11 (Surprising) Things Not Allowed on a Cruise Ship

Swimsuit? Check.

Sunscreen? Check.

Sunglasses? Check.

Hoverboard? Wait, what? You can’t pack that!

When you’re packing for your cruise, most things you need to bring are obvious. There are those few items, however, that some people want to pack that aren’t allowed on the ship. If found, they will be confiscated and either tossed… or held for safekeeping until the end of the cruise.

The thing is, that while most people never run into a question of whether or not something is ok to pack, there are always special cases. We’ve rounded up some of the most unusual things that surprisingly or not aren’t allowed on a cruise ship.

These are all items that you might think are ok (or never considered), but they are prohibited. Don’t think about packing them.

Hoverboards

Know those two-wheeled balancing boards that were all the rage… until they started bursting into flames? For obvious reasons, they aren’t allowed on a cruise ship. Fire is a huge worry for the ships and they can’t risk having something onboard that wants to light up. In addition, it’s not the best idea to have a hard-to-control balance board on a rocking ship with all sorts of other people around.

Surge Protectors

Add surge protectors to the latest in a list of banned items for cruising. If you are bringing an outlet adapter to increase the number of outlets in your cabin, make sure that it doesn’t have a surge protector on it.

It might seem weird that they aren’t allowed. However, recent studies by the Coast Guard show that they can mess with the ship’s electrical system, increasing the potential for a fire. Instead, just bring an outlet tap with multiple plugs and no surge protector. You can pick one up for $5 on Amazon.

Pool Floats

It seems silly, but you can’t bring pool floats with you to a place that would seem ideal to use them. Don’t worry, if you have a kid they are allowed to bring floaties that slip over their arms. You just can’t bring inflatable tubes, floating mats, or pool noodles. If you consider what the pool would look like if everybody brought their favorite float, you start to get an idea of cruise lines don’t allow them.

Homemade Cookies

Did Grandma bake you a batch of cookies as a treat to take with you on the cruise? Sorry, you have to leave them at home. We couldn’t believe it either, but cruise lines don’t allow you to bring homemade food with you on the cruise. As Carnival’s website says under its restricted items list:

“homemade items or pre-cooked foods will not be permitted onboard”

Fish

We thought this was surprising just because we didn’t know that people would try to pack fish. Evidently people will sometimes take fishing charters while they are in a cruise port and want to bring some of their catch back home with them. That’s not allowed. And no, you can’t bring your pet goldfish from home to keep you company, either.

Google Glasses

Ok, technically you can pack your Google Glasses with you on a cruise… although we think you’d look a little funny wearing them. Cruise lines like Carnival will allow you to wear them in public areas, but cite that they “cannot be worn at any gangway operation.” Our suggestion? Just leave them at home.

Pepper Spray

If you are a female traveling solo on a cruise or in a port of call, you might feel a little vulnerable. After all, incidents do happen, even if on a cruise. If you are the sort of person that normally carries around a small vial of pepper spray for protection, you have to leave it at home. Despite pepper spray being non-lethal, it is not allowed on board the cruise ship.

Surfboards

Excited about the idea of hitting the beach when you’re in port and catching a few waves? Well, you can’t do it on your own board if you’re taking a cruise. Items like surfboards, boats, and canoes aren’t allowed on the ship. We’re not entirely sure why, but the last thing we want to do is bring an expensive surfboard and not be allowed to bring it on.

Marijuana

Of course you can’t bring marijuana on a ship. So why do we have this on the list of surprising things you can’t pack? If you are headed on an Alaskan cruise from Seattle, then you are traveling from one state to another where marijuana is legal in both. Even though both states allow recreational pot, it’s still illegal on the federal level. As a result, the cruise lines don’t allow it on any cruises — even those headed to Alaska from Washington.

Knives

Most people wouldn’t think that you can pack a knife on a cruise. What’s surprising is that you actually can. For example, Carnival prohibits knives only over 4 inches long (about the width of an adult hand). So if you have a pocket knife that you carry everywhere, you can actually bring it with you on the cruise.

Drones

It’s a sign of the times that cruise lines have to specifically tell people that remote control drones aren’t allowed to be brought along. Drones would be a major nuisance on a cruise ship and the danger of it falling into a crowd of people is real. But it’s also common sense. If you are powering a drone over the side of the ship and something goes wrong… your expensive toy could be plummeting into the ocean, never to be see again.