15 Prohibited Items on a Cruise Ship

We spend a lot of time here on Cruise Radio talking about what to pack for a cruise vacation.  But what about what you’re aren’t allowed to bring?  Now we’ve got you covered on that, too.

1. Irons

Clothing irons and steamers aren’t allowed on cruise ships because they present a fire hazard.  Almost every cruise ship in the world offers some sort of laundry service onboard if you need it, and there’s also wrinkle release spray if you’d prefer a cheaper and easier alternative.

2. Liquor

Most cruise lines will allow a restricted quantity of champagne, wine, and sometimes even beer (hi, Disney!) but they won’t allow guests to bring their own hard liquor.  It’s your vacation, so hit one of the onboard bars for your favorite cocktail or drink on the rocks. Pre-ordering your favorite bottle of booze is also a great (but pricey) idea.

3. Household Appliances

Going along with the iron point, most small household appliance hold a fire risk.  So hot plates, toasters, coffee makers, and the like aren’t allowed to cross your ship’s gangway.

4. Candles

This one is pretty obvious.  Open flame = huge fire risk.

5. Large Scissors

Usually smaller scissors are allowed, like ones used for personal grooming or perhaps to do a quick sewing job.  The general guideline in the industry seems to be that scissors with blade lengths over 4 inches will be confiscated at security.

6. Shoes with Wheels

Are Heelys even still a thing?  Regardless, if you or a member of your family has the sneakers with the little wheels on the bottom for zipping around, leave them at home when you head out for your cruise vacation.

7. Large Knives

Like the scissors, cruise lines really don’t want their guests with large sharp objects that could easily be used as weapons.  The exception on some cruise lines is a recreational dive knife, which will be held by the Chief Security Officer or other crew member on the ship until it’s actually time to use it during an excursion.

8. Heating Pads

Your sore muscles will have to find another way to get relief, because heating pads aren’t allowed on your cruise.  A great alternative would be the hot tub on your ship!  Warm, bubbling water is great for relaxing.

9. Surfboards

Surf trips are better left as traditional vacation rather than cruise ones.  Surfboards are big, bulky, and not worth the hassle or precious cabin space on your cruise ship.

10. Big Coolers

Again with the big and bulky, most cruise cabins are relatively small and the line doesn’t want guests lugging around large coolers across their ships, either.  Most will allow you to purchase a small one either in a special onboard package or the gift shop, and your room steward will be able to provide you with a bucket of ice if you need that as well.

11. Firearms

Firearms present a huge risk on a cruise ship, especially when drunk people are involved.  Need we say more?

12. Extension Cords

In general, extension cords can be trippy and not always completely safe when electrical fires come to mind.  Cruise lines might vary on this policy, but in general leave the cord at home.  You will be allowed a small power strip for extra outlets, and that’s most likely all you’ll really need.

13. Aerial Drones

Drones are the new hot thing.  Photos and videos from above are gorgeous, and most every photographer wants a piece of the action.  We’re not sure what the policy is for every cruise line regarding drones, but we know some lines do prohibit them. Check with your cruise line on this one.

14. Pepper Spray

Lots of people carry pepper spray as a defense mechanism nowadays.  As wise as it may seem to keep it with you on a cruise for foreign ports, the line doesn’t want to run the risk of a guest using it for the wrong purpose.  Make sure you leave it at home.

15. Bicycles

Again with the big and bulky.  Bicycles are just too cumbersome for a cruise ship that probably holds thousands of passengers.  The good news is: lots of ports have cycling shore excursions or bikes that you can rent on your own.  The better news is: if you happen to be taking a river cruise, it’s likely that your ship includes bikes to use in port that are free for you to use.

Final Thoughts

There are most likely some items on this list that are prohibited on one cruise line, but allowed on another.  If you’re not sure what your line’s policy is, hit the FAQ section on their website or give them a call.  But in general for the things we’ve mentioned, use the list as a guideline for what to leave at home.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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