Baby On Board
Cruise Travel Rules For Infants &
by Linda Coffman
Disney Cruise Line ships, Flounder's Reef Nursery features a
caring staff of child specialists for infants and toddlers,
ages 12 weeks to 3-years olds.
Cruises are wonderful family vacations, but did you know that
cruise lines have minimum age requirements for infants? And that
there are also regulations regarding moms-to-be? While policies
vary, here's an example from Royal Caribbean, Celebrity
Cruises, and Azamara Cruises:
Infants sailing on a cruise must be at least 6 months old as of the
first day of the cruise. However, for Transatlantic, Transpacific,
Hawaii, select South American cruises, and other selected cruises,
the infant must be at least 12 months old (again, as of the first day of
Check with your preferred cruise line before booking to avoid
disappointment or worse. As Royal Caribbean notes,
"Denial of boarding for infants who do not satisfy these minimum age
requirements may also result in the denial of boarding for one or
more guests sailing with that infant. No refunds or other
compensation shall be due from the cruise line to anyone as a result
of the denial of boarding to an underage infant or other
Baby & Tot Friendly Disney
An exception to the no-babies-under-six-months rule is Disney Cruise
Line, which goes so far as to offer care for babies as young as
12-weeks old in their nurseries. As you would expect, traveling with infants and
toddlers on Disney Cruise Line is very stress-free. It's even more
so, thanks to a
service that delivers baby supplies directly
to guest staterooms, as well as a host of child-friendly offerings onboard
their ships. Families preparing to sail on Disney Cruise Line with
tiny travelers have access to an online service that allows them to
order baby supplies in advance of their cruise and have them
delivered to their stateroom rather than packing them from home. Provided by
Babies Travel Lite,
an online retailer offering more than 1,000 brand-name baby products
including diapers, baby food, infant formula and specialty travel
the service is exclusive for Disney Cruise Line passengers.
Families traveling with children under age three on Disney cruises also have access to
numerous onboard services to make traveling with babies and toddlers in tow
-- Diaper Genie units, cribs and playpens are available
complimentary upon request from the stateroom host/hostess for use
during the cruise.
Bottle warmers, bottle sterilizers and strollers are available
complimentary at Guest Services for use during the cruise.
At Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, wagons are
available to facilitate navigating the island’s sandy beaches.
Baby supplies are available for purchase on the ships.
These amenities complement Disney’s infant-care
center at sea, Flounder’s Reef Nursery, which features an “under the
sea” soft play area themed to Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” where
children 12 weeks to 36 months can enjoy themselves under the
watchful eyes of trained Disney caregivers.
Also for infants and toddlers is Mickey’s Splash Zone, a water
playground extension to the Mickey Pool featuring interactive fountains, a soft play surface,
and whimsical splash areas that create an inviting environment for children not yet
toilet trained and in swim diapers. Families sailing on 7-night
cruises can enjoy some ‘together’ time with their little ones during
Family Time Sessions at Flounder’s Reef Nursery. Also on 7-night cruises,
enjoy Toddler Time at the Oceaneer Club and at Mickey’s Splash Zone.
Families can join their littlest members and explore the world together
by participating in musical games and fine motor skills exercises
led by Disney’s youth activities counselors. There is no
in-stateroom babysitting available on Disney ships.
Royal Babies & Royal Tots Aboard
Aboard Royal Caribbean's ships, you can join your 6-
to 36-month-old sailors in the fun of Royal Babies (6- to 18-months)
and Royal Tots (18- to 36-months), interactive playgroup sessions
developed for the cruise line by early childhood experts at
Fisher-Price®. Each 45-minute session attended by your and your
little ones (yes! mommy and daddy must come along!) offers
age-appropriate activities that expose children to new experiences
while combining playtime with learning time. On their newest ships,
Oasis and Allure of the Seas, a full-staffed Nursery, with childcare
drop-off options will be available day and night.
Traveling with infants and toddlers has gotten easier and you can
now pack lighter for your cruise by using Royal Caribbean's Babies 2
Go program, where you can order organic baby food and diapers, wipes
and creams by Huggies for delivery to your stateroom upon arrival.
Baby essentials can be ordered online through Royal Caribbean's
Gifts & Gear section at
In the mornings, Stroll & Roll dedicates the jogging track to you
and your fellow parents with infants in strollers to participate in
your exercise regimen together. A treasure chest of Fisher-Price
toys is available to during your cruise in the Fisher-Price Toy
Lending Program, where you'll find a collection of developmental
toys specifically created for infants and toddlers, ages 6- to
36-months. You can borrow and exchange toys for a new activity every
Mom and dad can also enjoy a little time away from the kiddies with
peace of mind by using Royal Caribbean's Sitters at Sea. Created by
an in-stateroom babysitting service for guests with infants,
one-year old and above. A trained Royal Caribbean staff member
arrives equipped with Fisher-Price toys and Mattel games, and
engages and entertains the young cruisers until you return. You will
need to reserve a sitter at least 24 hours in advance and complete
an information checklist. A charge applies.
While Disney Cruise Line and certain Royal Caribbean ships have
nurseries, nearly all cruise lines have programs for children age
two or three and up. Of all the lines, only caregivers on Disney
Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line will change diapers. On other
cruise lines, you will be issued a beeper and summoned as necessary.
Rules For Expectant Mothers
Not every mom on board has checked her little one into cruise
camp—some of their babies haven't arrived yet. After baby is born,
mothers do the pampering thing 24/7, so a cruise is the ideal
pre-stork vacation with lots of time for mothers-to-be to rest up
and get pampered.
Expectant moms should be aware of certain time constraints when
planning a cruise. Although the stated terms and conditions vary, as
a general rule cruise lines will not allow you to sail if you are
from 24 to 28 weeks into your pregnancy (or will be before the
cruise ends). A statement from your attending physician that
establishes your due date might also be required prior to sailing.
For example, Azamara Cruises,
Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean cannot accept passengers
who will have entered their 24th week of pregnancy by the beginning
of, or at any time during, the cruise. A physician's "Fit to Travel"
note is required prior to sailing, stating how far along (in weeks)
your pregnancy will be at the beginning of the cruise and confirming
that you are in good health and not experiencing a high-risk
Also consider, if you're prone to seasickness, combining it with
morning sickness might be mistake.
Cruising With Kids? This is
must-have Info: - Will your family
enjoy a cruise?
~ Going to sea with children... why you need a
Family Cruising, The Basics
~ Do's and don'ts & what to know
Before You Go
of Disney Cruise Line©