How not to pack for a cruise

Is there anything quite as daunting as an open, empty suitcase? Or, perhaps, the moment of truth is when you try to close a full one? 

While one of the indisputable benefits of cruising is the fact you only have to unpack once, it doesn’t mean you should use this as a green light to attempt to stuff all your worldly belongings in your suitcase. 

Some everyday things you use at home are simply not allowed aboard a cruise ship. Along with the kitchen sink, here’s a handy run down of six of the key things to leave at home.

1. A clothes iron or steamer
While no one likes sporting any form of wrinkle, taking an iron on board is regarded as a major fire risk. This includes those especially designed for travel. The solution? Avoid packing clothes that wrinkle easily, be prepared to pay for your clothes to be ironed or choose a ship with a self-service launderette. 

2. Candles?
Similar to the issue with an iron, an open flame is considered a major fire risk. So if you’re in the mood for some high-seas romance, or you have a bathroom with a tub (lucky you), the best option is to take a couple of battery-operated fake candles or tea lights. They’ll create soft lighting, and an atmosphere for love minus the risk of burning down your stateroom or the ship.

3. Blades?
Just as when you fly, anything with a blade will likely be confiscated, or ‘held’ by security for the duration of your cruise. This even includes any large scissors. Small blades may be allowed by certain cruise lines, but be prepared to be held up by security upon check-in.

4. Alcohol?
While different cruise lines have different rules, generally, beer and spirits are forbidden and will be confiscated. Some cruise lines allow a small number of bottles of wine to be taken on board, but be prepared to pay a corkage fee to use them in a bar or restaurant on board.

5. Electric kettles and coffee makers?
While you may think this is a great way to avoid paying for specialty coffees or herbal teas, sadly, electric kettles and coffee makers are strictly forbidden on cruise ships. So to avoid losing yours (possibly more expensive than the herbal tea?), you’ll have to order hot water to enjoy a cuppa in the privacy of your own stateroom.

6. Power boards and extension cords?
When it comes to power boards and extension cords, there’s no hard and fast rule. Depending on the cruise line and the port, you may have them confiscated on check-in or, on the flip side, get them through security without any problems. The main concern is electrical overloading, either in a cabin specifically or an individual socket, which can pose a fire risk. If you have a lot of electrical devices with you, take a couple of double adaptors instead, one in your carry-on luggage and one in your check-in bag to be safe.

Have you had anything confiscated when checking in on a cruise? Share your experience with our community in the comments. 

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Cruising: what to pack
10 things to always carry on

Written by SJ

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