What Not to Pack For a Disney Cruise

Almost as important as knowing What to Pack for your Disney Cruise is knowing what NOT to pack. You don’t want to be the guest holding up the security line because your carry-on has prohibited items in it. And you definitely don’t want Disney Cruise Line security rummaging through your meticulously packed luggage because the scan found a possibly prohibited item.

Why Does Disney Prohibit Certain Items?

The main reason for banning an item is safety. It makes sense that firearms and weapons would be on the list of prohibited items. Sometimes an item may be banned because it could possibly affect the enjoyment of the cruise by other Guests – see musical instruments.

Looking for what you should pack? DCL Prep School’s Ultimate Packing List

Surge Protectors and Power Cords

Surge protectors and power cords are often the first item experts suggest you pack on your cruise.

Why are they banned? Cruise lines are notoriously stingy with outlets, and you are going to want extra outlets to charge your family’s devices, especially when that device doubles as your camera. However, all the power on the ship has to be generated by the engine room. Disney must carefully regulate its use in whatever way it can, and limiting stateroom outlets is one way to do that.

However, savvy Disney cruisers know that there are a few workarounds – within Disney’s guidelines – to be able to charge all their family’s devices.

  • Extension cords provided by Guest Services: Guests may not bring their own extension cords onboard. To ensure that extension cords utilized in staterooms are in good shape, Disney keeps a limited number on hand, and they are available on a first come, first serve basis. Though I have never had trouble obtaining one, if you want an extension cord – and the three additional outlets it comes with – head to the Guest Services Desk on the first day of your cruise.
  • Multi-USB chargers: These are my new go-to power sources. One plug can charge many devices. Amazon.com offers many to choose from.
  • Use your laptop as a multi-USB charger: If you are the kind of traveller who must take your laptop with them everywhere you go – and I’m not judging you, many of us do – then chances are you have two or three USB ports on the side of your laptop (plus a few other ports that you have no idea what they go to). If so, plug in that laptop and charge your devices from there.

Over the Door Hanging Organizers

Guest rooms are small, and even though the staterooms on Disney Cruise Line are, on average, 25% larger than rooms on other cruise lines, it doesn’t mean that they are super spacious. They are tight. One way guests have devised to combat the small quarters is to utilize organizers that hang over the stateroom or bathroom doors.

Why are they banned? Simply, they cause damage to the door. They can scratch the door and chip the paint. Disney ships are beautiful, and no one wants a scratched up surface in their beautiful stateroom.

The savvy solution is to utilize hanging organizers that do not need to be strapped over a door.

    • Use velcro hanging devices – a shoe organizer is great for storing folded clothes – and strap them to the closet bar.
    • Hang cosmetics organizers in the closet or on one of the many hooks in your room.

Irons and Clothes Steamers

Most cruise lines prohibit Guests from bringing on their own irons, however Disney Cruise Line also bans personal steamers as well.

Why are they banned? Several reasons. First, they are banned for the same reason surge protectors and power strips are banned: quality control and power usage. Second: They pose a fire risk. If you are in a hurry to get to dinner, and leave your iron on in your room, think about what could happen if the ship hits a wave and your iron falls over. Fire risk!

How do you get the wrinkles out of your clothing? You have three options:

      • Use your shower as a steamer. Bathrooms are small on cruise ships. Anything hanging in your bathroom while you shower will get a good steaming.
      • Every laundry room has an iron and ironing board for Guests to use.
      • Send your clothes out to be pressed. DCL offers regular and dry cleaning services. If you only need your garments pressed, they are happy to do that as well. Place your items in the Guest Laundry bag, fill out the form indicating you only want them pressed, and place them in the hall for your Stateroom Host to pick up. (If your Host is in the hallways – as they often are – you may want to stop by and let them know you left laundry out to be pressed. They will often pick up the bag and get it to the laundry right away.)

Bottle Warmers

DCL rooms do not have microwaves and no cooking appliances are allowed onboard, so what’s a parent to do when they need a bottle warmed?

Why are they banned? File this under the same reason that power strips and irons are banned: quality control and fire risk.

Your bottle warming solution: Disney keeps a limited number of bottle warmers onboard for Guests. Like extension cords, I recommend going to Guest Services soon after you board to request one.

Inflatable Pool Rafts and Pool Noodles

I love to float in the water, but Guests on DCL are not allowed to bring their own floats or noodles.

Why are they banned? The main reason they are banned is because the onboard pools are quite small. If even a few Guests had noodles or floats, it would impede others from enjoying the pool. The other reason (and maybe it’s the main reason) is that they are not safe to use onboard – I can imagine inflatable rafts and noodles flying in the wind on deck. Disney also doesn’t want guests using potentially dangerous floats on Castaway Cay. Disney maintains and inspects their life preservers and rafts. This insures quality control and Guest safety.

What flotation devices are allowed?

      • Life jackets are available onboard and on Castaway Cay
      • Water Wings are fine. Even inflatable ones. This is the one and only exception to the “no inflatables” rule.
      • Flotation sewn into bathing suits
      • Coast Guard personal flotation devices (PFDs)

Firearms and Weapons

They are banned. They just are. I don’t think I need to elaborate as to why, but I will say that if a “weapon” is part of a costume, like a sword for your Pirate Costume, make sure it looks fake, and you shouldn’t encounter a problem. Fake/toy swords and lightsabers are fine as part of a costume. Toy guns – even if they look fake – are not allowed.

What Other Items are Prohibited on Disney Cruise Line?

Other items that are not allowed on Disney Cruise Line include

      • flammable liquids or liquid oxygen
      • musical instruments
      • SCUBA gear
      • illegal drugs
      • hookah pipes
      • potentially dangerous sporting equipment like bats, golf clubs or hockey sticks
      • bikes, scooters, skateboards or Segways
      • Surfboards or hover boards
      • candles
      • video gaming systems that hook up to the television
      • DVD or other video player that attaches to the television
      • fireworks
      • Christmas-tree lightbulb strings

For a complete list of prohibited items refer to DCL’s What Items are Not Allowed on a Cruise.

What Happens if I Accidentally Pack a Prohibited Item?

If a banned item is discovered, Disney Cruise Line will confiscate it and safely store it until the end of your cruise. It will be tagged and you will be given a claim slip so you may recover your item(s) upon disembarking the ship. Likewise, if a prohibited item was discovered prior to your luggage boarding the ship, it will be stored in the port of departure for you to claim upon your return – and hopefully you are on a closed loop cruise which is returning to the same port from which you departed.

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