Girl in front of cruise ship

7 Surprising Reasons You Could Get Denied Boarding on a Cruise

Do you have an upcoming cruise vacation? You need to be aware of the reasons why people get turned away at the cruise port. The last thing you want is to go through the check-in process only to be told that you can’t board the cruise ship! It will ruin your vacation! 

Reasons People are Denied Boarding on a Cruise

1. Banned Items

You will be denied boarding if you bring banned items, especially dangerous items like guns, ammunition, and drugs. Cruise ships have strict rules against these items, so don’t even think about trying to sneak them on board. It’s just not worth it. 

If you’re caught, you could even be banned for life from the cruise line. In fact, there’s a woman who had CBD gummies in her carry-on bag, and Carnival Cruise denied her boarding. And it’s not just that, they banned her from sailing on any Carnival cruises for life! Make sure to read up on your cruise line’s list of banned items so you know what you can and can’t bring onboard the ship

2. No Parental Consent

If you’re a single parent traveling with your child or accompanying children who aren’t your own, you will need parental consent. Typically, you’ll need a notarized consent form signed by the parents.

If you’re a single parent, the cruise line may also require the other parent to provide consent to travel. It’s best to verify these requirements directly with your cruise line. Make sure you have all the necessary documents. Otherwise, you’ll be denied boarding.

Denied Boarding on a Cruise

3. Unruly

One surefire way to get denied boarding on a cruise ship is if you show up at the port clearly intoxicated. The cruise line has zero tolerance for unruly passengers and will not hesitate to refuse boarding in such cases. 

Aside from being intoxicated, if you look like you are under the influence of drugs, you could be denied boarding on the cruise ship.

4. Late Arrival

The cruise ship will not wait for latecomers! Cruise ships strictly enforce all aboard time. You need to show up by the all-aboard time. Even if you are 10 minutes late, you can be denied boarding! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to board the ship. It’s best to fly in the night before and stay at a hotel near the cruise port. Better be safe than sorry!

5. Pregnancy

If you’re expecting, it’s important to inform the cruise line. They have specific guidelines regarding how far along you can be to board the cruise ship. This is because the ship has limited medical resources and staff to handle pregnancy-related emergencies. 

For example, Carnival cruises won’t allow women who have reached or surpassed their 24th week of pregnancy from boarding or sailing. If you’re pregnant, it’s essential to confirm with your cruise line before planning your trip.

Denied Boarding on a Cruise

6. Expired Travel Documents

It’s important to remember that you may be denied boarding if you fail to bring the necessary travel documentation. The cruise line will provide clear information about the documents you must bring well before your trip.


Make sure you have the required visa necessary to travel to the countries you will be visiting. If you are a US permanent resident, you need to have your greencard. And make sure your visa and greencard are not expired because they can deny you boarding if it is. 


In order to cruise, you must have a valid passport. By “valid passport,” they mean the passport should not be expired or expiring within 6 months. Believe it or not, if your passport is set to expire within 6 months, they can refuse to let you board the ship. That passport is as good as expired! 

The only exception to the valid passport rule is if you are going on a closed-loop cruise. Closed-loop cruises allow you to cruise without a passport. Find out more about closed-loop cruises and if it’s a good idea to sail without a passport

7. Cancelled Cruise

Another reason you might not be allowed to board is if your cruise is canceled, not by you, but by someone pretending to be you! It may sound unlikely, but a Kentucky family recently experienced this when their cruise was canceled due to identity theft. Check out the article to learn more about what happened to them: A Family’s $15,000 Carnival Cruise Canceled Due to Identity Theft- Don’t Make the Same Mistake!

Free Cruise Carry On Bag Packing List

Get Your Free Cruise Carry-On Bag Packing List

Sign up once and you will get access to ALL exclusive content on this website. After unlocking the printable, just save the printable image and then print it. Use it as a checklist to pack your carry-on bag so you don’t forget anything! I hope you like it!

Packing List for Cruise Carry-On bag

Check out these free cruise printables

Caribbean cruise packing list

Alaska cruise packing list

The Worst Months to Go on a Cruise

13 Important Things to do ASAP on the First Day of Your Cruise

The Secret Cruise Cabin Upgrade You Need to Know About

7 Things to Always Pay for in Cash on a Cruise

Sharing is caring!

Scroll to Top