Can I Bring Board Games On A Cruise?

Are you an avid board game enthusiast looking to bring your favorite games on your next cruise? Well, you’re in luck! There’s nothing quite like relaxing on a cruise ship with friends or family and enjoying some friendly competition. In this article, we’ll explore whether or not you can bring board games on a cruise and provide you with all the information you need to have a fun-filled gaming experience at sea. So, grab your dice, cards, and game pieces, because we’re about to set sail on a gaming adventure!

If you’ve ever wondered about the rules and regulations surrounding bringing board games on a cruise, you’re not alone. Many cruise lines have specific guidelines when it comes to bringing recreational items, and board games are no exception. Thankfully, the majority of cruise lines do allow passengers to bring board games on board. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the specific policies of the cruise line you’ll be sailing with, as there may be limitations on the type and quantity of games you can bring. Our article will delve deeper into these policies and provide you with valuable tips on how to pack and enjoy your board games while cruising. So, whether you’re planning a family vacation or a friendly game night at sea, our article is here to ensure that you have the best board game experience on your cruise.

What are board games?

Definition of board games

Board games are tabletop games that involve playing pieces or counters moved or placed on a pre-marked surface or “board,” according to specific rules. These games often require strategy, critical thinking, and decision-making skills. Board games can be enjoyed by people of all ages and are a popular form of entertainment.

Popular types of board games

There is a wide variety of board games available, catering to different preferences and interests. Some popular types of board games include:

  • Strategy games: These games require strategic thinking and planning, such as Chess, Risk, and Settlers of Catan.
  • Party games: These games are designed for larger groups and are often filled with laughter and social interaction, such as Pictionary and Cards Against Humanity.
  • Cooperative games: These games involve players working together towards a common goal, such as Pandemic and Forbidden Island.
  • Family games: These games are suitable for players of all ages and are often designed to be enjoyed by the whole family, such as Monopoly and Scrabble.

Why do people bring board games on a cruise?

Entertainment during downtime

One of the main reasons why people bring board games on a cruise is to have a source of entertainment during downtime. Cruises often allow for relaxation and leisure, with plenty of opportunities to kick back and enjoy the ship’s amenities. Board games provide a fun and engaging way to pass the time, whether it’s playing a game with your travel companions or making new friends on the cruise.

Bonding with friends and family

Bringing board games on a cruise also provides an excellent opportunity for bonding with friends and family. Board games have a unique way of bringing people together and fostering social interaction. Sharing a game and engaging in friendly competition can create lasting memories and strengthen relationships.

Alternative to digital devices

In today’s digital age, it’s common for people to spend a significant amount of time on their electronic devices. By bringing board games on a cruise, you can have a break from screens and engage in a more hands-on and tactile form of entertainment. Board games offer a refreshing alternative that allows you to interact with others in a more traditional and immersive way.

Are board games allowed on cruises?

General policies of cruise lines

The policies regarding bringing board games on a cruise can vary from one cruise line to another. However, most cruise lines allow passengers to bring board games onboard. They are considered personal items and fall within the allowable carry-on or checked baggage limits.

Size and weight restrictions

While board games are generally allowed on cruises, it’s important to consider size and weight restrictions. Some cruise lines have limitations on the size and weight of items brought onboard, especially if you are flying to the embarkation port. It’s advisable to check with the specific cruise line beforehand to ensure that your board games comply with their regulations.

Safety considerations

Safety is a top priority on cruises, and certain types of board games may not be permitted due to safety concerns. Games that involve sharp objects, flammable materials, or excessive noise may be prohibited. It’s essential to review the cruise line’s policies regarding prohibited items to ensure a smooth boarding experience.

Tips for bringing board games on a cruise

Choosing compact and travel-friendly games

When considering which board games to bring on a cruise, it’s wise to choose compact and travel-friendly options. Look for games that come in smaller boxes, have fewer components, and are easy to set up and pack away. This will help you save space in your luggage and make it more convenient to transport your games during the cruise.

Protecting the games during transportation

To protect your board games during transportation, consider using storage solutions that keep the game components secure and organized. Zippered bags, small plastic containers, or travel cases designed for board games can help prevent damage to the game pieces and ensure that everything stays intact throughout the journey.

Checking cruise line’s specific rules and regulations

To avoid any surprises or complications, thoroughly review the cruise line’s specific rules and regulations regarding bringing board games onboard. Some cruise lines may have restrictions on the number of games you can bring or certain guidelines for their storage and use onboard. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.

Benefits of bringing board games on a cruise

Promoting social interaction

Bringing board games on a cruise can promote social interaction and create opportunities for meaningful connections with fellow passengers. Board games often require players to engage with each other, communicate, and collaborate. Whether playing with your travel companions or joining a game with other passengers, board games can foster a sense of community and enhance the overall cruise experience.

Adding variety to onboard activities

Cruises offer a wide range of activities and entertainment options, but having your board games onboard adds an extra element of variety to your experience. While enjoying the amenities of the ship, you can take a break from the usual activities and enjoy a friendly game with friends or family. Board games provide a refreshing and enjoyable alternative to other onboard entertainment options.

Enhancing cognitive skills

Board games can also provide mental stimulation and enhance cognitive skills. Many board games require critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making, which can help keep the mind sharp and improve cognitive abilities. Playing board games on a cruise can provide a fun and engaging way to exercise your brain while enjoying your vacation.

Board game recommendations for cruising

Classic board games

Classic board games are always a good choice for cruising as they are familiar, easy to learn, and enjoyable for players of all ages. Games like Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly are timeless classics that can be played over and over again, providing hours of entertainment during the cruise.

Portable card games

Card games are an excellent option for cruising as they are compact, lightweight, and easy to carry around. Games like Uno, Skip-Bo, and Sushi Go! can be played with just a deck of cards and are perfect for quick and casual gaming sessions during the cruise.

Collaborative or cooperative games

Collaborative or cooperative games are a fantastic choice for bonding and teamwork with your travel companions. Games like Pandemic, Forbidden Island, and Castle Panic require players to work together towards a common goal, fostering communication and cooperation among players.

Alternatives to physical board games on a cruise

Digital board game apps

If you prefer not to bring physical board games on a cruise, there are digital alternatives available. Many popular board games have digital versions that can be played on smartphones or tablets. These apps provide the convenience of having numerous games in one device and can be enjoyed solo or with other players online.

Print-and-play games

Print-and-play games are another option for cruising. These games can be downloaded and printed at home, allowing you to bring a variety of games without taking up much space. The game materials can be easily packed into a folder or envelope, making them convenient for travel.

Interactive displays or virtual experiences

Some cruise ships offer interactive displays or virtual experiences that simulate board game environments. These onboard activities may include life-sized versions of popular board games or virtual reality gaming experiences. While not the same as physical board games, they provide a unique and immersive alternative.

Making the most out of board game sessions on a cruise

Organizing game nights with fellow passengers

To maximize your board game experience on a cruise, consider organizing game nights with fellow passengers. Post a notice in common areas like the bulletin board or cruise apps to invite others who share your love for board games. This is a great way to meet new people, make friends, and create lasting memories.

Participating in onboard game tournaments

Many cruises offer game tournaments onboard, including board game competitions. Participating in these tournaments can add an extra level of excitement to your cruise experience. Challenge yourself and compete with other passengers to test your skills and see how you measure up.

Exploring game-themed cruises or events

If you’re a devoted board game enthusiast, consider booking a game-themed cruise or event. These specialty cruises cater specifically to board game enthusiasts, offering a wide range of games, tournaments, and activities focused on board gaming. It’s a chance to connect with like-minded individuals and immerse yourself in the world of board games while enjoying your vacation.

Considerations for international cruises

Language compatibility of games

If you’re going on an international cruise, consider the language compatibility of your board games. Ensure that the game rules and components are available in a language that all players can understand. This will ensure that everyone can fully enjoy and participate in the game.

Cultural sensitivities

When playing board games on an international cruise, be mindful of cultural sensitivities. Different cultures may have varying norms and attitudes towards gaming. Ensure that the games you choose are appropriate and respectful to the diverse backgrounds of your fellow passengers.

Customs regulations

When bringing board games on an international cruise, be aware of customs regulations. Some countries may have restrictions or requirements for bringing in certain types of games. Research the customs regulations of your destination beforehand to avoid any complications during your travels.


Bringing board games on a cruise can enhance the overall experience and provide enjoyable entertainment for passengers of all ages. Whether you want to bond with friends and family, promote social interaction, or enhance cognitive skills, board games offer a fun and engaging way to pass the time while onboard. By following the cruise line’s policies and considering the logistics, you can bring your favorite board games and create lasting memories while sailing the seas.