MIAMI, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Expanding its commitment to making a cruise vacation more accessible for everyone, Carnival Cruise Line has become the first cruise operator to be certified "sensory inclusive" by KultureCity, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accessibility and inclusion for individuals with sensory needs and invisible disabilities.
The rollout of the program started in October and all of Carnival Cruise Line's South Florida-based ships are certified, with the balance of the fleet scheduled to be completed by March 2020.
As part of a comprehensive fleetwide training program, hundreds of guest-facing team members, including guest services personnel and youth staff, have been trained to understand and help adults, youth and children with sensory related questions or needs relating to conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, PTSD, etc.
In addition, KultureCity sensory bags are available for check out for the duration of the cruise and contain a variety of items to help calm, relax and manage sensory overload. Items include comfortable noise cancelling headphones (provided by Puro Sound Labs), fidget toys, and a visual feeling thermometer (produced in conjunction with Boardmaker), as well as a KultureCity VIP lanyard to help staff easily identify guests.
These measures have proven to be helpful in the more than 450 landside venues like stadiums, arenas and amusement parks that have partnered with KultureCity. Since the program has been implemented aboard the first wave of Carnival's ships, feedback from guests and their families has been overwhelmingly positive.
Once on board, guests should inquire at the Guest Services desk to inquire about borrowing a sensory bag and any other accommodations that are available.
Informational videos featuring actor Christopher Gorham, a member of the KultureCity board of directors, designed to create greater awareness among all guests, are playing on in-stateroom televisions on the line's six certified ships and will expand across the fleet as the program rolls out to other ships.
"Carnival Cruise Line and KultureCity share a heartfelt commitment to acceptance and inclusivity. Working together, all of our guests can maximize their enjoyment and be the truest versions of themselves during their time on board," said Vicky Rey, Carnival's vice president of guest care and communications and the company's ADA Responsibility Officer.
"We're proud and grateful to partner with Carnival Cruise Line, offering guests with sensory needs an opportunity to more fully enjoy their vacations and create wonderful memories with their friends, families and loved ones. We appreciate Carnival Cruise Line for taking this important step in making their vacations accessible to everyone," said Dr. Julian Maha, co-founder, KultureCity.
In addition to the KultureCity certification, Carnival will be the first cruise operator to complete an additional special needs certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES).
The IBCCES program includes 17 continuing education units (CEUs) of training in a variety of special needs, such as Autism, Down Syndrome, mobility issues, and various other disabilities. Additionally, Carnival's youth staff have different resources on hand to help soothe, calm and entertain children participating in our youth programs, such as weighted vests, conversation cards, sensory games and other aids. Myron Pincomb, board chairman of IBCCES: "It has been a pleasure working with the Carnival team. Their unwavering passion to go above and beyond to create the best experience possible allows guests of all abilities to 'Choose Fun'."
"Carnival Cruise Line is to be commended for training their staff about autism and offering sensory bags that will enable individuals with autism and their families to have an enjoyable cruise," Dr. Temple Grandin, a renowned autism advocate and author and one of the first individuals on the autism spectrum to document the insights she gained from her personal experience with autism.
To obtain more information on the KultureCity program, please visit the Guests with Disabilities page on Carnival.com.
To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit Carnival.com. For reservations, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL. Carnival can also be found on: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
For additional information on KultureCity, please visit kulturecity.org.
About Carnival Cruise Line
Carnival Cruise Line, part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL;NYSE: CUK), is "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®" with 27 ships operating two- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands. The line currently has two new ships scheduled for delivery – Mardi Gras in 2020 and an as-yet-unnamed ship in 2022. Carnival Cruise Line is certified as a Great Place to Work.
KultureCity is a leading non-profit recognized nationwide for using their resources to revolutionize and effect change in the community for those with sensory needs including those with autism, PTSD and more. Since the program's inception, KultureCity has created over 450 sensory inclusive venues in four countries, as well as made special events such as NFL Pro-Bowl, NFL Super Bowl and MLB All Star Weekend sensory inclusive. KultureCity has won many awards for its efforts: NASCAR Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2017, finalist for the 2018 Stadium Business Award for the Cleveland Cavaliers' Quiet Space Sensory Room at Quicken Loans Arena and the 2018 Clio Sports Silver for social good in partnership with Cleveland Cavaliers/Quicken Loans Arena. Recently, KultureCity was awarded one of the World's Most Innovative Companies for 2019 by FastCompany.
SOURCE Carnival Cruise Line