Think that cruise lines supply baby food to babies on cruises? Not necessarily. Get the info on different cruise line policies.
Most cruise lines charge for babies. But, even though families may pay full fare to take their babies on cruises, that fare does not necessarily guarantee that appropriate baby food will be made available. When you cruise with a baby, you need to make sure that you nail down a plan for feeding your child.
Although every cruise ship will have an abundance of food choices for solid food eaters, the same is not true for baby food.
When it comes to feeding babies, the cruise lines take many different approaches. Some cruise lines do not carry any baby food at all. Other cruise lines will not provide you with it but will provide you the opportunity to purchase baby food — either in the on-board shops or through an advance order system.
Food For Babies On Cruises: Policies Vary
A few cruise lines will provide age-appropriate food at no additional charge for babies on cruises. Many of the lines that do provide baby food when you cruise with a baby (whether complimentary or for a fee) require some type of advance notice — sometimes as much as 60-90 days advance notice.
This quick cheat sheet on which cruise lines offer special food options when you cruise with a baby will help you with your research and planning. (When you make your reservations, you should specifically confirm what options will be available on your sailing, if you cruise with a baby.) For more tips on packing for a cruise with a baby, visit this blog post on essential items to pack.
Carnival does not carry any baby food, formula, diapers or other baby supplies onboard its ships.
Celebrity will provide baby food at no additional charge, but you must place an advanced order. You should allow at least 40 days for Caribbean and Alaska itineraries and at least 80 days for other itineraries.
Disney provides guests with multiple options for feeding babies on cruises. Guests may order and purchase certain baby items in advance of their sailing and have them delivered directly to their stateroom. These include items such as diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, food, and bathing supplies.
Alternatively, guests can also find and purchase key items once they board their ship. The shops on board offer a wide range of baby supplies, including infant formula (ready to feed) and baby food.
Holland America offers formula and baby food for advanced purchase. Orders should be placed at least 90 days prior to sailing.
NCL does not provide baby food or offer food for purchase.
Princess will provide baby food at no additional charge. Guests should request baby food at least 35 days prior to sailing. You can also arrange for freshly pureed foods in the main dining room.
Through Babies 2 Go, Royal Caribbean offers a pre-order service for diapers, wipes, and baby food. You will find your pre-purchased items delivered to your stateroom at the beginning of the cruise.
International Cruise Lines & Food For Babies On Cruises
Costa does not provide access to baby food.
Cunard will provide baby food at no additional charge. It offers Hipp & Hipp Organic baby food. Requests should be made at time of booking. Alternatively, kitchen staff can puree/mash adult food from the main restaurant menu.
MSC does not provide baby food or sell it onboard.
Upon request, P&O will provide SMA powdered milk and Hipp & Hipp Organic baby food at no additional charge. Alternatively, you can request pureed/mashed adult food from the main restaurant menu.
So What’s The Bottom Line On Food For Babies On Cruises?
- If you are cruising on Carnival, Norwegian, MSC Cruises, or Costa Cruises, you will need to bring your own baby formula and baby food on board.
- If you are cruising on Princess, Celebrity, Cunard, or P&O Cruises, you can request baby food at no additional charge (but requests should be made prior to boarding). And, you can also request freshly pureed foods on board (Princess, Cunard, P&O).
- If you are cruising on Disney, Holland America or Royal Caribbean, you can purchase baby food. You can purchase through advance reservation. Disney also has baby food available for purchase on board.
Options For Bringing Your Own Baby Food or Formula
If you are cruising on a line that does not offer baby food of any kind, you’re going to have to carry it on yourself. You might also want to carry it on yourself if you don’t like the prices or variety of food being offered. So, the most obvious way to bring it on board is to pack it in a suitcase. But this could be heavy and/or lead to excess baggage charges.
One alternative is to arrange to arrive in your embarkation city with sufficient time to make a trip to the store to buy what you need. Thus, cutting out any airline issues entirely.
If you are planning to arrive a day or two in advance of your cruise, it’s also possible that you could order what you need online and have it delivered to your hotel. Apparently, according to Lifehacker some folks have had success with this route by ordering their baby supplies from Amazon and having it shipped to a hotel or Amazon Locker.