Cruise with baby

May 23rd, 2014, 06:36 AM
  #1  
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Cruise with baby

Does anyone have any tips or suggestions for a cruise that is somewhat baby friendly? Meaning, safe for baby, crib rental or ability to bring pack and play aboard, high chairs, etc? Otherwise we plan to use a stroller or strap the baby to my husband to tour. I have never been on a cruise so I am not sure if there are certain cruises that are more accommodating for small children. The baby would be about 8-10 mo old so not old enough to need kids activities or anything. We would love to do Eastern Mediterranean but would be quite flexible on that, would also do caribbean or elsewhere. A specific cruise or even cruise ship/line suggestion would be great from someone who has been there and done that! Thanks!
jceilidh3 is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 06:51 AM
  #2  
 
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Babysitting on cruise ships is usually for a charge, so keep that in mind (your child will be too young for kids programs).

You can easily bring an umbrella stroller on board, and a lot of people do that, but for touring, strapping your baby onto your husband is probably a much better choice.

You can usually request a crib when you make your cruise reservations; be sure to use a good travel agent or do it directly and ask the right questions. I would not recommend a pack and play because typical cruise cabins are so small, and unless you are driving to the cruise port, how are you going to get all this baby equipment to the port? High chairs will be easy and should be readily available onboard.

I'd also recommend you get a minisuite or at least a larger sized cabin, not the cheapest one offered (which is typically an inside cabin and can be quite small). Carnival offers some of the largest regular sized cabins of any mainstream cruise ship. Carnival is also very kid-friendly but does relatively few Mediterranean cruises, and I am not sure I'd recommend that anyway.

Most of the Eastern Med cruise destinations are extremely hot and not very baby-friendly, requiring you to walk or even tender ashore. And given the hassle of traveling to Venice or Rome from the US, I am not sure I could recommend that for you.

In the Caribbean, I'd look for itineraries and cruise lines that offer more docking and less tendering (so avoid Western Caribbean cruises that stop in Grand Cayman, which has no docking facilities). I'd also recommend a newer, more full featured ship that has a lot to do on board in case the weather is too hot to bring the baby ashore.

Finally, keep in mind that on some itineraries, cruise lines will not accept babies less than 12 months old (6 months is the usual minimum for Caribbean cruises).
doug_stallings is offline  
May 23rd, 2014, 08:38 AM
  #3  
 
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Remember too, that regardless of the baby's age, if you are traveling internationally you'll need a passport for your child.
RoamsAround is online now  
May 23rd, 2014, 09:08 AM
  #4  
 
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As far as I'm aware, the cruise lines will also charge the regular 3rd person fare for your baby. I've done several multi-generational family cruises and the full fare for the baby (as a 3rd person in the cabin) was always charged. No discount given because of age.

Getting a high chairs in the main dining room and buffet areas was never a problem. The last family cruise my sister's TA requested a "crib" for her cabin (which I believe was actually a pack and play).
chepar is offline  
May 25th, 2014, 03:08 AM
  #5  
 
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Full fare for a baby? Yikes!

Lots to consider here. It sounds like it might be worth your while to use a travel agent who specializes in cruises to sort out the various options.
eliztravels2 is offline  
May 25th, 2014, 04:22 AM
  #6  
 
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For me, it would be too much of a challenge to make it enjoyable.
At that age, our children thrived on their routine.
Cabins are very small, although a balcony would make it a little less confining to have a place to sit while the baby naps or in the evening when the baby goes to bed earlier than the parents.
On cruisecritic, one of the message boards is family focused, and those people have had lots of experience taking babies and young children on cruises.
abram is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 08:37 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
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I am 78 years old and I still remember with some pain vacationing with infants. Locked up in a small space all evening while trying to calm an unhappy child was no fun - and I don't think that the child was happy either. We could not afford a cruise, but a small apartment at the beach was affordable. It also was fairly easy to stick to a routine. Indulging children is not the route to lifelong gratitude.
Reme is offline  
May 28th, 2014, 03:39 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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How are you getting to the ship? If by air has the baby flown before? I say this because the changes in cabin pressures are especially hard for infants with as of yet not fully developed ear canals. Just a thought.
jacketwatch is offline  

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