From finding the right cruise line to preparing for potential seasickness, there are many factors to consider when planning a trip with your little one. In this article, we’ll summarize all the necessary information you need to know about traveling by cruise with a baby. From packing tips to onboard activities and more, this guide will help make your journey as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.
If you’re ready to set sail, let’s get started!
The Baby’s Age – Most cruises require that your baby is at least six months of age to board a cruise ship for travel. However, a few have a minimum age requirement of only three months; otherwise, the requirement is over 12 months.
Cost – Babies are not free, but you can sometimes catch cruises when they are selling their cruises at a reduced rate. Carrying your baby with you on a cruise can cost between $50 and the full cost for an adult.
Reserving Items – If you plan on taking your baby with you on a cruise, make baby gear reservations early! For instance, you will want to reserve a portable crib or a Pack’ n Play when booking.
Bathing Your Baby – The bathrooms on cruise lines are generally only showers. Some moms take their little one into the shower with them, and they can bathe simultaneously. Pack an inflatable baby’s bathtub and include some baby wash!
Babysitting Services – Most cruise lines do offer some form of babysitting services, which are very safe. The cruise line staff working with the “Kids Clubs” are highly qualified and equipped with background checks.
Bringing Baby Food on the Cruise
You will be the one to decide on what foods your baby will need for the cruise, including the amount of food needed for the entire length of the cruise. Always pack enough baby food and formula to last the entire cruise length.
A few cruise lines provide a limited amount of baby food and formula that can be bought on board the cruise line. If you are planning to bring formula and baby food, you must remember that it must be in pre-packaged, unopened containers.
Homemade or pre-cooked baby food is not usually allowed. For instance, if you are going on a cruise ship, they provide complimentary Stages 1 and 2, which consist of jarred baby food (but this is something you must request before sailing). Vegetables and pureed fruits are prepared for the baby in the main dining rooms.
Formula and baby foods you carry onboard must be in an unopened pre-packaged container(s) that doesn’t consist of any kitchen staff preparation. Most cruise ships do not usually allow homemade or pre-cooked baby foods to be carried aboard the cruiser.
Keep the following tips in mind if you are going to be breastfeeding during the duration of the cruise:
- Most cruise lines will let you carry on a cooler for your baby’s medical needs and formula, such as breast milk. You will need to check with the cruise lines for the cooler size permitted.
- There have been cases where breast milk were to be pumped after the cruise line set to sail, making you responsible for notifying the guest services. They will report to the proper authorities about your traveling and carrying food substances post-cruise.
- Many cruise lines state in their ships’ policies that a nursing mother can breastfeed her baby in private areas, their cabin, and public areas. Furthermore, a mother is not required to cover up while breastfeeding.
What To Pack for Babies and Toddlers on Cruise Travel
• A formal outfit
• Sunglasses and a hat
• Two or three UV protected sun wear
• At least two outfits for everyday of the trip
• Diapers – Always carry plenty of diapers as they are hard to come by sometimes on a cruise!
• Swim diapers
• Plenty of baby food
• Wet wipes
• Baby formula (if needed)
• The things that make your baby feel secure at home
• Umbrella stroller
• Baby carrier
• Baby cutlery and table mat
• Baby bottles
• Sippy cup(s)
• Sterilizing Equipment
• Shampoo for your baby and baby wash
• Inflatable baby bath
• Car seat
• First aid kit
Traveling by cruise with a baby can be a great experience, but it requires extra planning and preparation. Before you set sail, ensure you have all the necessary items to care for your little one while on board, such as diapers, formula, and other baby essentials. Additionally, research the cruise ship’s amenities and policies regarding babies and toddlers so you can plan accordingly.
With the proper preparations and knowledge, traveling by cruise with a baby can be an exciting and stress-free adventure.
About the author
James Grasty is a father of two (Maximilian 2, and Lillian 4) and an avid user and purchaser of new and used baby gear. After trying out a lot of gear for his kids, he grew tired of either not finding the product he wanted, them being low quality and cheap, or super expensive. Being an entrepreneur he decided to start his own brand of baby and kids gear aimed at helping parents like himself solve their problems and make parenting a bit easier in the process because we all know how hard it already is.