The 12 Items You Are Not Allowed to Bring on a Cruise

Be smart when packing for your next voyage by ensuring that you do not stow away these 12 things that you are not allowed to bring on a cruise.

Not Allowed to Bring on a Cruise

We know preparing for your upcoming cruise is exciting. In anticipation of your trip, you have probably begun packing. Of course, we have plenty of guides and checklists to help make sure you are fully prepared for your trip. On the other hand, there are also certain items that you should absolutely not pack for a cruise. Here is our list of the 12 things that are not allowed on a cruise. Whatever you do, please leave these items at home!

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The 12 Things Not Allowed on a Cruise


This might seem like a no-brainer, but weapons are not allowed on a cruise. Any type of gun, including replicas, toys resembling weapons, or items like paintball or pellet guns, are prohibited on a cruise ship. Hunting equipment, like a crossbow or spears, or other items with sharp blades, like a sword, are not permitted on a cruise either.

This policy also applies to any type of self defense gear. Several people still get caught attempting to bring items such as pocket knives, pepper spray, mace, handcuffs, tasers, or other items that could pass as a weapon.

Even if you are legally able to possess these items in the USA, the international nature of your travels could put you in violation of other countries’ laws. Also, avoid bringing anything that could be mistaken for a weapon, even if it is just a novelty item.


We know your cruise is a cause for celebration, but let the ship’s staff be in charge of all the festivities and special events. Thus, the cruise lines do not allow passengers to bring on any form of explosives or ammunition. Your default thinking should be if the item is made to be lit, it should be left at home. This goes too for those zippo lighters, torch lighters, or any type of lighter fluid.

Although, most cruise lines allow smokers to bring matches or normal lighters.

Items such as fireworks and flares can not be taken onboard the ship either regardless of the local state laws on these items. This goes for items like sparklers as well. Again, even novelties that resemble these items will be flagged. At best, they will be confiscated; at worst, they will be cause for you to be removed from the ship.

Fireworks are one item not allowed on a cruise

Although, do bring light up accessories for your ship’s White party or Glow party.

Illicit Drugs and Substances

No matter your state laws, you should refrain from bringing items such as illicit drugs and paraphernalia. This includes marijuana and marijuana-infused products, even if used for medical purposes. This also applies to CBD products. Those, too, are not allowed on a cruise ship.

Smoking devices, such as hookahs, are also not allowed on a cruise.

Of course, be sure to pack any other prescribed medication for your trip. We recommend packing these essential items in your cruise carry-on bag on embarkation day.

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You want to look sharp for dinner and ensure your outfits are nicely pressed for those formal night pictures; we get it. Unfortunately though, irons are forbidden on all cruise lines. So are steamers.

Essentially, any device that heats up and has an extremely hot surface is not allowed. Exceptions are hair straighteners and curling irons. These items are allowed.

Many cruise lines do offer self service laundry rooms with irons. Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, and Disney Cruise Line are among those with launderettes on some ships. Luxury lines like Viking also offer self service areas with ironing capabilities.

Of course, even if your cruise line doesn’t offer these self-service launderettes, you can always pay for pressing services. However, this will typically run you $5-$8 a garment. Depending on your cruise line loyalty status, you might get a discount on such services.

Otherwise, you will need to make sure you pack strategically before heading on your cruise. That is why we always take plenty of Downy Wrinkle Release with us. We also steam our clothes in the bathroom while taking a shower to help reduce those wrinkles. 


Speaking of heating elements, candles are another fire hazard that are strictly forbidden on cruise ships. If you are looking to set the mood, you could bring battery operated candles or small night lights. Also, avoid bringing incense.

Although, you can certainly bring along some scented sprays for your cabin or an air freshener to hang in the bathroom. After all, cruise ship cabins are rather tight quarters.

Household Appliances

There are plenty of places to get food and drinks on the ship. So, leave those household appliances where they belong…at home.

Most cruise lines do not allow you to bring items such as tea kettles or coffee makers, hot plates, toasters, or mug warmers. Don’t worry, many ships have venues open most of the day for you to get your morning joe or cup of tea. You could also pack a Yeti thermos to keep beverages hot or cold throughout the day.

Other items with heating elements, such as electric blankets and heating pads are not allowed on a cruise ship either. 

Pool Toys

Many of us cruise to tropical locations to take advantage of the warm and sunny weather. This most certainly means relaxing at the pool or the beach. The cruise lines will provide your little ones with life jackets and child-approved flotation devices. So, no need to pack those for your cruise.

You will also want to leave any pool toys, including inflatables at home as well. These are not allowed on your cruise ship. So, no unicorn inflatables, floating rafts, or beach balls will be seen on the pool deck.

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Other water crafts, such as kayaks or canoes, are not allowed on the ship either. You can certainly rent these at certain ports of call, but you will need to leave your personal watercraft at home. 

Surge Protectors

Long gone are the days when travelers would unplug from technology while on vacation. Now, we all bring along our smartphones, cameras, tablets, smart watches, and various other electronics.

If you do bring these devices, make sure to leave the traditional surge protector at home. These devices could cause a fire due to the electrical systems on the ship.

Also, extension cords are not allowed. So, when looking on Amazon, be careful as some products labeled “cruise ship approved” actually will not be allowed on the ship. A good rule of thumb is if it has a cord, it will be confiscated.

Instead, opt for one of these cruise ship safe travel power adapters. We always pack one in our carry-on as the extra outlets and USB ports are essential to charge all our devices.

If certain cords are needed for medical devices, please contact the cruise line prior to your sailing.

Sporting Gear

Also, check with your cruise line about bringing certain types of sports gear on your ship. Many cruise lines do not allow you to bring these items onboard. If your cruise ship has a sports court, the basketballs or soccer balls will be provided for you. But, you should be able to bring those pickle ball rackets and balls if you wish.

If your cruise line has amenities like a roller skating rink or ice rink, check to see if you can bring your own skates. Odds are, you will need to use the ones provided by the cruise line. Martial arts equipment is prohibited on a cruise as well.

The same goes for pressurized tanks used for scuba diving, those are not allowed either. However, you can bring your own fins, masks, and other gear, but you must use them off the ship only.

Likewise, many don’t allow items like skiing gear, baseball bats, surf boards, pool cues, etc. regardless of the ship’s onboard amenities. But, many cruise lines do let you pack those golf clubs, fishing rods, or beach gear like folding chairs and wagons.

Be sure to check your specific cruise line’s policies before packing them though. If cruisers are allowed to bring them onboard the ship, they will only be allowed to utilize these items while at a port of call.

Alcoholic Beverages

Most cruise lines allow each adult a 750 ml bottle of wine. These must be put in your carry-on bag during embarkation. Otherwise, it is likely that your baggage will be flagged and delayed in getting to your stateroom.

Although, alcohol policies do vary by cruise line, so be sure to check prior to your cruise. Some luxury lines let you bring as much alcohol as you want, and other cruise lines allow additional items like 6 packs of beer.

Alcoholic Beverages Not Allowed on a Cruise

We don’t recommend trying to sneak any other alcoholic beverages onboard the ship. If you do, you might be sent to the “naughty” room, also known as the onboard security office.

This also applies at ports of call. Any adult beverages purchased ashore will be held by the staff and delivered to your stateroom the night before disembarkation. 

Further, you should check your cruise line’s policy for bringing non-alcoholic beverages onboard. For instance, Carnival Cruise Line allows you to bring 12 cans or cartons of non-alcoholic beverages per cabin. However, guests cannot bring water, sodas, and other non-alcoholic beverages on board that are packaged in bottles.

Wheeled Transportation

We know that you want to get around the ship with ease, but you will have to do it the old fashioned way. Cruise lines do not allow you to bring personal wheeled devices, such as in-line skates, Heely’s shoes, scooters, or hover boards.

Recreational wheels are strictly prohibited and will be confiscated from your luggage. So, make sure the kids leave these at home.

Of course, medically approved wheeled devices, such as walkers/rollators, mobility scooters, and wheelchairs are permitted. 


We all love our own pets, but we are not fans of yours intruding on our vacation. That is why most cruise lines do not allow you to bring pets onboard the ship. In fact, most cruise lines no longer recognize emotional support animals either.

Regardless of your pleas, these animals will not be allowed.

Yes, service animals for those with disabilities are allowed on the cruise. Ships offer facilities to accommodate these support animals, but proper training and documentation for approved individuals is necessary for the animal to be allowed to cruise.

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Have you ever packed something that was not allowed on a cruise? What items have gotten you sent to the naughty room? Drop us an anchor below to share your favorite cruise packing tips. 

Don Bucolo, or “DB”, loves everything about cruising- the ocean, the food, and the atmosphere. While he may be obsessed with doing extensive amounts of research on ships and all elements of a cruise, Don enjoys sharing his new found knowledge with fellow cruisers. When he is not sailing the high seas, he does whatever his wife tells him to do-it only took 10 years to realize this.
Don Bucolo
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  1. Ham Radio equiptment

      Thanks for the addition to the list.

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