Can you bring your baby on a cruise? Yes, parents do it all the time, but there are some things to understand and think through.
Some cruise lines offer discounted fares for babies (and
other children) who share your cabin; you should also ask your professional
travel advisor to alert you to “kids sail free” promotions. Still, you may have
to pay a regular fare for your baby.
When you plan to bring a baby on board, it’s important to
request a crib when you make your cruise reservation. And, as very few cabins
have a bathtub or a sink large enough for bathing a baby, you may want to bring
a small inflatable bathtub with you.
Bring all the food and supplies (diapers, wipes, rash
cream, changing pad, fold-up stroller, pacifiers, a favorite toy, and more) your
baby will need. Some ships have small supplies of baby care essentials or offer
a pre-embarkation delivery service, but these can be pricey. To make travel to
the ship easier, arrive in port early enough to go to a store and buy baby
supplies to bring on board.
If your baby drinks formula, bring enough for the duration
of the cruise; if they drink milk, find out if your ship carries the kind they
like. On some cruise lines, the galley will mash or puree food for babies, but
others expect you to bring jars of baby food. Fortunately, most onboard dining
rooms and restaurants have highchairs; if you don’t see one, just ask.
Note that babies and toddlers must be toilet-trained before
they can use cruise ship pools, but a few ships have “splash zones” where
babies in swim diapers are welcome.
Babysitting services also vary by cruise line. Some don’t
offer them, but others provide services at hourly rates; helpful when you want
to take a baby-free shore excursion or have dinner on your own.
Ultimately, you’re the best judge of whether or not to take
your baby on a cruise, because you know how your baby reacts to new people,
places, and routines. Contact Anita, your professional travel advisor, to talk
about ships and itineraries that can provide a great cruise experience for you
and your baby.
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