Cruising without baby?

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#1
Orlando, Florida
2,351 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Hello everyone. This is the first time I have come over to this side of the boards....

I am due with our baby in March 2012 but are already looking at booking a cruise for October or so time next year (but not taking him with us)....is that bad? Would you suggest booking travel insurance? Would that cover if he got sick and I didn't feel comfortable going (if it was cancel for any reason insurance?)

As you can tell, we're frequent cruisers and we don't plan on stopping because we have kids. We can't wait for our baby boy to join the world and be old enough to enjoy and take in a cruise.

How many of you have cruised without your children? Or even took your infants with you? I am new to all this - parenting, cruising with a child back at home/with us....it's going to be a whole new world that we're very excited for.
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#2
150 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Here's the thing: nobody on the board can tell you if it's "bad" or "good" really. Every family is different. You, never having been a mother before, don't really know if its going to be "good" or "bad" for you either. So I'd suggest flexibility above all.

I left my son overnight for the first time when he was 6 months, for 4 nights, with his dad/my husband. He was breastfed and had *just* started solids, but I pumped for weeks in advance, and there was plenty. Everyone was just fine. I missed him and he missed him, but we were fine. Don't listen to anyone who will tell you that you shouldn't go if you want to go and have good options for care for him at home.

But the thing is, you don't know how you're going to feel about it when October rolls around. One thing I've learned about myself with this first child is that I really didn't know what to expect about myself or about my child. Its a cliche, but its true: parenthood changes you.

So, sure book the cruise and plan on going. But buy insurance (if you're worried, buy Cancel for Any Reason insurance), and don't be too down about it if you end up not able to go.

And think about whether or not taking a 6-month-old on the cruise might be a good idea. There're people on here that have done it with success. Don't dismiss it out of hand as an option :-)
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#3
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,344 Posts
Joined May 2001
Well, an infant has to be 6 mos. to cruise....

No, it's not bad to leave your baby with someone you trust to love them like you do (Grandparents will love and care for your child better than you ever will....guaranteed!)
so don't worry and don't feel guilty about leaving them. It's not a bad thing.

Yes...you should get insurance and buy it as soon as you book your cruise...make sure it covers "pre-existing" conditions. You never know!

Yes...tons of folks cruise with their toddlers....it requires baby equipment and the realization that cruising pre-baby and with baby are 2 different experiences! Not bad or good...just different...it's a family vacation, not just an adult getaway!
#4
Texan living in Colombia, South America
210 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
Congratulations!! I too was booked for a cruise before I found out I was pregnant with DD. I thought that for sure we would have to cancel the cruise or leave her behind. We ended up deciding to take her with us and we leave next month. She will be four months old and are so excited to do this with her. We also love to travel so decided we might as well get started right away. We got her passport yesterday.

Special note- We got lucky. We were booked with Pullmantur and they allow infants on board. They also didn't charge us anything to add her, not even tips or port fees. Only cost for her is her passport which she will need anyways.
#5
GA
5,337 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
We took our twins at 7mo, and had a great time. In fact, we had a cruise booked but cancelled since it was 7 ports in 8 days out of San Juan. We rebooked out of Galveston (being in TX at the time) which had no ports that were 'new' to us and made it much easier.

As far as insurance: yes, buy it. You should make sure to read 'pre-existing condition' clause though. I think some of them don't cover pregnancy, but that's not really an issue since the bun will be done before final payment. What I'm not sure about is if any conditions resulting from the pregnancy (god forbid) would also be considered "pre-existing".

Many policies cover pre-existing as long as they are bought within a few days of the booking so keep that in mind.

Cancel-for-any-reason is usually very expensive. However, as long as any new medical conditions are covered that shouldn't be necessary. If you think you may be nervous about going, to the point of cancelling but without a medical cause, then perhaps you should wait to book until the baby is a couple months old. October cruises are usually cheap and easy to come by.


It's different, but taking them before they are mobile is highly recommended. In fact, I'd recommend that you fit in a few before the baby starts walking, and then take a break until he can go to Camp
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#6
Ontario, Canada
2,340 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by cb at sea
Well, an infant has to be 6 mos. to cruise....
Not all lines have this requirement, see the other thread in this forum about cruising with a 4 month old. Do check to see what the limitations are on the line you are considering, as well as availability of private and group care if it is of interest to you.
No, it's not bad to leave your baby with someone you trust to love them like you do (Grandparents will love and care for your child better than you ever will....guaranteed!) so don't worry and don't feel guilty about leaving them. It's not a bad thing.
Sorry, disagree here again. No one can replace parents, just as no one can replace grandparents. They are different but wonderful in their own ways. To insinuate one is better than the other is insulting.

Yes...tons of folks cruise with their toddlers....it requires baby equipment and the realization that cruising pre-baby and with baby are 2 different experiences! Not bad or good...just different...it's a family vacation, not just an adult getaway!
This last comment I will agree! Travel before children was great, but travelling with our boys is absolutely fantastic. Nothing can compare to seeing the world through their eyes. Before DS1 was born I thought I would have no problem leaving him with my parents (who are wonderful btw and have always been very involved with my boys), but after he was born it wasn't even an option...for DH and I as well as my parents. Just be open to what may transpire after baby arrives and enjoy planning your trip
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#7
3,722 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Never travelled for pleasure without my DD, but we did cruise with her when she was an infant (8MO). She had travelled with us before (Gma and Gpa were 5.5hours away each way so she HAD to). As others have said, travelling with an infant is different than travelling without, but I had no qualms travelling with my DD.

I felt MUCH more comfortable with her with us. But of course we had waited quite some time before we had kids, so sharing these experiences with her was what was most wanted to do.

It is just a personal preference. If getting away from your kids is important to your personal well-being -- go for it. If either you or your DH has a major issue about NOT bringing the kids with, listen to that (nothing can kill a vacation faster than one unhappy traveller in a couple )
#8
Maryland
1,351 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Originally posted by cb at sea
Well, an infant has to be 6 mos. to cruise....

No, it's not bad to leave your baby with someone you trust to love them like you do (Grandparents will love and care for your child better than you ever will....guaranteed!)
so don't worry and don't feel guilty about leaving them. It's not a bad thing.

Yes...you should get insurance and buy it as soon as you book your cruise...make sure it covers "pre-existing" conditions. You never know!

Yes...tons of folks cruise with their toddlers....it requires baby equipment and the realization that cruising pre-baby and with baby are 2 different experiences! Not bad or good...just different...it's a family vacation, not just an adult getaway!
I really disagree! I'm sorry but parents take care of their children better than anyone, even grandparents.

OP, you just won't know what you're comfortable with this far in advance. What if you're breastfeeding? What will you do then? I would wait to book.
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#9
boston
310 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Don't want to rain on your parade, but I agree with Sandytoes. I would wait to book. This doesn't mean you can't cruise after the baby is born or enjoy travel with or without your little one. But, six months after becoming a new mother, you are still in a kind of "survival mode" stage. Don't get me wrong; It's all good. But, you may want to give yourself the option of deciding on your cruise after the baby is born. Maybe you will take your child, or, maybe someone will care for him/her while you enjoy your cruise. You may choose a shorter cruise if you are leaving your child or a particular itinerary if you are bringing your child. Those are hard things to decide if you are not yet a mother. You will soon be a mother, and trust me, you will know what to do.
#10
In the Valley, CA
23,027 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
It's what you will be comfortable with...but you may not figure out what is best for you and your child until after he/she is born and you're putting your parental practices in practice.

I actually found it problematic to leave my girl with the grands. Even though my MIL was a preschool teacher (and retired a few years before I gave birth), there were definite issues I had. And definitely my mother wasn't an option either.

So we just did one-day trips for the first 22 months of her life (Disneyland, Sea World, Ventura). My hubby was hesitant to take her on a cruise, thinking she might cry all night (teething was rough on her). But we went on a three-day cruise when she was 23 months of age. And it went great. She was a month too young to be in Camp Carnival so she stayed with us the whole time. But she slept through the night and enjoyed the production show (we sat in the back ready to leave if she got fussy), and enjoyed the attention of the staff.

It took a lot of planning -- you don't want to run out of diapers or pullups and find that the ship's store doesn't stock what you need.

If you do have a better situation of a relative you can trust, and leave your child behind, make sure you leave notarized paperwork that would allow kin to take your child to the ER or the doctor.
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#11
563 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Only you know what will work for your family.

For me personally you couldn't pay me to leave my 6 month old home while I went off on a cruise. He won't be on full solid foods and I want to keep up my milk supply. Pumping and storing on a ship is an added stress that I don't want to deal with. Though his grandparents would love to watch him, they do NOT take care of him in the same way I do; I would spend the entire cruise worried about his well being and would'nt have any fun cruising. For example: just today they watched him and I went home at lunch to nurse and found they had put his diaper on backwards! Raising children in 2012 is not the same as back in whatever year your parents raised you. Parenting and rules about it(such as sleep positions) are different.

You may want to wait until after your baby is born before booking. That way you can look at the lifestyle changes that have happened and decide if a trip away is in your and your child's best interest.

I also recently had my first child and we are taking our first family cruise very soon. While I know this upcoming cruise will be different than others I took with just my husband, it is exciting to be able to share the trip with our baby. There are tons of people on these boards who have cruised with little ones with great success. Keep reading for tips and advice on cruising with a little one.
#12
90,254 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
In the end only you know what is right and that is the opinion that counts.

It is a good idea to get travel insurance.

A good site to use to find policies is at www.insuremytrip.com

Read the details carefully of the policy that you think works best to ensure it covers you for those items that are important to you.

Keith
#13
North Carolina
1,534 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I am a first time mom of a 11 month old and I can say that before I had him I thought that I could have left him, but now that he is here I can tell you that there is no way I could leave him. That doesn't mean that other parents can't or that you shouldn't, but you may change your mind. Some cruise lines and some ships offer nursery services for babies. This may be an option for you if you choose to take your little one with you, but still want some grown up time.
I would look into making sure that you can cancel if you want and maybe even booking a room that will hold a 3rd person if you decide to add the new addition on at a later time (this is not always possible, but may be an option).
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#14
Ontario
703 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
I won't try to tell you how you'll feel, but I tell you how I felt! Becoming a parent rocked my world, I know everyone says it changes everything but I had no idea just how deep and far reaching it would be.

I was NOT ready to leave my son with ANYONE for 5, 6, 7 nights until he was almost 18 months old. It had nothing to do with him needing me, me not trusting anyone else, etc. It was simply that I didn't want to be without him and I wouldn't have enjoyed myself for the constant worry and wondering about him.

Now that he's older I feel more ready to travel and leave him with Grandma, but I would never book a trip away from a baby under 1 year old.

HTH.
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#15
North West, England
345 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
It took 18 months for me to be able to leave my son... And that was c
For 1 night with my husband and I insisted they both stayed with my mother... And that was because I had an important professional exam to take away from home... I'd wait til you have the baby b4 you book. You may feel v different then.
#16
5,159 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I left #2 when he was only 6 weeks old - lol! And my poor IL's - he was still waking every night for bottles (#1 slept through the night at 6 weeks - oops). I left all 5 of my kids when they were babies. My kids have 2 sets of grandparents that I trust 110% to watch my children, and my children think it's a treat to stay with them. However, you don't know how you will feel until the baby is born (although when my kids were about 4 weeks old, I think I would've jumped at the chance to leave them for a week, and get some sleep!).
#17
26 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
DH and I went on a 7 day cruise back when our twins were 10 months old. We left them with my in laws. I remember crying as we left the house and DH having to literally pull me out of the front door, but once we got on the cruise ship it was sooo worth it. It did wonders for this stressed out parent of multiples. I came home well rested and invigorated. And when mommy's happy, everyone's happy.
#18
18,838 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by cb at sea
Grandparents will love and care for your child better than you ever will....guaranteed
Um, yeah, I don't think so!

Sometimes I am amazed that some of us made it to adulthood. No one can take care of my children better than me. Just ask my kids.
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#19
New Joizey
872 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
First time we ever left a kid with the grandparents was a trip aboard the Explorer of the Seas's inaugural year. I think my son was 2-ish?

We got onboard, the Aquarium bar was the first thing we saw and we instantly felt guilty. Everything we encountered, we thought about how much we would've enjoyed showing him.

We went through that cruise deciding that we would take him on the next one, for sure.

Meanwhile, back at home... He comes down with a Coxackies virus infection. High fever, mouth sores, the works. Fortunately, my sister is a pediatrician, and helped my parents out.

Two years later, we take my eldest on the Disney Magic. Leaving his 15-month old brother with my parents for a week. GREAT cruise... So much fun! OMG look! Disney has a cool nursery the 15-month-old would've liked...guilt.

And... Back at home, we find out the younger brother caught a stomach virus... Vomitting and pewping all over for days... Again, I love my sister.

The following year, we took the boys, my pregnant wife, my mom and my sister on the Explorer... Then the following cruise, took our 18 month old daughter with us on Disney. Haven't cruised without them since. We HAVE done vacations without them... Namely our 10th and recent 15th wedding anniversary, but the family trips are just that. Family.
#20
Plano, TX
169 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
While I would not judge anyone for leaving their baby at home with trusted watchers, I could tell you that I would never be able to do it! I wasn't able to leave my son with anyone other than my husband for more than an hour until he was 11 months old, and that was only for 3 hours.

We have been planning our upcoming cruise since I was 25 weeks pregnant or so and have had our baby on the reservation. My plan was that he would be about 1 year old and I would have good idea that I would know his personality before final payment.

We are so excited to take him on our upcoming cruise!
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