This somewhat complicated question comes up often on different forums. As a general rule, cruise lines will not accept passengers who are 24-weeks pregnant or further by the end of their cruise. Cruise lines with post-tours include the land portion as the end date. There are a few river cruises that will allow 30-weeks since they are always near land.
Whatever point in a term the cruise lines’ policy states as the maximum, it is not negotiable. While some cruise lines require a letter from your doctor to approve a cruise before 24 weeks, a letter from your doctor approving a cruise after your 24th week has no standings with the cruise lines. The second point is that every case is different, only you and your doctor can make the decision about cruising before the 24th week mark. While some cruise lines do not require permission from your doctor other require written confirmation of your due date as well as consent to travel. Even if the cruise line does not require it, talk it over with your doctor and get their consent.
Even the medical profession is sometimes divided on the issue, however, in some cases the reasoning behind the recommendations do not fit modern cruise ships. If there has been any complications or you are a high risk pregnancy, then your doctor will not recommend a cruise. The chances of your doctor approving a cruise is good if everything is progressing normally and you are beyond the morning sickness stage. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention does not have a recommendation against cruises for pregnant women. They suggest that the safest time to travel during pregnancy is the second trimester, which lasts from week 18 to week 24.
Still, there are issues you need to consider. While a smaller risk than the media would lead you to believe, there is the possibility of outbreaks on-board. The most common being Norovirus. It’s also important to consider your travel destinations. Measles have been eradicated in the U.S. but not everywhere else.
Health Tip: Have Copies of your Medical Records
Make sure to have a check up before departure, and have copies of your relevant medical records. Keep your medication with you, and it wouldn’t hurt to have an additional supply with your travel companions. The emergency contact number for your doctor should be stored on your cell phone and the phones of all those traveling with you.