I'm a self-professed germaphobe. I had some tendencies before Abs, but now...it's in high gear! I am extremely aware of germs, coughing, smoking, etc....to the point where it has actually caused some panic attacks. I know many medically fragile families are concerned about germs, so hopefully this will alleviate your concerns.
I've heard some nightmares about germs on cruises, so I packed Lysol wipes in our medical bag (4 canisters...lol!) and planned to use every one of them. We used a ton on the airplane to wipe down seats, trays, and arm rests. I even had strangers ask to use them! :) When we first got into our stateroom on the cruise I cleaned every inch with Lysol wipes. There was no need! That room was spotless, and our room steward Winston cleaned it every day and took out the trash twice a day. There was not a speck of dirt on the Lysol Wipes!
What's more is that there were crew members CONSTANTLY cleaning the ship! I saw people washing the walls with long-reach mops, people cleaning windows, people wiping down railings, people sweeping up crumbs....CONSTANTLY! My germaphobic heart went pitter patter every time I saw a cast member cleaning. 💓
When you go in to eat at any dining area on the ship, a crew member either gives you a hand wipe or directs you to the handwashing stations right outside of the restaurant. If you try to go in without washing your hands, THEY WILL stop you! I had to refrain from clapping when they chased a guy down!
Any child who enters a kids' club has to wash his or her hands upon entering and leaving. Parents who go in to get their kids have to wash their hands as well. There are proper handwashing signs in every restroom and in your stateroom's bathroom. It is most definitely a priority!
If germs on the ship are a concern for you as a parent of a child with special needs, I would definitely choose a Disney cruise. I haven't personally been on another type, but I have heard that Disney is much cleaner in general than others. My standards for cleanliness are pretty high, and Disney exceeded my expectations. Seriously. Germaphobes unite!!