Norwegian Cruise Lines, the Breakaway ship can accommodate up to four thousand passengers and a little over one thousand five hundred crew members on any given voyage. Trips on this vessel usually encompass parts of the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and the Eastern seaboard of the United States. These cruises primarily are geared towards vacationing families and the activities listed below will certainly make great pastimes if you happen to be traveling with kids including those with autism.
Depending on the outdoor ambient temperatures during your voyage, some travelers might decide to forgo this activity. When we sailed on the Breakaway, it was a chilling 40 degrees in NYC.However, that still didn’t deter some passengers to swim in the pools.
Cruise ship passengers headed to warmer climates will certainly want to bring their swimsuit along so they can try out the five waterslides that found on the premises. The small children pool nearby that featured a faux island in the middle and statues of Sandy the Squirrel, Patrick, and Sponge Bob Square Pants lined the area.
The outdoor attractions
Our son with autism couldn’t get enough off playing miniature golf, scaling the rock climbing wall, and testing our nerve on the high ropes course. A large number of teens and adults could be found participating in these pastimes during our voyage. The high ropes course seemed to be the most attractive with its zip-line style activities. All the proper safety features appeared to be in place with helmets and harness available for the rock climbers and high ropes enthusiasts.
Decorate your own cupcake.
This one is bound to give kids a sugar high!
Activity participants were provided with a plain cupcake to use as a blank canvas for their tasty creations. Available cupcake topping options included icing, sprinkles, gummy bears, M&Ms, and marshmallows.And the best part; passengers got to take their creations back to the cabin, popular show mom and dad or enjoy as a late snack.
Selfies with Nickelodeon characters
Both Patrick and SpongeBob were both available for photographic purposes during the cruise, much to our son’s delight. Passengers could find the exact time and places onboard where the familiar characters would show up, by reading the daily newsletter
. Our son didn’t encounter a long line the day he went to the meet and greet, but according to the staff, longer lines could be expected during holiday and summer cruises.
Participate in the Cream Pie Toss.
Another activity our son who is an avid Nickelodeon fan enjoyed was the Nick show.The staff selected a member of the audience to partake, and she got to be ‘creamed.’Our son was disappointed he didn’t get chosen at first but then felt relieved that he didn’t have to wash up when he watched the show.
Enjoy Broadway-style shows.
Many cruises offer musical extravaganza for their patrons to enjoy. These fun filled spectacles make a great way to past the time when ships are not in port.We got to see ‘Rock of the Ages’ musical which featured the 80s music.
Be a part of a shipboard karaoke contest.
During our trip, this event took place on the small Impact stage which was surrounded by a sizeable audience. The competition’s emcee kept the hits rolling right along, and the group of backup musicians helped add just the right note to the proceedings.
Travelers that plan on showing off their talents should keep in mind that this family friendly event attracts lots of attention.Therefore, a stage debut here is probably not for the faint of heart even though the crowd was incredibly respectful of the impromptu performers.
Drop by the Kids Clubs.
The ship’s kid clubs have a lot of good activities to keep children’s boredom at bay when the ship is at sea.The Club is divided into colorful rooms and sections depending on the kids’ ages.There are different arts and crafts activities available. Our kids didn’t personally attend since they considered themselves ‘too grown up’ but we got a sneak peek tour and chatted with the activities director.
Autism Travel Tips
Parents need to be aware that cruise ships don’t provide lifeguards so parents need to be vigilant and watch their kids around the pools and slides.
The area surrounding the pool was a bit slippery so parents should consider bringing crocs or other closed toe water shoes for especially for younger kids.
Overall we discovered the cruise ship staff to be quite accommodating to special needs when we asked for help. The staff had our son with autism come to the activities either before they started or at the very end so he could get to do the activities without standing in the lines.
We were thrilled to discover the cruise line offered noise canceling devices to help noise sensitive kids during the shows.Also, we got pre- seating for the shows which helped our son enjoy the entertainment onboard.
Parents who would like their kids with autism to partake in the Meet and Greet but skip the long lines should ask the staff or help.