Carnival Cruise Line has become the first cruise operator to be certified “sensory inclusive” by KultureCity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities. Rollout of the program began in October with ships based in South Florida. It is scheduled to be implemented in the rest of the fleet, including ships departing from Long beach, by March.
Guests with sensory challenges will be able to check out KultureCity sensory bags filled with helpful noise-cancelling headphones, fidget toys, a “visual feeling thermometer” and a VIP lanyard to help staff identify and assist these guests. Hundreds of guest services personnel and youth staff have been trained to assist those with sensory-related questions or needs relating to autism, ADHD, Down syndrome and other conditions.
KultureCity has partnered with more than 450 stadiums, arenas, amusement parks and other venues in four countries to improve experiences for sensory-sensitive visitors. The organization has also helped make special events such as the NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl and MLB All Star Weekend sensory inclusive, and feedback from guests aboard the first wave of participating ships has been positive. Guests can learn about these accommodations at the guest services deck on board ship.
Carnival’s youth staff have weighted vests, conversation cards, sensory games and other aids on hand to help soothe, calm and entertain children participating in youth programs.
Carnival will also be the first cruise operator to complete an additional special needs certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. The program includes 17 continuing education units of training in autism, Down syndrome, mobility issues and various other disabilities.
To learn more about the KultureCity program, click here.
For additional information on KultureCity, visit kulturecity.org.