Cruising with an infant

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#1
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2017
My grand baby will be 8 months old when we go on our cruise. My daughter thinks it will be ok to take her, my son in law and husband doesn't. Who has cruised with an infant and would you suggest going now or waiting until she is more mobile? All suggestions greatly appreciated.
#2
Coastal GA USA
21,709 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Welcome to Cruise Critic. There is a board here devoted to traveling with families, children in particular.

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=49

I seems it would be much easier when the child is NOT mobile than later, when you have to chase them all over. EM
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#3
Washington
6,072 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
There is lots of information and helpful tips about cruising with babies and children here:
http://boards.cruisecritic.com/forumdisplay.php?f=49

Disney and RCCL have dedicated nurseries for the very young cruiser (whereas, most other ships don't) so that the parents can eat and see shows without the baby. You might think of cruising on one of these lines while the granddaughter is so very young.
#4
Philly burbs, PA.
11,505 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by maflc01
My grand baby will be 8 months old when we go on our cruise. My daughter thinks it will be ok to take her, my son in law and husband doesn't. Who has cruised with an infant and would you suggest going now or waiting until she is more mobile? All suggestions greatly appreciated.
You should check with your cruise lines for their age guidelines. RCI, for example requires infants to be 6 months old based on departure date to be able to cruise and on transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, certain South American itineraries and other select sailings, or any cruise with 3 consecutive days at sea, the age restriction is 12 months.

Also with RCI, their babysitting services start a 1 year old, and their children's activity programs start at age 3.

As to whether or not you should take her, subject to the above guidelines, that decision is entirely up to you. We took my grandson when he was 15 months and it was fine, but we also had the rest of our family and his parents with us, so care was plentiful.
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#5
Southern California by way of Kentucky
19,619 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Originally posted by leaveitallbehind
You should check with your cruise lines for their age guidelines. RCI, for example requires infants to be 6 months old based on departure date to be able to cruise and on transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, certain South American itineraries and other select sailings, or any cruise with 3 consecutive days at sea, the age restriction is 12 months.

Also with RCI, their babysitting services start a 1 year old, and their children's activity programs start at age 3.

As to whether or not you should take her, subject to the above guidelines, that decision is entirely up to you. We took my grandson when he was 15 months and it was fine, but we also had the rest of our family and his parents with us, so care was plentiful.
I have to disagree a bit....The nursery on RCI ships will take (care of) an infant as young as 6 months of the age...and the staff in these dedicated nurseries are amazing professionals.
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#6
Enosburg Falls, VT
17,781 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
I think back to the logistics involved in just doing a day trip across state to Oma and Opa's house with our little ones and cringe at the idea of a week on a cruise ship with them that young. I know people do it and they get full props from me.
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#7
Philly burbs, PA.
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Joined Sep 2008
Originally posted by Ashland
I have to disagree a bit....The nursery on RCI ships will take (care of) an infant as young as 6 months of the age...and the staff in these dedicated nurseries are amazing professionals.
Thanks for that update - more confusing information from the RCI website which indicates 1 year. But either way I agree, they are very a professional staff.
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#8
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,352 Posts
Joined May 2001
When you have a child, you are a family...so where the "family" goes...so does the child! There is NOTHING wrong with taking your small child on a cruise. But...it will not be as if you were a couple...because, you're not..you're a FAMILY!

They will need to bring ALL "baby specific" stuff...diapers, wipes, medications of all kinds (ear drops, nose drops, fever meds, pain relievers, tummy ads, formula (if not breast feeding, which is the easiest way, btw...)...what ever you need at home, you will need on the ship.

Most cabins have showers, so a blow-up tub will be very handy for bathing! Other than that, it's the same as at home!
#9
Point Richmond CA
5,109 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
As has been pointed out so often, post#8 is not the best (or even appropriate) advice.

That baby will have absolutely no memory of anything that happens on that cruise. So, why subject him/her and yourselves to all the associated demands? Most importantly, the medical staff (no matter how knowledgeable and accomplished they may be) are usually not specialized in the care of infants).
IMO, taking someone this young on a cruise is a selfish act with zero value.


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#10
3,756 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Taking a baby on a cruise is much better than staying home with a baby. I had very little vacation time through most of my employed life and was not about to spend that vacation time at home. We are so glad we cruised with an 11 month old down the Danube and then with a 3 year old and a 10 month old in the Caribbean. If Mom wants to cruise, cruise.
#11
19,631 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
My daughter brought her less than a year old first son with us on a cruise. The baby was in a stroller when on ship, and carried on a wrap baby carrier on some shore excursion while the "necessities" are on the backpack of the dad. The proud new parents enjoyed their cruise with their baby.
#12
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,832 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Our kids were older when we started cruising but they started traveling when they were 6 weeks old. Of course they don't remember all the times we went to Mexico and other road trips. Think of it as training for the future. Get them used to things as babies and it will be easier in the future. Now our kids are experienced travelers.

Easier to take a non-mobile child than a (running,climbing) toddler. Voice of Experience.
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#13
North Carolina Coast!, USA
6,011 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
Remember the baby will be with someone ALL the time. They sleep/nap a lot at that age. Will they sleep in the stroller? Will someone have to stay in the cabin when they are napping?I have seen babies and toddlers asleep on Dad's shoulder at midnight, or even awake then. What are they going to be like the next morning when their sleep habits are messed up? If there is baby sitting at that age, do you have to pay for it? Will it be in your cabin? Is there enough room in your cabin for a crib?
I would leave a baby that age at home!
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#14
17,799 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by maflc01
My grand baby will be 8 months old when we go on our cruise. My daughter thinks it will be ok to take her, my son in law and husband doesn't. Who has cruised with an infant and would you suggest going now or waiting until she is more mobile? All suggestions greatly appreciated.
Taking a child that small on a cruise is like taking them on any week long vacation with some important things to keep in mind.

You must take everything that the child needs food wise. When deciding how much food to bring you should assume that the trip is going to last twice as long as scheduled in the event of an at sea emergency.

There is no pediatrician available. Babies get sick really quickly, and they usually recover really quickly with appropriate medical care which may or may not be available on the ship.

You should assume that most of the child care places will not allow you to drop off the child. There are exceptions.

Though it has been more than a few years since we traveled with infants as I recall that is an easy time to travel, but the logistics on a ship are difficult (at least in my mind).

I would suggest that this be asked on the family cruising board.
#15
Edmond Ok
1,044 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I won't say our one experience is common, but family next to us had a two room cabin and stuck the loud crying baby in the next to us every night. No amount of complaining to the ship staff and from ourselves kept the family from caring for the crying baby.

I agree with the one poster that too many parents who take babies are thinking it will be a couples (romantic) experience when in reality it is a family experience.

Burt
#16
5,160 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Beachdude
I won't say our one experience is common, but family next to us had a two room cabin and stuck the loud crying baby in the next to us every night. No amount of complaining to the ship staff and from ourselves kept the family from caring for the crying baby.

I agree with the one poster that too many parents who take babies are thinking it will be a couples (romantic) experience when in reality it is a family experience.

Burt
Many times, babies cry, and there isn't much you can do about it. Personally, I would bring a baby on a cruise, I'd rather be at home with my stuff (bouncy seat, swing, nice stroller, car, ability to put baby to bed and come downstairs and relax...). Being trapped in a confined area for hours a day with a sleeping (of crying) baby is not my idea of a vacation.
#17
Moon Township, Pa
23,174 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Only the parents can decide if it's appropriate. But they do need to take some things into consideration. First, if the baby is colicky, it's probably not a good idea as cabin walls are thin. We've been kept awake by screaming infants on more than a couple of cruises.

Second, the health of the baby and the fact that illnesses can run rampant on cruise ships, especially in winter. The on board clinics are not equipped for infants and the doctors are not pediatricians, so be aware of that. I was on two cruises where the parents of infants had to be medically evacuated because the under 12 month old babies got very, very sick. And believe me, there are some islands where you don't want to go near the hospitals.
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Darcie
#18
Edmond Ok
1,044 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
Originally posted by mjkacmom
Many times, babies cry, and there isn't much you can do about it.
Gee, no kidding. As a parent of three, I feel bad that I complained that we couldn't get any sleep on our vacation.

Maybe I should have been more clear, but the baby was in a separate room (they had a suite). I can only assume so the parents privacy wouldn't be interrupted.

Burt
#19
Hampshire, UK
707 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
I have great admiration for anyone who can manage to take a holiday, let alone a cruise, with a baby.

We were hoping to cruise with our daughter, son in law and their 15 month old baby this May but paying full adult price for a baby of that age in a pack and play seemed prohibitive. As an active toddler we couldn't see him settling in a tiny pack away cot.

We understood that baby food could be ordered from RCI prior to the cruise if necessary.

Many vacations provide reduced fares for babies/toddlers, but so far we haven't found cruising to be cheap with children as they count as a full fare paying passenger. Yes, I do understand that a baby could be just as hard work as an adult for cabin stewards, but we are very low maintenance ourselves and keep our cabin very tidy, and this would be the same if we brought our grandson. Sadly not all parents are so considerate, as we've seen as we walk past open doors of cabins! And many of those cabins which look as if a bombs hit them are occupied by adults only, so I pity their poor steward.

We wonder how so many families can afford to bring so many kids.
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#20
Ontario, CA (The one WITH the Palm Trees!)
22,832 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Think of it like this.... you're not buying a cruise for a toddler, you're buying a seat in the lifeboat.
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