Mom And Daughter Laughing together on Hammock at beach
  • On Feb 11, 2013
    Latascha Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    This will be my family's first cruise. My son will turn 10, he is autistic however he is functional, he can speak and generally get along well with others. His speach is moderate. Will it be ok to leave him in the age appropriate room?

    Hi LaTascha, welcome aboard! Your family's first cruise with Disney is sure to be a very memorable one. I bet you are getting excited!

    I'm happy to tell you that Disney Cruise Line and the Youth Counselors in the clubs have lots of experience with special needs children. At age 10, your son will be able to go to two of the Youth Clubs: the Oceaneer's Club and Oceaneer's Lab, both of which are amazing areas. 

    Be sure to call Disney Cruise Line and make a note about your son's special needs on your reservation. List as much detail as possible, as these notes are given to the counselors in the clubs before you even set foot on the ship, so they will be prepared. 

    I'd suggest taking your son to the Open House time in the Club and Lab on the first day. Open House is a time when parents get to stay with their children to participate in the fun and activities. This first Open House is a great time for you to show him around so he can become familiar with the area, meet the counselors, and do so with you there to guide him. This is also a great time for you to chat with the counselors about any other questions or special needs your son might have. 

    If he's happy (and I can almost guarantee he will be!) in the Club and Lab, then give it a try for him on his own during secured programming. You will have two Wave Phones per stateroom, which are like cell phones to use on the ship. The counselors will be able to call or text you if they have any problems or if your son simply is ready to be picked up. 

    Disney certainly does their very best to include all children, no matter their special circumstance, so rest assured that your son will have the time of his life in the Oceaneer's Club and Lab. Have fun planning the rest of your cruise, LaTascha! Let me know if you have any more questions before you set sail!
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Meet the Panelist: Marcy, Ohio

Welcome aboard! I'm the mom of two tween/teen Castaway Clubbers who would live on any of the Disney ships if they could. I would love to help your family discover the magic that awaits you on the open seas with Disney Cruise Line. Learn More About Marcy

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