip up hoodie). These items help her cope with her surroundings. We spent the sail away party in the Wild World of Sports area- not crowded at all. The Pirate Party we were on the deck above all the way at one end of the ship- we could hear music, dd could dance and we saw the fireworks but we avoided the crowds. We watched a couple of the shows in our room on the tv. Room service was great- dd loved the steak sandwich and had one every single day for lunch! Breakfast worked better once we started taking turns and bringing food back to the room for us all to eat ( we didn't want the room service breakfast). We had an excursion planned through Disney and when we got there DD refused to go in the water and had a complete meltdown. Dh went and I stayed behind with her. Once back on the ship we explained what had happened and were happy to get back half of her excursion price and half of mine- better than being out all of it which is what we thought would happen.

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