Before we left for our cruise aboard the Norwegian Sky, I went looking for tips for cruising when you're pregnant. I was a little nervous because not only was this my first cruise, but being pregnant changes the way you body handles so many things. I wanted to make sure I would have a great time but still do everything I could to protect my growing baby and be as comfortable as possible.
I had a pretty difficult time finding as many tips as I would have liked for cruising when you're pregnant, so I thought I'd put together a list for future cruisers who happen to be carrying a baby.
- Know your cruise line's policy for pregnant passengers and do whatever they need you to do- Every cruise line has different policies regarding pregnant passengers. For Norwegian, I was required to get a note from my doctor indicating my due date and that I was fit to travel. I then had to email a copy of the note to a specific department at Norwegian along with some basic information that they required. Most cruise lines will not allow you to sail if you'll be entering your 24th week of pregnancy while on your voyage because this is when the baby is officially considered viable if delivered early. While the ship's infirmary is equipped to help you, they are not equipped to save a baby that is delivered prematurely.
- Bring health documents with you for your travels- I made a small folder to carry with me on the ship and while at port containing my doctor's note, a copy of my insurance card, a copy of my passport and my medical records from this pregnancy, just in case I needed them (thank goodness, I didn't). You can never be too prepared!
- Stay well hydrated- This is pretty much the case for pregnancy in general, but especially in warmer climates and at port! I got dehydrated very easily and as a result I felt terrible when I wasn't drinking enough. Some cruise lines will allow you to bring your own bottles of water on board (Norwegian did and they emptied out our refrigerator on the first day to keep the waters and J's soda chilled). This was great because I could refill them with glasses of water on the ship throughout the day and bring the bottles into port. Many ships also offer bottled water packages.
- Bring some hand sanitizer- I'll admit I was a bit nervous about norovirus and illness after all the horror stories I'd previously heard about cruising. I'm happy to say those concerns were unfounded. Norwegian did an excellent job of trying to prevent illness. They had a ton of hand sanitizer stations located all over the ship as well as a crew member stationed at the entrance of every eating venue to spray your hands with sanitizer before you entered. I also carried a small bottle of my own hand sanitizer in my bag, just to be safe (I don't normally concern myself with this as much, but being pregnant and in such close quarters with so many people, I figured why not). You can also bring antibacterial wipes if you're worried about your stateroom, though we found ours to be very clean.
- Make sure you have comfortable shoes- While our ship was technically one of the smaller ships within Norwegian's fleet, I still found it pretty huge. There is a good amount of walking involved and I would have been pretty uncomfortable if I had only brought flip flops. I also had a pair of sandals that are designed to offer additional comfort and support (while still being cute) which I wore both at sea and at port.I kept my flip flops in my bag with me for the beach and the pool.
- Have some medicine on hand, just in case- They have a variety of medicine available on the ship's gift shop but you're going to pay a premium price if you need to purchase it while on board. I brought some basic medicines from home to have available just in case (things that I'm approved to take while pregnant and other stuff for J).
- Talk to your doctor about seasickness and prepare in advance- I don't normally get motion sickness. Seriously, I'm that gal who rode all the roller coasters over and over after eating a full meal and felt great afterward. But everything is different when you're pregnant and so I picked up some Seabands and Dramamine to bring with us just in case. As I mentioned here, our first night was pretty rough and while I didn't actually get sick, I definitely felt pretty off and was happy to have the Seabands. I've also heard that ginger candies and green apples help with sea sickness. Additionally, we requested a cabin towards the middle of the ship as I'm told there is less rocking there. Always good to be prepared!
- Don't over-do it- J's and my vacation style is definitely a mix of relaxing and adventurous; we especially love to explore and try new things. I definitely had to take a step back for this trip and really pace myself because I got tired super easily. Most nights I was in bed by 8pm or 9pm. While at port, I found myself needing to sit down and drink water frequently. In truth, this bummed me out a lot because there's so much more I would have liked to do and see. I purposely avoided the adventurous shore excursions that we are normally attracted to and we went out of our way to do more relaxing. I also brought my kindle and encouraged J to do the things that he loved like relaxing in the hot tub. It's hard sometimes, but you really need to listen to your body and slow down!
- Get the travel insurance- J and I are the people who generally never get travel insurance. We have nothing against it, we've just never seen the need for it. For this trip, we made sure that travel insurance was part of the budget. Don't to read the fine print and understand exactly what was covered.
- Enjoy it- Seriously! In many ways, cruising is a pregnant woman's dream! Think of all the unlimited, delicious food (I'm looking at you, soft serve and olives!)! And the crew treated me like a queen. They were all so incredibly friendly and went out of their way to make sure I was comfortable and happy. While I'm even more excited to to go on another cruise when I can drink and have my pick of the crazy shore excursions, I cannot think of a better vacation to relax before our sweet girl joins our family.
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