Are you planning a cruise with your baby for the first time? It’s an exciting experience but also one that requires careful consideration. In this article, we’ll discuss when babies can travel by cruise and what steps parents need to take to ensure their little one is safe and comfortable during their voyage. We’ll cover topics such as age restrictions, vaccinations, infant rates, and more, so you can be prepared and enjoy a stress-free vacation with your family.
The Baby’s Age
Most cruise lines require a baby to be 6 months old or be turning 6 months old during the cruise. However, MSC Cruises is an exception to the rule as they have no minimum age requirement for your baby to go cruising. But keep in mind that the MSC Cruises with specific itineraries scheduled to be at sea for a consecutive number of days require your baby to have reached or will reach 12 months of age during the cruise to sail.
Another cruise line that allows your baby to sail if they are under 6 months of age is Celestyal Cruises (their requirement is at least 3 months).
Babysitting Services on Cruise Lines
All cruise lines have babysitting services to some extent. Most provide the “Kids Club”, a set-up where your baby is cared for and kept safe; however, you need to consult with the cruise line on their days and times when babysitting will be available.
Inquire about the age limit of children in the kid’s clubs before booking so that you can be adequately prepared. You might need to make other childcare arrangements if they are not allowed.
Some cruise lines do in-stateroom babysitting, which is first come, first served. You also have the option to bring your nanny on the cruise with you.
Find out ahead of time how much it costs per day for babysitting services (if available) on board, as well as any extra charges you may accrue for special equipment or activities.
Pack Up – Be prepared to bring along any formula, baby food, and disposable diapers that your infant will need during the cruise. Don’t rely on the ship to have these items in stock.
Bring a full-sized crib or playpen. The last thing you want is to bring an inadequate travel bed for your baby with you on vacation; this will only lead to frustration and being unable to rest when trying to care for your little one fully.
First Aid – Pack a small but comprehensive first-aid kit with medication, bandages, antiseptic wipes/creams, and other personal items you feel are necessary. As a general rule of thumb, it’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared when taking a cruise with an infant. By being prepared, you can avoid potentially stressful situations and enjoy your vacation worry-free!
Your Luggage – Each cruise line has its rules and regulations, including the amount of luggage each passenger can bring on board the cruise ships. This doesn’t even include the amount of carry-on luggage each passenger is allowed.
Be Alert – Always be mindful of the travel times and the ports of call! Check with necessary authorities regarding places with threats from kidnappings, civil unrest in that country, and gang violence. It pays to keep updated and to monitor local media about the evolving situation.
Traveling with a baby on a cruise can be an enjoyable experience, but it’s essential to ensure that your little one is ready for the trip. Babies should only travel once they are at least six months old and have all necessary vaccinations. Parents should also take extra precautions to protect the baby from the sun, sea air, and any germs or bacteria aboard the ship. With adequate preparation and planning, taking a cruise with a baby can be an unforgettable experience for you and your family.
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.