We recently took an awesome babymoon vacation to Cozumel and Grand Cayman on Carnival Cruises. I had so much fun sharing with y'all about our trip that I decided to share a separate post with tips and tricks for a cruising comfortably. Some of these tips are exclusive to traveling pregnant and others are just things I wish I had remembered before we went.
When we decided to cruise, I was a little nervous. To be honest, I was a little nervous about the trip anyway in the beginning because I wanted to be sure no matter what we did was safe for the babe. Carnival lets you cruise up to 24 weeks pregnant and requires confirmation from your doctor that this is the case prior to allowing you to travel. My doctor didn't express any concern, so we decided to go for it. That said, it was still shockingly hard to find tips from people who had cruised while pregnant before. So, hopefully, if you're pregnant and considering a cruise, this will help a little. If you're not pregnant and going on a cruise, I think there are so pretty good tips here for you, too.
1. Make a packing list. And yes, you should write it down.. I actually promised hubs I would do this ahead of time. After our honeymoon in 2012 and our first cruise back in 2013, I finally learned my lesson about packing. On each trip I WAY over packed actually to the point of feeling bad for having to have hubs carry my luggage around.
Most cruises are casual. That is, you do not need to take 3 pairs of sandals, wedges, and heels on your trip. I took 1 pair of walking sandals, a pair of flip flops, and a flat pair of sandals that I just liked. You need a swimsuit and sunscreen, but skip the towels - they've got them on board. I packed cotton dresses that folded easily for dinners and tank tops/t-shirts/athletic shorts for each day. Of course this isn't an extensive list, but the point is to really think about what your're going to do each day and pack only what you need. They've also got shampoo on board, so don't bring your bulk sized product...
2. Take a watch. This is the one thing I really wished I had remembered. When we were out of the country, we kept our phones on airplane mode the whole time, but we still had to carry them with us since we used them to track time. I can assure you, it would have been WAY easier to just where a watch on excursions and at port than to have had to carry an expensive phone around everywhere just to be sure we knew the time. I will definitely have a cheap digital watch the next time we travel.
3. Take an empty water bottle to fill and carry at port. Again, useful for anyone, but being pregnant, I really wanted to stay hydrated and didn't want to have to buy water off the ship or drink local drinks. We packed an empty water bottle for each of us and filled it up on the ship prior to leaving so we could sip on it throughout our days at port.
4. Also, snacks. You don't need to pack your pantry and good grief is there ever enough food on the ship, but us pregnant ladies sometimes need to snack. And when you're off the ship, or if you don't have time to get breakfast because you slept in before your excursion, you'll want that little granola bar.
5. Ask for extra pillows. I needed the extra pillows to sleep comfortably with my growing belly. The ship staff are so wonderfully and accommodating. Seriously, ask and you shall receive.
6. Pack medicine for motion sickness. I don't get motion sickness. Never really have unless I read in the backseat of a car. I even asked my doctor to confirm medicine that I could take (of course, you should always talk to your doctor first) and then totally forgot to pick some up for the trip. I regretted this of course on the first day at sea when our ship was rocking the entire day. Everyone (at least at our dinner table) even mentioned it. It really threw me off and while I don't think it was totally a pregnancy thing, I would have had a much better day had I not been feeling so unstable.
7. Take advantage of priority check-in. Seriously. It's there for you. I certainly didn't feel disabled or even incapable of waiting in the long check-in lines to board. But, my feet definitely appreciated being able to quickly get on board and sit. You're pregnant. You qualify for priority. Take advantage of it. Just trust me on this.
8. Don't be afraid to go on an excursion. Cruises don't typically have pregnancy special excursions, but some of them are definitely do-able and a lot of fun even while pregnant. We went on a city tour, visited a turtle farm, went to the beach, and toured Mayan ruins all during this trip. Talk with your doctor about what you can do and don't be afraid to ask the excursion specialists on board. There is plenty to do and enjoy!
I really wish I could think of an extra 2 tips to make this an even 10, but that's what I've got for now. I might have more after our next cruise, but for now this is it. We have really loved both of the cruises we've been on and look forward to more in the future with our growing family!