What to bring on a Cruise

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Packing advice for a cruise vacation.

Prohibited Items Overview

Prohibited Items by cruise line


Cruise Travel Essentials

Here's our list of travel items we think are essential to have with you on any cruise. 

(items listed in no particular order)

• Travel Insurance.  Do you need supplemental insurance coverage for med-a-vac flights, or health care costs?  We strongly recommend U.S. passengers review their health insurance policies to determine if coverage is offered outside the country. Doctor and hospital bills along with medical air-transport can be a huge expense and most physicians, as well as health care facilities, demand cash for services at the time they are rendered. Consider travel insurance to cover these type of expenses.

• Sturdy luggage.  Luggage bags are thrown around without much regard for contents. Soft-sided luggage not over-stuffed and hard-sided luggage seems to perform best.

• Luggage handle wraps. These make it easy to spot your luggage and they're soft on hands, too.

• Small over the shoulder travel pouch, clutch or fanny pack for passport, credit cards, tickets, etc.

• Lanyard and badge holder

• Waterproof pouch/carrier for water excursions

• Air Freshener

• Sewing Kit. It should be travel size with a few colors of thread, a few buttons and a needle or two.

• Aloe. It is useful as moisturizer, soothing bug bites, and alleviating the pain of sunburn.

• Shoe Shine

• Deck of Cards for rainy sea days

• Insulated cup or mug

• Digital Camera

• Underwater Camera if you plan on diving or snorkeling

• Good Binoculars

• Journal

• 3-way adapter for the electrical outlet

• Full size first aid kit - Avoid shipboard medical costs for non-emergency items such as pain relievers, bandages, anti-biotic cream, etc. 

• Expandable Port Bag - Good for port shopping, and for carrying items out to the pool decks.

• Good walking shoes, a hat, and plenty of good sunscreen.

• Sticky notes to leave messages for fellow cruisers, your cabin steward, or to write notes to yourself.

• Bug repellant - for tropical itineraries.

• Small LED flashlight. Especially useful for emergencies, but handy if you drop an earring on the floor or a quarter rolls underneath the desk.

• Zip lock bags. Protects your valuables from water at the pool or during an excursion and can be used to pack small items.

• Pack your favorite candy and/or nuts if that's what you like to snack on. Your hard pressed to find either on a ship.  

• Patience, humility and a good sense of humor.

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Prohibited Items


Wearing camouflage is illegal in many countries in the Caribbean and South America, along with other areas around the world. You will be required to return to the ship and change, or worse, you could be arrested. Better safe they sorry. Leave the camouflage shorts at home. 

Weapons, Explosives or Other Dangerous Items

No weapon, explosive, or other item that presents a risk of harm to persons or property, is permitted on board. The items not permitted on board will be taken by ship’s Security. Items such as dive knives must be reported to ship’s personnel at the time of boarding. They may be permitted on board, but held in safe custody by the ship's Security staff when not in use ashore. Firearms are not allowed onboard. Guests who declare to ship’s personnel the presence of a firearm (on their person or in their luggage) will be given the opportunity to dispose of the firearm prior to boarding. Guests who fail to declare the presence of a firearm may be denied boarding.

Alcohol Allowance

Guests are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages onboard; with the exception of embarkation day when guests are permitted to bring onboard with them up to two (2) bottles of wine (which are subject to a corkage fee) per stateroom. Security may inspect containers (including water bottles, soda bottles, mouthwash, canteens, etc.) at any time and will dispose of alcohol concealed in such containers. Alcoholic beverages that are purchased from onboard shops or in ports of call (which must be presented to security upon re-boarding), will be secured by ship's personnel. Alcohol secured by ship's personnel will be returned to guests just prior to the conclusion of their cruise vacation. Guests who are under the permitted drinking age will not have alcohol returned to them.

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