What Can I Take on a Cruise Ship?

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Any frequent flyer will testify that there are some pretty strict regulations that need to be complied with when taking to the skies. As well as aviation safety, these also concern things such as the customs policies of individual countries and their local laws. But do the same stringent regulations apply to cruising? To some extent, the answer is yes. The last thing you want is for your holiday to get off to a sour start when you’re forced to abandon your possessions. So to help you out, we’ve put together a guide covering what you can and can’t take on a cruise ship.

Alcohol

Most people will want to enjoy a drink during their cruise and while the in-house bar offerings are generally quite impressive some will still want to bring their own booze aboard. There really isn’t an easy answer to this question as each line has its own individual policy. For example, while Carnival will confiscate any liquor or beer it does allow one 750ml bottle of wine or champagne per adult. Royal Caribbean and Celebrity adopt a similar policy however ups their wine and champagne allowance to two bottles. It always pays to check out the policy of you line beforehand and pack accordingly. The general rule of thumb is no spirits.

Electrical appliances

Want to scrimp on ironing fees, whip up some toast in your cabin or brew your own coffee? Unfortunately, items such as irons, toasters and coffee makers aren’t allowed on-board. That said, there are some exceptions including hair dryers, curling tongs, shavers, laptops and extension cords.

Firearms, ammunition and explosives

It goes without saying but we’re including it anyway… Absolutely no firearms, ammunition or explosives on-board any cruise ship! Period.

Dive tanks

Diving is an incredibly popular cruise ship shore excursion activity and while you are allowed to bring some of your own gear, dive tanks are not allowed. But rest assured, any dive shop will be able to kit you out with a full tank if you want to go under!

Candles and incense

They may create mood and ambience but candles and incense are contraband items. An in cabin fire can cause havoc and for this reason, cruise lines are seriously stringent when it comes to enforcing this policy. No exceptions!

Pets and animals

No matter how much you love your furry friend they won’t be able to join you on your cruise holiday. Unless they’re a qualified service animal that has been pre-approved by the guest services team at the time of booking.

Flowers, plants and food

Most countries have pretty strict regulations about what can and can’t be bought onto their shores. The USA won’t allow any flowers or plants to be bought ashore while Australia won’t hesitate to dish out fines for people trying to smuggle in fruit, seeds and other foreign organic matter.

Don’t push the envelope!

Most cruise lines will offer an outline of their individual safety policies however they will also add a disclaimer that reserves the right to confiscate and destroy any items that are considered dangerous. You could also lose articles that pose as a risk, inconvenience, safety or security hazard to the ship, the crew and fellow passengers. This is done at the discretion of the cruise line and offending passengers aren’t offered any compensation.

Are you flying?

Does your cruise involve a flight to, from or during the itinerary? If so, you’ll need to make sure you comply with any airline regulations. For example, if you’ve stocked up on duty free perfumes from an on-board boutique make sure you pack them in your checked baggage and NOT in your hand luggage. The last thing you want is for your new collection of fragrances to get confiscated under liquids regulations.

While we’ve covered the major dos and don’ts of packing there are still plenty of banned items that you won’t be allowed to take on-board. The best thing to do is to check the website of your cruise operator and refer back to that for extra detail. The friendly team of booking agents at Cruise 1st will also be happy to help you with any inquiries! This will ensure that you don’t lose any of your possessions, waste any money or take away any hard feelings.

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Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Craig Sunter

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About Author

Claire Wilde

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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