Carnival Cruise Luggage Restrictions

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Carnival Cruise Line’s luggage requirements are a little different from some other cruise lines, so it’s important that you know what you can bring before you start to pack for your cruise.

While Carnival has no restrictions on how many bags you can bring, there are some weight limits and size requirements that you must follow.

In this guide, I’ll go over all of the Carnival luggage restrictions, so that you know exactly how much luggage you can bring, as well as what items are allowed and not allowed on Carnival cruise ships.

Is there a limit on luggage on a Carnival cruise?

On a Carnival cruise, there’s no limit to the amount of luggage that you can bring, but each bag must weigh less than 50 pounds and it must be small enough to fit through the x-ray machine and to be stored under the bed in your stateroom.

Any bags that you check in will be taken from you outside the port and delivered to your stateroom. You can also bring carry-on bags with your essentials and valuables.

Carnival Cruise Luggage Rules

How many bags can you take on a Carnival cruise?

Carnival Cruise Line suggests that guests check in only one bag per person for 3- to 5-day cruises and no more than two bags per person for longer cruises. This is just a suggestion – you can actually bring as many bags as you like.

As you won’t need to bring any formalwear on a Carnival cruise, two bags per person should be more than enough for even the longest cruise. If you bring more bags than this, you may struggle to store them under the bed.

If you need to bring a lot of luggage on a cruise, having suitcases of different sizes will allow you to store the smaller one inside the larger one.

Carnival luggage

Is there a weight limit for luggage on a Carnival cruise?

Each bag that you bring on a Carnival cruise should weigh no more than 50 pounds (22kg) because porters must be able to lift them safely. If you need to bring more than this, you should split your luggage into two smaller bags.

If you are flying to join your cruise, you should also be aware of any luggage weight restrictions that the airline may have.

Is there a size limit for luggage on a Carnival cruise?

On a Carnival cruise, checked and carry-on bags must be small enough to fit through the x-ray machine and to be stored under the bed in your room. The maximum allowed size is 16 inches high and 24 inches wide. Length does not matter.

How To Measure Luggage for a Carnival cruise

Sometimes, people can get confused when measuring luggage for a Carnival cruise because 16 inches high doesn’t sound like a lot. However, you need to ensure that your suitcase is laid flat as it would be when stored under the bed, not standing tall as it would be when you pull it along.

Here’s how to measure your luggage:

  1. Lay your bag flat
  2. Measure the height from bottom to top
  3. Measure the width from left to right
  4. The longest measurement, the length, isn’t needed
  5. Remember to include any wheels or handles
  6. Make sure that the height is less than 16 inches and the width is less than 24 inches

Carnival Luggage Tags

Luggage tags will enable the cruise ship porters to deliver your luggage to your stateroom.

After you have completed the online check-in for your Carnival cruise, you will receive your personalised luggage tags within your electronic documents. You can access these here:

You should print out your luggage tags at home. Black and white is fine – you don’t need to print Carnival luggage tags in colour.

Before you arrive at the port you should fasten your luggage tags to your baggage. If you don’t have enough tags, don’t worry, you can get extra ones from the curbside porters.

If the cabin number on your luggage tag says TBA, the porters will retag your luggage with the correct cabin number.

How to Put on Luggage Tags

After printing your luggage tags you should fold them according to the instructions on the paper. You can affix the luggage tags to your bags using staples or tape.

Because luggage tags are made of paper, there’s a risk that can come off, particularly if you’re flying to the cruise port or if it is raining. For this reason, it’s a good idea to wait until you’re at the port to attach the tags.

If your luggage tags come off, there could be delays in getting your luggage. If your luggage doesn’t arrive in your stateroom, you’ll need to head down to guest services to find out what happened to it.

Carnival Cruise Luggage Tag Holders

A great solution to the problem of paper cruise luggage tags coming off is to buy luggage tag holders. These are pretty cheap and a good investment as you can use them on every cruise that you go on in the future.

Luggage tag holders mean that you don’t need to bother tape or staples. They’re waterproof and durable, so you’ll know that your luggage tags are always secure.

Different cruise lines have different sized luggage tags and Carnival luggage tags are generally wider than Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises.

I like these luggage tag holders because they will fit the tags for all cruise lines, including Carnival…

Can you carry your own luggage on a Carnival cruise?

You may carry your own luggage on a Carnival cruise if you wish, but it makes much more sense to let the porters deliver it to your stateroom for you. If you arrive less than two hours before the ship’s sailing time, you will miss the baggage service and will have to carry your own bags onto the ship.

How much to tip cruise luggage porters

When you take a cruise, it’s customary to tip curbside porters $1 per bag for helping with your luggage. Curbside porters don’t work for the cruise line, they are employed by the port.

What can you take on a Carnival Cruise?

Carnival Cruise Line has strict requirements about what you can and cannot bring onto its cruise ships.

Can you bring snacks?

You are allowed to bring snacks on a Carnival cruise as long as they are pre-packaged and unopened. Homemade food is not allowed to be brought onto Carnival ships.

Can you bring drinks?

You are allowed to bring only one 750ml bottle of wine and 12 cans or cartons (not bottles) of soft drink per person on a Carnival cruise. You are not allowed to bring any other drinks.

Can you bring alcohol?

On a Carnival cruise, each guest aged 21 or over may bring one 750ml bottle of wine or Champagne. Beer and liquor are not allowed. You must bring the wine in your carry-on luggage and drink it in your stateroom. If you wish to drink it in a dining room or bar, you will be charged a corkage fee of $15 per bottle.

Can you bring soda?

Each guest may bring a 12-pack of soda on a Carnival cruise. This must be in cans or cartons up to 12 ounces (350ml) in size. Instead of soda, you could bring other non-alcoholic drinks like sparkling water, juice or milk.

Can you bring water?

You cannot bring bottled water on a Carnival cruise, but you can buy 12 bottles which will be delivered to your stateroom for $4.95. If you need distilled water for medical reasons or for babies, you can bring this in your carry-on luggage or purchase it from room service for $3.00 per gallon.

You can buy the bottled water here:

Can you bring a cooler?

On a Carnival cruise, you may bring a small cooler, no larger than 12 inches x 12 inches x 12 inches to store non-alcoholic beverages or medications. You must bring this as carry-on luggage.

What can you not bring on a Carnival cruise?

The following items are not allowed on Carnival cruise ships:

  • Illegal drugs, kava, CBD and medical marijuana
  • Weapons and ammunition
  • Explosives and fireworks
  • Compressed gases (except for personal grooming)
  • Alcohol (except for one 750ml bottle of wine per person)
  • Non-alcoholic drinks (except for 12 cans or cartons per person)
  • Electrical appliances that produce heat (except for hairdryers and hair irons/curlers)
  • Knives, scissors and open razors
  • Handcuffs or restraints
  • Hoverboards and footwear with wheels
  • Emergency radio beacons, communication scanners and satellite phones
  • Lasers
  • Boomboxes and large radios
  • Candles and incense
  • Helium balloons
  • Inflatable paddling pools
  • Hookahs
  • Surfboards, boats and canoes
  • Fish

You can see a full list of what you can and can’t bring on a Carnival cruise here.

What to put in your carry-on bag

In your carry on bag you should pack:

  • Passport or ID
  • Travel documents
  • Mobile phone
  • Medication
  • Valuable items like jewellery and laptops
  • Wine
  • Swimsuit
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Sunglasses and/or reading glasses
  • Camera
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Kids essentials

You may not receive your main luggage until later in the afternoon, so be sure to pack everything that you might need on the first day of your cruise, including your swimsuit if you might want to go swimming.

Does Carnival cruise search your luggage?

All luggage going onto a Carnival cruise ship will go through an x-ray scanner. This is primarily to check for alcohol, weapons and explosives It could also be checked by sniffer dogs. Any luggage that looks suspicious will be opened up for a full check, so it’s important that you leave your bags unlocked when checking in.

You’ll find more info on when and how luggage is searched here.

searching luggage at cruise port

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