How Much Luggage Can I Bring On A Cruise?

Are you planning on going on a cruise soon? Well, one of the things you might be wondering is how much luggage you can bring on board. And let me tell you, you’ve come to the right place to find out! In this article, we’ll discuss all the details about luggage allowance on a cruise and help you navigate through any restrictions or limitations. So sit back, relax, and get ready to learn everything you need to know about bringing your belongings onboard a cruise ship.

When it comes to packing for a cruise, the amount of luggage you can bring can vary depending on the cruise line and your specific cabin category. Generally, most cruise lines allow you to bring at least two suitcases per person, but this can vary. It’s always a good idea to check the specific guidelines of the cruise line you’ll be sailing with, as they may have their own set of rules and regulations. In addition to suitcases, you can also bring smaller personal items, such as a carry-on bag or a backpack. These smaller items can be easier to transport and are great for keeping your essentials close by during embarkation and disembarkation. So, if you’re worried about how much luggage you can bring on a cruise, don’t worry! We’ll cover all the details in the rest of this article.

Overview of Cruise Luggage Policies

When planning for a cruise vacation, one important question that often arises is, “How much luggage can I bring on a cruise?” Understanding the restrictions and policies regarding cruise luggage can save you from unnecessary stress and additional fees. Different cruise lines have different policies, and it is important to familiarize yourself with them before embarkation day.

Understanding the Restrictions

Cruise lines have luggage restrictions in place for various reasons. Firstly, limited storage space in the staterooms necessitates these restrictions. Cruise ships have to accommodate thousands of passengers, and it would be impractical to have large suitcases taking up valuable space. Additionally, luggage restrictions also exist for safety reasons and to comply with various customs and immigration regulations.

Different Policies for Different Cruises

It’s essential to note that each cruise line has its own specific baggage policies. While some cruise lines have more generous luggage allowances, others may have stricter restrictions. It is crucial to review the specific guidelines provided by your chosen cruise line when packing for your trip. These policies can usually be found on the cruise line’s website or by contacting their customer service directly.

Types of Luggage Allowed on a Cruise

Cruise lines generally allow passengers to bring carry-on luggage, checked luggage, and specialty items.

Carry-On Luggage

Carry-on luggage refers to the smaller bags that passengers can bring aboard the ship with them. These bags are usually stored in overhead compartments or under the bed in the stateroom. Carry-on luggage is convenient because passengers have immediate access to their belongings even before their checked luggage arrives.

Most cruise lines allow guests to bring at least one carry-on bag, although specific size and weight restrictions may apply. Examples of items typically allowed in carry-on luggage include passports, wallets, medications, electronics, and a change of clothes for the first day.

Checked Luggage

Checked luggage refers to larger suitcases that passengers hand over to the ship’s crew upon embarkation. This luggage is then safely transported to the passengers’ assigned staterooms.

The number of checked bags allowed varies depending on the cruise line and cabin type. Generally, passengers are allowed two to three checked bags per person. It is crucial to adhere to the weight and size restrictions imposed by your chosen cruise line to avoid excess baggage fees or the possibility of having your luggage refused.

Specialty Items

In addition to carry-on and checked luggage, cruise lines also have allowances for certain specialty items. These can include items like golf clubs, bicycles, musical instruments, or scuba gear. However, there are usually extra fees associated with transporting these items, and advance notification is often required.

Size and Weight Limits for Cruise Luggage

To ensure smooth embarkation and disembarkation processes, cruise lines have established size and weight limits for both carry-on and checked luggage.

Carry-On Luggage Size Limits

Carry-on luggage size limits can vary between cruise lines. In general, the dimensions allowed for carry-on bags are around 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56x36x23 centimeters). However, it is essential to check the specific guidelines provided by your chosen cruise line, as these dimensions can vary.

Checked Luggage Size Limits

Similarly, cruise lines impose size limits on checked luggage. Typically, the maximum dimensions allowed for checked bags are around 62 linear inches (158 centimeters) and weigh no more than 50 pounds (23 kilograms). Again, it is essential to verify the specific guidelines provided by your cruise line to avoid any surprises.

Weight Limits for Luggage

In addition to size limits, cruise lines also impose weight restrictions on checked baggage. These restrictions are in place to ensure the safety of both passengers and crew during loading and unloading processes.

Weight limits for checked bags can range from 40 to 50 pounds (18 to 23 kilograms) per bag, depending on the cruise line. Exceeding these weight limits may result in extra charges or the requirement to repack your belongings into smaller, lighter bags.

Packing Tips for Cruise Luggage

Now that you have a better understanding of the luggage restrictions and limits in place for cruises, here are some packing tips to help you make the most of the space available:

Prioritize Essential Items

When packing for a cruise, it is essential to prioritize and pack the most essential items first. This includes passports, travel documents, medications, and any valuables you may need during your trip. By packing these items in your carry-on luggage, you can ensure they are easily accessible and not at risk of being lost or delayed.

Utilize Space-Saving Techniques

Space-saving techniques can help maximize the limited storage space available in your stateroom. Rolling clothes instead of folding them can save space and minimize wrinkles. Utilizing packing cubes or compression bags can also help condense your clothing and maximize available space.

Additionally, consider wearing bulkier items, such as jackets or heavy shoes, on embarkation day rather than packing them in your suitcase. This can free up space and reduce the weight of your checked luggage.

Consider the Climate and Activities

When packing for a cruise, consider the climate and the activities you plan to participate in while on board. Pack clothing suitable for both formal evenings and casual days at sea. It is also wise to bring a variety of clothing layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.

Furthermore, consider the types of activities you plan to engage in. If you are planning to use the ship’s gym, don’t forget to pack appropriate workout gear. If you are considering swimming or lounging by the pool, don’t forget your bathing suit and sunscreen.

Luggage Restrictions on International Cruises

When embarking on an international cruise, additional luggage restrictions may apply. These restrictions can pertain to customs and immigration considerations, as well as restricted items in different countries.

Customs and Immigration Considerations

When traveling to different countries on a cruise, passengers are subject to customs and immigration regulations. It is important to familiarize yourself with the specific regulations of each destination port and ensure that your luggage complies with any restrictions.

Restricted Items in Different Countries

Different countries have different regulations regarding restricted items. For example, some countries may have specific prohibitions on certain types of food, plant material, or animal products. It is crucial to research the customs regulations of each country you will be visiting to avoid any complications with your luggage.

Additional Fees for Excess Luggage

Exceeding the luggage limits imposed by your chosen cruise line can result in additional fees. Here are some considerations regarding excess luggage:

Understanding Excess Luggage Fees

Excess luggage fees can be quite substantial, ranging from $10 to $30 per kilogram. It is essential to be aware of your luggage weight and size limits to avoid unnecessary fees. Plan your packing accordingly and consider weighing your luggage at home before your trip to ensure compliance with the cruise line’s requirements.

Alternatives to Paying Extra Fees

If you anticipate exceeding the weight or size limits for your luggage, consider alternative options to paying extra fees. For example, shipping some of your belongings to your destination in advance can be a cost-effective solution. This way, you can avoid lugging around heavy bags and paying excess luggage fees.

Special Considerations for Family Cruises

When traveling with children on a cruise, there are specific considerations to keep in mind.

Packing for Children

When packing for children, it is important to bring essential items such as diapers, formula, and favorite toys or comfort items. It is also wise to have a change of clothes readily available in your carry-on luggage in case of any spills or accidents during the trip.

Stroller and Crib Policies

Cruise lines often have specific policies regarding strollers and cribs. Some cruise lines allow passengers to bring their strollers, while others provide them for use onboard. It is crucial to verify the specific policies of your chosen cruise line to ensure a smooth and comfortable experience for you and your family.

Rules for Bringing Liquids on a Cruise

When it comes to bringing liquids on a cruise, there are guidelines to follow both from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the cruise line.

TSA Liquid Regulations

The TSA has established guidelines for carrying liquids in carry-on luggage on flights. These restrictions also apply when embarking on a cruise. Liquids must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less and placed in a clear, quart-sized, zip-top bag. Each passenger is allowed one bag of liquids.

Cruise-specific Restrictions

While the TSA guidelines apply, some cruise lines may have additional restrictions regarding alcohol or other liquids. For example, some cruise lines may allow passengers to bring a limited amount of alcohol on board, while others may prohibit it altogether. It is crucial to review the specific policies of your chosen cruise line to avoid any confiscations or disagreements at embarkation.

Tips for Dealing with Lost or Delayed Luggage

Despite taking all necessary precautions, sometimes luggage can still be lost or delayed during a cruise. Here are some tips for dealing with such situations:

Preventative Measures

To minimize the risk of lost or delayed luggage, there are several preventative measures you can take. Firstly, ensure that each piece of luggage is clearly labeled with your contact information. Consider adding a distinct luggage tag or using a brightly colored suitcase to make it easily identifiable.

Additionally, take a photo or make a list of everything you are packing. This can be helpful when filing a claim in the event of lost or damaged items.

What to Do If Your Luggage Is Lost or Delayed

If your luggage is lost or delayed, it is important to notify the ship’s crew or the cruise line’s customer service immediately. They will provide guidance on filing a claim and assist in locating your belongings.

In the unfortunate event that your luggage is lost and cannot be recovered during the cruise, most cruise lines offer compensation. This can include reimbursement for essential items you had to purchase while waiting for your luggage to be returned or replaced.


When preparing for a cruise, it is essential to understand the luggage policies and restrictions of your chosen cruise line. By familiarizing yourself with these guidelines, you can pack appropriately, avoid excess baggage fees, and ensure a stress-free embarkation and disembarkation experience.

Remember to prioritize essential items, utilize space-saving techniques, and consider the climate and activities during your trip. Be aware of any additional restrictions or regulations for international cruises, and plan accordingly. In case of lost or delayed luggage, take preventative measures and promptly notify the ship’s crew or the cruise line’s customer service.

With proper planning and knowledge, you can enjoy your cruise vacation to the fullest without having to worry about your luggage. Bon voyage!