CRUISE TIPS: While you’re deciding on what to pack for your cruise, here are 25 items NOT to pack for a cruise or the item could be confiscated. While many items on this list may seem obvious, some items may surprise you such as a popular style of kid’s shoes that have built-in wheels.
Here are prohibited items of what not to pack for a cruise – or if the items are permitted on board as an exemption, here are the policies surrounding how they must be stored and when you can use them – such as sports equipment like bats, balls and golf clubs to use when going ashore.
Prohibited items are those that put the safety of the ship’s operation, passengers or crew at risk. Luggage is scanned at security and anything that seems dangerous is removed, and likely without compensation.
Here’s what not to pack for a cruise – and please note that this is a general guide and policies can change without notice. So check with your cruise line closer to your cruise date to be sure.
Update! Some cruise lines such as Carnival are prohibiting drones. Check your cruise line websites for current details.
Weapons or imitations
All weapons, any item intended for such use, or any imitations of these items, are prohibited.
Drugs and Alcohol prohibited and general exceptions for limited wine and champagne (soft alcohol) allowance with possible corkage fees
- Any illegal narcotics/drugs including synthetic, designer drugs, Cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana and kava are prohibited
- Alcohol (hard liquor) and beer
- Wine or champagne are generally permitted within the cruise line’s policies, usually with an additional corkage fee. Contact your cruise line for types, amounts and fees.
Household items and electrical appliances not to pack on a cruise
- Electrical and household appliances containing a heating element such as irons, clothes steamers, immersion heaters, heating blankets, water heaters, coffee machines, toasters, heating pads, humidifier
- Knives, scissors and open razors. Recreational dive knives are permitted but are held in the custody of the cruise line and checked out/in by the owner for dive excursions
- Large scissors used by scrapbookers and quilters are at times permitted with prior notification, but are held on board like dive knives
- Handcuffs or other restraining devices
- Hover boards and air wheels
- Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB), communication scanners, wideband receivers, satellite phones, lasers and laser pointers
- Large radios
- Candles and incense
- Helium-filled balloons
- Inflatable children’s pool
- Any footwear with wheels such as Heelys-type shoes
- Surfboards, boats and canoes
- Fish of any kind (caught fish must be shipped home)
Permitted personal and household items and other considerations
- Aerosol cans containing personal grooming products are generally allowed
- Hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons, shavers, and other electrical devices, such as small fans, power strips, multi-plug box outlets/adaptors, and extension cords (without surge protectors) are permitted when used with proper caution However, if such devices are determined to pose a hazard, they’ll be removed
- Guests must use earphones when listening to music or watching shows/movies on personal devices in public spaces. Bluetooth, portable and wireless speakers are only permitted within your stateroom when used at a reasonable sound level. Large speakers or radios are not permitted and will be confiscated
Permitted medical devices, service dogs and equipment
- Medical gas bottles/oxygen cylinders are allowed in connection with a certified medical condition but cannot be packed in baggage. Oxygen cylinders must be delivered to guest services and stored in a designated safe area
- CPAP machine will need to be packed in carry-on luggage
- Small, personal-sized coolers for the purpose of storing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages and/or medications are permitted as carry-on luggage
- Pets/live animals: Only qualified service dogs trained to perform a specific task for guests who have a disability are permitted
- Flowers and plants: Only permitted if ordered through the cruise line. Flowers/plants cannot be taken off the ship at any port
Entertainment item permitted but with considerations
- Musical instruments are allowed, however, if there’s a noise complaint the instrument will be confiscated
- Digital cameras/camcorders, DVDs/VCRs, USB sticks, iPods, Nintendo/X-Box Play Units cannot usually be used with the TV in the guest stateroom because the connection ports are disabled
Food items not to pack on a cruise and possible exemptions
- Due to concerns for food safety and contamination prevention, any food items brought on board must be pre-packaged and unopened. Homemade or pre-cooked foods are not permitted
- Seashells may be brought on board if they are sanitized and do not have the odor of a living organism
Items for port use only
The following items may generally be brought on board, to be used off the ship while in port only. Contact your cruise line about storage, but generally these items are to be stored in your stateroom.
- Snorkel gear
- Golf clubs
- Fishing rods
- Tennis rackets
- Roller blades or skates
- Metal detectors
- Beach chair
- Boogie boards
- Portable folding bicycles
- Floatation devices such as rafts, tubes and floatation devices other than those used as life preservers such as water wings cannot be used in the swimming pools on board
- Collapsible wagons must be carried on and off the ship
Items that cannot be taken off a ship in the U.S.
Please Note: It is your responsibility to check the local laws of each port as the cruise line will not be responsible for confiscated items by foreign governments.
The following items cannot be taken off the ship in the U.S. during the cruise or on debarkation day. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) performs agricultural inspections to protect the U.S. from potential carriers of animal and plant pests or diseases that could cause serious harm to crops, livestock, pets and the environment.
- Animal products
- Unsealed food items
- Fruits and vegetables
- Agriculture and horticulture products
- Plants/cut flowers
- Ship property
Please note that every cruise line is different when it comes to prohibited items so be sure to contact your cruise line or visit their website for their list of prohibited Items of what not to pack for a cruise.
This is a general guide only as cruise line policies change frequently.