Cruises offer passengers convenience and comfort, but the confined spaces and unique onboard environment require a different packing strategy. It’s crucial to remember that not everything you’d typically bring for a land-based trip is suitable for life at sea.
Next time you cruise, leave these items behind—or risk having them confiscated or even thrown away.
Although most cruise lines allow you to bring some alcohol onboard, it’s usually limited to one bottle of wine. Beer, hard liquor, and hard seltzers are typically forbidden.
If you try to smuggle alcohol on a cruise, it will either be confiscated and returned to you at the end of your voyage or disposed of.
Certain Electrical Appliances
A fire at sea could be catastrophic, so cruise companies are strict about what electrical appliances you can bring aboard. Anything with a heating element, such as irons, clothes steamers, heated blankets, hot plates, coffee machines, etc. is typically forbidden as it could be a fire hazard.
Small electrical appliances like hair dryers and curling irons are usually allowed, but it’s always safest to check with your cruise company directly before sailing.
Weapons and Sharp Objects
When packing for a cruise, you’ll need to follow many of the same rules that apply when packing for a flight. Weapons and novelty weapons (like toy guns) are prohibited, as are sharp objects like knives and scissors.
Although bringing food on an all-you-can-eat cruise may feel redundant, if you have allergies or special dietary requirements, you may feel more comfortable packing some emergency snacks.
You can bring all the prepackaged, nonperishable food aboard that you want (like candy, protein bars, etc.), but homemade food is not allowed—so don’t bring grandma’s special birthday cake on the ship to celebrate.
CBD and Marijuana
Since marijuana is illegal under U.S. federal law, it is banned from all cruise ships—even ones departing from states that have legalized the drug. This ban extends to CBD products, such as massage oils or sleep medications, so read the labels carefully before you pack.
All cruise lines prohibit using drones on the ship, and the majority do not allow drones to be brought onboard at all. Carnival and Royal Caribbean are the only two cruise lines that allow guests to pack drones—as long as they are only operated on land outside of the port area and never flown from the ship.
Carnival even requires all passengers’ drones to be kept with the Chief Security Officer and checked out when the owner wants to use them.
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