First timer......

Hey yall I never been on a cruise before. Let alone be on a boat, what are some things I have to look out for? And I have an autistic daughter. What do you guys think I should do with her on our trip? She loves the water. 

10 Answers

As far as your daughter, the crew will treat her well and with dignity.

Try to get a cabin location where there are cabins or quiet areas above, below and next to you, preferably not next to an outside door (those are usually slamming all day and night).

Don't try to do everything - there are too many activities. Do what you want, when you want, and relax.

Don't climb or sit on the railings -- you or your daughter.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

As BDRebel says relax and enjoy. Your daughter should be fine as long as a family member is nearby in case something goes awry; just like any public place there may be sensory overload sometimes.

Thank u so much for the response. I will keep those tips in mind.


I tried to post this b4, and after I typed it all the infernal thing wanted me to log in if it "appears twice" I apologize. Ill try to recreate it.

Embarkation day is organized chaos...for a newbie, it goes down from there. Veteran cruisers have learned to deal with it, no matter what their status is. There is usually a handicapped section. Its your choice whether to use it or not. We do, my wife has mobility issues. You can usually board in the first wave, "more or less".

The most crowded place on any ship is usually the pool area. Even the kiddie pool can be overcrowded. The second "worst" is usually the buffet. the trick to that is to observe the hours of operation for each meal. Most cruise ships have them roped off or some such until they open, but the seating area is almost ALWAYS open. The trick is to get there a good 15-20 minutes prior and grab a table and get in line as soon as possible. You'll hardly be alone doing that. We try the buffet usually on port days when the ship is half empty...but even then we get a table and hit the buffet line separately.

Be aware that the meal times in the other restaurants and showtimes sometimes may be hard to get from a restaurant to an early show. Ships layouts sometimes are designed to help you walk off a big meal. (heheheh) and the later shows may be inappropriate for children no matter what they say...or don't say.

Overall, I agree that crew will almost universally treat you folks with courtesy and respect. I wish some passengers we have rubbed elbows with would learn to do that. I believe you'll enjoy the experience, and probably even more the second time around... Good luck and God Bless.

NurseEdmond........ in the top header of this page click on "Advice" and look under "Cruising 101".

Welcome to the addiction Big Smile

Welcome aboard. I think both you and your daughter will love cruising. When you first step onto a ship the wow factor can blow you away as everything is so beautiful. Relax and enjoy it. Best recommendation is when boarding speak to the crew as you board and ask for them where the quietest place to dine would be. Then go and relax there for a bit. Then walk around and take in the ship.

Let you daughter decide what she wants to do onboard. She may not want to join in with the other kids right away. Try to get her a friend to play with if you can maybe poolside. Although cruises are lots of fun for autist children it may be overload. Give her plenty of space to relax and ease into the experience. Enjoy!

Thank u so much this helps

Just relax and have fun! The crew won't treat your daughter any differently because of her autism. I don't know how old your daughter is, but if she is a kid (verses an adult), there is usually a separate kid's club that she can participate in for socialization with other kids her age. I grew up in those programs, and they do things like arts and crafts, games, visiting the Captain, and going to the shows each night.

The adults have their own programs to, but there is usually an overwhelming amount of choices each day. Don't feel like you have do everything, or that you should. Just do what you want to, but that being said, cruising is the perfect opportunity to try something new, so don't feel intimidated if you don't know what you're doing when you show up to the activity. Some of the activities are beginner level classes for that reason.


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