Few things can put a damper on pre-cruise excitement like having your bag flagged by security.
Much like airplanes, there are a number of items you cannot bring on a cruise ship. Some may seem obvious – such as illegal drugs or firearms – but others may surprise first-time passengers.
Cruise lines’ lists of prohibited items often include “everyday things that people wouldn’t think twice about,” Scott Campbell, Manager, Cruise Relations at AAA, told USA TODAY. Packing without knowing the rules could cause travel headaches, including having your items confiscated.
Here’s what not to bring with you, though exact rules may vary by cruise line:
What items are banned on cruises?
The “biggest things” to keep in mind are electrical appliances, Campbell said. Of course, that doesn’t mean everything with a plug or battery pack is barred from a ship, but items with heating elements like coffee makers or clothes irons are generally no-gos.
Leave your candles at home too.
While cabins may have a limited number of outlets, Campbell noted passengers cannot bring power strips with surge protectors. “You have to get ones that are cruise ship compliant.”
Weapons like firearms are banned, and even items that look like them, such as gun-shaped novelty lighters, are often prohibited. Guests should also avoid packing sharp objects like knives and scissors, with some exceptions. Personal grooming items such as safety razors are permitted.
Other items that typically won’t be allowed on board include CBD products, fireworks and hoverboards.
Can I bring food on a cruise?
Passengers can generally bring nonperishable prepackaged food with them when they board. On a shore excursion, Campbell might bring a snack such as a bag of M&M’s “so I’m not getting crazy (hungry) on a long tour.”
However, other foods, like homemade snacks, will have to stay behind.
Can I bring alcohol on a cruise?
Beer and hard liquor are not allowed on board, but Campbell said guests can bring wine or champagne to drink during their sailing.
Royal Caribbean International, for instance, allows each passenger of legal drinking age to embark with one sealed 750-milliliter bottle per cruise.
“Boxed wine and other containers are prohibited,” the line’s website reads. “Guests who purchase alcohol bottles on board, in a port-of-call, or bring more than the one permitted bottle on boarding day, will have their items safely stored by the ship. These bottles will be returned on the last day on board for enjoyment once home.”
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Campbell warned that cruise guests may be charged a corkage fee if they want to drink their own wine or champagne at a restaurant on board rather than in their cabin. Carnival Cruise Line, for example, charges $15 per 750-milliliter bottle "should guests wish to consume their wine or champagne in the main dining room, specialty restaurant or bar," according to its website.
Passengers may also be able to board with nonalcoholic beverages such as soda, but policies vary by line.
What happens if I have a prohibited item in my bag?
If you don’t realize an item is forbidden or forget it’s in your bag, there’s no need to stress. In most cases, the items will be confiscated and returned to passengers after their cruise, Campbell said.
He recommended doing some research ahead of time to avoid any hiccups. Cruise lines generally post lists of prohibited items on their websites, or you can ask your travel adviser.
Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Travel packing: What you can and can't bring on a cruise