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Top 10 Prohibited Items on Cruise Lines – What Not to Pack Cruising Tips

Has packing for your family cruise vacation left you feeling confused? Here’s a comprehensive list of things you should definitely leave at home! Be sure to NOT pack these banned and prohibited items!

cruise ship in the ocean

Where are all of my rule following friends?

Don’t be shy…I’m one too!

For all of your goody two shoes like me, here’s a travel blog post just for YOU!!

So, we’ve thoroughly covered what you SHOULD pack and bring on a cruise…and in case you’ve missed them…

(⬇️Check them out here ⬇️)

What to Bring in Your Carry On Bag for Embarkation Day

15 Essentials to Pack for a Family Cruise Vacation

The Ultimate Printable Cruise Packing List


If you are a novice cruiser, you may not realize there is a list of things you SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT pack for your next cruise…in fact it will be confiscated when you check your bags and not returned to you until you leave the ship or thrown away! #cruisejail

(Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking through our links at no cost to you. Read our full disclaimer policy here.)

1. Illegal Drugs

This first prohibited item on this list is a big FAT “Duh”…of course you shouldn’t bring any non-prescription illegal drugs on a cruise ship!

Although marijuana is legal in many places in the US, it’s still illegal in most other places, so leave that out of your luggage and carry-on bag!

If you are unsure whether you have a prescription that is illegal in another country, check with your specific cruise line.

You may need to bring official prescription information with your cruise documents.


2. Weapons


Brass Knuckles Prohibited Item on a Cruise ship

Here’s another one that should be simple, common sense…no weapons should be brought on your cruise.

So what’s in the “weapon” category?

Guns, bows, knives, throwing stars and items that could be used as a weapon like athletic bats, box cutter, large scissors, and razor blades are also prohibited.

In other words, leave your brass knuckles at home…or never!


3. Small Electrical Appliances


Read Individual Cup Coffee Maker and White Mug

Even if you are a total coffee snob, don’t bring your own coffee maker!

You’ll have to survive on cruise coffee for your vacation…don’t worry, many of the larger ships have specialty coffee shops where you can purchase your fancy java! ☕

Other electric gadgets like toasters, mug warmers and hot pads should all be left at home too…let the chefs do all the cooking! 

Also HAM radios, laser pointers, or any other type of lasers that might be confused for official security equipment will be taken so leave those off your packing list!


4. Heating Elements


Travel iron

Any items that give off heat are big NO NO’s on a cruise due to their capability of catching something on fire.

Don’t nobody want a fire on a cruise ship!! Oh heck no!!

Electric blankets, candles, heating pads, incense, clothing irons, and travel steamers all fall into that category.

Also do not bring any type of flares or fireworks onboard!

If you are wanting to improve the smell in your ship cabin, you can bring essential oils and car fresheners.

For those who worry about a stinky bathroom, many people swear by using the Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray in the “Ship Happens” Scent which is specifically made just for cruising…gotta love that name haha!


5. Certain Types of Alcohol


Depending on your cruise line, some ships allow an allotted number of bottles of wine, but not hard alcohol or bottled beer, while others will allow beer in cans (be sure to check with your cruise line before you go).

Many cruise lines don’t permit any alcohol at all.

Normally if you buy alcohol at a port, the staff will store it until you leave the ship on debarkation day.

I would not try sneaking adult beverages onboard (“Rule Follower” 101) it can be confiscated and not returned, and you could even be denied boarding the cruise!

Definitely not worth the risk!


6. Pool Inflatables

Pink flamingo pool inflatable


Due to dangers of them flying overboard (which violates maritime laws) and being annoying to other guests, pool inflatables like pool noodles, floaties, tubes, beach balls or other inflatables are prohibited to bring on your cruise.

Who has room for those bulky items anyway not to mention blowing them up is worse than folding laundry?


7. Flying Toys

Black flying drone

Many ships have banned drones entirely, yet some cruise lines allow them, but you are NOT allowed to use them onboard.

Be extra careful by checking the drone use policy at the ports-of-call.

Getting thrown in a Haitian jail would surely kill your rum buzz!

Other flying toy items like remote control planes, balloons, and kites are also on the banned list for most cruise lines.

8. Food

Snacks in reusable baggies

When I think of cruising, I immediately think of F-O-O-D!! 

But guess what?

Homemade food is generally not allowed!

Sealed and packaged snack food and unopened baby food is normally permitted.

If you have dietary restrictions, check in with your cruise line to see what their specific rules are and what customized accommodations they can make for you.

9. Some Recreational and Sporting Equipment

Red boogie board


Pools, rock climbing walls, basketball courts, flow riders, zip lines, putt-putt golf courses, ice skating rinks…

listen, there is PLENTY to do on cruises, so leave your bicycles, hover boards, skateboards, rollerblades, and scooters at your house!

Thinking about packing your surfboard, body board, or golf clubs?

That all depends on the cruise line, so check online for their specific rules!


10. Extension Cords


Cruise cabins are notorious for not having enough outlets, but if you bring a power strip or a surge protector, it will probably be confiscated.

What you can bring to maximize your outlet usage, is a cruise approved outlet like this one!

Cruise approved outlet

So What Happens If You Pack These Items Anyway?

If you pack any of these banned items, you most likely will have them confiscated and returned to your once you leave the ship at the end of your trip, or in the worst case scenario you could be denied boarding altogether (or face criminal charges and fines if it’s an illegal item or substance) so join the crew of “rule followers” and leave any prohibited contraband at home!

Here are some direct links to the restricted items lists for several of the major cruise lines…when in doubt, always check with your specific cruise line!

Things You Shouldn’t Bring on Disney Cruise Line

Restricted Items on Princess Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean Cruises Baggage Rules

Banned Carnival Cruise Items

What Not to Bring on Celebrity Cruises

Prohibited Items on Norwegian Cruise Line

Holland America Line Banned Items

Viking Cruises Packing Rules

I’m hoping that this list of Top 10 Items to NOT PACK for your next cruise vacation has been helpful!

Is there anything I overlooked?

Let me know in the comments!!

Until next time….cheers to staying off of the ship’s naughty list and happy cruising!


Magan Weber

Your Go-To Mama For 

Organizing Your Health

Home, & Happiness

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