Speaking from personal experience, cruising is one of the best vacations for an expectant mother. That is assuming the pregnancy is non-eventful and mom is feeling well. I found myself cruising pregnant at 14 weeks when my family boarded the Carnival Magic for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise. Admittedly, I was a little nervous.
While I was having a healthy pregnancy I hadn’t been feeling great. However, I knew immediately upon boarding the trip was going to be a success. A comfortable room, 24-hour food, and lots of family activities meant I had everything I needed.
I figured worst case scenario, I would hang out in our stateroom, but that wasn’t case. I was active when I had energy and rested when I needed.
It was a fantastic trip, even despite the rain we encountered. If you are traveling on your first pregnant cruise, here are some tips for cruising pregnant:
1. Find out the cruise line’s pregnancy policy. The first thing any expectant mother should do is verify the cruise line’s pregnancy rules. Simply Google your cruise line’s name and “pregnancy policy” and the details should pop right up.
Often a link to a doctor release form will be available. All of my forms were filled out and submitted via email making it a very easy process. Just remember to bring copies with you incase there are any questions.
The average pregnancy cut-off date for US cruise lines is about 24/25 weeks (depending upon the company and type/length of cruise) since preemie babies and can survive outside the womb that far along and the ship’s medical center is not equipped to assist a premature newborn.
2. Wear motion sickness bracelets. During our cruise I was still in the throes of morning/24 sickness but surprisingly the rocking ship didn’t bother me.
If you’re prone to motions sickness look into the sea sickness bracelets and request a room a midship for less motion.
3. Stay hydrated.This is a no brainer, but still a good reminder since you’re out of your element. Water is readily available throughout the ship, so ask crew members for water locations and it’s also a good idea to bring your own water bottle and keep it filled.
4. Know the ladies’ room locations. The frequent trips to the power room are a fact of pregnancy. Posted near most elevators are a map of the ship complete with restroom markings. Trust me, you will know where most onboard restrooms are by day two.
5. Enjoy the food. Because pregnancy make our bodies go wacky in the food craving/aversion department a cruise is the ideal setting thanks to the various dining options from the all-you-can-eat buffets, pizza, burgers, and even the classic pregnancy craving ice cream (many ships offer it 24 hours!).
Of course, there are also lots of healthy options, too. Also, don’t think you can’t enjoy a fun beverage. I had fun sampling various fruit smoothies, zero-proof Pina coladas, and I added a lot of refreshing lemon and lime to my water.
6. Request a mini-fridge. Keeping snacks in the room is a godsend for those late night cravings or hunger pains. Every evening I snacked on a bowl of fruit and berries brought back from dinner (my choice of dessert).
Our room already had a mini-fridge, but I understand some cruise lines will supply staterooms with fridges on request. Also, many cruise lines offer room service for free or a minimal charge (tip expected). This is a fantastic option for hungry moms-to-be.
7. Be selective on your excursions. Some active excursions aren’t available for pregnant ladies although some descriptions may say “not recommended if pregnant”. This could mean it’s your call.
Some excursions are extreme adventures and are obviously not appropriate for pregnant women. However, your best bet is to contact the cruise line (or excursion company) directly and inquire about pregnancy rules then check with your doctor to get the okay for partaking in the activity. Regardless, there will still be plenty of excursion options to choose from.
8. Get those naps in. I’ve been a daily napper this pregnancy and it was no different on the ship. In fact, I slept like a baby onboard because of the light rocking. I actually miss it! Between the Camp Carnival and my husband the kids were easily entertained while I rested.
Overall, I truly recommend a cruise for expectant mothers. It’s relaxing, all-inclusive, and no matter what a bed – or pool chair – is just a few steps away for a little R&R. There’s nothing like actually feeling you’re on vacation especially when you’re cruising pregnant!
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