There are mixed opinions on whether cruising is a good option for families with babies. The Key is choosing the best ship for family cruises with babies. If you get the right ship to fit your needs then your cruise will be a wonderful experience.
Also check our top TIPS FOR CRUISING WITH A BABY.
What Are The Best Cruises For Babies, Index
Undoubtedly cruising with a baby is a great way to travel to different countries without all the traveling between cities and countries.
I felt reassured when booking a cruise that we could expect a certain quality and standard of service. Whereas this is something you are not always guaranteed when booking a land based holiday.
With this I mind I thought it would be a great ideas to answer all of those burning questions you may have when choosing a cruise ship to cruise with a baby or toddler.
Which Are The Best Cruises Line When Considering Cruises For Babies?
That honestly depends on your priorities, whether you are looking for your baby to sail free, a baby friendly cruise pool or fantastic childcare facilities. We have trawled though all the cruise lines, searched for cruise prices and used our experience of cruising to try to answer those questions for you.
What Are The Best Cruises For Babies, Commonly Asked Questions?
How old should a baby be to go on a cruise?
Infants 6 months and older can cruise, however have to be 12 months or older for cruises with consecutive sea days or voyages longer than 14 days.
Do you have to pay for babies on cruises?
Some cruise lines do offer free fares for babies or reduced rates for cruising?
Babies cruise free on these cruise lines.
Infants are free on MSC up to the age of 1 and at a reduced rate from 2-11 years old.
Babies between 6 months and 2 years sail free as a 3rd or 4th passenger on Cunard Line.
Cruise lines who offer discounted cruises for babies.
Disney Cruise line offer a good baby discount and also offer lots of addition extra’s such as use of diaper disposal units, strollers, bottle warmers and sterilisers to make cruising with a baby easier.
Costa offer discounts for infants from 6 to 23 months (from 12 to 23 months for transatlantic cruises and for a duration of 15 days or more).
Princess Cruises consistently offer incredible 3rd/4th berth offers on many of their sailings. This offers great value for family cruising. Whilst these are not on all sailings, they are distributed thought the school holidays.
Although Royal Caribbean do offer kids prices from £99 in flash sales, it’s also worth looking for other offers as we have had some great deals over the years, additionally you can occasionally get a good 3/4th passenger discount.
Norwegian Cruise Line offer discounted 3/4th person discounts but also offer kids sail free offers from time to time.
Carnival Cruise Line offer 3rd/4th berth discounts which can work out good value for families.
P&O also offer discounted cruises for babies up to the age of 2.
Crystal Cruises offer a 50% discount on all children under the age of 11.
Which Cruise Ships Have Daycare For Babies?
Norwegian Cruise Line Daycare
NCL have the guppies Nursery which is a dedicated stay and play area for families with babies up to the age of 3, here you can take your infant to enjoy arranged stay and play sessions or free play sessions.
Norwegian Escape has a drop-off nursery. You must book sessions in advance, which last for 1 hour 50 minutes. Day sessions cost $20.00 USD per session for the first child and $16.00 USD per session for each additional sibling. In addition the night nursery costs $24.00 USD and $20.00 USD. Fees are charged to the guest onboard account.
Royal Caribbean childcare for babies
Royal Caribbean offer the Royal Tots Nursery which is for babies aged 6-36 months with drop off sessions in the day and evening. Sessions last for 1 hour at a cost of $6 per hour per child from 9 am – 6 pm and $8 per hour per child from 6 pm – midnight.
Ships with Royal Babies And Tots drop-off sessions are
- Allure of the Seas
- Anthem of the Seas
- Brilliance of the Seas
- Enchantment of the Seas
- Freedom of the Seas
- Grandeur of the Seas
- Harmony of the Seas
- Independence of the Seas
- Liberty of the Seas
- Mariner of the Seas
- Navigator of the Seas
- Oasis of the Seas
- Quantum of the Seas
- Ovation of the Seas
- Radiance of the Seas
- Rhapsody of the Seas
- Serenade of the Seas
- Symphony of the Seas
- Vision of the Seas
Additionally there are also free-play sessions where parents can go along with their infants and take part in arranged activities.
Disney Cruise Line Nursery
It’s A Small World Nursery is available onboard all Disney Cruise Ships. It is popular service which can be booked in advance. But can also be booked on a first come first service daily.
- 120 days ahead for Concierge and Platinum Castaway Club Guests
- 105 days ahead for Gold Castaway Club Guests
- 90 days ahead for Silver Castaway Club Guests
- 75 days ahead for all other Guests
Rates for It’s A Small World are $4.50 per half hour for the first child $4.00 per half hour for any additional children in your family. The minimum reservation time is an hour.
MSC Cruises Daycare
The MSC Mini Club is for babies aged between 1 and 3 years old (not inclusive). And is available when the ship is sailing: between 13:00 and 14:00 and between 18:00 and 19:00, I could not find a price for this anywhere so contacted MSC direct who have confirmed that this is a complimentary service.
There is also the Mini Club play and stay facility for parents to attend with their babies.
MSC Mini Club Play And Stay Is Available on
And Sea Days
Princess Cruises Have Stay And Play Sessions.
Babies and toddlers are welcome to play in Camp Discovery when accompanied by a parent.
Can Babies Go In The Pool On A Cruise ?
If having a pool is important to you then the following cruise lines have baby and toddler friendly splash areas, although babies can use these areas under US maritime law babies still can’t use the pools on these ships and must stick to the splash zones:
Which Royal Caribbean ships can babies and toddlers use the splash zones?
- Allure of the Seas.
- Anthem of the Seas.
- Freedom of the Seas.
- Independence of the Seas.
- Oasis of the Seas.
Disney Cruise Line ships with baby and toddler splash zones?
- The Disney Dream: Nemo’s Reef.
- Disney Fantasy: Nemo’s Reef and AquaLab
- On the Disney Magic: Nephews’ Splash Zone
- Disney Wonder: Dory’s Reef
MSC ships with baby and toddler friendly splash zones?
- The MSC Meraviglia
- MSC Bellissima
- MSC Preziosa
- And MSC Seaside
Princess Cruises with baby and toddler friendly splash zones?
- Caribbean Princess
So yes babies can indeed go on cruises and there are some great deals and amazing facilities out there. Its all about doing your research before hand and knowing exactly what your priorities are.