Countless naps, unlimited eats, fresh sea air and colorful people watching all make a convincing case for cruising while pregnant
Cruising can be a relaxing getaway for moms-to-be, and depending on how you want to spend your time at sea, there's a cruise line that's right for you.
Know Before You Go
Most major cruise lines welcome women up to the sixth month of pregnancy. The exact week varies, and some cruise lines require a letter from your medical professional providing your estimated due date, clearing you for travel and stating that the pregnancy is not high risk. You can usually find this information on cruise lines' websites, so check there first. If you have any doubts, pick up the phone — you don't want to get turned away at check-in because your little nugget is too old for the ride.
Keeping It Kids Free – For Now
Couples looking to appreciate the last bit of alone time before baby should look for cruises that cater to adults or that offer adults-only areas. Seabourn, for example, is an upscale cruise line with smaller crowds (between 208 and 450 guests, according to their website), and while children are not outright banned from cruising, it's rare to see little ones onboard. Princess Cruises welcomes families, but they also offer spaces dedicated to adults only, with separate pool and lounge areas that offer special spa treatments and healthy menu options.
Making It a Family Affair
If you already have kids besides the one in your belly, then a ship with plenty for the little ones to do is in order. Carnival Cruise Lines is all about fun, and with waterslides, nonstop kid-friendly entertainment and dedicated activity camps for the youngest cruisers, you might not be seeing much of them as they make new friends onboard. Disney Cruises is an obvious choice for the kids, too. What may not be as obvious, though, is the quality of their entertainment for adults, the first-class dining options and the spacious cabins fit for families. Check with your cruise line as many others also offer plenty of kid friendly activities and in-room babysitting options so Mom and Dad can enjoy some alone time.
Where to Go
Choosing the right destination also requires some thought. Some European ports, such as Le Havre (Paris) and Civitavecchia (Rome), require long bus rides into town. Not fun when you're pregnant. The pace can also be intense with so much to see; the payoff, of course, is that you’re in some of the world's greatest cities. There are also plenty of great do-it-yourself ports that require only short walks or taxi rides to the main tourist attractions, such as San Juan and St. Thomas in the Caribbean; Tallin, Estonia, Copenhagen and Denmark in Northern Europe; and Ketchikan in Alaska.
No matter where you go or on which ship you sail, do your research before hopping onboard so there are no surprises. And as one pregnant cruiser told us — listen to your body, rest, don't overdo it and remember that you are there to relax. Now that sounds like a vacation, baby on board or not.