Independence of the SeasI received these comments today from a Royal Caribbean passenger:

"Just got off the Independence of the Seas. We had a medical emergency on 9/1 and headed full speed to San Juan because a woman gave birth to a little boy on Tuesday morning at 3am. According to the captain he told us on Friday that the little boy and mother were doing great and they made it back to South Florida where they are in the hospital . . .  

 . . . I watched them getting in the ambulance on Tuesday when we got to San Juan two hours before the scheduled arrival. I saw the lady at dinner Monday night and thought, how in the world is she allowed in the ship that pregnant? Sure enough 8 hours later she delivered a baby. Crazy.

The captain said in his update to us Friday morning that the birth certificate said, place of birth – at sea."

It’s hard reconciling the story with the fact that cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have polices against cruising when you are past 24 weeks pregnant.  Read Pregnancy & Cruising: What To Expect If You Are Expecting. Glad that mom and the infant are reportedly doing fine.

Have a thought? Please leave a message below or join the debate on our Facebook page.

Photo Credit; Aztec06


  • Cricket

    This RCI passenger who reported this event states having seen the pregnant woman at dinner. My first thought is who at the cruise terminal checking this passenger in, did not deny her boarding if she appeared to be past 24 weeks. (Maybe she didn’t appear more than 24 weeks pregnant OR the baby was delivered prematurely.)

    My other thought is whether the pregnant woman could have possibly been a crew member. But even in that case, RCI would most likely not allowed her to remain employed that late in her pregnancy.

    Either way, it should be confirmed whether this is a factual story or not.

  • Silvia Borges

    In 1974, I sailed one month before “due date” and remember on those days, I can’t remember having a second thought about cruising that far along. (I should also say that I used to teach Childbirth classes, so I was prepared for the whole thing, if it would have happened earlier).

  • Tim Dye

    Wish I had been Born There. My Mother used to Cruise a lot in the 50’s Could have happened!

  • Bill Hegerich

    So tell me, Jim, if the child was born of an American mother, will there be a lot of flack if in fifty years, s/he decides to run for president? Can you hear the accusations? “This person is not an American. Her father was a Kraken and her mother a mermaid.”

  • Alexa

    I, too was on this sailing, and while I did not see the woman in question, I can vouch for the fact that the ship arrived in San Juan about two hours earlier than scheduled, in order to get medical attention for the mother and newly born baby. (three other people were taken off for other medical issues, a man who looked like he had injured his hand was the only one I could see from my vantage point).

    The captain also announced more details on our last sea day as written by OP – it was a boy, they had since flown to FL for more medical attention but were doing fine, the baby would be a US citizen (I remember the original announcement mentioned the mother was from UT) and the birth certificate will say “born at sea”. He sounded quite moved about the whole experience and rightfully proud of his medical staff who had performed above and beyond what is usually expected! It definitely added a note of excitement and surprise to a beautiful cruise that was almost derailed by Tropical Storm Erika.

  • Alaisa Harris

    I was on this cruise as well and heard the same announcements (never saw the woman however),Captain Henrik did confirm that the baby was a U.S. citizen. I’m surprised the story hasn’t made any local news, I’ve been curious to find out more, so glad everything turned out okay!

  • Sharon

    I was on this cruise as well. There were a few expectant mothers onboard. I do not know whether I ever saw the mother but I was told by another passenger ( who was also expecting ) that the woman who gave birth was at 23 weeks and Royal Caribbean allows passengers to sail up to 24 weeks pregnant.
    We were never told how much the baby weighed. The captain stated they kept him warm by by surrounding him with stacks of towels, and that paramedics brought an incubator onboard when we docked at San Juan. Later in the week, we received an update that the baby was doing well and gaining weight. They were able to transfer to a hospital in Florida at the end of the week.
    I pray that the baby and family continue to do well.

  • Patrice Buzzi

    And this just proves that the cruise lines just try to suck as much money as they can from you in the casinos by going slow!!

  • crew member

    As crew onboard we were told she was around 23 weeks premature.

  • Nancy Tamburrino

    Walking through the casino when it was closed I seen 2 guys quickly open the machine that pushes quarters and they fall. They pushed the money and the bills back so you can’t win. The Compus also stated the last cruise paid out $150,000 in the casino-LIARS. Also they are covering up the baby being born. There is nothing I can find about it except on this site. They must have let her board knowing she was past 24 weeks. I am thinking she had a full term baby bc if it needed help they could have had a helicopter fly in. The boat does have a pad for emergencies.

  • Nancy Tamburrino

    No news anywhere about the baby except this site. They have a heli pad if needed so it must have been full term. Seen to guys quickly opening and moving the quarters back in the casino so we can’t win. Compus stated $150,000 won on last cruise-LIARS.

  • Royal to Loyal

    Yikes, that’s the norovirus of the seas from last year and historic norovirus.

    I know, the cruise ship is sparkling clean. No way anyone but a dreaded passenger could bring it on. Remember two straight weeks last year.

  • Carol

    This definitely happened as I was onboard at the time and medics were waiting in San Juan for her. On the 1st sept which was my birthday. On our last day at sea we were told mother and baby we’re doing well..

  • Tim

    A quote from the above link. More reason not to take part in an industry that makes you join a totalitarian regime in order to cruise.

    “At 1:20 a.m., the doctor came over, looked at me and said, ‘Keep your legs closed. Don’t push because we are not porting for another 14 hours,'” Emily told KSL.

    She couldn’t wait.

    “I am pushing because this baby is coming. I know!” she said.

    30 minutes later, Haiden was born at 1 pound, 8 ounces.

    Initially, medical staff believed the baby was born dead. When Emily asked to see the baby, the staff denied her request.

    Then, the unexpected happened.

    “About 45 minutes after I had delivered, the two doctors came back in and said the baby was still alive,” Emily said. “However, they didn’t expect him to live very long.”