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Autism Friendly Cruise Destinations for Your Next Vacation

A photo of a beach with a title that reads Autism Friendly Travel Autism Friendly Cruise Destinations for Your Next Vacation Cruising with your autistic family can be quite the vacation. You get to see new destinations without needing to worry about switching hotel rooms or driving long distances

Cruising with your autistic family can be quite the vacation. You get to see new destinations without needing to worry about switching hotel rooms or driving long distances. At the same time, you get to control what, and how much, your family does each day. This is important to prevent overstimulation for your autistic child and yet allows everyone to do something they love. There are quite a few autism friendly cruise lines to choose from when you are planning a cruise. You may want to decide which cruise line is perfect for your family first. Then you can choose an autism friendly cruise destination from the list of available cruises. Of course, if you have your heart set on specific cruise destinations, you may need to choose a cruise line you may normally not have chosen, simply because it is the only one going to the destinations of your choice. Either way, I am here to support you every step of the way. 

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Autism Friendly Cruise Destinations for Your Next Vacation

Castaway Cay

Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Caribbean. You can only visit this island if you take a cruise with Disney. There is a water play area complete with waterslides at the main beach. You can also head out into the water to go snorkeling. Another option is to feed the stingrays. 

On the island, you can play basketball, foosball, and ping pong at the gaming pavilion. If your kids are between the ages of three and twelve, you can drop them off at Scuttles Cove. It is just like the kids camp on the ship. They can participate in fun activities while you have a little adult time. 

When your family tires of walking around the island, you can board any of the trams. The tram can even take you back to the ship early if you need a little downtime. 

The northern lights can be seen in the photos with purples, greens and blues i teh sky.  This is in Alaska.


Alaska is a fabulous cruise destination for adults and kids. Since you must travel around this state either by boat or seaplane, cruising offers autistic families an easy way to see the best sights. Many of the cruises go between Vancouver and Anchorage. But there are other options on smaller ships if you are searching for other destinations in Alaska. 

When your family is not on the ship, you may all be out on a whale-watching tour or dog-sledding adventure. Panning for gold, walking on glaciers, and enjoying a scenic railway tour are also autism-friendly activities in Alaska. 


A photo of 5 cruise ships docked at the port in The Bahamas.  They are in teal blue water.

Many Caribbean cruises offer a stop in the Bahamas. However, this is a popular cruise destination for those autistic families who want a shorter cruise. Since the Bahamas are so close to the US, it is possible to take a cruise that is only three or four days long. And those cruises are perfect for autistic families who want to “try” out cruising for the first time. 

In Nassau, your family can enjoy the waterpark at Atlantis. Between Nassau and Freeport, you can go on a dolphin-watching tour, take a pirate tour, or simply relax at the beach for the day. There is nothing better than swimming in the warm sparkling water while in the Bahamas! 

Most of the cruise lines have their private islands in the Bahamas too. Disney’s Castaway Cay is one of them. Royal Caribbean’s private island is CocoCay. 

Canada and New England

A cruise that makes stops in Canada and New England may be the perfect option if you want to check multiple East Coast destinations off your travel bucket list. Most of the ships will stop in Boston and a city in Maine in the US. Up in Canada, the ports of call usually include areas like Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick. Most of the time, you can venture into Quebec City or Montreal for the day. 

One of the best things to do while in Canada is walking over the suspension bridge that is above Montmorency Falls. If you don’t think your kids will love that, you can always ride the aerial tram instead. The Halifax Discovery Centre and the Museum of Natural History can both be fun adventures. But it may be the croissants and crepes you can eat in between all the activities that become the family’s favorite thing to do. 


Have you always wanted to visit Hawaii, but couldn’t decide which island was at the top of your list? Well, on a Hawaiian cruise, you can see numerous islands during a single vacation. Larger cruise ships usually visit Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Smaller ships, which may be better for your autistic family, stop in Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and the Big Island. 

These cruises are amazing when it comes to learning Hawaiian cultures and traditions. During your time on the islands, your family can ride along the Road to Hana, explore Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and visit Pearl Harbor

Don’t forget about surfing, snorkeling, and heading out on a whale-watching tour. The options are endless when you are cruising in paradise! 

Yellow staris and mountains on the Greek Island at Sunset.


The Mediterranean is a popular cruise destination. In the Western Mediterranean, your family can stop at destinations that include ports in Italy, Portugal, Spain, and France. In the Eastern Mediterranean, it is all about Italy, Turkey, Croatia, and Greece. 

Imagine wandering along the old city walls in Dubrovnik. Or relaxing on the white sandy beaches of the Greek Islands. Eating all the pizza you possibly can while in Italy. And then topping it off with scoops of gelato. Oh, and don’t forget the gondola rides through the canals in Venice. You are guaranteed to make memories when you choose the Mediterranean for your autism friendly cruise destination! 


You can easily go on a regular cruise through Europe to destinations that include Norway, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands. However, some of the best cruises in Europe are river cruises. 

These smaller boats can be perfect for autistic families because they are not as crowded. Plus, you can visit many of the smaller ports to see destinations you would miss out on while on a larger cruise ship. 

Imagine visiting the storybook towns of Geiranger, Flam, and Alesund while in Norway. While in Flam, your family can ride the steepest standard gauge railway in the world. One of the best things to do on the cruises in this region though is searching for trolls. You never know when or where they will pop up! 

You can even choose to take an autism friendly Christmas market river cruise through Europe. It is an experience no one in your family will ever forget. 

The Caribbean

There are plenty of islands in the Caribbean to choose from when planning an autism friendly cruise. However, Western Caribbean cruises seem to be the most popular amongst families. When you choose these cruise destinations, you will find yourself in ports of call in Mexico, Jamaica, Roatan, and Grand Cayman. 

In each port of call, you will have ample excursions to choose from. Catamaran cruises, snorkeling adventures, and theme park visits are usually at the top of the list. Don’t be afraid to simply spend a couple of hours at a local beach if your autistic family needs a day of downtime. The water will be soothing for everyone. 

These are the autism friendly cruise destinations I recommend for your next vacation. Of course, you can choose other cruise destinations and still have a fabulous time. Simply choose your destinations according to your autistic family’s needs and wants. Then plan your days out at sea and within each port of call. Of course, I can help you with all this. Contact me today to learn how I can make all your cruising dreams a reality for your next vacation.

A photos with four different shots of cruise ships sailing in Greece, the Caribbean, and a U.S. Port.  There is a title that reads Spectrum Getaways Autism Friendly Cruise Destinations for Your Next Vacation Autism Travel

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