Travelling with babies and kids. It can be a lot. But cruises are something of a godsend for parents. In-built entertainment. Other kids aplenty. Curated fun. What’s not to love? We’ve mapped out some ways that you can prep for your ocean voyage - whether you’re a cruise newbie or a first-timer.
The fount of all things cruise-oriented, Cruise Critic, has mapped out 9 Reasons Not to Take a Baby on a Cruise. As you'll see, there are some cruise line exceptions speckled in there, but the wrong cruise can make for very cranky, and cabin-feverish, parents. But it's not all doom and gloom. Let's look at some cruise liners that have the potentital to deliver for you - and your baby.
We’ve listed some of the cruise line options that go above and beyond in the taking-care-of-baby stakes.
It’s no surprise that Disney is on this list. As well as placing bathtubs in most of their cabins, Deluxe staterooms have a privacy curtain to separate the sleeping zones. That means you can fiddle with the lights to your heart’s content.
And of course, there’s the Disney channel to keep busy little people stationary (for a little while, anyway!). The other plus is that babies can enter the water play areas, as long as they’re wearing a swim diaper (but babies can’t enter the pools, which is usual on most cruise liners). The downside? They don’t travel to New Zealand waters, so you’ll need to fly to one of Disney’s departure ports.
Carnival is another win for parents of tiny tots. Not only are the standard cabins a tad bigger than other cruises, select ships’ staterooms can sleep up to five people. Cribs are also available for free: just request the crib when you book your room. Carnival has a comprehensive list of what is and what is not supplied for bubs and toddlers.
Royal Caribbean has a babies and tots program for bubs aged between 6 and 36 months. Particular Royal Caribbean ships also have splash pools where little people who aren’t toilet trained can enter in swim diapers. The cruise liner’s website has a great rundown of FAQs regarding cruising with kids.
You may not be covered if you’ve taken out your travel insurance and not checked your level of cover for cruise travel. It is always better to double check your cover than make any guesses. You will also not be covered if your claim is a result of you being intoxicated.
The fact is, if you or your family fall sick on a cruise, the costs can amp up quickly. A visit to the ship’s doctor can easily cost a couple of hundred dollars, while medical evacuation can cost hundreds of thousands, depending on location. According to recent 1Cover surveys and data, 27% of passengers have fallen ill during a cruise, with one in ten requiring medical assistance. But insurance obviously goes beyond medical claims, with 13% of 1Cover cruise claims for lost, stolen or damaged items, and 15% for trip cancellations or trip delays. So, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and have some extra protection.