34 Prohibited Items You Can’t Take on a Cruise Ship

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A woman waiting at a cruise terminal with her feet on a blue suitcase with a cruise ship in the background

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When packing for a cruise vacation, you must be mindful of the items you bring onboard. Cruise lines prohibit many everyday items for safety concerns and legal restrictions.

Knowing these limitations will help you avoid potential issues during your travels.

Items like weapons, illegal substances, fire hazards, food, and some alcohol are not allowed on cruise ships.

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable cruise experience, we’ve put together a list of 34 prohibited items you can’t take on a cruise.

As always, check with your cruise line to see what they allow you to bring.


A woman waiting at a cruise terminal with her feet on a blue suitcase with a cruise ship in the backgroundPin

Clothing Irons and Steamers

Clothing irons and steamers are not allowed on a cruise. Cruise lines ban everyday household items because they are a potential fire hazard.

Unlike a hotel room, you won’t find an iron in your cabin.

A fire is one of the most catastrophic events that could happen on a cruise ship. As such, cruise lines have strict policies regarding items that pose a fire risk.

Cruise ships typically provide laundry and pressing services if you need to remove any wrinkles. You could also bring a wrinkle-release spray to keep your clothing looking fresh.

Coffee Makers, Kettles, Hot Plates, and Mug Warmers

You can leave your kitchen appliances at home.

I don’t know why people would bring a coffee maker or kettle onto a cruise ship.

But people do all kinds of crazy things.

The ship has plenty of spots to grab coffee, tea, and hot beverages. So leave the kitchen appliances at home.

These items pose a fire hazard, so you cannot bring them on board.

Surge-Protected Power Bars and Extension Cords

Newer cruise ships have plenty of outlets and USB charging stations in the cabins. But, older cruise ships have a limited number of power outlets.

Although you might want to use a power bar to charge your devices, cruise lines do not allow surge-protected power bars due to the risk of overloading the ship’s electrical system.

Use a non-surge-protected power strip instead.

Be sure to check with your cruise line before packing your power bar. Some cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises don’t allow extension cords of any kind. Cunard Line also prohibits all extension cords unless it accompanies medical equipment.

Marijuana and CBD

Even though some countries and states have legalized marijuana and CBD products, CBD and marijuana are not allowed on cruise ships. Cruise ship security will confiscate marijuana or CBD products, and you could face penalties.

The cruise line may report you to local authorities, where you could face fines or prison. And if security catches you on the ship with weed, you may be placed in the cruise ship’s jail until the next port.

That’s because marijuana possession is still illegal under US federal law.

Further, you may visit several countries on your itinerary with different laws regarding the possession and use of marijuana and weed byproducts.

Illegal Drugs

Like cannabis, possessing any illegal drugs is prohibited on cruise ships. You can expect severe consequences, including removal from the vessel and legal action if you bring banned substances on a cruise.

Cruise security uses various methods to detect illicit drugs, including drug-sniffing dogs and X-rays.

Guns and Ammunition

Cruise ships ban guns, ammunition, and realistic weapon replicas. If you bring a prohibited weapon or ammunition on board, it will be confiscated, and you may face penalties.

Other weapons like pepper spray, throwing knives, batons, and brass knuckles are also not allowed.

Toy Guns

Toy guns, including water guns, replica guns, paintball, airsoft, and Nerf guns, are not allowed on cruise ships due to their potential to cause disruptions.

Disney Cruise Line does permit guests to carry toy guns purchased on the ship, including light sabers, toy pirate swords, and Mjolnir hammers.

Sharp Objects

Sharp objects like knives and scissors are not allowed, except for personal grooming items (such as safety razors).

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Virgin Voyages, Princess Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Holland America Line allow some blades with a length that’s less than 4 inches. But other cruise lines like Disney Cruise Line probit all blades, regardless of blade length.

Handcuffs and Restraints

Your cruise vacation should be relaxing and safe. Restraints of any kind, including handcuffs, are banned on cruise ships. Leave these items at home.

Candles and Incense

Items with an open flame, including candles and incense, are not allowed on cruise ships because of the fire risk they pose. You’ll have to find other ways to create ambiance in your cabin or opt for battery-operated alternatives.


Like candles, lighters also pose a potential fire hazard. Most cruise lines do not allow lighters on board.

Drones, Kites, and Flying Toys

Drones have become a popular travel item for travelers looking to capture stunning aerial photography. And what could be more stunning than an aerial shot of the vessel sailing through the open sea?

Well, think again because drones are not allowed on board most cruise ships.

Cruise lines have various rules regarding the use of drones, but none allow for flying while the ship is at sea.

Some cruise lines, like Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean International, allow guests to store drones in their cruise cabins for use at a port.

While some cruise operators ban them entirely.

You may want to bring along your drone for use in port. But just because your cruise ship allows you to bring a drone doesn’t mean you can fly it at the cruise port.

Ports have different rules regarding drones. It’s best to check with the local authorities before taking your drone for a flight.

The same rule applies to kites and other flying toys and objects, such as lanterns and helium balloons.

Liquor or Beer

You might be surprised to learn that you can bring alcohol on a cruise ship, just not liquor or beer.

Alcohol policies vary by cruise line, but the type of alcohol you can pack is usually restricted to a bottle of wine or champagne.

Bringing liquor or beer on the boat is generally prohibited. Cruise lines have strict alcohol policies. If you’re caught trying to sneak alcohol onto a cruise ship, security will confiscate the contraband.


You can’t bring homemade, unpackaged, or perishable food onto a cruise ship.

Rules vary, but most cruise lines allow guests to bring some unopened, prepackaged, non-perishable food items.

But don’t worry. Cruise ships have more than enough food to go around.

Trust us.

It’s nearly impossible to go hungry on a cruise vacation.

Pool Toys and Inflatable Pools

Large pool toys and inflatables can take up too much space and create hazards around the pool area.

While pool toys might be fun for kids, cruise lines don’t allow them. Leave the toys at home and enjoy the cruise ship’s pool amenities.


It should go without saying that fireworks are a fire hazard and are not allowed on cruise ships. Bringing them on board could result in severe penalties.

Hoverboards, Skateboards, and Wheeled Shoes

Hoverboards are not allowed on cruise ships due to their potential for accidents to guests and crew. Not to mention the danger of exploding batteries.

Similarly, cruise lines also ban skateboards, wheeled shoes, and scooters.

Kayaks and Surfboards

You can leave your kayaks and surfboards at home because they’re not allowed on the ship. If you want to explore nature, take a shore excursion instead or rent the necessary equipment instead.

With space being a precious commodity in staterooms, we’re not sure you’d want to store a large item in your cabin anyway.

Some Door Decorations

Decorating your cabin door might be a great way to add fun and excitement to your cruise, especially for kids. And it makes it easier to find your cabin along the long corridor of identical doors.

It’s important to remember that some decorations are prohibited.

Avoid attaching items that could damage the door, obstruct access, or pose a fire hazard. Check your cruise line’s guidelines for acceptable decorations.

Some cruise lines, like Norwegian Cruise Line, don’t allow door decorations of any kind.

Cruise Lines Prohibited Items List

It’s always best to read your cruise line policies for the most up-to-date and accurate information

Here is a list of cruise lines’ prohibited items list:

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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