11+ Surprising Items: What Can You Not Bring on a Carnival Cruise

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11+ Surprising Items: What Can You Not Bring on a Carnival Cruise

What can you not bring on a Carnival Cruise? It’s a question that stumps many first-time cruisers and even some seasoned seafarers.

The excitement of packing for your dream vacation can quickly turn into confusion when you’re faced with a list of prohibited items. No one wants to be surprised at the boarding gate, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with prohibited items before packing for your vacation.

Navigating these restrictions might seem daunting initially. But here’s the truth… It’s not that hard when you think about safety.

Understanding what you cannot bring on a Carnival Cruise is essential if you want to embark on a worry-free voyage.  And this list doesn’t only hold true for Carnival.  You’ll find many of these items prohibited on most cruise lines.

What Can You NOT Bring on a Carnival Cruise: A Guide

Ensure smooth sailing by knowing the rules upfront.  It’s not worth trying to bring something that’s not allowed.  The hassle and embarrassment can get you off to a very rough beginning, so be prepared in advance!

As you plan your cruise vacation with Carnival Cruise Line, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the list of prohibited items. These rules are not arbitrary but rather designed to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey not only for you but for your fellow passengers, too.

Why Certain Items are Prohibited Onboard

Many items are prohibited primarily for safety. For instance, weapons or illegal drugs are just not cool.  You’ll find these items strictly prohibited category across most cruise lines.

Cruise ships operate under international laws, which might differ from those at home; therefore, some products that are legal at home could be forbidden onboard. Keep in mind that both your carry-on bag and your checked luggage undergo security scanning before they are allowed onboard as part of stringent passenger safety measures.

Fire Danger

Apart from obvious prohibitions like firearms, fireworks, or illegal substances, restrictions also apply to seemingly harmless objects like hot plates, irons, or coffee makers, which are fire hazards if misused within confined spaces like a cruise ship cabin.

Sales Competition

Economic reasons also play into this policy-making: food & beverages bought off-shore aren’t allowed since they compete directly with sales onboard – everything right down to specialty coffees at breakfast through dinner wines served up on the Lido deck.  

We all know that cruise lines are for-profit businesses, so of course, they’re not going to want you to bring aboard items that make it hard for them to sell theirs.  That’s like bringing a Burger King Whopper into McDonald’s.

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Food and Beverage Policies on Carnival Cruise Ships

Relishing a cool beverage while gazing at the expansive ocean is one of cruising’s greatest pleasures. However, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with your cruise ship’s specific drink policies before you set sail.

Should You Pack Homemade Cookies?

A question that might catch you off guard. Yet there are passengers who bring homemade cookies onboard as they offer the comfort of home during their journey. They can also serve as conversation starters with fellow passengers while enjoying views from the Lido deck.

Carnival Cruise Line doesn’t explicitly forbid food items like homemade cookies in their guidelines, but caution is advised due to potential health risks associated with perishable goods. If you decide to pack them along for your special occasion at sea, make sure they’re securely packed in airtight containers.

For me, packing homemade goods is just too much work!  My favorite snacks on the ship are those that someone else prepares for me!  And snacks are even better aboard the ship when delivered by room service!

The Rules Around Bottled Water

Bottled water is an essential item in many travelers’ checked luggage or carry-on luggage. However, on many cruise ships, including Carnival ships, bringing bottled water onboard isn’t allowed. But don’t worry. If hydration tops your priority list (as it should), Carnival’s Fun Shops service allows the pre-purchase of bottled water that awaits you in your cruise cabin on embarkation day.

The cruise line states that this policy helps maintain a safe environment aboard the ship by reducing potential health risks associated with food and drink contamination – keeping fellow passengers as well as crew members healthy throughout their journey.  Take note that if you have a CPap machine, your room steward will likely be able to get you some distilled water for use in your machine.

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Can You Bring Alcohol Onboard?

Carnival Cruise Line maintains clear rules regarding bringing alcohol onboard. As per their official policy, passengers are permitted one bottle (750 ml) of wine or champagne each during embarkation, which should be packed in carry-on bags and can be savored freely within your cruise ship cabin.

If you’re planning to enjoy this bottle in any restaurant or in the main dining room, remember there will be a corkage fee involved. Hard liquor and beer aren’t allowed aboard – if found during security checks, these items will be confiscated without compensation provided.

Note that alcoholic beverages purchased from ports visited during shore excursions for consumption onboard aren’t permissible either – such items would be securely stored by Carnival staff until the voyage ends.

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The Cheers Beverage Program

To simplify things for those who like variety in their drinks throughout the journey duration, Carnival presents its Cheers Beverage Program. This program offers access to an array of non-alcoholic soft drinks and alcoholic drinks priced up to $20 each across all bars on board against a daily rate plus gratuity payment.

This package covers everything from cocktails and beers to sodas and specialty coffees, making it the ideal choice for avoiding large bar tab surprises when the trip ends.

Please bear in mind, though, that under this program, there is a 15-drink maximum limit per day for alcoholic beverages – so do drink responsibly.

The Bottomless Bubbles Package

In case you’re not much into spirits but still wish for unlimited refills on non-alcoholic drinks throughout your vacation, then consider opting for the Bottomless Bubbles Package, which allows soda and water bottles throughout your cruise.

The Gist: 


Remember, Carnival Cruise Line allows each passenger to bring one bottle of wine or champagne in their carry-on bag. Hard liquor and beer are a no-go. If you fancy variety, consider the Cheers. Beverage Program for access to an array of drinks, but mind the 15-drink daily limit on alcohol. For non-alcoholic options, there’s always the Bottomless Bubbles Package.

Personal Items with Restrictions

Navigating the packing list for your Carnival Cruise vacation can be a bit tricky when it comes to personal items. Certain restrictions apply, and understanding these before you set sail will ensure smooth sailing from check-in through disembarkation.

C-Pap Machine

I was worried about my C-Pap machine when I traveled on a cruise ship for the first time.  I need my C-Pap for medical purposes and had heard that I shouldn’t bring bottled water, so not bringing it was not an option.  I wasn’t confident in using the tap water from my bathroom sink.

Imagine my surprise when my cabin steward happily supplied me with distilled water for the entire trip.  If your room steward doesn’t notice your machine, simply ask.  After all, it is the goal of the ship’s staff to be sure that everyone on board stays healthy and happy.

The Hip Grandma wears a C-Pap on her face and gives a thumbs-up sign.
No worries – bringing your C-Pap shouldn’t be a problem on the cruise ship – your room steward can provide you with distilled water.

Medical Gas Bottles

If medical gas bottles are part of your daily life – fear not. You’re welcome to bring this necessary equipment along, but remember there are guidelines outlined by Carnival’s Medical Gas Policy.

All types, including cylinders (tanks), liquid oxygen units, and concentrators, may accompany you, but they must meet certain size requirements without wheels/handles, etc., nor weigh more than 100 lbs each at full capacity (gas). Plus, keep in mind: only enough supply required for voyage duration gets approved, so pack accordingly.

Staying Wrinkle-Free

For many, packing for a vacation isn’t complete without your clothes steamers or iron to keep your clothing wrinkle-free.  But these pose a fire hazard on a cruise ship, so are not allowed onboard.  Carnival does offer an onboard laundry service, which is available at a reasonable extra fee.  Just ask your room steward, and they will direct you on how to proceed.  Of course, the best option is to bring items that don’t need special care.

Power Strips

Most cruise ship cabins have limited outlets, especially if you’re in an older ship.  With so many items that require charging, not to mention hair dryers, flat irons, and C-Pap machines, many passengers find it a good idea to bring along a power strip.  But beware!  You can’t bring a surge-protector power strip or extension cord for safety reasons.  You CAN (and probably should) pack a cruise-safe power strip (non-surge protected), so you have enough power for all of your needs.

Sharing Smells – Good and Bad

Are you planning to share a room and concerned about the smell in the bathroom?  Don’t pack a candle or incense.  Those are prohibited items.  Instead, bring a small bottle of PooPourri Spray, which keeps smells to a minimum!

Can You Bring Marijuana on a Cruise?

You can’t bring Marijuana on a cruise ship.  Many travelers ponder this question due to its legality in several states. However, federal law overrides state laws when it comes to maritime regulations – including those governing Carnival Cruise Line and other major players like MSC Cruises and Royal Caribbean.

This means no form of marijuana (medical or recreational) should be brought onboard any cruise ship under these lines as they strictly adhere to federal law guidelines.

To ensure adherence, security measures such as luggage scanning and random searches by drug-sniffing dogs are put in place at embarkation points before set sail dates. As a result, leaving your stash behind is advisable when preparing for a cruise vacation, regardless of whether you’re traveling via old vessels or new ones alike.

Smoking Paraphernalia

Although smoking is still allowed on some ships and in cruise ports in designated areas, hookah pipes are not allowed on cruise ships.

Baby and Children’s Items

You may be surprised to find that you cannot bring the baby monitor along.  So don’t pack it.  And while you’re making a list of what not to bring for your kids, plan to leave the inflatable pool toys at home along with any kind of toy guns or weaponry.

And if your kids are rocking those amazing Heelies, let them know that they are not welcome on board the ship for safety purposes.  Skates, skateboards, and wheeled shoes are all prohibited.

Toys and Other Fun Items

This one may come as a surprise, but metal detectors are prohibited on cruise ships, as they may interfere with the ship’s electrical system.  Yikes!

If you’re planning a celebration for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, it may seem like fun to bring along a bundle of balloons, but keep in mind that helium is prohibited.  So, no, you can’t bring that bundle of balloons to decorate your cabin door. A better idea is to use one of these free door decorations!

When you’re considering toys for kids or adults, know that restraint items, including handcuffs, are strictly prohibited.  

Finally – leave the kite at home.  A cruise ship may seem like the perfect place to launch a kite, but you shouldn’t bring anything that flies, like a kite or a drone.

What You CAN Bring on Your Cruise Vacation

Your Onboard Wardrobe Essentials

The clothes you carry should balance both style and practicality. Comfortable attire is essential for daytime activities such as exploring the ship or going on shore excursions – think light cotton tops, shorts, or capris paired up with supportive walking shoes or sandals; don’t forget swimsuits.

Nights onboard call for more formal wear, especially if there’s a dinner event planned by the cabin steward – women usually opt for cocktail dresses, whereas men prefer slacks teamed up with dress shirts complemented by appropriate footwear. I love to pack a pashmina, which serves multiple purposes – swim cover, shawl, towel on the go, and sun cover.

a water trail goes into the horizon behind a cruise ship

The Art Of Layering Clothes

In spite of the tropical weather outside, strong air conditioning inside cruise ship cabins often makes them chilly. Hence, layering becomes key: cardigans and lightweight jackets can easily be added over outfits without making them bulky.

Lastly, do not miss out on accessories: sunglasses protect against harsh sun rays during daytime outings; scarves/shawls add elegance to evening wear, providing warmth in cooler areas around the set sail point.

Packing Smartly: The Essentials

Your travel agent will emphasize packing clothes that transition seamlessly between casual daytime activities and formal evening events aboard the Lido deck.

Packing mix-and-match outfits will help to avoid overpacking, especially knowing that the weather at each port-of-call may be different.  Being prepared for any kind of weather on your shore excursions will help ensure that you are comfortable throughout the journey.

Don’t forget essentials like comfortable walking shoes!  After all, exploring destinations off-ship requires footwear designed for long walks.  Just the walk from the ship to the shore can be a long distance before your excursion even begins.

The Gist: 


When packing for a Carnival Cruise, balance style and practicality. Pack light cotton clothes and supportive footwear for daytime activities, formal wear for dinner events, and don’t forget layering options to combat chilly air conditioning. While homemade cookies aren’t explicitly forbidden, pack them securely due to potential health risks.

Essential Travel Documents for Your Cruise Vacation

Prior to embarking on your cruise vacation, having all the necessary travel documents is key. This includes not only identification but any additional paperwork that Carnival Cruise Line or the countries you’ll be visiting may require.  Keep everything together in a handy travel document organizer.

A valid passport serves as a primary form of ID. While some cruises might accept other forms like driver’s licenses or birth certificates, passports are universally recognized and can speed up processes such as embarkation and disembarkation.

Your Boarding Pass and Luggage Tags

Carnival provides electronic boarding passes accessible via their online check-in system. It’s crucial that these are printed before reaching the port. Along with your boarding pass, luggage tags will also be provided electronically during online check-in; print them out and attach each one to every piece of checked luggage.

If you leave home without these printed materials – don’t fret. The pier staff can help with printing replacements, though it could delay your boarding process slightly.

Vaccination Records and Health Forms

In response to recent global health concerns, cruise lines, including Carnival, now often require proof of vaccination against diseases like COVID-19. Bring along relevant vaccination records or health declarations requested by Carnival before setting sail.

You may have additional vaccination requirements depending on where you’re headed, so always double-check ahead using resources like the CDC Travelers’ Health website.

Visas for International Destinations

If foreign countries are part of your itinerary, those nations might require visas from visitors – even if just docking for day trips ashore. Research each country’s entry requirements well in advance, as visa acquisition sometimes takes weeks.

The U.S. Department of State’s Country Information Pages are great resources here. Remember: preparation with all required documentation ensures smooth sailing throughout the journey.

The Gist: 


Key Takeaway: Don’t drop anchor before you’re ready. A smooth Carnival Cruise voyage requires a valid passport, printed boarding pass and luggage tags, relevant vaccination records or health forms, and possibly visas for international destinations. Remember: preparation is the key to easy sailing.

Tips from Travel Agents for a Smooth Sailing Experience

When it comes to cruising, travel agents are a treasure trove of insider knowledge. They can enhance your experience whether you’re setting sail on an older ship or stepping foot onto the latest cruise vessel. So if you are planning a cruise for the first time and have questions, don’t be afraid to ask your local travel agent what you can bring and what you can’t bring.

The Gist: 



Remember, travel agents are your go-to for cruise tips. Don’t bring marijuana on board – federal law trumps state laws at sea. Pack smart with versatile outfits and comfy shoes, and always show appreciation to the hardworking crew members.

Differences Among Other Major Cruise Lines

Take note that differences exist across all major cruise lines concerning prohibited items.  For example, while Carnival does not allow passengers to bring bottled water onboard, some other companies, such as Norwegian Cruise Line,  do permit it. The key takeaway here is always to check directly with your chosen provider before packing your bags. Not doing so could lead to unwanted surprises upon arrival at the ship terminal, where security checks take place.

FAQs in Relation to What Can You Not Bring on a Carnival Cruise

What are you not allowed to take on a Carnival cruise ship?

Carnival Cruise prohibits items like weapons, illegal drugs, drones, irons, and bottled water. They also restrict certain personal grooming products and medical gas bottles.  You shouldn’t bring any illegal items on your ship.

Does Carnival Cruise check your luggage?

All luggage is subject to security scanning by the Carnival Cruise Line for prohibited items before boarding.

What are you allowed to carry on a Carnival cruise ship?

You can bring essentials such as travel documents, toiletries in limited quantities, and clothing suitable for various activities onboard and ashore. Some beverages have restrictions too.

Can you bring outside food on a Carnival cruise?

No. For health reasons and due to customs regulations, bringing outside food onto a Carnival Cruise is not permitted.

Wrapping it All Up

So, you’ve learned a lot about what you cannot bring on a Carnival Cruise. From the strict no-nos like weapons and illegal drugs to the surprising restrictions around bottled water.

You now know that packing smartly isn’t just about fitting everything into your suitcase but also understanding cruise line policies.  We delved into travel documents and beverage policies and even talked about the peculiar case of homemade cookies or marijuana!

Remember, every item in your luggage should enhance your vacation experience – not hinder it with unnecessary complications at boarding gate security checks.

With this newfound knowledge, you’re ready for smooth sailing on your next Carnival Cruise adventure. And remember…

A well-prepared cruiser is a happy cruiser!

HipGrandmaLife has got more tips and guides waiting for women over 40 who want to explore the Midwest and beyond – be it by land or sea! So why wait? Start planning today! And go ahead and PIN this article, so you’ll be ready when it’s time to pack!

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