Nothing put fear into the hearts of traveling parents than having to pass through airport security with a baby. With a little preparation, there really is nothing to fear...
Do You Have a Baby?
Much as been written about the benefits of breast feeding your child. Actually breastfeeding while on a family vacation with your baby can be much easier than formula feeding. Maternity leave is one of the rare times in life that many moms are able to take extended time off from work. It's an excellent opportunity to take a vacation. Lactating moms have a portable solution to give their child all the nutritional requirements nature intended while providing a constant and familiar source of comfort. Even so, there are a few considerations you may want to take into account before leaving home.
The Paradisus Cancun is one of the newest offerings on Cancun's Hotel Zone. It opened it's doors December 2012. It offers parents two vacation options that are often hard to find. First it is a luxury, family friendly resort. Normally parents have to sacrifice luxury surroundings and services if they want a family friendly atmosphere. Secondly, it offers a one of the most sought after options in family travel today...a baby club with nannies caring for children ages 1- 4 years of age.
This is certainly a hot button topic for many parents. At Vacationkids we get this question ALL the time. The short answer is...Yes. "TECHNICALLY" babies and toddlers under the age of 24 months can fly for "Free". Airlines and travel agents use the industry word "LAPCHILD" to describe a baby or toddler flying seated in their parent's lap. Everyone likes the idea of a "free ride" but there are some VERY important points parents need to consider when deciding whether or not to buy an airline seat for their baby. We want our parents to be informed so that they can make the best decisions regarding their child's safety and finances so we'll do our best here to outline this important topic.
Updated July 2019
A family cruise is a great family vacation choice, especially for young families with babies and toddlers. Parents can look forward to a fun vacation with their little ones while enjoying all the conveniences and amenities today's family friendly cruise ships have to offer. Cruising with your baby or toddler offers families lots of convenient choices of destinations and fun activities.
When planning for your family cruise vacation, please be aware that there are cruise line policies and rules in place regarding what age babies are allowed on board cruise ships. These rules have been established for the comfort and safety of all passengers. These rules are strictly enforced by the cruise lines. We've included age requirement rules below here for you.
In addition to checking age requirements, make sure little cruisers have all the right travel documents. Certain cruises will allow children to sail with an original birth certificate with a valid state seal (no photocopies) but we HIGHLY recommend all children sail with a valid passport. Reservations can be made in advance of obtaining a passport for your baby. Just insure the exact legal names used on your reservations match the legal names on your child's birth certificate and passport application.
Most of the family friendly cruise lines offer activities for every member of the family and this includes little sailors. On board nursery facilities and babysitting options can vary even with ships of the same cruise line. Older ships may not have all the facilities offered on newer ships.
To help you plan your next family cruise with your baby, Vacationkids offers this list of the most family friendly cruise lines and their rules and policies regarding cruising with babies...
A family cruise can be a great option for families with babies. When planning for your family cruise vacation, please be aware that there each cruise line has specific policies and rules in place regarding hold old your baby must be to sail on cruise ships. These rules have been established for the comfort and safety of all passengers. These rules are strictly enforced by the cruise lines. To help you plan your next family cruise with your baby, Vacationkids offers this list of the most family friendly cruise lines and their rules and policies regarding cruising with babies...
MSC Cruise Lines - Has no minimum age for infants on board their ships and all children under the age of 18 sail free when sailing as a 3rd or 4th passenger in a cabin. MSC is one of the most popular cruise lines in Europe and has recently started sailing from the US to the Caribbean.
Cruises 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.
A family cruise with a baby or toddler who is not yet potty trained comes with it's own set of challenges. One planning issue that young parents need to keep in mind when selecting a cruise ship is whether or not your child will be allowed to use the pool. Cruise lines have specific health rules regarding the use of swim diapers in cruise ship pools. Often it depends on the facilities available on specific cruise ships.
Just in case you've been living in the dark ages, a swim diaper is a disposable diaper made from a special material the will supposedly absorb poop and pee but will not swell up with pool water while your baby or toddler is swimming. Of course there are also old school renditions of swim diapers which can be a new specially designed swimsuit to a cloth diaper and rubber pants. According to the Center for Disease Control any swim diaper offers a false sense of security because they can leak.
Urine is not really the issue. It surprises many people to learn that urine from a healthy person is sterile and germ free.
The problem is poop. Fecal material contains many germs that can cause illness...Ecoli, guardia and particularly Cryptosporidium which is a chlorine resistant parasite that can cause diarrhea. If you're baby or toddler enters a pool with a leaky, poopy diaper then your child and everyone else is at risk.
Not all cruise lines or cruise ships will allow babies and toddlers in their main pools. Newer family friendly cruise ships have been designed with specific baby pools. These pool are smaller in size with a separate, dedicated filtration system allowing for easy and effective sanitation. Splash parks offer babies and toddlers cool, wet fun. In a splash park, diapers are not totally submerged as they would be in a regular pool so it does help to prevent the spread of germs.
Here is a list of swim diaper rules from each of the family cruise lines....
Babymoons are one of the hottest trends in family vacations. Parents look forward to one last hurrah and splurge before baby arrives. babymoons can involve flying while pregnant. It's generally safe to fly while pregnant but moms-to-be do need to know these 10 tips to make their journeys easier and more comfortable...