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Kathy Shoaf

Kathy Shoaf

RN, BSN, ATP
Franchise Owner


Travel Has the Power to Transform Us AND Our World

International Clients Welcome


Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean offers an autism friendly initiative for families living with autism, Down 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 3 to 11 years old.
  • Adventure Ocean toilet-trained policy exception.
  • Pagers/phones for parents of children in Adventure Ocean program while signed into our care (subject to availability).

Availability: These Autism Friendly products and services are available on all cruises.

In addition, Autism on the Seas offers "Staffed Cruises" catering to families with children, teens and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. These "Staffed Cruises" include:

  • Extra professionally trained staff in caring for individuals with developmental disabilities (provided at one staff member for every two-three special needs guests)
  • Assistance with Royal Caribbean's products and services
  • Specialized respite sessions
  • Private activities and sessions

The Autism Channel

Introducing New Autism Friendly Features:

The Autism Channel

Royal Caribbean International is the first in the hospitality industry to offer complimentary on-demand access to exclusive content from The Autism Channel® onboard most of its ships.

The Autism Channel is a streaming television service providing information and resources to families and professionals supporting and improving the lives of people with autism spectrum disorders. Educational and entertainment programming on The Autism Channel ranges from a look inside the daily lives of families with children on the spectrum, to interviews with medical and legal professionals.

The Autism Channel is available on all Quantum, Oasis, Freedom, Voyager and Radiance class ships. To access The Autism Channel content, select The Autism Channel folder under OnDemand Movies from the iTV (interactive TV) menu.

Autism Friendly Films

Autism friendly films are presented in a low-lit and low volume environment. Guests are encouraged to freely talk and walk around during the film. These films will be offered on all sailings on Oasis class ships and on other ships, when there are autism groups or at least five individuals with autism onboard. Dates and times will be highlighted in the Cruise Compass.

Autism Friendly Toy Lending Program

Autism friendly toy lending is available in our Adventure Ocean Youth Program on all ships. Upon request, we will provide a tote bag of autism friendly toys that may be used in Adventure Ocean or in their stateroom. Parents may select other autism friendly toys that are more appropriate for their child. Examples of Autism Friendly Toys include: non-toxic crayons, markers, water colors, building blocks, dominoes, and picture books.

Autism Friendly Activities

We offer activities for children of all abilities. Families are encouraged to consult with Adventure Ocean staff regarding any special needs that their children may have in order to identify which activities are appropriate for their child and any possible modifications

Cruising Social Story

A Social Story is a written or visual guide describing various social interactions, situations, behaviors, skills or concepts. These Social Stories help individuals with autism to better cope with social situations. Royal Caribbean offers a Cruising Social Story about cruising to help families with autism prepare for their cruise vacation.

Download Our Cruising Social Story Now

What Do You Offer For Teens With Autism?

  • Expedited check-in, boarding and departure
  • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free options
  • Autism Friendly Toy Lending
  • Autism Friendly Films
  • Social Story
  • Our Teen Program with teens-only hangouts and activities. Please note: While some activities are hosted, they do not provide supervision or one-on-one attention.

What Do You Offer For Adults With Autism?

  • Expedited check-in, boarding and departure
  • Special dietary accommodations including gluten-free
  • Autism Friendly Toy Lending
  • Autism Friendly Films
  • Social Story
  • Our Cruise Activities Program. Please note: while some activities are hosted, they do not provide supervision or one-on-one attention. (Adults are not permitted in Teen or Adventure Ocean spaces.)
Royal Caribbean Adventure Ocean

Kathy Shoaf

Kathy Shoaf

Kathy is a Travel Expert with 20+years of clinical and management experience in Geriatric, Neurology, Rehabilitation and Accessible Mobility as an RN and ATP. She realized after years of counseling with families that the QUEST to enjoy life "Should Never Have to Stop". Her ability to overcome Fear and Anxiety about travel...Makes TRAVEL Dreams come true.

Kathy is uniquely qualified to understand travel challenges and create rational solutions. Her passion is to deliver Multi-generational Travel and Adventures, even when accessibility challenges and clinical issues exist.

Her core belief in "Enjoying Life" is founded in her ownership of the Cruise Planners/American Express Travel franchise. American Express provides many unique options, opportunities, and financial advantages when booking Travel.

Kathy.Shoaf@cruiseplanners.com
Cell: 219-608-2002

Happy to answer questions and "Problem-Solve" Everyone should have the opportunity to "Join The Group"!