What Are the Dumbest Things to Bring on a Cruise Ship?

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Whether you’re going on your first cruise ever or another of many, we all get more and more excited the closer we get to embarkation day, don’t we? You may have made many lists of things you want to be sure to not forget to pack. When you finally get to your day to actually pack things into luggage you may find it isn’t all going to fit! What things can and should you leave behind?

Clothing and Accessories

Most ladies I know carry a purse of some sort on a regular basis. For some it is a piece of their overall fashion statement. For others it’s merely a convenient way to have everything you need with you when away from home. On a cruise ship most of the things you carry in your purse are not necessary to have with you at all times. Consider downsizing to a small bag that can hold your room key, phone, and maybe a lipstick!

Do you imagine hearing the gong every evening to signal the time for you to go dress for dinner? We do typically change into something a little nicer for dinner than what we’ve worn all day by the pool or out on a shore excursion. We do not, however, tend to need multiple outfits for each day. Especially on a crossing cruise with more sea days than port days, we spend the majority of our time in swimsuits. Shoes are another item we see guests typically bringing far more than needed. Trust me, no one will care or even notice if you wear the same pair of sandals through the whole cruise!

Clothing for the wrong season for your destination is something we have also seen more than once. Granted, if you’re flying from Fargo to go on a Caribbean cruise in January you’ll likely need some protection from the weather in your departure city. Consider layering clothing rather than hauling your huge winter coat with you! Likewise, if you’re going on an Antarctic cruise you’ll likely need a little more than a bikini.

Money and Credit Cards

Consider making a trip to your local bank before you leave on your trip and getting an assortment of smaller bills to use for tips, small purchases in port cities, etc. If all you have is large bills you may not be able to get change when you desperately need to buy a bottle of water on your walking shore excursion. Also keep in mind that European cities tend to be wary of $100 bills and prefer $50’s when exchanging currency.

Just because you can bill everything onboard to your onboard account, don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t need to bring any cash. There will be many times along your journey when you will need some cash. Relying on using a debit card or worse, a credit card, at an ATM can be unsuccessful.

Speaking of credit cards, make sure you bring the ones that do not charge a foreign exchange fee! There are plenty of options available so check before you leave and make sure you have the best one in your wallet.

Other Things

Every single cruise ship I have ever been on had a hair dryer in my cabin, much like most all hotels these days. You may love your hot rollers, but consider getting by with just a curling iron for your trip. Space in most cabins (and luggage) is limited!

a plate of food on a table

Unless it’s as a gift for the crew, bringing your own snacks or food can be easily avoided. Homemade food items are, in fact, prohibited! There are endless choices of delicious items onboard so you should be able to leave the Cheetos at home!

Do you know how many pool towels they keep on cruise ships? Yes, a boat load (see what I did there?) You do not need to bring a beach towel from home for any reason. If you book a shore excursion for snorkeling or kayaking or a day at the beach you can take one of the ship’s pool towels with you. Best of all, when you get back you just drop off your towels and get clean ones to use by the pool! Also, when it comes to water fun, you will want to leave all of your pool toys at home! Aside from swim assistance items for children, inflatables and pool noodles are strictly forbidden onboard.

Multi-colored beach balls in a pool
(©iStock.com/LouieBaxter)

Some cruise ships are equipped with skating rinks. Other than in these designated areas, roller skating on deck is not allowed for obvious safety reasons. This also applies to shoe skates, skate boards, and hover boards. Skates are also provided if there is a rink so there is no need to bring any of these items from home.

These are some of the things I’ve seen and experienced. If you’re interested in seeing a more comprehensive list of prohibited items onboard I’ve included links to the lists by cruise line. I hope it helps with your preparations for your next cruise vacation! – René

Norwegian Cruise Lines prohibited items

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines prohibited items

Princess Cruise Lines prohibited items

Holland America Line prohibited items

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert
René de Lamberthttp://www.FrequentFloaters.com
René de Lambert has been a travel blogger for over 10 years covering the travel industry - including cruising.

1 COMMENT

  1. Dumbest thing we ever took were our children. Not because we didn’t enjoy their company, but because they’re really dumb. 🙂

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