10 Things You Should NOT Bring on a Cruise
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, there is a long list of things you cannot bring with you onboard a cruise ship. But if you don’t check with the cruise line or think it through, you might be unhappy to find your innocent item confiscated, held or destroyed.
Here are 10 things you should not bring with you on a cruise. Be sure to check out our 10 useful things you should consider packing for your cruise here.
What Not to Bring on a Cruise Ship
Perhaps you are wondering “what can you take on a Carnival Cruise?” or “What can you not bring on a Carnival Cruise?” Every cruise line has different rules so be sure to check with yours to find their specific rules. See below for links to each cruise line and their restrictions.
Here is a helpful list of things you shouldn’t pack in your bags.
Don’t try to make your cruise cabin into a home away from home by toting your coffee maker, hotplate or toaster onboard. They will be confiscated. There is plenty of food and drink available onboard anyway, you won’t need to prepare food in your room.
Want to press out those wrinkles on your evening gown? Do not bring your own iron or clothing steamer. The ship’s laundry will have some available for your use. Bringing your own iron is prohibited.
Can I take my hair straightener on a cruise? Yes, you can bring curling irons, straighteners and hair dryers unless the crew feels your item is a hazard in which case it will be confiscated. Also check to make sure you won’t need a voltage adapter if you are traveling internationally. Most cruise ships have hair dryers available for passengers.
The staterooms usually only have a few outlets and many cruisers bring along an extension cord, power strip or multi-plug adapter. Be sure to check what is allowed on your cruise ship. Surge protectors are usually prohibited and some ships do not allow extension cords. See more useful things to bring on a cruise here.
Are you packing sharp objects for a hobby like scrapbooking, diving or spearfishing? You will likely need to check large knives and scissors with the crew while underway, but can access them if needed for the activity. Scissors with blade length less than 4 inches are usually allowed but check with your specific cruise line. The links to prohibited items lists are below.
Candles and Incense
Want to make your room smell delightful? Bring essential oils and add a few drops to the sink or toilet bowl or hang a paper air freshener like these meant for vehicles. Don’t bring incense or scented candles, or any type of candle for that matter. These are not allowed. If you’d like the ambiance of a flickering candle, why not pack a few battery powered tea lights? They are a great cruise hack for night lights too. See more handy things to bring on a cruise here.
This one varies by the cruise ship, so be sure to check before you pack. Some will allow a certain quantity of wine, but not beer or hard alcohol, while others will allow beer in cans. Some don’t allow any outside alcohol at all. If you purchase alcohol at ports of call or in duty free it will usually be held by staff until debarkation. If you try to sneak alcohol onboard it will be confiscated and not returned and you may even be denied boarding.
River cruises are usually more relaxed when it comes to bringing your own alcohol onboard and consuming it in your cabin or public areas. Click here for tips for packing for a river cruise.
Bottled Water & Other Drinks
Maybe you are wondering “can I bring bottled water on a Royal Caribbean cruise?” According to their website, guests are not allowed to bring beer, hard liquor or non-alcoholic beverages onboard for consumption or any other use.
Can you bring soda on a cruise? Some cruise ships will allow a certain quantity of non-alcoholic drinks to be brought onboard. Usually this is around one 12 pack per person of soda or juice boxes. Bear in mind that bottles are not allowed and they must be sealed cans or cartons. If you are trying to save money on beverages onboard you can bring your own refillable bottle like these below and perhaps add powdered or liquid flavor enhancers to the tap water for some variety.
Here are some popular drink flavorings that take up virtually no luggage space.
Can you bring food on a cruise? Cruises are famous for the never ending supply of food, but you might have dietary restrictions or another reason that you want to bring your own food onboard. Think again. Most cruise ships do not allow guests to bring perishable food items onboard, especially if it is homemade or unsealed. You can likely bring packaged food items like candy or energy bars but be sure to check in advance. Many cruise ships do allow baby food or medical necessities and will allow you to bring a small cooler for these items. Check with your cruise line if you have dietary restrictions like keeping kosher or halal.
Many cruise ships will allow a small cooler, like those used for a six pack of drinks. Some cruise ships even have a minibar refrigerator in the room. If you have medication that needs to remain cool you should take it to the ship’s medical center however.
See below for links to the restricted items lists for most cruises.
Drones on Cruise Ships
You can sometimes bring drones on cruise ships but do not ever try to use them onboard. They will be confiscated. Some ships prohibit drones entirely but may simply hold them for the duration of the trip. Others will not allow them to be transported at all and will be confiscated before embarkation. Also be sure to check drone use policy at the ports of call to avoid trouble with the local authorities.
Any kind of bat or large wooden stick is not allowed onboard. Sometimes you can get prior approval to transport these items, but they might need to be kept in your stateroom or in the ship’s storage during the cruise. Golf clubs are usually allowed if they are kept in your cabin.
Bicycles are usually not allowed but small folding bikes might be on some ships. Wondering if you can bring a bicycle on your next cruise? Find out here!
Want to bring your boogie board or surfboard? These items are allowed as baggage on some cruise lines and not others. You also might think it would be fun to bring inflatable devices for the ship swimming pool. Often these are prohibited.
Be sure to check ahead for the rules of your specific ship. See below for links to the cruise lines.
Firearms are not allowed on cruises. If you don’t declare your weapon you may be denied boarding. Don’t let your kids bring their realistic toy guns either.
Understandably, all cruises prohibit illegal drugs. Most cruise ships also do not allow controlled substances even with a prescription, like medical marijuana for example. They also ban drug paraphernalia like water pipes.
Now you know a bit about what not to bring on a cruise. How much luggage can you take on a cruise? This also varies by the cruise line. Some don’t make any statements about restrictions, but it should all fit safely in your cabin which likely has limited storage space. Check with your ship for special conditions and requirements and be sure to check out our post for the best luggage to use on a cruise.
Here are links to the restricted items lists for several of the major cruise lines:
- What not to bring on Norwegian Cruise Line
- Prohibited items on Holland America Line
- What not to bring onboard Royal Caribbean cruises
- Carnival cruise luggage rules
- Disney Cruise Line prohibited Items
- Celebrity cruise rules
- Cunard Forbidden Items
- What not to bring on a Princess cruise
- Restricted items on Viking Cruises
- P&O Cruises Prohibited Items
- MSC Cruises Rules
Again, be sure to check with your specific cruise line to see their latest list of banned items and things not to do on a cruise.
I hope this list of things not to bring on a cruise ship helped you in deciding what to pack and what to leave at home. Be sure to check out our other cruising articles here.
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