Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. said infants must be at least six months old before the first day of a cruise or cruise tour to sail on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity and Azamara.

For RCCL's transatlantic, transpacific, Hawaii and select South American cruises and related cruise tours, the new minimum age is 12 months.

Also, women must be less than 24 weeks pregnant before the first day of a cruise for sailings operated by RCCL's three brands.

RCCL implemented the new policies at the beginning of this month, saying that the changes “recognize that infants and pregnant women can often require specialized, emergency medical attention that can best be provided by land-based hospitals."

The new policies are being implemented now, but RCCL is providing a grace period. The new policies will be enforced for sailings that depart after Oct. 31.

Previously, RCCL had no age requirements regarding infants, and women were required to be less than 27 weeks into their pregnancy before the first day of a cruise or cruise tour.

RCCL continues to require pregnant women to submit a physician's "Fit to Travel" note prior to sailing, stating how many weeks the pregnancy would be at the beginning of the cruise and confirming that the woman is in good health and not experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.

The cruise company said that its new policies are similar to those of other cruise lines, and that they were endorsed and accepted by the Cruise Lines International Association.


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