Article: Cruising with an Infant
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Cruising is a wonderful way to vacation with your baby. Here are a few tips for arranging your cruise.

  • 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 you book.
  • 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!)
  • Convenience 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.
  • Consider flying a day or two before the cruise departs. This makes traveling much less stressful, and allows you and baby to unwind.
  • Dining 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.
  • Arrange 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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