Do Cruises Discourage Babies On Board?

It may seem like cruise ships discourage babies on board when finding out what things (even certain aged babies) are banned.

No need to post a “Baby On Board” sticker outside your cruise ship cabin door if that baby is not of a certain age. And forget about the bottle warmers, sterilizers, and baby monitors. Also no homemade baby food, please, and even for the older children, don’t bring inflatable pool toys. You say your dog or cat is your baby? Sorry, not allowed either. And just in case you were wondering, don’t bring helium balloons to any celebration you are planning while cruising.

Young Babies

Family-friendly cruises allow babies on board, but some ships specify the age of the babies, with some saying they can only be older than six months, and some with a 12-month-old requirement. Some cruise ships do not allow children at all, so take this into consideration when planning your trip. Some ships will be better suited to families and young children so ask your cruise agent for advice on the best cruise line for you.

Bottle Warmers and Sterilizers

Some cruise lines prohibit bottle warmers and sterilizers but may permit travel sterilizers. It is important to check with your cruise agent or provider before packing so you are sure there is no chance of it being on the list of banned items. Some cruise lines provide a number of sterilizers on board which can be hired as required.

Baby Monitors

Baby monitors are not permitted on many cruise lines, and the metal walls of many ships don’t allow the monitors to work properly anyway. On the cruise, it is likely you will either be in the same room or an adjoining room to your baby so there is no need to worry about being away from them or needing to monitor them as you will always be close by.

Parents are reminded that many cruise lines operate babysitting services at different times of the day. The support services offered vary hugely by cruise line, however. Some cruise lines do not supervise under 3s or might only offer childcare in a ‘kids club’ style environment. It is always best to check with your specialist cruise agent before booking.

Homemade Food

Pre-packaged, unopened snacks are allowed on a cruise, but any homemade food is banned. These limitations are related to concerns for food safety and contamination, as cruise lines are not able to provide refrigeration or storage for personal food items. One of the best things about cruising is there are lots of culinary options available on board so there is no need to bring food from home.

Inflatable Pool Toys

If your ship has a pool onboard, it may be tempting to bring along inflatable pool toys or noodles for young children, but these must be left at home. Most cruise lines only allow you to bring inflatable armbands for your little ones which must be deflated at the time of boarding. Other cruise lines will allow you to bring buoyancy vests on-board for children but this is not usually the case. It is always sensible to check with your cruise line before packing and leaving home.


Household pets like dogs and cats are not allowed on the majority of cruise lines, but service dogs (e.g. guide dogs/seeing eye dogs) are an exception. You will need to get permission from the cruise line before bringing a service dog on board, however, and the dog must be officially registered.

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