Royal Caribbean certified by autism group

By Tom Stieghorst

Royal Caribbean International said it is the first cruise line to win fleetwide certification from Autism On the Seas, a group that helps families with autistic members with their vacations.

The certification requires that a cruise line make certain accommodations for autistic passengers, including special staff training.

The guidelines also include providing sensory related toys, autism-friendly modification to youth activities, autism-friendly movies, priority boarding, dietary offerings (including gluten-free and dairy-free), and several modifications to services for groups of guests with disabilities.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, Royal Caribbean’s executive vice president of operations, said the cruise line has been working with Autism on the Seas for more than seven years.

The organization is taking a staff cruise on Serenade of the Seas on March 8.

On its website, Autism on the Seas said it also works with Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises and Disney Cruise Line.