When my husband asked me to go on a cruise before our daughter arrived I was all in. We needed some relaxing time and a baby moon was the perfect way to get it. I understood and liked the idea of a baby moon, but I was not sure how I felt about being pregnant, with morning sickness, feeling huge, waddling like a duck, sun burning faster than ever, and just plain being uncomfortable on a ship. Turns out, it was fine and I enjoyed myself immensely. (Cruising has it perks for pregnant women. Pretty much all you can eat buffets come to mind. Haha!) Vacationing while pregnant though is very different for everyone and a trick that might work for one person won’t work for another. So, I will tell you what my husband and I did when we decided to cruise while I was pregnant, and what I learned along the way.
When to cruise: After talking with my OB we decided to cruise after the first trimester. My morning sickness had subsided, my pregnancy showed no signs of complications, and I was physically healthy. We found the cruise line we wanted to use and the location we wanted to cruise too, and it just happened that we would end up cruising during my 23rd week of pregnancy. (I was going into my 24th week the day after we returned from our cruise.) We got a release from my OB stating when I was due, that I was healthy, and that I was good to cruise. So, what helped us decide when to cruise? The biggest factors for us were my OB’s OK, and the Cruise line. Cruise lines have stipulations on cruising while pregnant and you can only cruise up till your 24th week of pregnancy. (This is due to the fact that your child is considered viable if you were to go into labor and cruise ships are not medically equipped for those kinds of situations.) You cannot be going into your 24th week of pregnancy while you are on the cruise either. You will not be able to cruise if that is the case. You will also not be allowed to cruise if you are pregnant and have not given your cruise line a Doctors release stating you are physically fit to cruise.
Where to cruise: When looking for a place to cruise we wanted to find a location that was hopefully relaxing, beautiful, wouldn’t take long to get to, and had capable medical care/facilities. I spoke to my OB about the places we were looking at visiting to see if there were any health warnings I should know about, or any extra precautions we were going to need to take. After some research my husband and I decided to cruise to Bermuda. It fit the bill for everything we were looking for. We took a week-long cruise and it took a couple of days to get to Bermuda, we spent 3 days in Bermuda, and then it took a couple of days to sail home. Bermuda was clean, beautiful, and everyone we encountered on the Island was very friendly and helpful. I really encourage you to research or ask individuals who have cruised how they enjoyed their cruise line and destinations. You need to also look at what medical care/facilities are available and how much they cost. (It never hurts to be prepared.) My husband and I have cruised to many Caribbean islands and there were some islands, for us, we would consider cruising to on a regular vacation, but not while pregnant. Jamaica, Mexico, and the Grand Cayman’s were just a few of the locations we had been too but considered to be too busy, and not relaxing enough for us while I was pregnant.
What to take with you when you cruise: Packing for cruising while pregnant is almost just like packing for cruising while not pregnant. A few extra items I knew I was going to need to take with me while cruising were extra pillows, prenatal vitamins and Tums, Psi Bands (just in case of seasickness), reusable water bottle, and sunscreen (lots and lots of sunscreen). You can request extra pillows, but if you have a pregnancy pillow or pillows from home you prefer I would bring those. Other than that I think I brought extra money for ice cream on the ship which I ate almost every day.
Extras: If you don’t normally purchase travel protection when cruising/vacationing I would highly recommend doing so while pregnant. Not only that but I would look at what your credit card’s offer in the form of travel protection. Usually you will be able to get some form of extra medical protection under these policies that would help pay for medical evac or assistance if necessary.
Most of all: Cruising/vacationing while pregnant is not that different from when you’re not pregnant. Relax and enjoy your cruise. Save some money before hand and eat at the fancy restaurants on board, and take some excursions. Take part in the ships activities. Go to the comedy shows, musical acts, play bingo, eat late night chili nachos (this is why you bring Tums), make good use of the on board photographers, and just enjoy being on vacation.