Article: Cruising with an Infant
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a wonderful way to vacation with your baby. Here are a few tips for arranging
- Not all
cruise lines allow babies (children under 2), and there are minimum
age restrictions for those that do. Check with your travel agent before
- Each cruise
line has a different policy on infant fares. For instance, with Norwegian
Cruise Lines, infants are free (port charges and taxes will be charged),
while Disney offers a discounted rate for children under 3 (with two
adults in the stateroom). Other cruise lines charge third and fourth
passenger fares, regardless of age.
- Your cabin
will need to be large enough to accommodate a crib. For in-cabin comfort,
I recommend a deluxe cabin category or higher (remember the stroller
will need a parking space, too!)
is key. Consider the itinerary and docking requirements of the ship
you select. It is much easier to get on and off the ship when it is
docked, as compared to tenders (small boats that take you to shore from
the cruise ship).
- You can
either purchase a separate air ticket for your infant & car seat,
or your infant (under 2) can fly for free as a lap child. While the
car seat is much more safe and comfortable, consider using the Baby
B'air safety harness if your baby rides in your lap.
flying a day or two before the cruise departs. This makes traveling
much less stressful, and allows you and baby to unwind.
is one of the highlights of a cruise. With a baby, it can be unpredictable,
at best. Many cruise lines offer babysitting for a fee for wee ones,
so you grown-ups can enjoy one or two nights of bib-free dining. Also,
many cruise lines offer room service, which can work in a pinch. Norwegian
Cruise Lines has Freestyle Dining, which means greater dining flexibility.
for babysitting for the duration of the cruise as soon as you board
the ship (the Purser's desk usually). Keep in mind that sitting may
not be available the night of departure. Babysitting is done by ship
staff who are looking to earn a little extra money, and you may find
some other scheduling challenges.
- Each cruise
line (and ship) has a distinct personality. Pick the right one for your
interests, keeping in mind their infant policy. With this approach,
you're sure to find the perfect match for your next family vacation.
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