Family Vacation Tips

Can Women Take A Cruise If They Are Pregnant?

[fa icon="calendar"] Dec 21, 2012 12:03:00 PM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

cruising while pregnantCruises can be a great escape for pregnant moms. A time to relax, be pampered and to have some fun before the baby comes. Many couples choose a cruise for a babymoon. Families may want to celebrate time together with their older children before focusing on the responsibilities of a new baby. Just because mom is pregnant, it doesn't mean you have to stay at home. It just means a little additional planning so that everyone can enjoy a safe and healthy family vacation.

Pregnant moms need to be aware that most cruise lines have specific rules regarding taking a cruise while pregnant. As a very general rule, most cruise ships insist that all expectant mothers be LESS than 6 months pregnant before sailing on a cruise ship. These rules are obviously in place to protect the safety and well being of mothers and babies. Many families need to take a flight to get to their cruise port so bear in mind there are also rules for flying while pregnant.

If you are pregnant and planning a family cruise, your very FIRST step in planning your vacation is an honest discussion with your doctor. Only your doctor can determine if you and your baby are healthy enough to travel. It is important to discuss the destinations WHERE you plan to visit as some countries or tropical locations can put you and your baby at risk. Make sure you understand what activities you can safely enjoy during your cruise vacation. Obviously zip lines and rock climbing are off limits while pregnant but activities like hot tubs, spa treatments and wine tastings might not be as obvious. When you are at your doctor's office, make sure you have a clear understanding of what medications you need to take with you and copies of any prescriptions. To avoid any hassles or embarrassment, Vacationkids HIGHLY RECOMMENDS that no matter how pregnant you will be at the time of your vacation, get a permission to travel letter from your doctor. Make sure your doctor's letter states clearly how pregnant you will be at the time of sailing or flying...and that both you and your unborn child are healthy to travel.

Morning sickness can be an issue for many new moms, especially during the first three months of your pregnancy. Motion sickness while at sea could compound this problem. Get your doctor's advice and recommendations regarding what you can and cannot take to alleviate any possible discomfort. If you can plan to sail between 12 and 20 weeks, this is the time when most pregnant moms feel their best. Your Vacationkids Family Cruise Experts
can work with you to help select a ship and specific cabin that can help you avoid problems.

So many of our families plan their cruise vacations a year or two in advance to get their specific travel dates and cabins. What happens if you want to plan a family cruise but are trying to get pregnant? This is why Vacationkids HIGHLY RECOMMENDS Travel Insurance. Travel insurance will protect your vacation investment. Depending on the coverage and policy you choose, it will allow you to cancel or reschedule if you find out you're pregnant. If you are taking a cruise while pregnant, you need to be sure that you and your baby have medical coverage just in case you need it. This is important because many medical insurance companies will not cover you if you travel outside your coverage area or the country.

Here are some of the policies and rules pregnant moms need to know for specific family friendly cruise lines...



DISNEY CRUISE LINE
-  Women who have entered their 24th week of pregnancy as of their sailing date will be refused passage due to safety concerns. Neither a physician's medical statement nor a waiver of liability will be accepted. In addition, Disney Cruise Line cannot be held responsible or liable for any complications relating to pregnancy at any stage.


CARNIVAL - Pregnant women are only allowed to sail if pregnant for 24 completed weeks or less at time of cruise disembarkation. All pregnant women are required to produce a physician's letter stating that mother and baby are in good health, fit to travel and the pregnancy is not high-risk. The letter must also include the estimated date of delivery

ROYAL CARIBBEAN - cannot accept guests who will have entered their 24th week of pregnancy by the beginning of, or at any time during the cruise or cruisetour. 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 pregnancy. The "Fit to Travel" note should be faxed to the Access Department at 1-954-628-9622. Please contact us at 1-866-592-7225 or at special_needs@rccl.com if you have already booked a cruise or cruisetour and do not meet this requirement.

NORWEGIAN
- will make every effort to accommodate pregnant mothers who have not entered the 24th week of pregnancy when the cruise ends. Please include your cruise details in an email to the Access Desk with a medical certificate establishing your due date prior to your cruise

PRINCESS - has recently reviewed their pregnancy policy in light of gestation risks and infant mortality outside of special neontal intensive care units. As a result, pregnant women are only allowed to sail if pregnant 24 weeks or less at the date of cruise disembarkation. All pregnant women are required to produce a doctor's or midwife's letter stating that mother and baby are in good health, fit to travel and that the pregnancy is not high risk. The letter MUST also include the estimated date of delivery calculated from the last menstrual period and ultrasound if performed.

HOLLAND AMERICA - Permitted to board if pregnant for 24 weeks or less on day of disembarkation. A physician's letter must be faxed to Fleet Medical (661-753-0122) for women in any stage of pregnancy.

CUNARD - Permitted to board if pregnant for 23 weeks or less on day of disembarkation. A physician's letter must be faxed to Access and Compliance (800-577-1731) for women in any stage of pregnancy.

Please know, cruise lines are very strict about their policies on pregnancy. This is done for the safety and comfort of all passengers. Misrepresentation is not allowed. Vacationkids want you to be informed so that you and your baby can enjoy a fun, safe and health family cruise.

Topics: Family Cruises, Baby Vacations

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Vacationkids.com Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

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