This Week in Cruise: Autism on the Seas Creates Cruise Certification Program; Celebrity Cruises Unveils 'Suite Class'

Autism on the Seas (AotS), a travel organization catering to vacationers with autism and other developmental disabilities, introduced the travel industry’s first “Autism Friendly” Certification Standard & Training Program for cruise lines. The first cruise line to receive certification of AotS is Royal Caribbean International through assisting with reasonable accommodations for inclusion and participation by guests with autism and developmental disabilities. Effective immediately, Royal Caribbean’s entire fleet is comprised of Bronze Level certified “Autism Friendly” ships.  The fleet is expected to achieve Silver Level certification by the end of 2014. 

Autism on the Seas' Cruise Line Autism Friendly Certification Standard is designed as a guideline for cruise lines to ensure their pre-cruise and onboard services, venues and amenities are accessible for inclusion and participation by the autism and developmental disability community. The reasonable accommodations to comply with this Standard are, and can be, customized to each cruise line’s policies, procedures and ships, to ensure sustainability and effectiveness in retaining the scope and intent of the certification. Certifications are awarded by individual ship.

Celebrity Cruises revealed its new 'Suite Class' experience, which will be debuting April 2015 with new benefits including a suites-only restaurant, VIP lounge, complimentary premium beverages and more. 

The Reflection Suite has ocean views and a cantilevered shower, and the new suite class will provide private dining, premium f&b benefits, access to a VIP lounge, a special 'suite class' welcome, butler service and daily afternoon tea served in the guest's suite.

Windstar Cruises is offering guests two-for-one cruise fares on any of its new Asia itineraries, including two free hotel nights pre- or post- cruise and a free exclusive private event on shore during each voyage. The line also offers an additional 10 percent off the cruise fare to Yacht Club Members. Star Pride, Windstar’s new yacht will set sail for the Far East in Oct., 2014. Windstar’s Asia voyages start at $3,999, cruises must be booked by March 28, 2014 to receive this special offer.

Star Pride's Asia itineraries include Singapore & the Malay Peninsula, Treasures of Southeast Asia, Vietnam Unveiled and Pearls of the Indian Ocean.


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