10 Prohibited Items to Avoid Bringing on a Cruise Ship: A Comprehensive Guide

Things you cannot bring on a cruise ship: Before your cruise, your suitcase will have day and evening clothes, toiletries, phone chargers, bathing suits, and other typical vacation necessities. However, it’s equally crucial to understand what you may and cannot bring on a cruise ship. Aside from the typical suspects, there are a few more unexpected products that might surprise cruisers for the first time, such as irons.

What, then, is prohibited from a cruise? To save you time on embarkation day, we have compiled a list of eight items that are prohibited from being brought on board a cruise ship.

Things you cannot bring on a Cruise Ship

Steamers and Irons for Clothes

Use Flat Iron on clothes
(Credit: Pinterest)

Steamers and clothes irons are not permitted on a cruise. Due to the possibility of fire, cruise lines forbid common household items.

There isn’t an iron in your cabin, unlike in a hotel room.

One of the most disastrous things that may occur aboard a cruise ship is a fire. Because of this, cruise lines have stringent guidelines on objects that could catch fire.

If you need to get rid of any creases, most cruise ships offer pressing and laundry services. If you want to keep your clothes looking new, you could also pack a wrinkle-release spray.

Kettles, Hot Plates, Mug Warmers, and Coffee Makers

Your kitchen equipment is safe to stay at home.

Why someone would carry a kettle or coffee maker aboard a cruise ship is beyond me.

However, people act in really strange ways.

There are many places on board to get hot beverages like tea and coffee. Thus, keep the kitchenware at home.

You are not permitted to bring these goods on board as they present a fire hazard.

Power bars and extension cords with surge protection

The rooms of the most recent cruise ships feature lots of outlets and USB charging stations. However, there are only so many power outlets on older cruise ships.

Cruise lines do not permit surge-protected power bars, even though you would want to use one to charge your electronics, because of the possibility of overloading the ship’s electrical system.

Use a power strip that isn’t surge-protected instead.

Before packing your power bar, make sure to verify with your cruise line. Several cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, forbid the use of extension cords in any form. Additionally, Cunard Line forbids the use of any extension cords unless they are part of medical equipment.

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CBD and marijuana

Cruise ships are not permitted to carry CBD or marijuana products, although certain states and nations have legalized these substances. Security on the cruise ship will seize marijuana and CBD products, and you might have to pay a fine.

You could be subject to fines or jail time if the cruise operator reports you to the local authorities. Additionally, you can be detained in the cruise ship’s jail until the next port if security finds you in possession of marijuana on board.

This is so because federal legislation in the US still forbids the possession of marijuana.

Furthermore, the countries you visit on your route may have different regulations governing the use and possession of marijuana and its byproducts.

Unlawful Substances

Similar to marijuana, it is not permitted to possess any illegal narcotics on cruise ships. If you bring prohibited narcotics on a cruise, you may face harsh penalties, such as being kicked from the ship and facing legal action.

Drug-sniffing dogs and X-rays are just two of the techniques used by cruise security to find illegal narcotics.

Weapons and Ammunition

Weapons and Ammunition ARE NOT
(Credit: WKBW)

Guns, ammo, and lifelike weapon replicas are prohibited aboard cruise ships. Any prohibited weaponry or ammunition that you bring on board will be seized, and you may be prosecuted.

Additional prohibited weapons include batons, throwing knives, brass knuckles, and pepper spray.

Toy firearms: Because they can be disruptive, toy firearms such as paintball, airsoft, water gun, replica gun, and Nerf guns are prohibited on cruise ships.

Disney Cruise Line does allow passengers to bring along toy guns they have purchased on board, such as Mjolnir hammers, light sabers, and toy pirate swords.

Sharp Items

Cutlery and scissors are prohibited, except for personal hygiene products like safety razors.

Certain blades that are shorter than four inches are permitted on select cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Virgin Voyages, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Holland America Line. However, certain cruise lines—Disney Cruise Line, for example—probit all blades, regardless of length.

Handcuffs and securing devices

You should have a safe and comfortable cruise holiday. Handcuffs and other forms of restraint are not permitted on cruise ships. Keep these things at home.

Incense and Candles

Due to the risk of fire, anything containing open flames, such as candles and incense, are prohibited on cruise ships. You’ll need to come up with other ideas for setting the mood in your cabin or go with battery-powered options.

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Lighters can catch fire, just like candles can. Lighters are not typically permitted on board cruise ships.

Drones, Flying Toys, and Kites

(Credit: The New York Times)

Nowadays, many tourists who want to take breathtaking aerial photos often bring along a drone. And what could seem more beautiful than a picture taken from above showing the ship cruising the wide waters?

Well, you might want to reconsider, as most cruise ships prohibit the use of drones. While there are several regulations governing the usage of drones by cruise lines, none permit flying when the ship is at sea.

Certain cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean International and Carnival Cruise Line, allow the storage of drones in staterooms for use at ports.

While some cruise lines outright forbid them.

For use while in port, you might want to bring your drone. However, you are not permitted to fly your drone at the cruise port just because your cruise ship permits you to bring one.

Ports have distinct drone regulations. It is advisable to make sure you have permission from the local authorities before flying your drone.

Kites and other flying toys and objects, like lanterns and helium balloons, are subject to the same regulation.

Beer or Alcohol

It may surprise you to hear that wine and beer are not permitted to be brought on a cruise ship.

Cruise lines have different policies regarding alcohol, but generally speaking, you are only allowed to bring a bottle of wine or champagne.

In general, it is not permitted to bring alcohol or beer on the boat. There are tight drinking rules on cruise lines. If you attempt to bring alcohol onboard a cruise ship without authorization, security will seize the illicit items.


(Credit: Eater)

Perishable, handmade, or unpackaged food cannot be brought on a cruise ship.

The majority of cruise lines permit passengers to bring some unopened, prepackaged, non-perishable food items. Rules vary, though. But don’t be alarmed. There is more than enough food on cruise ships for everyone.

Have faith in us. It is practically hard to go hungry when on a cruise.

Inflatable pools and pool toys

Large inflatables and pool toys can crowd the area surrounding the pool and present safety risks.

Although youngsters might enjoy pool toys, cruise lines do not permit them. Enjoy the pool facilities on the cruise ship by leaving the toys at home.

Weapons and explosives are not permitted on cruise ships.

You are not allowed to carry anything on a ship that could hurt you or other people. However, it’s also crucial to note that you are not allowed to bring firearms on board, even if you have the necessary permissions and the ability to carry them in the state where you are boarding the ship.

Even though some ships feature fireworks as part of their entertainment or if you are taking a cruise that coincides with a festival where fireworks are typically used for celebrations, firecrackers and pyrotechnics are not permitted to be taken on board at any time.

Things You Should Never Do on a Cruise Ship

Skateboards, Wheeled Shoes, and Hoverboards

On cruise ships, hoverboards are prohibited because they pose a risk of injury to both passengers and crew. Not to mention the risk of battery explosions.

In a similar vein, cruise companies prohibit scooters, skateboards, and shoes with wheels.

Boards and Kayaks

Kayaks and surfboards are not permitted on the cruise, so you may leave them at home. Rent the required gear or go on a beach excursion if you’d rather experience the outdoors.

We doubt that you would want to put a huge item in your cabin anyway, as stateroom space is limited.

A Few Decorations for Doors

For children in particular, decorating your cabin door could be a terrific way to spice up your cruise experience. Additionally, it facilitates finding your cabin along the lengthy hallway with matching doors.

It is imperative to bear in mind that certain decorations are against limits.

Items that could harm the door, impede access, or cause a fire should not be attached. For information on permitted decorations, consult your cruise line’s policies.

Several cruise lines, including Norwegian Cruise Line, forbid any kind of door decoration.

You Cannot Bring Your Pets on a Cruise (Except Service Animals)

You Cannot Bring Your Pets on a Cruise
(Credit: Britannica)

You are not permitted to bring pets on board the ship, except assistance animals. Cruise lines define what constitutes a service animal differently. The animal must carry out duties to help the human, such as a seeing-eye dog, who would otherwise be unable to support themselves. All types of emotional support animals normally do not meet the requirements to be considered service animals, but you can confirm this with the cruise line you intend to travel with.

Cunard Line is an exception to the no-pets policy; customers are permitted to bring their cats and small dogs on any transatlantic cruise that leaves from Southampton, Hamburg, or New York. Reservations and payment are required in advance for pets to stay in one of the ship’s 24 kennels with crew members providing attendant care. While visitors are welcome to visit their pets during certain hours, pets are required to stay in the kennel area at all times and are not permitted in the guest cabin or any other public spaces.

Avoid Bringing New Plants or Flowers on Board Your Ship

Photographed by Chris Gray Faust, Arctic flowers in Greenland during a Scenic Eclipse II shore excursionPhotographed by Chris Gray Faust, Arctic flowers in Greenland during a Scenic Eclipse II shore excursion

Are you considering bringing a potted plant or a bouquet on board to liven up your cabin? You won’t be permitted to bring these goods on board, so reconsider. They might accidentally harm the ship’s ecosystems or the ecosystems of the ports of call you visit by bringing pollen, seeds, or agricultural illnesses.

Order flowers from the cruise line’s Bon Voyage Gifts department if you want them for yourself or to give as a gift to people traveling with you; they will be waiting in your cabin on the day of embarkation.

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