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Respite Sessions*   Staff Assisted Cruises ONLY

Respite-SessionsRespite Sessions are held throughout the cruise, while parents can enjoy adult activities.  Typical Respite Sessions:

  • Sea Days - At least Two Respite Sessions ranging in duration from 1 hour to 2 hours each (typically afternoon sessions are 1.5 hours and evening sessions are 2 hours)
  • Port Days - At least One Respite Session ranging in duration from 1 hour to 2 hours each (typically evening sessions are 2 hours)
  • A 3-hour Respite Session is provided one day during the cruise through dinner (for parents to enjoy dinner alone)

Your children with special needs will be cared for by our Autism on the Seas staff during these respite times.  Please review our Online Brochure (link is available from menu above) for a sample schedule that will include respite times.

Learn more about our Staff, their Care and Ratios

staff with kids at respite             Staff respite coloring


Respite Grouping

*Our Respite sessions are Private, and separate from the cruise line children program.


Interactive Play Room/Area
Active respite room/area, and interaction with other kids with and without disabilities.  Staff will keep the environment as sensory controlled as possible.

Quiet Room/Area
Quiet respite room/area, sensory stimulation is low, and interaction with others is minimal except by Staff

Ship Explorer “Option” – Teens and Adults
Transport to different ship venues when ship activities are available.  These typically include karaoke, shows, movies, trivia, etc...  Staff will consult with parents and evaluate suitability of activities accordingly.

Typical Siblings
Typically developing siblings traveling with us are free to join any of the respite sessions.  Siblings must be at least 3 years of age (excpeptions can be made if a 1:1 Staff is acquired).


Notes on Respite Groups:
Respite will be divided into the 2 MAIN GROUPS as stated above as necessary, either in separate rooms/venues and/or within one room as appropriate depending on available respite venues.
Each Group may be altered, and/or other groups or fewer groups formed as necessary.
Children will be placed into a Group depending on the parents initial input and the staff’s continued evaluation.
Children may be moved from one group to another as appropriate during each respite session.
In some cases, we will merge our respite in to the cruise line children program, either if appropriate or if private venue space is unavailable.
On Disney Cruises, Respite Sessions may be reduced in number an/or length.  See Disney Cruise pages on this site for more information.

TFH Logo hiresSpecial Needs Toys and Sensory Items for our Respite *Sessions are provided by "Special Needs Toys"

Visit them here: http://www.SpecialNeedsToys.com/usa/

*Available on most of our Staffed Cruises
toys4   toys1