14 Items To Not Pack For Your Cruise Vacations

Cruise packing can be a real headache. Honestly, it’s a nightmare for almost all cruisers until done with proper planning.

The packing stage of cruise vacations is like handling two babies at a time, saving space, and adhering to the cruise line’s policies on prohibited items.

And if you end up not tackling these “babies” (policies), hassle and a hefty fine await you.

I know it sounds scary, but don’t worry, fellas, I’m here to help you. Since my childhood cruises, I’ve made many packing mistakes and faced numerous penalties.

So, I’m here to share those mistakes you should consider and avoid packing those items in the first place. Following this guide will enhance your cruise experience.

So, let’s get started.

Things That You Should Not Pack For Cruise

1- Homemade Food

Don’t even consider bringing homemade food if it’s not in a sealed package or needs refrigeration or to be cooked. It’s prohibited.

While bringing sealed and prepackaged foods like candy, energy bars, trail mixes, or dietary-specific snacks is fine, most cruise ships don’t allow homemade foods.

So take advantage of this exception to the rule and bring healthy and yummy snacks for your kids and enjoy.

But make sure to finish your drinks before you board, too. Unfortunately, you can’t embark with the unfinished vanilla latte or any open or partially consumed beverage.

You’ll find enough to eat and drink on a cruise, so no worries.

enjoying on a cruise

2- Drones And Kites

You might want to shoot the cruise moments from above the ship or at one of your ports of call. But wait, you’ll need to check with your cruise guidelines first.

For example, the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line policy specifies that the drones can only be used outside the port area and not all on Royal Caribbean’s private destinations of CocoCay, Bahamas, or Labadee, Haiti.

But as far as the kites are concerned, it’s no, no and no. You can’t fly a kit on the deck of the cruise ship due to your and other cruisers’ safety.

So make sure you don’t bring kites on board; check out your cruise line’s policy for drones.

 Drones And Kites

3- Fresh Flowers Or Plants

Thinking of having a pleasant feeling by bringing a bouquet or a potted plant onboard? Don’t even think again because it’s prohibited.

I know it’s shocking, but according to the cruise lines, these items may carry pollen/seeds or agricultural diseases that might disturb the other guests and inadvertently impact the ecosystems on the ship or especially in ports of call that you visit.

Pro Tip:
You can purchase flowers from the Cruise line’s gift shops. So order them from these shops, and they’ll be on to you.

4- Pets (Except Service Animals)

Except for service animals, pets are not allowed on the cruise ship. Service pets are welcomed onboard, but cruise lines have specific definitions for what qualifies as a service animal.

I suggest checking the service pet requirements of the cruise line you’re sailing with.

Almost all cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line, limit pets to service animals only.

However, there’s one cruise line named Cunard where you can bring your dog or cat, but only on its posh 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2 ocean liner.

So, double-check the pet policy of the cruise line you plan to sail with.

5- Certain Sunscreens

Choosing sunscreens is an important part of packing as certain sunscreens are banned, not by the cruise line, but by the ports they visit.

These measures are taken because sun blocking ingredients like octinoxate, oxybenzone, and octocrylene damage fragile reef systems.

In ports, the above chemicals play a part in reef bleaching linked with warming sea temperatures. Also, the chemicals may harm marine life, according to some researchers. That’s why they’re banned from use in certain destinations.

And if you go against the rule, you could be fined deftly $1000 or more. So stay sharp.

Choose your sunscreen carefully if your cruise itinerary includes any of these destinations:

  • Transfer confirmations
  • Cruise boarding pass
  • Any other required travel documentation
  • Shore excursion confirmations

But I suggest always going with cruise-approved sunscreens to avoid any restrictions.

me on Royal Caribbean cruise

6- Alcohol

Want to bring your favorite vino or Champagne? Wait, there are some restrictions onboard.

Except on embarkation day, where you can bring onboard a bottle of wine or Champagne on most lines, all other alcoholic beverages are prohibited. 

Also, you have to take care of quantity as there is a limit on how much alcohol you are taking onto your cruise ship.

For Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, there’s a limit of one (750 ml) bottle of wine or Champagne per adult. At the same time, the Carnival allows one bottle of wine per adult.

Disney Cruise Line allows you to take two (750 ml) bottles of wine or six beers per cabin.

And if you’re thinking of sneaking them inside your checked bags or any other containers, forget it. All luggage onboard the ship is screened, and any suspicious containers are opened and removed if the rules are violated.

on a cruise port

7- Firearms and Explosives

It’s common sense; anything that can put your and other’s lives at risk is prohibited onboard.

You can’t bring them on board even if you have a permit. These items can put lives in danger and result in a fire onboard.

Firecrackers and fireworks are prohibited from being brought onboard at any time, even though your ships include firework entertainment.

So be careful.

8- Weapons Or Objects That Could Be Potential

As I already mentioned, everything that can endanger lives is prohibited.

Just like at airports, sharp objects, knives, guns, ammunition, and weapons of any kind, including replicas like toy guns, are not allowed to be brought onboard the ship.

And if found, hefty fines or penalties will be your way.

9- Irons Or Streamers

Irons or streamers are not allowed on cruises. 

I know it’s an annoying rule, but accept the fact that you can’t bring them onboard because it’s a fire hazard.

Not only that, they even don’t provide irons in your room for your use. So you might be thinking of how to remove the wrinkles from the clothes.

Well, you need to compromise here. Some folks hang their clothes in the bathroom while they take a hot shower. Some folks bring a wrinkle-release spray to overcome the issue. At the same time, others use the ship’s laundry service.

Now it’s up to you to choose depending on your habits and needs. But follow the rule; otherwise, they will confiscate all irons and streamers.

on a cruise ship

10- Makeup Mirror

Now, you might want to pack this, especially for girls. However, due to the redundancy factor, I don’t suggest bringing it on board.

Cruise ship staterooms typically come equipped with mirrors, both in the main living space and the bathroom.

So, bringing an additional mirror is nonsensical as it may take valuable space in your luggage and needs to be protected for safety issues.

Also, some cruise lines only allow certain types of fire-retardant and hazard-free mirrors. So, I don’t suggest bringing a mirror at all.

And if you want to check your makeup outside the room, what’s the problem? Thanks to the modern era, bring out your phone and voila.

11- Rollerblades and Other Wheeled Items

Cruise ships can sway with the ocean. So, to ensure the safety, guests are not allowed to bring anything with wheels onboard.

But there are exceptions for your luggage, wheelchairs, motorized scooters and baby strollers.

Do not bring the following items:

  • Rollerblades
  • Wheeled shoes (like Heelys)
  • Segways
  • Skateboards
  • Bicycles
  • Hoverboards
  • Scooters

However, checkingit’s your cruise line’s guidelines for wheeled items is better.

12- Drugs, Including Marijuana

Illegal drugs of any kind are prohibited. Marijuana is no exception to this rule, so stay sharp.

Even if marijuana is legal in your state or the state the cruise is leaving from; marijuana is still federally illegal. So, you can’t bring it on board.

This includes all types of marijuana, including oils, edibles, and any other forms. This also applies to medical marijuana.

And don’t even think about concealing it as all bags go under screening, and you may go through heavy penalties.

Pro Tip: I suggest bringing the original prescription bottles with your name on them for prescription medications.

13- Candles, Incense, Lighters

A fire breaking out on the ship could have dire consequences, especially if the vessel is far from rescue services.

So, for this reason, Cruise Lines prohibited items with a heating element or open flame.

No heating blankets, candles, incense, or lighters are allowed onboard.

14- Hot Plates & Cooking Appliances

As I already mentioned, there’s an absolute no to heating elements on a cruise ship.

And if you go against the rule. It will be confiscated. This includes (but is not limited to) the following items:

  • Hot plates
  • Coffee makers
  • Heated blankets
  • Humidifiers
  • Microwaves
  • Kettles
  • Toaster ovens

CheckingIt’s your cruise line’s policy against certain items is a good idea.

Other Unnecessary Items Not To Bring Onboard

I’ve also compiled a list of items already available in your cabin. So avoid them to pack less.

1- Towel

Remember, towels are the major cause of heavy and loaded suitcases. So avoid them, as the cruise will provide plenty of towels.

You’ll get towels in your room and around the ship (pool, etc). Not only that, but they also will allow you to check out towels on port days.

But make sure to return them if you check out towels. Otherwise, you may be subject to a fee at the end of your cruise.

2- Clothes Hangers

Since you’re not allowed to bring irons or streamers, it stands to reason you’ll want to hang up as many clothes as possible to tackle the wrinkles issue.

But don’t waste space bringing them onboard, as you’ll get plenty of hangers in your room.

Pro Tip: If you don’t find or need more clothes hangers in your closet, simply ask your stateroom attendant.

3- Pillow

Don’t bring a pillow until you’ve some special preferences and concerns.

If you prefer the familiarity of your own pillow and can’t sleep without it, bringing your pillow may be a good option.

4- Yoga Mat Or Exercise Equipment

Don’t be stupid to carry a yoga mat or other exercise equipment onboard. 

Cruise ships have a great area reserved for the gym, so use that, save your space, and enjoy it without worries.

Final Words

Hopefully, now you should clearly understand what items are prohibited on cruise ships and can end up with a hefty fine if brought on board.

However, the choice is up to you for unnecessary items if you have special preferences and habits.

Have a safe and enjoyable cruise experience.

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