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In recent years, a growing number of institutions have been doing their part to be more sensory-inclusive and help those with autism, Down’s syndrome, PTSD, and ADHD. Now, Carnival Cruise Line is taking part as well.


In an announcement made this month, Carnival revealed that KultureCity, a non-profit, Alabama-based group whose purpose is the promotion of accessibility, has certified six of their ships’ crews based in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale as sensory inclusive. 


This includes the Carnival Sunrise, based in Ft. Lauderdale, and the Carnival Horizon, Carnival Magic, Carnival Victory, Carnival Conquest, and the Carnival Sensation, all based in Miami. According to Carnival Cruise Line spokesman Vance Gulliksen in an interview with USA Today, employees across the entire Carnival fleet will be sensory inclusive certified by March 2020.


In What Ways Can a Cruise Ship be Sensory Inclusive?

Hundreds of Carnival’s staff members who interact with guests will be trained within these inclusive guidelines, whether that’s in guest services or through direct work with children with Carnival’s Camp Ocean youth programs. The staff will be fully capable of answering any questions that the guests may have in regards to how the various attractions onboard the ship may affect those suffering from sensory issues. 


On top of this, all youth staffers have been trained in how to spot the signs of a sensory overload. They are able to then differentiate this from a regular run-of-the-mill tantrum and deal with it accordingly. They will be expected to can assist the child or children and help them to calm down safely and effectively. Special gear such as weighted vests, conversation cards, and sensory games will also be part of the standard uniform to help ensure that the staff has everything they need at their disposal.


KultureCity has also curated special “sensory inclusive bags” for guests to use during their cruise which will be available free of charge. The bags include fidget toys, noise-canceling headphones, and a special feeling thermometer which allows guests to non-verbally express their emotions and needs with pictures. A lanyard is also part of the kit to help aid the crew in knowing who they can assist. Sensory Inclusive Bags will be available at guest services.


Co-founder of KultureCity Dr. Julian Maha has said, “We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone.” Carnival Cruise Line is just one example of many accommodation companies that are making it possible for the entire family to enjoy a safe and relaxing vacation.