Planning First Trip with First Baby

Updated on February 25, 2009
N.B. asks from New York, NY
12 answers

My husband and I are planning our first trip with our baby, who is about 4 months old. We probably won't go until she's about 5 months old or more when my next vacation comes. We're a little anxious about traveling, since there are so many things to consider. We wanted to know if anyone had tips on cruise travel. We thought this would be a great first trip, since we can choose one that leaves nearby and doesn't require plane travel.
Here are my questions about cruise travel.
Can we just bring her stroller and baby carrier or do we still need to bring a carseat?
Should we book online or go with a travel agent?
What websites are best booking baby travel trips?
What type of cruise ship creates less rocking? I used to get dizzy on cruises as child.
Which cruiselines are best for children/babies?
Any other tips?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the great advice! We decided not to take her on the cruise, since it does seem like it would be better to go when she's older. We'll be taking a road trip to visit relatives in April and then a short plane ride maybe this month. I guess the plane isn't so bad after all. Thanks so much for taking the time to write!

Featured Answers



answers from New York on

My advice would be do not take a young baby on a cruise.
The virus factor is too great. Too many people in a
contained area. Just not worth it in my opinion.

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answers from New York on

while cruises are great for older kids, id be cautious about taking an infant. just as a PP stated the virus, many people, small space thing concerns me. traveling with an infant is so much easier than a toddler. i wouldnt rule out airplane travel, maybe to a club med/breezes type place that offers kids club and in your case day care. good luck and enjoy!



answers from New York on

Hi, my husband and I took our son on a cruise when he was seven months old. We planned a seven day cruise before he was born and didn't take into considered what he was going to be doing at seven months old. Overall we had a nice time, but it was ruff and I'm not sure I would do it again with a young baby. We had to bring seven days worth of baby food and formula (and toys). In addition, you almost pay full price for the baby even though they are not going to eat any food. Also, there are not typically services or activities for children under three years old. We live in NY and the cruise was leaving from San Diego. A week before the trip he came down with basically his first cold . . .an asthma attack. We were not sure if we were going to go until the last minute. By the time we got on the ship I was sick. On day five the baby was sick again with a stomach illness. Also, while we went on several day trips at the ports, it was hard to take a stoller on the beach. Also, it was hard to work around the baby's nap schedule. A group of us went and it was nice to have some help so we could go to the evening entertainment with friends. Another thing to consider is what time you have dinner. Most ships still have sittings and we went with the late seating which was not a good idea. The cruise line that I highly recommend is Royal Carribean. Everything was great. However, this is the not cruise line that we took with our son. We booked them through a travel agent. Jetblue and American Express both offer travel services as well and give points for booking through them.

Good luck.



answers from New York on

Hey there - Ive been on 4 cruises - mostly alone with the husband but the one time we took the kids it was so much fun. It was a cruise to nowhere - it leaves NYC and comes back 48 hours later, no excursions. My youngest was just over 1 years old at the time and it was fun watching her walk along the corridors with the ship moving...

Here are some tips i could offer you:

You dont need a car seat on the ship. Not 100% sure if you can bring a stroller, we didnt, I would check the individual cruise line for that - the baby carrier may make it easier for you to walk around the ship with the baby. Be sure to ask for a crib when you book your cruise, They are small enough to fit in any room you are in.

Like any trip research all avenues sometimes a travel agent can offer a better deal then online. I once booked a trip thru an agent and it turned out to be a little more then booking online directly thru the cruise line - most of those websites charge a fee making it a little more then booking directly thru Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Pick your cruise then go directly to the cruise line website to book. Calling sometimes costs more too - airlines do this.

You can find some great travel tips on the cruise line websites.

There really is no ship that has less rocking, perhaps larger ships dont sway as much but it all depends on the waters and if a storm just passed chances are your ship will rock a little more. (we had to deal with this once, lucky we dont get sick on cruises) The best advise would be to get a room as HIGH and CENTER of the ship as possible. Think of it as a pendulum on a clock... the higher up you are the less you will feel. Its crazy that the infirmary is on the lowest level of the ship.. think about that one, lol.

Disney cruise line is supposed to be great for kids, but Ive never done that one - weve always gone on Carnival - when we went with the kids - we were able to leave them in 'Camp Carnival' for hours at a time and go to the shows on the ship or just have 'us' time. My sons were gone for almost 7 hours, they kept them really busy and returned them to their cabin at night, my sons at the time were 10 and 11 - but this is an extra cost on top of the cruise. They give you a 'beeper' like when you go to a restaurant, so they can contact you at any point, just in case - so you have peace of mind.

I wish you luck and hope you find the best cruise for yourself and family.



answers from New York on

Well don't worry about the rocking, babies love to be rocked. She has been rocking for 9 months. If you plan on leaving the ship for tours, you should bring her car seat, unless her baby carrier can be strapped in with seat belts.
I dont think you will have any problems if you are nursing, but if she is on formula then you need to be real careful about the water. I'm not talking about Mexico's water, but simply the change in chemicals different places use can give a baby diarrhea. If possible find out what kind of bottled water the ship uses and get her used to it before you go.
Some ships also have certified baby sitters so you can enjoy some time by yourself. You can get most information on their websites.



answers from New York on

Cruises are great trips for families. Most will not allow the baby on the ship until they are 6 months old. I would consider Royal Carribbean the best for kids that is reasonably priced. Disney is great too, but very expensive.

To avoid the rocking, request a cabin that is mid-ship. They are the most stable. Also most of the ships have stbilizers now that are much better then past years. You almost never feel them moving. My sister is taking my nephew on a cruise with us this Summer. We are going in July and he will be just over 1 year.

You can definately bring a stroller. I am a travel agent, so of course I',m going to say book with a travel agent. They can often get you better pricing and they can give great advice (of course, I am biased). If you want specific info or pricing, let me know. My email is



answers from Syracuse on

My husband and I just took a cruise a couple of weeks ago. On the ship there were a couple of babies, but none that young. I wondered to myself why anyone would bring a baby on a cruise. There's not that much room in the staterooms, you would have to bring/make formula, baby food, etc. While there are things to do, most shows, etc. are at night, nothing for a child that young to do, except to leave them with a babysitter. If you do decide to go, I would bring along a babysitter, that way you can have some free time to yourself, otherwise someone has to stay with the baby, you won't get to do much.



answers from Rochester on

N B,
I wouldn't do cruise, after all the hype about germs and illnesses aboard! But that is me.

You might bring stroller baby carrier for your conveneince, but car seat is a must if you will do any taxi/car rides in ports.

The rest is up to you, but ifyou are not up for rocking any more than you already do for bedtime, maybe a cruise is not such a hot idea.

What is the problem with flying - other than recirculated germs?

Ideal for me: Car + trailer + food + dog + hubby + baby + approx 800 miles due south = nice camping spot. No rocking except in the hammock, no germs except what we bring. Chirping birds, a little rain, a little sun, a little fun, a lot of real relaxation.

Good luck,



answers from New York on

my suggestion is you guys are traveling by plane when the plane takes off give her a bottle or a pacifier because that will help with her ears and tummie discomfort also when the plane lands i also went a vacation with my son when he was younger and it was an excellent plane ride no discomfort for him at all. if your travelibg via car maintain the schedule your in when your home abd swaddle swaddle swaddle. when on a cruise remember she was on a 9 month cruise constant movement motions just keep her swaddeld they have a carrier that supposed to resembl being in the womb. enjoy your trip enjoy your baby



answers from New York on

Our first trip was with the kids was a cruise to Bermuda. I hate to fly so for me cruising is wonderful. The minute you step on the ship you are on vacation. The reason why I chose Bermuda was for the same reason you stated I wasen't sure if the rocking of the ship was going to bother them or even myself. When you go to Bermuda you usually dock for a few days so the ship (even though there isn't much rocking anyway) is steady and you can get on and off as you please. Most other cruises you are at sea a lot and only stop every day or so for a few hours. Bermuda is beautiful we have been back three times since. It is clean, safe, and very easy to get around with bus shuttles, ferry boats, cabs etc. The beaches are incredible. We took Carnival the first few times and Royal the next. Believe it or not the food was better on Carnival although the atmosphere is nicer I thought on Royal. If you want kid friendly and family orientated I would do Carnival. Some people on the more exclusive lines are not so open to kids around them (if you know what I mean). Many couples go for a get away and are not open to children running around. Carnival is a whole different atmosphere. Good luck and have fun!!



answers from New York on

Hey, great job selecting a cruise, I always suggest taking cruises (especially with baby/kids) because there are activities for every age all in one place, all the food you could ever eat, childcare, spa, casino, pool, family photo ops, not having to plan anything about your trip like where to stay, what to do and making reservations and plans, what a headache when you just want to have fun. We are going on a cruise with our son who will be 22 months old and we can't wait!
As for your questions:
Can we just bring her stroller and baby carrier or do we still need to bring a carseat? I am just taking his light stroller and still figuring if we need the pack and play for sleeping, you will only need a car seat if you plan to go in a car or bus when you get off the ship. Well, I would suggest it, unless you research the laws in the places you plan to visit and are willing to take the chance without one.
Should we book online or go with a travel agent? My hubby books on but with the economy what it is I would help an agent get some work. They can also be very informative.
What websites are best booking baby travel trips? I have not had any experience with specific baby travel sites, but I would just gogle the term and see what comes up.
What type of cruise ship creates less rocking? I think you should ask your agent about this. I do not know.
Which cruiselines are best for children/babies? Carnival is the "fun ship" where many families go for a great number of activities. They expect kids to be there so you don't get the looks with a screaming baby that you may from other lines.
Any other tips? see message above. Good luck.



answers from New York on

Cruises are a lot of fun and they offer everything you can find on land, from laundry service to sitters, from fine art to fine dining. But some of them come with a price tag and it could be high.
For booking, I think I'd go with an agent. They may help you think of things you forgot. If you make a list of all the things you use every single day for your baby, that would assure you that you haven't overlooked anything, like a crib for sleeping.
Some other suggestions were to get a room in the "center" of the ship, to minimize the rocking you might otherwise feel, but it won't matter because you won't be in your room all the time anyway. You'll be there to sleep, dress and not much else. Another thing...if baby doesn't like very dark rooms, then I would suggest you spend the extra money and get an exterior room. Interior rooms are devoid of any light other than lamps. It can be unnerving.
Finally, if you are particular about who watches your baby, then it may behoove you to invite a temporary "nanny" so you can have your time to do as you wish and she'll watch baby all the time. If you are more "hands on" (and it seems you are) then perhaps a teen would better suit your needs. She would be responsible for watching baby while you and hubby do your thing at night. Just please make sure if you bring someone with you, then she understands she will not be paid. After all, she's getting a free cruise. I think a relative might be best, if you have someone within your family.
Many cruises are just fun all the time, the staff is fun and engaging and most helpful, too so have a great time...

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