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What not to bring on a Carnival cruise

Carnival banned items

When packing for your upcoming Carnival cruise, you might be wondering what exactly you should or shouldn’t pack in your suitcase. If you’re in the process of packing for your cruise, you’ll want to review which items are prohibited from bringing onboard your Carnival cruise ship.

While some prohibited items are obvious - such as weapons and fireworks - you might be surprised by the long list of items that Carnival Cruise Line does not want you to bring onboard. You can view Carnival’s list of prohibited items on the cruise line’s website.

Every cruise line has their own list of prohibited items that cannot be brought onboard. This ensures the safety of all guests and crew members on the ship; in particular, the cruise lines want to limit any chance of fire hazards. If you are caught bringing prohibited items onboard, your items will get confiscated and you could even be denied boarding - depending on the situation’s severity.


In addition, you will want to also reconsider packing some items that you simply won’t need onboard, like beach towels. No one wants to waste space in their suitcase with unnecessary items.

Before setting sail on your Carnival cruise, take a look at our list of what you should not plan to pack in your bag.

Too much luggage


Unlike airlines, cruise lines are a little more lenient about how much luggage you can bring onboard. You won’t be charged for extra or overweight bags; however, Carnival Cruise Line does specify how much luggage is technically allowed onboard.

For cruises 3-5 days, Carnival asks guests to limit luggage to a maximum of one bag per person. Guests that are sailing on itineraries with 6+ nights are allowed to bring no more than two bags per person. A guest’s checked bag and carry-on bag should not exceed 50 pounds, according to the cruise line. Bags should not exceed 16 inches high or 24 inches wide and all luggage should be unlocked.

You might not be fined for bringing more baggage than allowed, but Carnival Cruise Line warns guests that bringing too much luggage or not following the guidelines could cause baggage delays.

2. Weed, CBD, or illegal drugs


Carnival Cruise Line makes it abundantly clear that illegal drugs and narcotics are not allowed onboard, including synthetic, designer drugs, marijuana, cannabis, and cannabis derivatives, such as Cannabidiol (CBD) items. Even items labeled as medical marijuana are strictly prohibited for guests to bring on a Carnival cruise. Yes, that does include gummies and edibles!

It should also be noted that even if you have a prescription for medical marijuana, you are not able to bring this onboard. This can be surprising to some people, as certain states have legalized marijuana and CBD products for medicinal purposes. However, these drugs are not legal at the U.S. federal level and in all ports of call visited.

Carnival Cruise Line also specifies Kava and hookah as prohibited items onboard. Kava is a drug made from the ground roots of a plant found in the South Pacific and taken as a drink, supplement, or extract. Many countries have regulations regarding Kava as a drug, so Carnival Cruise Line prohibits the drug. Hookahs also pose a fire risk for cruise ships and are, therefore, banned.

3. Weapons, ammunition or explosives


If you were hoping to bring your weapon or ammunition onboard your Carnival cruise, you’ll have to leave it at home. You’ll also want to keep any ammunition or explosives at home too.

Carnival bans all weapons onboard its cruises, along with any item that has been made, adapted, or intended for use as an offensive weapon:

  • Firearms, including replicas, imitations, and their components
  • Spears or spear guns
  • Crossbows, cross blots, and long bow arrows
  • Blunt weapons, including knuckle dusters, brass knuckles, clubs, coshes, batons, flails or Nunchaku
  • Sharp-pointed weapons, including throwing stars
  • Bb guns, along with air and pellet pistols
  • Tasers and stun devices
  • Paintball guns

4. Knives and scissors


Similar to weapons, guests boarding a Carnival cruise ship cannot bring any knives, scissors, or razors onboard. Pretty much anything sharp that could be used as a weapon is considered prohibited.

The cruise line specifies that guests can pack recreational dive knives, but these must be held in the custody of guest services or security. A recreational dive knife will need to be checked in and out by the owner for dive excursions during the cruise.

Scrapbook and quilting enthusiasts will want to also check about bringing onboard large scissors. Carnival Cruise Line specifies these are only prohibited at times with prior notification from the Security Services Department. Scrapbook or quilting scissors will need to also be in the custody of guest services or security.

5. Alcohol

Alcohol stock image

You likely already know this, but if you’re planning to smuggle your own alcohol onboard a Carnival cruise, you will want to think again. The cruise line specifies that guests cannot bring any hard liquor or beer onboard your cruise.

Although you will find plenty of creative ways to sneak alcohol on a cruise, you could be denied boarding your ship if you get caught. Instead, it’s best to purchase alcohol onboard from the cruise line or purchase the Cheers Drink Package to save money.

However, each Carnival guest of legal drinking age is allowed to bring one bottle of wine at boarding. This is limited to one bottle of wine or champagne up to 750ml. The cruise line specifies that Port, Vermouth, Sherry, and other fortified wines are prohibited.

In the same way, guests are prohibited from bringing non-alcoholic beverages in containers other than a can or carton. The limit is specified as 12 cans/cartons per person at 12 ounces each.

Read more: How to sneak alcohol on a cruise and why you should not do it

6. Irons and Steamers


I cannot name a single cruise line that allows irons or steamers onboard their cruise ships, and Carnival Cruise Line is no exception. Cruise ships are very strict about fire prevention and safety, so keep your irons and steamers at home.

According to the cruise line’s website, all Carnival ships are equipped with facilities where guests can find ironing boards and irons. There is also a valet laundromat service available for a fee.

If you try to sneak your iron or steamer onboard your cruise, it will get confiscated. These will be returned to you at the end of your cruise, but it’s best not to waste the space to begin with. Instead, consider packing some wrinkle-release spray or using a hair straightener to get out the wrinkles.


Carnival Cruise Line also specifies that personal grooming devices, such as hair dryers, flat irons, curling irons, shavers, multi-plug box outlets/adapters, fans under 12” in diameter, power strips, and extension cords without surge protection are allowed when used safely. 

Anything deemed a fire hazard will be removed from your cabin and returned on the final day.

Read more: Can I Bring A Steamer On A Cruise?

7. Coffee Maker


You might think it’s a great idea to bring your coffee maker onboard your cruise to save some money but think again. Any electrical and household appliances that contain a heating element are strictly prohibited on a Carnival cruise ship. This includes any toasters, water heaters, and coffee machines.

Fear not though! Guests can find complimentary drip coffee with creamer onboard Carnival cruises. Specialty coffees are also available for purchase onboard for those wanting a latte, cappuccino, etc.

Carnival Cruise Line further specifies that pretty much any appliance with a heating element is not allowed onboard. This includes immersion heaters, heating blankets, heating pads, and humidifiers.

8. Towels


You aren’t prohibited from bringing towels onboard a Carnival cruise ship, but it’s not necessary. Packing your own towels is simply a waste of space, whether you were planning to bring a beach towel or a bath towel.

The cruise line provides beach towels for all guests onboard. Towels are actually provided in each cabin for guests to use. These can be exchanged for fresh towels throughout the cruise. In addition, guests will find a towel desk on the pool deck where towels can be checked out.

Carnival’s cabins will also come fully equipped with towels to use during your cruise. Your cabin steward can provide additional towels if you need any.

9. Clothing hangers


All cruise cabins will have a closet with hangers available to use, even Carnival’s cheapest and smallest cabins! There is no need to waste space in your luggage with packing hangers for your clothes. Some guests might prefer to pack additional hangers, but I would argue this is not necessary either.

In addition to closet space, you will also find plenty of drawers and shelving to unpack your belongings. Your Carnival cruise cabin will have ample space to unpack regardless of how long your cruise is.

10. Explosives, fireworks, and hazardous chemicals


You likely aren’t planning to pack any of these prohibited items, but it should be mentioned, as Carnival prohibits guests from bringing onboard any explosives onboard, including imitation explosives and devices.

The cruise line also prohibits any fireworks, flares, or pyrotechnics. Furthermore, Carnival prohibits any flammable substances and hazardous chemicals, such as paint thinners, methylated spirits and paint thinners.

In addition to hazardous chemicals, Carnival Cruise Line also specifies that guests cannot bring any compressed gas tanks, bottles, or cylinders; this includes dive tanks and propane tanks. 


Any aerosol cans are also prohibited, except for personal grooming products. Other hazardous substances that are prohibited include gas guns, tear gas sprays, mace, phosphorus, acid, or any generous chemicals used to maim or disable.

Carnival Cruise Line prohibits helium-filled balloons onboard their ships, too. If you are looking to decorate your cabin for a special occasion, consider bringing other decorations onboard. This could include a door magnet, which is very popular with cruisers!

Finally, Carnival does allow medical gas bottles or oxygen cylinders in connection to a certified medical condition. These cannot be packed in baggage, though. Guests with oxygen cylinders must be delivered to Guest Services and stored in a designated safe area.

11. Candles


Although you might be imagining a cozy evening in your cruise cabin with a warm candle lit, you’ll have to rethink this. Carnival Cruise Line prohibits any candles onboard because of the fire risk. This also includes incense, as specified by the cruise line.

Guests worried about stinky cabin smells could consider bringing some PooPoouri spray. These are popular among cruisers to keep your cabin smelling fresh.

Read more: 20 best things to bring on a cruise that cost less than $10

12. Handcuffs


Carnival specifically prohibits any restraining devices, including handcuffs, from being brought onboard. 

Honeymooners should take note that handcuffs of any kind are prohibited and must be left at home. Guests who try to sneak on handcuffs or any other restraining devices will find their items confiscated. Best to leave these at home!

13. Internet-related equipment

TV Celebration Inside Cabin

Some guests have considered packing their AppleTV - or other streaming device - on a cruise ship. However, Carnival does not allow any internet-related equipment on their ships, along with satellite disks and routers. This also includes any USB sticks, gaming systems (Nintendo/X-Box Play units), and DVD players.

Carnival Cruise Line also specifies that other communication devices, such as Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (ERIRB), Wideband receivers, satellite phones, transformers, lasers, and laser pointers, cannot be brought onboard. These can allegedly trigger false alarms for rescue efforts and are therefore banned.

All Carnival ships have internet available for purchase onboard, including multiple plans to align with varying budgets. Carnival offers a social media package, basic internet package, and premium internet package.

14.  Radios and speakers


Carnival doesn't let guests bring large radios, speakers, or boom boxes onboard. Bluetooth speakers are becoming more popular to bring on cruises, but Carnival Cruise Line has specific rules regarding playing music in public spaces. 

Bluetooth, portable, and wireless speakers are only permitted in a guest’s stateroom and music must be played at a spectral and reasonable sound level. This applies to all times of the day.

The cruise line states that guests must use earphones when listening to music or watching shows/movies on personal devices. Carnival also states that the cruise line reserves the right to amend this policy for the comfort and enjoyment of all guests onboard.

Read more: The Best Walkie-Talkies For Cruise Ships

15. Miscellaneous


The prohibited list of items to bring onboard a Carnival cruise is long. Although we’ve highlighted the biggest items that you won’t want to pack, there are a few other miscellaneous items that should be mentioned. 

These include:

  • Surfboards, boats, and canoes 
  • Any footwear with wheels, like Heelys
  • Inflatable kiddie pools
  • Fish of any kind
  • Curtains, drapes, or hanging room dividers

Honorable Mention: Items that can only be used in port


Carnival Cruise Line specifies certain items that guests can bring onboard their cruise but can only be used when in port. Although not specifically prohibited, Carnival guests who plan to bring these items onboard will need to store them in their staterooms. Most of these items include beach and sports equipment that guests might want to use ashore.

  • Drone(s). Guests are allowed to bring drones onboard, but these must be held in the custody of the Chief Security Officer. Drones must be checked in and out by the owner and can only be used in port only.
  • Floatation devices: Rafts, tubes and floatation devices (other than those used as life preservers, like water wings) cannot be used in the onboard swimming pools
  • Collapsible wagons - Wagon cannot be rolled on or off the ship during embarkation or debarkation, and cannot be rolled off the ship in ports of call.
  • Boogie Boards (42 inches or less)
  • Snorkel gear
  • Segways and skateboards
  • Golf clubs
  • Fishing rods
  • Tennis rackets
  • Kites
  • Roller blades or skates
  • Metal detectors
  • Beach chairs, umbrellas, and tents
  • Portable Folding Bicycles (20-inch tires max)
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