Ah, the first trimester. You’re excited, you’re trying to contain that excitement, you are also probably sick. The big question- is it possible to go on a cruise in your first trimester? The answer- yes especially if you are well prepared. Road Warrior TravelingMom tells all with her tips for must knows to cruise in your first trimester.
Travel Tips: Cruise in Your First Trimester
When that pregnancy test comes back positive you know things are going to change. While pregnancy can alter travel plans it doesn’t have to prevent you from getting in a last trip or two before the baby arrives. As someone who has been a business traveler for 10+ years, I am now traveling through my 4th pregnancy (twins for my best friends- read more about our IVF/surrogacy journey here). So when the opportunity to teach Facebook on a luxury cruise line came up I hesitated for .5 seconds before discussing it with them. Here’s what you need to know if you plan to cruise in your first trimester.
Talk to your doctor first.
Granted I didn’t really “ask for permission”. It was more of a “this is what I’m going to do is there any reason why I shouldn’t” conversation. If your pregnancy is high risk your doctor may not want you to go cruise on a cruise in your first trimester (or at all). I’m pregnant with twins but with 4 other healthy pregnancies, I was okayed to get onboard.
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Booking a cruise while pregnant. Be aware of cruise line rules and regulations.
Many cruise lines have policies in place about pregnancy and set a top limit of how many weeks you can be. Bear in mind that these limits apply if you hit that week (usually week 24) at ANY time during the cruise so be sure you count carefully. If you are already showing, it is always a good idea to get a letter from your doctor stating your due date to circumvent any problems boarding.
Choose your itinerary carefully if you cruise while pregnant.
Even with 4 healthy pregnancies under my belt, I was thrilled to have an itinerary where we were in a port almost every day. With only one day at sea without docking, I felt confident that if anything did go wrong I could get to a hospital.
Itineraries that involve multiple days at sea in a row may not be in your best interest. During my recent cruise, a passenger was medically evacuated during our day at sea. And=d let me tell you landing a helicopter on a ship to take you to a hospital? Not cheap- which brings me to my next point.
Buy travel insurance.
Look, folks, whether you’re pregnant or not, buy travel insurance. Even if you don’t need it 10 times out of 100, that one time you do it will probably pay for itself.
I purchased the Allianz Annual Deluxe Plan which covered all of my travel for a year. At roughly $250 it was a bargain and I was happy with the level of emergency medical coverage it provided.
Be aware that if you are already pregnant when purchasing, it will NOT cover cancellations based only on the fact that you are pregnant. It will however cover you medically if a complication arrives while you are on a trip. This peace of mind was just what I need to fly to Europe and cruise the Baltic Sea.
Bring a copy of any medical records related to your pregnancy (and past ones).
If something does happen and you end up in a hospital, bring a copy of your medical records. This will allow the doctors to quickly get up to speed on your history — a must pack if you cruise in your first trimester.
Cruise in your first trimester? Bring ALL the anti-nausea tricks.
You may be wondering if you will be sick on the cruise. This will vary from person to person. I was ill every day at home and magically was not sick at all on the cruise. Something about the boat must have balanced out the nausea and equilibrium issues I was having on dry land because once I was back home it all came rushing back.
However, I was over prepared with Preggie Pop Drops (for nausea), bags of almonds (to nibble on), anti-nausea tea bags, PSI bands (love the Target adjustable ones), a bag of candied ginger, PreMama PreNatal and DHA drink mix (which I found to help my morning sickness), and a stash of gallon sized Ziploc bags (use your imagination).
If you plan to cruise in your first trimester strive to be over prepared. Pack whatever works for you!
Look at what the cruise includes and pick your cruise line wisely.
I was lucky enough to land on luxury cruise line Regent Seven Seas Cruises (affiliated with Norwegian Cruise Lines).
Cruise Dining Options
Once I set foot on board everything was included. If I was nauseous, I simply walked to get a ginger ale or a tea. Dinner wasn’t setting too well? I could go back to my room and order 24-hour room service later if I was hungry. This is a pregnant woman’s dream. I didn’t need to worry about a wallet or my nausea rendering me unable to dine during dining hours.
Also the food? It was INCREDIBLE. I was spoiled and it was amazing. Special requests were not a problem. I was able to find something I was happy to eat in every single restaurant.
The combination of sea air and great food had me feeling the best I had in months.
If you’re planning on taking a cruise while pregnant steer clear of “party” lines. The clientele on Regent skewed older and the excursions kept that it mind. Even the outings that had a lot of walking I had no issues keeping up on. Folks were lovely. Bonus- I never needed to worry about our neighbors drinking on their balcony with their “bros” at
Bonus: I never needed to worry about our neighbors drinking on their balcony with their “bros” at 3am.
Be Realistic About Physical Limitations
Keep in mind also limitations that you might have if you cruise in your first trimester. I tend to be pretty active during my pregnancies, but as this is my 5th pregnancy I’m feeling extra stretchy. Ligament pain started early. A little light headedness when I get up too fast followed. All totally normal pregnancy related symptoms. Keeping these in mind and doing some gentle stretches and not bouncing up from seated positions helped keep me comfortable.
One of the things we taught in our social media course onboard, the Regent Seven Seas Explorer was digital photography tips. In class, I stated, “Don’t get yourself into a position to take a picture that you can’t get yourself out of.”
A mere day later I broke my own rule in Lithuania trying to get the perfect photo. Know your limitations!
Pack for comfort when you cruise in your first trimester.
You want to look cute on the cruise but now is not the time to push the limits of comfort. Pull out those stretchy waistbands! The last thing you want is to be in random ports wishing your pants fit you.
I packed a mix of linen pants with forgiving waists and flowy tunic type tops. Shoes will also be important. I made a point to only pack broken in shoes. My well-loved Reef flip flops came along as well as three pairs of Tieks. Tieks are foldable ballet flats made out of Italian leather. My feet swelled horribly last pregnancy and by the end my Tieks were the only shoes I could wear comfortably. They got prime real estate in my suitcase all folded up in their little bags!
Also important layers! Weather forecasts change. Add that to the hormonal flush of pregnancy and you’ll be thankful that layers are in your wardrobe. Every outfit should have a light layer that can go on top of it. A variety of light cardigans is perfect for this task.
Above all else: Relax.
Don’t do anything that you aren’t comfortable with. Listen to your body and rest when you need to. There tends to be a mentality sometimes when folks take that “before baby” trip that it is the “last chance.”.You don’t need to squeeze everything in. Your travel life will not end because you are having kids! It may adapt but here at TravelingMom we all travel with our kids and our lives are richer for it. And if you venture out in your third trimester be sure to read these tips!