1st time cruiser with special needs

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by AUTigerFan, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. AUTigerFan

    AUTigerFan Mouseketeer

    Nov 14, 2005
    We are consider adding a 3 night cruise on the end of our October 2010 DVC stay. Our group would be me, DW, DS6, and DD4. DW's parents would probably also come. DS6 has autism and is just now becoming verbal, and most of the verbalization is by reading aloud. Anyway, I have some questions and I know that you guys will have the answers.

    1) Are parents allowed to stay with their children in the children activities? DS would probably enjoy some of the activities, but we would need to give more supervision than I think is offered.

    2) We would not go ashore at Nassau. Is the ship pretty quiet on this day? DS loves to swim, so I feel this would be a good time to enjoy an uncrowded pool.

    3) Are the table service meals long, drawn out affairs? Or could we order and eat fairly quickly. We are very good at eating fast in restaurants at home. Are the restaurant menus available through room service for dinner?

    4) Since we have never cruised, we are concerned about ship movement. Will the staterooms in the lower decks have less movement?

    That's all I can think of for right now. I appreciate any responses. If you have any DVC questions, come on over to the DVC boards. there are a lot of helpful people over there.
  2. barbarasc

    barbarasc CruiseCrazy

    Jan 3, 2010
    We have been cruising on DCL with our daughter Jen (now 21) since she has been 8 or 9. Jen has Autism and a ton of other medical conditions. DSL does a wonderful job with "special" kids! Here is a couple of tips.

    1. Advise them of your son Autism when you book the crusie. Follow up with letter to the special needs department, explaining his needs.

    2. Your first night at dinner explain to your waiters that you need your dinner a little quicker than most and explain why. We do this every cruise and we can be and out as quickly as needed. You may also want to request that your table be closer to the door. My daughter doesn't like to sit in the middle of the room with people all around her.

    3. Kids program, they will allow you to stay :-) We did it all the time!

    4. YES Nassau day....you will have the ship to yourself! We always stay on board and enjoy having the ship to ourseleves.

    We have been cruising with Jen for years. Next month will be Jen's 20th cruise. She does well and we find that cruising is the best vacation for all of us. The routiune helps and if she gets overwhelmed the cabin is only a few steps away. We always get a balcony cabin....BUT Jen is NOT climber.

    Let me know if there is anything I can help with.

    Another thougth is you might want to contact a company called Autism on the Seas. :-)
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  4. Nelfamily

    Nelfamily Earning My Ears

    Jul 2, 2009
    When we sailed we had a cabin on deck 2 aft, cabin 2150, and didn't feel the ship move hardly at all. We don't have sea sickness issues but the deck did feel very stable. Of course it helps that we didn't have any bad weather during the cruise either. We did slightly feel the engines when we were docking in Nassau at 5:30am but it wasn't that noticable.
  5. lmhall2000

    lmhall2000 May the road rise to meet you....May God hold you

    Aug 11, 2002
    War Eagle!! And just dropping in to wish you all a wonderful cruise! I have nothing to offer as our first cruise is May...but I agree with sending a letter about special considerations ahead of time, we have asthmatics and always try to get as 'clean' a room as we can get...It's a great age to do all things Disney! So glad your parents can go as well...what a great time!

  6. williamson_ja

    williamson_ja DIS Veteran

    Apr 28, 2009
    On our first cruise, we are going without the kiddies, BUT I want to book one for 2011 where we will be bringing them. We have one ds with autism and 2 dd with severe asthma. It's great to read all the suggestions on the boards here. It helps me to plan things out and see what is actually possible to do. :) I'm so glad that Disney seems so accomodating to special needs!!
  7. lovethedream

    lovethedream DIS Veteran

    Dec 3, 2009
    As your questions appear to already be answered, I can only add that we sailed on the Wonder twice with an Autistic Son and he loved it each time. He was a huge fan of the balcony (so an inside stateroom is out as long as he is with us) as he spent most of his time in the room out there.

    We only mentioned his autism when booking the reservations and I do not remember mentioning it again after that. I may have when we were given card keys as I wanted to make sure he could not charge to is room card. But otherwise.

    Seasickness did not appear to be a problem with him.

    Have fun cruising.
  8. toy

    toy Mouseketeer

    Nov 9, 2006
    Our dd (9) is autistic. I didn't think of mentioning it when we booked her first cruise in '07. I just talked to the club attendants about her specific differences. They were great. There was one specific attendant who looked after her. I was afraid she would be scared because she has social anxiety disorder. She didn't want to leave. We practically had to drag her out. You can get room service. http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/cruise-new/cr-dining.htm This link will give you a little info about it.
  9. Chicogirl

    Chicogirl Mouseketeer

    Jan 15, 2010
    My daughter will be 9 when we cruise. She has non verbal autism. I'm a little worried about her traveling on a boat. She does not like to sit still when eating, the only way to keep her happy in a middle of alot of people is with a mp3 player or small dvd portable player. Also, how high is the outside railing, can kids look over or is it high enough. Thanks..

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