First-time and experienced cruisers alike may be surprised to know some of the everyday items which are prohibited onboard the most popular cruise ships.
Luxury travel experts at Panache Cruises are sharing seven items for holidaymakers to leave at home this summer, and letting them know about onboard alternatives to essential items.
The travel industry is experiencing a boom in cruising, with over a million Britons choosing to set sail for their holidays in the previous year.
The latest CLIA data reveals British and Irish holidaymakers took approximately 1.7 million cruises in 2022, up from 479,000 the previous year.
These numbers are expected to rise this year, as the intent to cruise is stronger than ever amongst travellers, with 85% of cruisers intending to take a holiday at sea again.
Because of this, experts expect to see an influx of first-time cruisers heading out to sea this summer.
Irons, homemade food, alcohol and birthday helium balloons are just some of the items which will not be allowed onboard.
James Cole, Founder and Managing Director of Panache Cruises said: “We expect to see lots more travellers and holidaymakers set sail this summer and visit the far flung corners of the world on a cruise.
“Data from both our customers and the CLIA suggest there is a big intent to cruise this summer, from both experienced and novice cruisers. This is why we wanted to share a guide of some of the most surprising banned items from cruises.
“No two cruise lines are exactly the same, but many of them view prohibited items in the same way. Often, these luxury and ultra-luxury cruise lines work to make passenger’s trips as easy, comfortable and hassle-free as possible by providing comprehensive services and amenities.
“For many of the banned items, cruise lines will offer alternatives. So if you are heading off on the cruise of a lifetime this summer, be sure to check prohibited items with your cruise line before packing.”
- Irons and steamers
Items which generate heat are prohibited from cruises as they are viewed as potential fire hazards. Anyone wanting to iron their clothes once onboard should check to see if their ship provides a public laundry room which includes irons and board for passengers. Dry cleaning and pressing services are also available on many luxury ships.
For those travelling on luxury cruise lines, many cabin grades will include a free laundry and pressing service. People staying in suites will often enjoy the services of a dedicated butler who will react swiftly to impromptu requests for a shirt or dress to be pressed before dinner for example.
2. Extension leads / cords
Most newer ships are designed with accessibility in mind, with lots of power sockets around every cabin, stateroom or suite. However, older ships may not be as well equipped. However due to fire and safety regulations, passengers are prohibited from bringing their own multi outlet extension cord or lead to boost the number of plugs in their cabin.
If needed, 220 volt cruise-compliant extension cords with USB charging ports are usually sold in the ship’s on-board shop. Check first with your cruise line to see if they prohibit extension cords or not and always err on the side of caution.
- Homemade food
Pre-packaged, unopened snacks are allowed on a cruise, but any homemade food is banned. These limitations are related to concerns for food safety and contamination, as cruise lines are not able to provide refrigeration or storage for personal food items. One of the best things about cruising is there are lots of culinary options available on-board so there is no need to bring food from home.
Most cruise lines don’t allow passengers to bring beer or liquor onboard, but they allow one bottle of wine per passenger. This must be in your carry-on bag rather than checked luggage and bottles must be unopened and sealed. Some lines charge a corkage fee, so be sure to check with your cruise line before packing your favourite wine.
If you are flying to meet your cruise ship, this adds another layer of complexity. Whilst you can carry alcoholic beverages in your hold luggage on an aircraft (under 70% proof) or buy alcohol at the duty free store at the airport, these items may well be confiscated when boarding your ship. All baggage is x-rayed before going on a cruise ship and often alcohol will be removed to meet the regulatory standards at specific ports of call.
- Inflatable pool toys
If your ship has a pool onboard, it may be tempting to bring along inflatable pool toys or noodles for young children, but these must be left at home. Most cruise lines only allow you to bring inflatable armbands for your little ones which must be deflated at the time of boarding. Other cruise lines will allow you to bring buoyancy vests on-board for children but this is not usually the case. It is always sensible to check with your cruise line before packing and leaving home.
6. Baby monitors
Baby monitors are not permitted on many cruise lines, and the metal walls of many ships don’t allow the monitors to work properly anyway. On the cruise, it is likely you will either be in the same room or an adjoining room to your baby so there is no need to worry about being away from them or needing to monitor them as you will always be close by.
Parents are reminded that many cruise lines operate babysitting services at different times of the day. The support services offered vary hugely by cruise line however. Some cruise lines do not supervise under 3s or might only offer childcare in a ‘kids club’ style environment. It is always best to check with your specialist cruise agent before booking.
7. Helium balloons
Anyone planning a celebratory cruise for a birthday, anniversary or other occasion should refrain from bringing balloons. Most cruise lines have banned inflatables of all kinds, but some offer a service to buy balloons from the ship and have them delivered to your room for the big day.
Household pets like dogs and cats are not allowed on the majority of cruise lines, but service dogs (e.g. guide dogs / seeing eye dogs) are an exception. You will need to get permission from the cruise line before bringing a service dog onboard however, and the dog must be officially registered.
7. Bottle warmers and sterilisers
Some cruise lines prohibit bottle warmers and sterilisers, but may permit travel sterilisers. It is important to check with your cruise agent or provider before packing so you are sure there is no chance of it being on the list of banned items. Some cruise lines provide a number of sterilisers on board which can be hired as required.
10. Young babies
Family-friendly cruises allow babies on board, but some ships specify the age of the babies, with some saying they can only be older than six months, and some with a 12 month old requirement. Some cruise ships do not allow children at all, so take this into consideration when planning your trip. Some ships will be better suited to families and young children so ask your cruise agent for advice on the best cruise line for you.