The #1 Website for Cruises from Galveston and Houston, Texas


Luggage and Baggage Rules for Galveston Cruises


If you’re taking a cruise from Galveston, chances are you’re going to pack a little more than a toothbrush. So you no doubt have a few questions about what you can bring, how much you can pack, and much more. We’ve rounded up answers to some of the most common questions…

How much luggage can I bring?

Unlike airlines, cruises don’t charge for the amount of luggage you bring. There are also no (reasonable) limit on how much you can bring. Most cruise lines “encourage” each passenger to limit luggage to two suitcases, each one less than 50 pounds. In addition, you can also bring carry-on luggage (more on that in a moment).

While there are no strict restrictions on your checked baggage, you should keep a few common sense items in mind. First, keep in mind that you have to get all your luggage to and from the cruise ship. If you are flying, that may mean extra fees for extra bags. And even if you are driving to the cruise terminal, you still have to carry (or arrange for someone else to carry) all that luggage.

We encourage people to pack reasonably. There is no harm in wearing the same thing twice during a cruise — many others will be doing just that. As well, every ship has laundry service if you need it.

If you are taking more than one piece of luggage and one carry-on, then you are likely overpacking.

Are there restrictions on what I can bring?

Of course. You can’t bring weapons such as guns or knives on board. If it’s even questionable (such as pepper spray), it’s best to just leave it at home. Scissors are also restricted.

More importantly, except for lighters, you can’t bring anything dealing with fire. Fire is the biggest risk on board a ship. For that reason, irons are restricted, as are candles and incense. Flammable liquids are also prohibited. If you think it could start a fire, it’s best to leave it at home.

Cruise lines also have restrictions on alcohol that you can bring on board. Most will let you bring some sort of wine or champagne, but only in small quantities. Beer or hard liquor are almost never allowed. Click here to read more about bringing alcohol on Galveston cruises.

Does the “3-1-1” liquids rule apply to cruises?

The “3-1-1” rule is ubiquitous in airports. It’s the rule that you can only bring liquids three ounces or less in a one quart plastic bag, with one bag per passenger.

For everyone’s sanity, this rule does not apply to cruise ships departing Galveston or elsewhere.

What about rules for carry-on luggage?

When you arrive at the Port of Galveston, you will check your large luggage. This luggage will be carted off, X-rayed, put aboard the ship, and then delivered to your room. But that entire process will take several hours.

For that reason, passengers are encouraged to bring some sort of carry-on that has anything you might need for the first few hours on the cruise ship — travel documents, passports, medications, allowed alcohol, toothbrush, your swimsuit, and maybe even a change of clothes for dinner.

Can you pack all your luggage for the cruise in your carry-on? Absolutely. There is no rule that you have to check luggage. However, keep in mind that you will have to lug your carry-on items around the ship until your room is ready. If you check in early, that could be a couple of hours. Even a small bag can be a nuisance after that long.

There are some restrictions on carry-on sizes, but we’ve found them to be less strict than with an airline. As long as you can safely and easily move your bag, it should be ok to board with.

Will my bags be searched on a cruise ship?

All baggage brought on board the ship will be X-rayed. Usually further inspection isn’t required unless the security staff finds something dangerous or prohibited.

Have a question about packing or luggage for Galveston cruises that we didn’t answer here? Let us know in the comments below…

26 Responses so far.

  1. Kathy Potter says:

    My bag was searched in Galveston and one of my necklaces was lost, it was a pink stone and the rest of it gold colored. The chain was gold also. How do I go about finding it? I would have tried sooner but did not know how to ask.

  2. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    That’s no fun. I would suggest contacting the port, but I’m not really sure. Here are some contact numbers:

  3. TroyB says:

    My wife and I have prescription medication.Does the prescription medication have to be in the original bottle or can we carry them in weekly pill container (loose). Very lost when it come to this question. Can you please help?

  4. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    I’m not 100% sure. You might try contacting the cruise line directly to ask their opinion. I would bet, however, that if you did bring them loose, you wouldn’t be the first person!

  5. Toni kuyon says:

    we are cruising on the NWCL Jewel and this is the first we heard about the 50lb limit. If we should go over is there a charge?

  6. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Cruise ships are much more lenient than airlines. We don’t know of the “official” policy (nothing we saw mentioned online), but we’d be surprised if they even check.

    To be honest, if you are packing more than 50 lbs. per bag, you might be bringing too much!

  7. Randy Schleifer says:

    How many carry on bags can you bring? I was going to have a carry on plus my backpack that might have my laptop in it.

    Thank you,


  8. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    That’s perfectly fine. There are no *reasonable* limits on baggage.

  9. Laura DeWeese says:

    I will be taking a bottle of wine in my carry-on bag aboard Carnival Magic. Is is acceptable for me to bring my own cork screw so that I can enjoy my wine in my stateroom?

  10. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Absolutely. Cruise lines are much less strict than airlines regarding what you can bring on board.

  11. bob crowder says:

    We will fly into Houston to do a trade show at the Marriott Houston Westchase. We have a cruise scheduled Aug 23 after the show. We are in a delimia as to what to do with our 6 big boxes. Do you know of a place where we can store them for a week?
    Thank you,

  12. Galveston Cruise Tips says:


    I’m not sure of what to do in your situation. Maybe call a storage place (the kind that you store stuff that doesn’t fit in the garage) and see if they have a spot to rent for a few days?

  13. Mike says:

    Can you bring a small fan on board?

  14. Galveston Cruise Tips says:


  15. Desiree says:

    Question, leaving ship, is it Ok to tag an army type laundry bag, tied and tagged securely, with clothes that might not fit back in the luggage, for luggage porters to off load the ship for us? I am asking because for embarkation, I am using vacuum seal bags; for packing to leave, I expect to pack much more quickly, and laundry bags will be easier to throw in some dirty laundry. Just dont want it get lost!

  16. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Should be perfectly fine!

  17. Desiree says:

    YES, it worked! Love it, hada great time too!

  18. Ashley says:

    I see where someone else has previously asked about a corkscrew. If we pack one, would it be best to pack it in the checked bag, or the carry on bag?

  19. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Ashley — it doesn’t really matter, but I’d keep it with your wine, which you should bring in your carry-on to prevent it being broken.

  20. Karen Harper says:

    I will be going on a cruise in September and it is part of a Stampin Up crafting group. I believe we’ll need to bring our own “tool” kits that includes adhesives and scissors. I read that scissors are not allowed. How would I handle this? Thank you!

  21. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    That’s right, scissors with blades longer than 4″ aren’t allowed. Do you have any with blades shorter than that? You might also call the cruise line directly and ask. One thing to note — I have a pair of regular scissors right here on my desk and just measured them. The metal part of the blade is 5″, but the actual sharpened part is only 3″. I don’t know if that would make a difference or not.

    (Frankly, what we would do is just bring a pair that we wouldn’t be hurt if they got confiscated. If they make it on, great. If not, it’s no big deal.)

  22. Esmeralda Soliz says:

    Can you bring a small fan on a cruise? We will be cruising out of Galveston in 4 weeks.

  23. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    Yep. In fact, we recommend doing so. We are the type of people that need airflow. Fans are great if you are in a cabin without a balcony.

  24. Kym Crowhurst says:

    Is there a place to store luggage after cruise for few hours after have later flight and would like to see Galveston were on carnival

  25. Vaun Beal says:

    I am doing a construction project before my cruise and will have a plastic container containing Saws, drills, hammers etc. Is this permitted to bring on board? I see that there is no baggage storage available at the port.

    Thanks for your time

  26. Galveston Cruise Tips says:

    There is a place called The Cruise Stop that says it offers baggage storage. Might give them a call: | (409) 497-2974

Leave a Reply