Thinking of taking a cruise with a very young child or baby? Taking your own nanny is one way to go; however, if you are planning on using the cruise ship’s baby or child care facilities, read on. Most cruise lines have a minimum age for children to sail: ages range from three months to twelve years, depending on the cruise line. Be sure to verify this minimum age before booking a cruise.
AmaWaterways – AmaWaterways cruises are primarily designed for the adult traveler. Children are allowed, but there are no child-specific programs or child-minding facilities.
Minimum age to sail on AmaWaterways is four years old, but children aged 4–7 are not recommended. The minimum age for African cruises is twelve.
Azamara Club Cruises – Azamara Club Cruises is primarily designed for the mature guest, so while the cruise line does welcome guests of all ages, no formal children’s programs or facilities are available on board their ships.
Minimum age to sail on Azamara is six months old. On transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaiian, select South American, other selected cruises and/or cruise tours, and all cruises which include three or more consecutive days at sea, the infant must be at least twelve months old as of the first day of the cruise/cruise tour.
Carnival Cruise Lines – Carnival’s Youth Program, Camp Carnival, is designed for ages 2–11, but children younger than two can play with the toys during designated family play times (parents must be present!). There are babysitting services during limited hours for children younger than two at Camp Ocean.
Six months (twelve months for trans-ocean crossing and remote itineraries, where there are more than 2 consecutive days at sea)
Celebrity Cruises – Celebrity offers private, in-cabin babysitters. A child must be twelve months old to qualify for this service and no more than two children are allowed per babysitter. Parents should be prepared to make requests for services at least twenty-four hours in advance.
Infants sailing on a cruise must be at least six months old as of the first day of the cruise/cruise tour. However, for transatlantic, transpacific, select South American cruises/cruise tours, and other select cruises/cruise tours, the infant (as of the first day of the cruise/cruise tour) must be at least twelve months old. For the purposes of this policy, any cruise that has three or more consecutive days at sea will require infants to be twelve months old on the first day of the cruise/cruise tour.
Costa Cruise Line – There are no organized activities for children under the age of three, but during the low season/off-peak times families can access the children’s areas. Costa also provides a group baby-sitting service in their “Miniclub” (between 11:30 pm – 1:30 pm) so that parents may take part in cruise entertainment. Costa also provides cribs, high chairs, baby bath, bottle warmers, and liquidized food on request.
Minimum age to sail on Costa is six months for most cruises, and twelve months for transocean crossings, world cruises, and cruises of fifteen days or longer in duration.
Crystal Cruises – Crystal does not have a formal program for children under the age of three, but babysitting services are available. Arrangements can be made through the concierge; parents should expect to provide twenty-four hours’ notice and pay a nominal charge for babysitting services.
The minimum age to sail on Crystal Cruises is six months.
Cunard Line – On Cunard’s ships, the Queen Mary 2 and the Queen Elizabeth 2, parents will find well-equipped nurseries and children’s centers featuring toys, games, and activities. These children’s areas are supervised by nannies and youth staff, but children must be one year old to participate without parents (children under one are welcome with parental supervision). Both ships offer a family pool area, and there is complimentary group babysitting available in the evenings.
Children at least six months of age are welcome on most Cunard voyages; however, on Icelandic sailings, transatlantic crossings, transpacific voyages (including voyages to Hawaii), and world voyages (including Segment Voyages), the minimum age is one year.
Disney Cruise Line – Already well known for being a family-friendly line, this cruise line is also among the best for infant programs. Care for children from six months to three years of age is available at the It’s a Small World Nursery. We highly recommended that you make reservations prior to your cruise for the It’s a Small World Nursey due to limited availability.
The minimum age to sail on Disney is six months old. The minimum age for Transatlantic and Panama Canal itineraries is 1 year of age on the day of sailing.
Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines Fred.Olsen Cruise Lines does not offer children’s programs for children younger than 5.
Children of 6 months and over are welcome to sail
Holland America Line – On sea days, babysitting services are available through the Front Office for a small surcharge for children five and younger. This service is provided by staff on a volunteer basis, and may not always be available. Babysitting service is not offered while the ship is in port, although Club Hal does offer activities for children aged 3–12 between 8 AM and 4 PM on port days.
Holland America will not accept reservations for infants under six months of age for non-transocean cruises or under twelve months for transocean cruises and remote itineraries, where there are more than 2 consecutive days at sea.
Norwegian Cruise Line – doesn’t offer babysitting but instead Group Sitting Services for children aged 3-12 every night from 10:30 pm to 1:30 am, and on port days while the ship is docked.
Parents are encouraged to sign up in advance for both services. If no children are signed up or dropped off by 11:30 pm for the nightly service, the youth center will close for the evening. The fees are charged to your onboard account.
Guppies Nursery is onboard the Norwegian Escape only. This is for children aged 6 months to under 3 years old. This is a fee-based group sitting program. Hours for this service vary per day and registration is required. The cost is $20 per time block session for the first child, $16 per time block session for sibling. Late night sitting is available some nights. Cost is $24 per time block for the first child and $20 per time block session for sibling.
Infants sailing on board a Norwegian vessel must be at least six months of age at time of sailing. However, for voyages that have three or more consecutive days at sea, infants must be at least twelve months old at time of sailing.
Oceania Cruises – Oceania’s cruises are designed for adults and do not provide care, entertainment, or supervision for children.
Infants must be at least 6 months of age on the day of boarding or at least 12 months of age on the day of boarding if the cruise has 3 or more consecutive days at sea.
P & O Cruises – P & O Cruises has three adult-only ships—the Aurora, Arcadia and Oriana—which have a minimum age of eighteen years. However, their remaining ships offer P & O’s children’s program—The Reef—starting at age two. Splashers, for ages 2–4, is a day program filled with activities designed for young children. In the evening, parents can take advantage of the cruise line’s supervised night nursery for children from six months to four years of age. Parents should be aware that this service is operated on a first-come, first-serve basis, and infants must be settled and sleeping before they leave.
Minimum age to sail on P & O Cruises is six months; however, transatlantic cruises, world cruises, and remote itineraries have a minimum age of twelve months.
Royal Caribbean – The Babies and Tots Nursery offers parents a drop-off option in the daytime and evening, where their children can be left in the trusting care of trained professionals for an hourly fee.
Kids and teens can enjoy activities late into the evening in the Adventure Ocean and teen-only spaces. An hourly rate applies after 10 pm.
Children must be at least six months old as of the first day of the cruise. However, for transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii, select South American and other selected cruises and/or CruiseTours, the infant must be at least 12 months old as of the first day of the cruise/CruiseTour. For the purposes of this policy, any cruise that has 3 or more days consecutive at sea will require infants to be 12 months old on the first day of the cruise/cruisetour.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises – Regent does not provide for the care, entertainment, or supervision of children on their cruises. Families with young travelers will enjoy our Club Mariner Youth Program on select sailings. Children ages 5 to 17 can participate in a range of specialized activities, from mini-putt tournaments to dance parties to movie nights. Each program is designed and supervised by friendly and professional youth counselors.
Infants must be six months of age as of the first day of the cruise. For voyages that have three or more consecutive days at sea, infants must be at least one year of age as of the first day of the cruise.
Seabourn – Tailored for the adult cruiser, there are no onboard facilities for kids, nor does Seabourn offer a supervised children’s program.
Minimum age is six months; however, infants must be twelve months or older on transatlantic cruises.
SeaDream Yacht Club – SeaDream Yacht Club does not provide activities or amenities specifically for children.
The minimum age to sail on a SeaDream is one year.
Silversea Cruises – This luxury cruise line’s programs are designed for adults and they do not provide care, entertainment, or supervision for children.
Minimum sailing age on Silversea is six months on most ships, but one year for voyages aboard the Silver Explorer, Silver Cloud, and Silver Discoverer.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection – Uniworld’s position is that most children—specifically those under age eight—do not enjoy or appreciate the river cruise experience. There are no special arrangements, activities, or accommodations for children on Uniworld river cruises or tour programs.
The minimum age to cruise on Uniworld is four years for most journeys, and eight years for Egypt sailings.
Viking River Cruises – Viking River Cruises does not maintain facilities or services for children due to the nature of their cruises.
Minimum age to cruise on Viking River is eighteen years.
Windstar Cruises – Children, especially infants and toddlers, are not encouraged aboard Windstar cruises, and the cruise line does not provide care, supervision, or entertainment of children.
Minimum age to cruise on Windstar is eight years.