33 Prohibited Items You Can’t Bring on a Cruise (that may surprise you)

Things You Can't Take on a Cruise that Will Surprise You

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If you’re getting ready for a cruise you’re probably thinking about what you’ll need to bring on your cruise vacation. However, it’s just as important do you know what you cannot bring on your cruise.

Cruising is different than a land vacation and even airplanes. In fact, you might be surprised to find out some of the items that are actually prohibited on cruise ships!

While some things are obvious, others may seem a bit weird or strange, and can even get you in trouble if you bring them. There are also some practical travel items that you might normally bring on a vacation, but aren’t allowed onboard cruise ships.

In this post, I share the prohibited items you can’t take on your cruise. However, if you have questions about what not to pack (like hairdryers, hangers or towels), you’ll want to read this post.

Items that Are Prohibited on a Cruise

33 Weird Items Not Allowed on Cruise Ships

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Clothing Irons and Steamers

Many people wonder if they can bring clothing steamers or irons on a cruise ship. Since these things are a potential fire hazard, they’re prohibited to be brought on a cruise ship. Fire is considered to be the worst thing that could happen on a cruise ship and therefore this is strictly enforced.

It might be surprising to know, especially if you’re cruising for the first time, that unlike a hotel room, you won’t have an iron in your cruise cabin.

If you do need to get wrinkles out of your cruise outfits, some cruise ships have public laundry rooms that cruise passengers can use. You can also use the ship’s laundry and pressing service at an additional fee.

Cruise tip: Use packing cubes and roll items to prevent wrinkles as much as possible. Then, bring along a travel size Downy Wrinkle Release for touch ups.

Related post: What to Pack for a Caribbean Cruise

Coffee Makers, Kettles and Mug Warmers

People try to bring all sorts of things onto cruise ships, however most are best left at home. Coffee makers, kettles, hot plates, mug warmers cannot be brought on a cruise.

Surge Protected Power Bars

Surge protected power strips and extension cords are not allowed on a cruise. Since cruise ship staterooms often don’t have enough electric and USB outlets, many cruisers bring a non-surge protected power bar instead.

Recommended: “Cruise approved” non-surge protected power bar (see price & 5* reviews on Amazon)

CBC Products and Marijuana

Illegal substances including marijuana are prohibited on cruise ships. CDC products are also not allowed, even if it’s medicinal or legal in certain states.


Guns, knives and other weapons aren’t allowed on board cruise ships. Some less obvious weapons that are listed as cruise line banned items include throwing stars and pepper spray.

Candles and Incense

Anything with an open flame is a fire hazard and not allowed. So candles and incense can’t be brought on board a cruise ship.

Cruise tip: If you’re in need of a “fresh smell” in your cabin, bring along a favorite cruise essential, Poo-Pourri Spray (verify price on Amazon here).


Cruise line policies on drones vary, as you can never fly a drone above the cruise ship while at sea. Some cruise lines allow you to bring a drone on board and store it in your cabin. Other cruise lines forbid drones completely.

Cruise ports also have strict rules as to when and where you can fly a drone. Make sure to check with your cruise line before you bring on on board, as it can be confiscated.

33 Surprising Things You Can't Bring on a Cruise
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Homemade Food

While you are allowed to bring packaged snacks onboard a cruise, such as chips, candies and granola bars, homemade food is not permitted.

Liquor or Beer

Cruise lines don’t permit passengers to bring hard alcohol or beer onboard the cruise ship. However, if you enjoy wine, most cruise lines allow you to bring one bottle of wine per adult

Related post: 27 Cruise Travel Hacks Repeat Cruisers Use

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Wheeled Shoes, Hoverboards and Skateboards

Shoes with wheels, hoverboards and skateboards could all be dangerous on a cruise ship and are not allowed.

Pool Noodles and Inflatable Pool Toys

While they might be fun, there’s simply no room in cruise ship pools for inflatable pool toys, so best to leave them at home. If you’re cruising with young children, life jackets for swimming are usually available.

Toy Guns

Toy guns or gun replicas are not permitted on a cruise.

Baby Monitors

Surprising to many, you can’t take baby monitors on most cruise lines. Do check your cruise line website for their rules and policies on prohibited items.

Kayaks and Surfboards

Kayaks, canoes and surfboards are not allowed on a cruise ship. According to cruise line policies, anything that can be launched off a cruise ship is prohibited.

In some cases you are able to bring items that you might use in a cruise port onto a ship and leave them in your cabin. So do you check with your cruise line.


Flying toys like kites are prohibited on a cruise ship.


Fireworks are a fire hazard and can’t be taken onto a cruise ship.

Things You Can't Take on Cruises (that will surprise you)
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Dive Tanks & Diving Knives

Cruise lines won’t permit you to bring dive tanks onto the cruise ship, however the policy on diving knives may vary from cruise line to cruise line. In some cases, short diving knives can be taken onboard, however they may not be kept in the passenger’s possession.

Cruise passengers are always advised to check the information for your specific sailing and booking.

Hookah Pipes

Although you can smoke cigarettes and cigars on a cruise in designated areas, as well as vape and smoke e-cigarettes, hookah pipes are not allowed.


Restraints of any kind, including handcuffs cannot be brought on a cruise.

Helium Balloons

It might seem fun to bring helium balloons on a cruise to celebrate or even decorate your cruise cabin door, however they aren’t permitted.

33 Weird Items Not Allowed on Cruise Ships
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Meat or Fish Products

No perishable food can be taken onboard a cruise ship, nor can you bring fish or meat.

You might be wondering why this might happen? Perhaps on a fishing shore excursion or even in Alaska when people may want to bring home some “fresh” salmon packed on ice.

While you can’t bring fish or meat onto a cruise ship, companies may be able to pack and ship the items to your house instead.

Metal Detectors

Metal detectors are on the prohibited items list for most cruise lines. It seems that they could cause a problem with the ships electrical and navigational systems.

Related post: 63 Things Not to Do on a Cruise Ship

Read next: 10 Things NOT to Pack for a Cruise Vacation

Things You Can Bring on a Cruise (Must-know)

After reading about all the things you can’t bring on a cruise, you might be wondering about what you can bring on a cruise (and not get in trouble).

You can bring:

**Please note – If you need to bring a power bar/extra outlets and USB’s, it must be non-surge protected. Anything else will be confiscated. 

This is what I recommend: 5* “cruise approved” power bar (see info on Amazon)

Get The Ultimate Cruise Planner

Regular price: $27 Now just $17!

Related and Popular Posts:

50 Must-have Cruise Essentials (Packing, Organizing & Shore Excursion Items)

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Cruise Luggage Tags Holders (all major cruise lines)

33 Fun Things to Bring on a Cruise

Video: Things You Can’t Bring on a Cruise

In this video, I go over more of what you need to know about items that are banned on cruise ships. If you enjoy cruise tips, cruise vlogs and information, please subscribe to my Life Well Cruised YouTube channel.

Recap: Surprising Things You Can’t Bring on a Cruise (prohibited items)

In this post we went over the items that are not allowed to be brought onto a cruise ship. From items that can be a potential fire hazard to things that are illegal and get you in trouble, this is important information to know before you cruise.

As well, I shared a few items that you can bring on a cruise, that people wonder about. I hope this post has been helpful as you plan and get ready for your cruise vacation.

Did any of the items that are prohibited on a cruise surprise you? Are there other items that you know of that you absolutely cannot bring on a cruise please let me know in the comments below

Happy Cruising!


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  1. March 28, 2022 / 3:31 am

    Can you bring an electric or usb air pump to deflate spaces bags on NCL? I can’t find anywhere that they are prohibited


    • April 25, 2022 / 12:48 pm

      If you don’t see it on the NCL website but still want to be sure, you can give them a call.

      Have a great cruise!


  2. Nancy Padilla
    June 3, 2022 / 7:54 pm

    Hi LLana

    just wondering if you have any website specifically for NCL…???

    • June 13, 2022 / 11:54 am

      Hi Nancy,

      I don’t have specifically for Norwegian. However if you search on their website this should be there.


  3. Angie
    July 15, 2022 / 11:37 pm

    Hi Ilana,

    Thanks for your list! We’re leaving on our first cruise (Royal – Quantum of the Seas – Alaska) in a couple weeks and I’m so excited. I’m curious about your comment re: CPAP machines. Why do I need to contact the cruise line about that?


    • July 26, 2022 / 3:47 pm

      Hi Angie,

      So that they can provide you with distilled water, and an extension cord if needed. It’s always better to let the cruise line know about any special or medical needs when possible.


  4. Dr Raymond G Williams
    August 9, 2022 / 4:41 am

    I need to know if I can bring a 12 pack of diet Dr pepper in the can on carnival cruise ship and what about whip cream in my luggage or vinegar in a plastic bottle?

    • August 11, 2022 / 1:34 pm

      Best to check the cruise line website for specifics. 🙂

  5. Kecia
    February 18, 2023 / 4:12 am

    Hi ILana,

    My husband has glaucoma and has two different eye drops he has to do in the morning and at night. The night drop has to remain in the refrigerator. Are there any small refrigerators in the cabins and if not how can we handle this issue. Please and thank you!

    • February 20, 2023 / 9:11 pm

      Yes, there are usually small refrigerators in the cabins. However, since this is medical, you may want to contact the cruise line to inquire to be sure. I’m sure they’ll provide you with a solution.

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