If you're planning to book a cruise with a baby, there are some important things to consider before you set sail.
Many cruises are not baby or child friendly. Additionally, most cruise lines (and even ships WITHIN each cruise line) can vary greatly, so be sure to figure out what your priorities are and go based on what is most important to you when cruising with your child.
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind:
Age restrictions: Some cruise lines have minimum age restrictions for babies, so make sure to check before you book your trip. For example, some cruise lines require infants to be at least 6 months old before they can sail.
Cabin accommodations: When booking your cabin, consider the space and amenities that will be necessary for you and your baby. Some cabins are designed specifically for families and come with extra amenities like a crib or pack and play, while others may not be as accommodating. Additionally, most cabin mini fridges don't get cold enough to keep breast milk stored at the correct temperature so it is important to make plans for BM storage.
Onboard facilities: Before booking your cruise, research the onboard facilities and amenities to ensure they are suitable for your baby. Check if the cruise line offers babysitting services, play areas for infants, and high chairs in dining areas.
Medical considerations: Make sure to consult with your pediatrician before booking your cruise to ensure that your baby is healthy enough to travel. Additionally, research the medical facilities and services available on board the ship in case of an emergency.
Excursion options: An essential part of the cruise experience are the excursions once you reach land. However you will often find that excursions have age requirements - many over baby age or that require car seats because travel is done by car. Be sure to keep this in mind when booking and have a plan for these types of events whether that means booking a cruise with more to do on board or bringing your car seat along for the cruise.
Packing essentials: The more that the cruise can provide, the easier your packing list will be. You won't want to forget to pack all the essentials for your baby, such as diapers, wipes, formula or baby food, and any medications they may need. These items are likely not provided in any way by the cruise line.
By considering these important factors before booking your cruise, you can ensure that you and your baby have a safe and enjoyable experience at sea.