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How Many Bags Can You Bring On Cruise


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Salaidh Rue



Embarking on a cruise vacation can be an exciting and memorable experience. As you start planning for your trip, one important aspect to consider is how many bags you can bring on your cruise. Each cruise line has its own baggage policies, which dictate the number of bags you can bring, the size restrictions, and any additional fees that may apply.


Understanding the baggage policies of your chosen cruise line will not only help you pack efficiently but also prevent any surprises or inconveniences during your journey. In this article, we will explore the general guidelines for baggage allowances on cruises, along with some helpful tips to ensure a smooth and stress-free experience.


It’s worth noting that while the information provided in this article applies to most cruise lines, it is essential to check the specific regulations of your chosen cruise company, as policies can vary.


Now, let’s delve into the details of cruise line baggage policies, so you can prepare for your voyage with confidence.


Cruise Line Baggage Policies

When it comes to baggage policies, each cruise line has its unique set of rules and regulations. While there may be some variations, there are a few general guidelines to keep in mind.


Most cruise lines allow passengers to bring a combination of carry-on and checked bags. Carry-on bags typically include items you will need immediate access to, such as travel documents, medications, a change of clothes, and personal items. Checked bags, on the other hand, are larger suitcases that are stored in the ship’s luggage compartment for the duration of the voyage.


The number of bags and weight restrictions allowed may vary depending on the length of your cruise and the cruise line you select. For example, a typical allowance may be two carry-on bags and two checked bags per person. However, some luxury or specialty cruises may have more generous allowances, and budget cruises may have stricter limitations.


It is crucial to review the specific baggage policies of your chosen cruise line before packing to avoid any surprises or additional fees at the port.


Additionally, be aware that some cruise lines may enforce size restrictions for both carry-on and checked bags. Carry-on bags are usually required to fit within the dimensions of an overhead compartment or under the bed in your cabin. Checked bags should not exceed a certain size limit to ensure safe storage and efficient handling by the crew.


It’s also important to note that while there are generally no weight restrictions for carry-on bags, checked bags may have weight limitations. It is recommended to keep checked bags under a certain weight limit, usually around 50 pounds, to prevent any possible fees for overweight baggage.


Be sure to check the specific weight and size allowances for both carry-on and checked bags with your cruise line to ensure compliance before your departure.


Next, we will explore the specifics of carry-on and checked bag allowances in more detail.


Carry-On Bags

Carry-on bags are essential for keeping your important items close at hand during your cruise. These bags should contain any items you may require before your checked bags are delivered to your cabin.


Typically, cruise lines allow each passenger to bring two carry-on bags. This may include a small suitcase, a backpack, or a duffel bag. The size restrictions for carry-on bags can vary from one cruise line to another, so it’s essential to check with your specific cruise company for their guidelines.


When packing your carry-on bag, it’s important to include items such as your passport, travel documents, medications, electronic devices, valuables, and a change of clothes. It’s also a good idea to pack any items you may need for immediate use, such as sunscreen, a swimsuit, and toiletries.


Make sure to pack these essentials in a way that allows you to easily access them and keep them secure while moving around the ship. Consider using packing cubes or smaller bags to stay organized and make finding your items a breeze.


It’s essential to note that there are some restrictions on what you can bring in your carry-on bag. Liquids and gels should comply with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines, typically limited to containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, all of which must fit within a single quart-sized clear zip-top bag. Any sharp objects or potentially dangerous items, such as scissors or weapons, are generally not allowed in carry-on bags for safety reasons.


Remember, your carry-on bag should be easy to manage and not too heavy or bulky, as you will need to transport it with you throughout the embarkation process and when navigating the ship before your checked bags are delivered to your cabin.


Now that we’ve covered carry-on bags, let’s move on to discussing checked bags and the guidelines for bringing them on your cruise.


Checked Bags

Checked bags are larger suitcases that are stored in the ship’s luggage compartment during your cruise. These bags typically contain the bulk of your clothing, shoes, and other personal belongings.


Cruise lines generally allow each passenger to bring two checked bags, but it’s important to check the specific baggage policies of your chosen cruise line, as limitations can vary.


When packing your checked bags, it’s crucial to consider both size and weight restrictions. The size of checked bags is typically limited to ensure they can fit through doorways, passageways, and into the storage areas of the ship. It is advised to use durable and secure luggage that adheres to the size guidelines provided by your cruise line.


Weight restrictions for checked bags may also apply. Most cruise lines impose a weight limit, usually around 50 pounds per bag, to ensure the safety and ease of handling by the ship’s crew. Exceeding the weight limit may result in additional fees.


When packing your checked bags, it’s a good idea to use packing organizers, such as packing cubes or compression bags, to maximize space and keep your items organized. This can help prevent items from shifting and becoming wrinkled during transit.


Make sure to pack clothing and other essential items that you will need for your cruise. Consider the weather conditions and activities you have planned and pack accordingly. It’s always a good idea to bring a mix of casual and formal attire, including comfortable shoes for exploring the ship and any excursions you may take.


Remember to label your checked bags with your name and contact information to ensure they are easily identified. Cruise ships handle numerous bags, so clear identification will help prevent any mix-ups or delays in delivering your baggage to your cabin.


Lastly, be mindful of any restricted items that are not allowed in your checked bags, such as flammable materials, weapons, or perishable goods. It’s best to leave these items at home to avoid any issues during the security screening process.


Now that we’ve covered the basics of checked bags, let’s move on to discussing additional bags you may want to bring on your cruise.


Additional Bags

In addition to carry-on and checked bags, there may be situations where you may need to bring additional bags on your cruise. These bags serve specific purposes and can enhance your overall travel experience.


One common type of additional bag is a day bag or beach bag. This bag is useful for carrying essentials when you go ashore or spend a day at the pool or beach. It should be large enough to hold items like towels, sunscreen, water bottles, and any other personal belongings you may need for the day.


Another type of additional bag is a backpack or tote bag. This bag can be handy for carrying items during shore excursions or when exploring the ship. It can hold essentials like a camera, snacks, a water bottle, a light jacket, and any other items you may need while out and about.


If you plan on participating in activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, or water sports, you may need to bring a separate bag for your gear. This bag should be designed to protect and transport your equipment safely.


Some cruise lines also allow passengers to bring a garment bag for formal attire. This type of bag is ideal for carrying delicate or formal clothing items such as suits, dresses, or evening gowns. It helps prevent wrinkles and keeps your formalwear looking fresh and presentable.


It’s important to note that while additional bags are allowed, they may still need to comply with size and weight restrictions imposed by the cruise line. Be sure to check the specific guidelines to ensure that your additional bags meet the requirements.


Remember to pack responsibly and pack only what you truly need. Bringing too many bags can be cumbersome and may result in additional fees or difficulties when navigating the ship and storing your belongings in your cabin.


Now that we’ve explored the different types of bags you may want to bring on your cruise let’s move on to discussing any restrictions or prohibited items you need to be aware of when packing.


Restricted Items

When packing for your cruise, it’s crucial to be aware of any restrictions on items that are not allowed on board. These restrictions are in place to ensure the safety and security of all passengers and crew members.


Common restricted items include weapons, flammable materials, and illegal substances. These items are strictly prohibited and should never be packed in your bags. This includes firearms, knives, fireworks, and any other objects that could potentially harm others.


Another restricted item is alcohol. Most cruise lines have specific policies regarding bringing alcohol on board. Typically, passengers are not allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages, with the exception of limited quantities of wine or champagne for special occasions, subject to certain guidelines and corkage fees.


It’s also important to be aware of any restrictions on electronic devices or items that may disrupt the ship’s communication systems. This can include items such as drones or walkie-talkies. Make sure to check the specific guidelines of your cruise line before packing any electronic devices.


Additionally, certain food items and perishable goods may be restricted due to health and safety regulations. This can include fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. It’s best to check with your cruise line regarding any limitations on bringing food on board.


Lastly, if you have any specific medical needs or require special equipment, such as mobility aids or oxygen, it’s advisable to inform the cruise line in advance to ensure compliance with their policies and to make necessary arrangements for your comfort and safety.


Remember, the restrictions on items can vary from one cruise line to another, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the guidelines provided by your specific cruise company before packing.


By adhering to these restrictions and ensuring that you only pack permissible items, you can contribute to a safe and enjoyable environment for all passengers onboard.


Now that we’ve covered restricted items, let’s move on to some useful tips for packing efficiently for your cruise.


Tips for Packing Efficiently

Packing for a cruise can sometimes feel overwhelming, but with these tips, you can pack efficiently and make the most of the available space in your bags.


1. Make a packing list: Before you start packing, create a checklist of essential items you need to bring. This will help you stay organized and ensure you don’t forget anything important.


2. Check the weather: Research the weather forecast for your cruise destination and pack accordingly. Be prepared for different weather conditions and bring appropriate clothing options.


3. Plan your outfits: Coordinate your outfits based on the activities you will be participating in during your cruise. Mix and match clothing items to maximize outfit options while minimizing the number of pieces you need to bring.


4. Roll or use packing cubes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save space in your luggage. Alternatively, consider using packing cubes to compress and organize your items.


5. Utilize shoe space: Fill the inside of your shoes with smaller items like socks, underwear, or jewelry to maximize space and protect your shoes from getting squished.


6. Pack versatile items: Opt for clothing items that can be dressed up or down, allowing you to create different looks with minimal pieces. This will help save space and give you flexibility in your outfits.


7. Use travel-sized toiletries: Instead of bringing full-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and other toiletries, invest in travel-sized containers or purchase items at your destination to save space and comply with TSA regulations.


8. Consider the dress code: Check if your cruise has any formal nights or specific dress codes. Bring appropriate attire, but keep in mind that you can re-wear certain items or accessories to create different looks.


9. Pack a foldable bag: Bring a collapsible bag that can be used for souvenirs or dirty laundry during your trip. This way, you can avoid overstuffing your main bags.


10. Leave room for souvenirs: If you plan on shopping during your cruise, leave some extra space in your bag to accommodate any souvenirs or items you may acquire during your trip.


Remember, it’s essential to follow the baggage policies and size restrictions of your specific cruise line. By packing efficiently and thoughtfully, you can ensure a stress-free travel experience and focus on enjoying your cruise to the fullest.


Now, let’s conclude our article with a summary of the key points we’ve discussed.



Understanding the baggage policies of your chosen cruise line is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable vacation. By familiarizing yourself with the allowances and restrictions, you can pack efficiently and make the most of your available space.


Remember to check the specific guidelines of your cruise line regarding the number, size, and weight restrictions for both carry-on and checked bags. Additionally, be mindful of any restrictions on restricted items, such as weapons, flammable materials, and illegal substances, to ensure a safe and secure environment onboard.


When packing, use practical tips such as making a packing list, planning your outfits in advance, rolling clothes, and utilizing packing cubes. Pack versatile items that can be mixed and matched, and consider the dress code for formal nights or specific events.


Lastly, pack a foldable bag for souvenirs and leave some extra space for any items you may acquire during your cruise.


By following these guidelines and tips, you can have a stress-free and organized packing experience, allowing you to focus on enjoying every moment of your cruise vacation.


Now, it’s time to start packing your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure at sea!