Planning A Cruise Whilst Pregnant Or With A Baby In Tow Seems Easy In Theory, But I've Attempted Both And Found Out It Wasn’t As Simple As I Thought Due To Policies The Cruise Liners Had. Here Are A Few Of The Things You Need To Know.

Cruising while Pregnant or with a Baby Tips

Planning a cruise whilst pregnant or with a toddler or newborn baby seems easy in theory. But over the last few months I have attempted both and found out it wasn’t as simple as I thought. This was due to a few policies the cruise liners had. I thought I might share my new found knowledge with you. In case you are planning or considering a cruise whilst pregnant or with a baby in tow in the new future.


The key rule that I overlooked when booking and then having to cancel our cruise was ‘how pregnant I would be on the cruise’. I was naive, and assumed the ruling would be similar to that of flying domestic or international.

You will find that you will not be able to get on a cruise ship if you are or will be 24 weeks pregnant or more. In the simplest terms, there will be no cruising for a pregnant woman once she has passed 23 weeks and 6 days. Regardless if she got on the ship prior to being 23 weeks and 6 days.


In simple terms cruise ships do have medical facilities but are not equipped to deal with birth, preterm birth or neonatal care.


Most cruise liners if not all will want a letter from your GP confirming you are fit to travel and confirming your Estimated Due Date (EDD) and you will not be cruising anywhere without it.

Here is a handy website I found that lists most Cruise Liners rulings on pregnancy:

Travel Insurance & Pregnancy

The likes of travel insurance companies such as Covermore also have the same ruling and only cover pregnancy up to the 24th week (23 weeks, 6 days).

However I did find Columbus Direct do offer certain cover for pregnancy which is available up to the 30th week of pregnancy, which is good to know for any future travel not on a cruise ship.

Cruising with Baby

The second time I went to book a cruise (the first time I was 3 days too far along in my pregnancy to be accepted on a cruise) I couldn’t book it due to some of the following baby rules:

For domestic cruises: An infant is required to be at least 6mths old (on the first day of the cruise).
For international cruises: An infant is required to be a least 12mths old (on the first day of the cruise).


It’s usually due to limited neo-natal facilities on board and at ports of call.


When exploring Family Friendly Cruise Line options and reading the fine print it is also worth noting:

  • Most cruise liners will expect that children under 2 years old must remain with a parent/guardian at all times.
  • The likes of Carnival & P&O Cruises do not supply baby supplies, formula, nappies or baby food on board the ship.
  • Children who are not toilet trained (and those still in nappies or swim nappies) are not allowed in any of the water facilities on board. This includes pools, waterslides and water park.
  • Kids clubs start at 2yrs old. Children under 2 are unable to attend. There is no in room/ in cabin babysitting offered either.

With P&O they will let parents with children under 2 use the Kids Club facilities as long as the parent is there supervising at all times.

With Carnival their policy states “Camp Carnival cannot accept children under the age of 2 unless they are turning 2 years old on the cruise. There are no age exceptions to this policy. There are specific times on board each ship that under-2 year olds are welcome into the facility. Each ship operates differently based on the itinerary.”

More info on rules of travelling with an infant or toddlers on Carnival:
More info on rules of travelling with children on P&O Cruises:

So there you have it. You may have noticed most of this information is based on the P&O Cruises & Carnival as they were what suited us best. For those wondering:

P&O Cruises & Carnival General Info:
  • P&O Cruise – depart from Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne & Sydney.
    Being water lovers – our boat of choice was the Explorer as it is the biggest ship with 3 swimming pools, waterslides & waterparks. (The Explorer only departs from Sydney)
    Our second choice was Dawn the second largest with 2 swimming pools, waterslides & waterparks. (The Dawn only departs from Brisbane)
    The other 3 ships all have 2 pools but no waterpark or waterslides.
  • Carnival – depart from Sydney, Melbourne.
    The Spirit & Legend are said to be very similar ships with the same facilities.

I am currently looking at the P&O Explorer and the Carnival Spirit. If you have been on either with your family feel free to drop a comment below with your thoughts and insight!

Staying on dry land more your thing why not check out our Road Trip tips? Or if Air Travel is more your thing check out or Flying with kids tips.


15 thoughts on “Cruising while Pregnant or with a Baby Tips

  1. David Pearson says:

    Back in 2004 we took our then u month old on a cruise. It was fabulous and all the staff doted on her. She came with us to the even shoes and wasn’t any bother to anyone. In fact at the time my wife was pregnant with our second (around 16 weeks) too. It was brilliant.

  2. Christy says:

    Great information – definitely something people need to look into if they’re planning on cruising whilst pregnant. In 2016 I did a 2 week cruise whilst pregnant, but I found out I was unexpectedly pregnant 2 days before the cruise start date. My insurance did not cover for cancellation due to this so we just went. Morning sickness sucks everywhere but at least with a nice balcony to go out onto later it made it a bit more bearable. I’m hoping to take my son on a cruise towards the end of the year and am finding it quite difficult to choose the ship.

  3. Jo says:

    wow I did not know that about not being able to go on a cruise if 24 weeks or more – You would have thought, like you said it would be the same as flying, but I do understand!

  4. MercedesPrunty says:

    I never knew they were so strict, but I can see why. My friend went into labour really early and her baby needed so much help at the time and if they had been so far away from medical help that could help, her baby might not have made it. Better safe than sorry I guess 🙂

  5. Cruisinglady says:

    We travelled with teenagers on Carnival last year. For smaller kids the kids club facilities looked good. The value for money was great.

    To be honest though, Carnival is full of bogans & big drinkers. The internal decor is also horrendous (they don’t show it on their website) & there is very little common space to unwind when the ship is full. The Legend also has 3 less dining options than the Spirit. My honest advice is to save up for another 3 months and go on one of the huge Royal Carribean ships with more room & better clientele.

  6. plutoniumsox says:

    This is really useful information, I only became aware of it a couple of years ago and it should be much more widely known to save a lot of disappointment! Thanks for linking up to #FamilyTravelTips

  7. rawsonjl says:

    Wow, I had no idea… my kids are all well past these stages but still I would never have thought twice about looking into the policies on travelling while pregnant or with a baby unless my doctor had a problem with it I would have assumed we were OK. Good to know! #ExplorerKids

  8. says:

    Wow! This is very educational and very useful. Thank you very much for sharing. I had no ideas that there are so many rules and conditions on board. Both of my kids are from 3+ now so we should be okay to most of the conditions stated.

    Thank you very much for linking up with us on #ExplorerKids

  9. sensationallearning says:

    These are REALLY useful things to know for those pregnant or with a baby! The restrictions regarding pool use seem a bit too strict in my opinion, surely they could offer a baby pool for those using swimming nappies? And I’m wondering how it works for anyone who’s disabled and using nappies due to that, way past the toddler stage… Hm… Interesting post, thank you 🙂 x #ExplorerKids

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