How Much Luggage Can You Take on a Cruise?

Are you planning to embark on a memorable cruise vacation? One of the most common questions that cruise-goers have is about luggage allowances. After all, you want to make sure you have everything you need without overpacking.

In this article, we’ll delve into the details of how much luggage can you take on a cruise, ensuring you’re well-prepared for a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Setting sail on a cruise is a thrilling experience, but it’s essential to understand the guidelines for luggage allowances before you embark on your journey. This article will provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you navigate the seas with just the right amount of luggage.

Understanding Cruise Line Policies

Cruise lines may have varying policies when it comes to luggage allowances. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these policies before you start packing to avoid any last-minute surprises.

Different Policies for Different Cruise Lines

Each cruise line may have its own rules and regulations regarding luggage. Some cruise lines might have more generous allowances, while others could be more stringent. It’s recommended to visit the official website of the cruise line you’re traveling with to get accurate and up-to-date information.

Checking the Cruise Line’s Official Website

Before you start packing, head to the cruise line’s official website. Look for a section dedicated to baggage or luggage information. Here, you’ll find details about the number of bags you’re allowed to bring, weight restrictions, and any additional charges for exceeding the limits.

Types of Luggage Allowances

When it comes to cruise travel, there are generally three types of luggage allowances: carry-on luggage, checked luggage, and oversized or special items.

Carry-On Luggage

Most cruise lines allow passengers to bring at least one carry-on bag. This is the bag you’ll keep with you as you board the ship and throughout your first day on board. It’s advisable to pack essential items such as medications, a change of clothes, toiletries, and any valuables in your carry-on.

Checked Luggage

Checked luggage refers to the bags that will be transported to your cabin by the cruise staff. The number of checked bags allowed may vary, and there could be weight restrictions for each bag. It’s essential to adhere to these guidelines to ensure a seamless check-in process.

Oversized or Special Items

If you’re planning to bring items like bicycles, golf clubs, or other bulky equipment, be sure to check with the cruise line in advance. There might be specific procedures or fees associated with transporting these items.

Factors Influencing Luggage Allowances

Factors influencing luggage allowances are crucial to understand before any trip. Airlines determine these limits based on ticket class, destination, and airline policies. By knowing the specifics, you can pack efficiently and avoid unnecessary fees.

Moving on, the capacity of carry-on luggage is often measured in liters. This volume determines how much you can fit within airline size regulations. Most airlines allow around 40-55 liters for carry-on bags, ensuring you can pack your essentials while adhering to their guidelines.

Several factors can influence the luggage allowances you’re given on a cruise.

Cruise Duration and Itinerary

The length of your cruise and the destinations you’ll be visiting can impact the amount of clothing and other items you’ll need to pack. A longer cruise may require more luggage, while a shorter one might allow you to pack lighter.

Cabin Type

The type of cabin you’ve booked can also play a role in your luggage allowance. Suites or larger cabins might offer more storage space, allowing you to bring additional bags.

Number of Passengers

If you’re traveling with family or in a group, consider the collective luggage allowance. Be mindful of the total number of bags allowed for the entire party.

Tips for Efficient Packing

Packing efficiently is an art that can significantly enhance your cruise experience.

Create a Packing Checklist

Before you start packing, make a checklist of essential items you’ll need during the cruise. This helps you avoid overpacking and ensures you don’t forget crucial items.

Utilize Space-Saving Techniques

Maximize your luggage space by rolling clothes, using vacuum-sealed bags, and placing smaller items within shoes. These techniques not only save space but also help prevent wrinkles.

Pack According to the Destination

Consider the climate and activities at your cruise destinations. Pack appropriate clothing and accessories for excursions and onboard events.

What Not to Pack

While it’s important to know what to pack, it’s equally crucial to understand what items are best left at home.

Prohibited Items

Cruise lines have strict guidelines on prohibited items. These often include weapons, illegal substances, and flammable materials. Familiarize yourself with the cruise line’s list of prohibited items to avoid any issues during embarkation.

Valuables and Documents

Avoid packing valuables like expensive jewelry unless necessary. Important documents such as passports, travel insurance, and cruise tickets should be kept in your carry-on.

Managing Luggage During the Cruise

Once you’re on board, efficiently managing your luggage ensures a clutter-free and enjoyable stay.

Storage in Your Cabin

Utilize the storage space in your cabin wisely. Store empty suitcases under the bed, hang clothing in closets, and use drawers for smaller items.

Luggage Storage on Deck

If your cabin space is limited, some cruise ships offer luggage storage areas on deck. This can be especially useful for larger items or suitcases that you don’t need immediate access to.

Unpacking and Storage

After you’ve settled into your cabin, take some time to unpack and organize your belongings.

Organizing Your Cabin Space

Keep your cabin organized by designating specific areas for different items. This prevents clutter and ensures you can easily locate what you need.

Utilizing Closet and Drawer Space

Fold and hang your clothes to keep your closet tidy. Utilize drawers for undergarments, accessories, and smaller clothing items.


Embarking on a cruise is a fantastic adventure, and knowing how much luggage you can take will help make your voyage even more enjoyable. By understanding the cruise line’s policies, packing efficiently, and managing your luggage onboard, you’ll be well-prepared for a memorable vacation on the high seas.

FAQs About Cruise Luggage

Can I bring more than one suitcase on a cruise?

Most cruise lines allow guests to bring multiple suitcases within the specified weight limits. Check with your cruise line for exact details.

Are there any items I’m not allowed to bring in my luggage?

Yes, items like weapons, illegal substances, and hazardous materials are strictly prohibited. Refer to your cruise line’s guidelines for a comprehensive list.

What should I do if my luggage is lost during the cruise?

Immediately inform the ship’s customer service. They will guide you through the process of locating your luggage and potentially offering compensation.

Is there a weight limit for carry-on bags?

While weight limits for carry-on bags vary by cruise line, it’s generally recommended to keep your carry-on bag under 25 pounds for ease of handling.

Can I do laundry on the cruise ship?

Many cruise ships have self-service laundry facilities or offer laundry services for an additional fee. Check with your cruise line for details.