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What Not to Take on a Cruise

by Karen Ellen
  • Overview

    Cruise ships are equipped to cater to passengers' every culinary whim, so its silly to lug aboard your own snack foods and cases of bottled water or soft drinks, and some cruise lines are cracking down on such behavior. Leaving behind unneeded items will make more room in your luggage for souvenirs.
  • Alcohol

    Most cruise lines strictly prohibit bringing your own liquor on board (except wine and champagne). It's confiscated at check-in and returned to you on the last night of the cruise.
  • Illegal Drugs

    You may smuggle drugs past the X-ray onto the ship, but when it's time to go home, drug-sniffing dogs will inspect your luggage. They've also been known to be brought on board in port if illegal drug use is suspected during a cruise.
  • Hair Dryer

    Virtually all cruise ships today provide hair dryers in each cabin.
  • Beach Towel

    You'll find towels at all the pools, and you may sign them out to take ashore to beaches.
  • Bathrobe

    If you're a repeat cruiser with the line or sailing in a balcony cabin or suite, a robe may be provided. Before packing one, check with your travel agent or the cruise line.
  • Heated Items

    The threat of fire is real, so don't pack a travel iron at home. The ship's laundry will press your clothes for a fee. Travel steamer are OK, as well as curling irons and other heated beauty products. Candles and incense are not allowed.
  • Clothing

    There are no icebergs in the Caribbean, so a light sweater or wrap for cool evenings is all you need. Don't pack a bathing suit to cross the North Atlantic or sail around Northern Europe and Scandinavia unless your ship has an indoor pool. Leave behind clothing displaying controversial or obscene messages because you never know who may end up next to you in a lifeboat.
  • Jewelry

    Most cabins have safes, but robberies do happen. Leave your best jewelry at home because you shouldn't wear it on shore anyway. It makes you a target for thieves.
  • Cash

    No need to bring a lot of currency.You sign just about everything you purchase on the ship to an onboard account set up against your credit card. When shopping in port, buying with a credit card provides protection in case problems arise with your purchase once you return home.
  • Pets

    Only service animals are allowed on most cruise ships. Cunard's QM2 has a pet kennel because some people use one-way transatlantic crossings to relocate or can't go anywhere without Fido, but pets aren't allowed in passenger cabins.

    References & Resources