Insta-CoGo: Baby on Board at Sea
Pregnant woman and new parents alert: New rules from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. state that women must be less than 24 weeks' pregnant before the first day of a cruise for sailings on the company's three brands -- Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Azamara.
Additionally, infants must be at least 6 months old before the first day of a cruise, but with a caveat: They must be at least a year old to get aboard transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii and some South American cruises.
There is a grace period: The new policies will not be enforced until sailings that take place after Oct. 31.
On Royal Caribbean ships until now, there was no baby-age limit. Additionally, women could cruise Rpyal Caribbean ships as long as they were less than 27 weeks pregnant, and they had to submit a physician's "Fit to Travel" note stating how pregnant they were and that their pregnancy was not high risk. That requirement continues, but the doctor's note must confirm that they are less than 24 weeks pregnant.
The new policies were adopted, a cruise line statement says, to "recognize that infants and pregnant women can often require specialized, emergency medical attention that can best be provided by land-based hospitals." To CoGo's surprise, it turns out these rules are pretty standard in the cruise industury, and Royal Caribbean's policy had been, until now, more liberal.
CoGo has always advised pregnant women not to fly and not to even drive too many miles from a decent medical center once they reach their seventh month -- about 28 weeks. At that point, they have a viable fetus than can be saved pretty routinely if something goes wrong. Same would apply to being at sea, come to think of it.
Should CoGo revise down to 24 weeks as well?
As to a baby having to be 6 months old . . . CoGo was strapping a baby into an airline seat starting at 3 months and didn't think twice about it. Would have done the same if a cruise happened to come up. Was that unwise?
By Cindy Loose |
May 20, 2008; 8:28 AM ET
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