While a cruise can be a very relaxing vacation, especially when you are expecting an addition to your family, know before you go about any pregnancy policies. The cruise lines each have a policy about how far along you are before you can get on their ship.

These policies are for the protection of both the baby and the mother. In the case of any emergency with a premature birth, which ships are not able to handle, getting help in the middle of an ocean is not an easy thing to do. This is why they will not bend their policy, even if you have a doctor’s note saying it is ok.

Most cruise lines will not allow any women to board if they are, or will be in the 24th week of pregnancy or later. Some even earlier.

Some cruise lines will even require a not from your doctor with specific information, like your expected due date, that you are medically fit to travel, and that it is not a high risk pregnancy.

If you book a cruise and later get pregnant and find that you will not be able to cruise, cancel your cruise. There will be no exceptions for you.

Most deposits are refundable, but not all are. Once past the “pay in full” date, do not expect refunds. However, if you purchased travel insurance within the initial period where this would be covered (and it is not pre-existing), you may be able to get a complete refund through the insurance company. This depends on the insurance you purchased.

Remember, these rules are for the protection of your baby. Ask your travel advisor to let you know what the rules are for any cruise you plan to take.