Cruise Lines Don’t Allow Power Strips – These Are Your Alternatives

When planning a cruise, one of the most important considerations is the items you will bring.

You need to not only pack a range of suitable clothing options, but you also need to remember to bring practical items. For instance, you may need to pack electronics for your voyage. 

Cruise Lines Don’t Allow Power Strips – These are Your Alternatives

Yet, many cruise ship companies will have strict rules regarding the items that are suitable. For instance, power strips are often forbidden on cruise ships. This can be a real pain if you need to charge multiple devices, especially since the number of sockets will be limited in your cabin. 

Luckily, there are some cruise-safe alternatives to power strips that you can use instead. This guide will cover everything you need to know about power strips in cruise lines, including why they are often refused. 

What Are Power Strips?

Power strips are a long line of electrical sockets. This block will then be attached to a cable that can be plugged into a socket. Essentially, the purpose of this device is to use multiple devices while just taking up one socket. As you can imagine, this is a massively useful product.

Why Don’t Cruise Lines Allow Power Strips?

Power strips and extension cords are prohibited on cruises. The reason for this is that the electrical tool could overload the electrical system on the ship, thus potentially causing a fire. Luckily, there are plenty of similar products that you can use instead of a power strip.

The reason why power strips are considered unsafe on ships is due to the differences between electrical systems on land and at sea. Houses on land will use asymmetric power systems, while ships will use symmetric systems. This unit means that there will be two symmetrical voltages sent to a circuit, which could overload the system. 

Due to the fire risk of power strips, it is understandable that cruise ships have banned these objects. They could also cause damage to the device while it is being used. An additional risk of taking a power strip on a cruise is that the wiring could melt.

If you are unsure as to whether you can bring an electrical product on a cruise it is worth contacting the cruise company. This is because every company will have different rules and restrictions surrounding acceptable items.  

What About Power Strips Without Surge Protection?

Devices with surge protection, also known as SPD, are meant to protect electronic devices from surges. Though this may sound like a good feature, surge protection power strips will still be banned on cruises. The majority of power strips will contain this feature. 

You may be able to locate some power strips without surge protection that are designed for use on cruises. As a result, you may be able to take one of these products on a cruise. However, you must make sure that the cruise company will accept the device.

What Happens If You Pack A Power Strip?

If you have accidentally packed a power strip in your luggage, the chances are that it will be found and confiscated by members of staff (for more luggage restrictions and baggage rules, read here). 

When you first board the cruise liner, all of your luggage will be scanned. This is to find any dangerous banned items, such as sharp objects and flammable substances.

If a member of staff finds the power strip in your suitcase, they should remove it from the luggage and only return it to you on the final day of the cruise once you have left the ship.

To avoid this from happening, you must familiarise yourself with a cruise liner’s rules and regulations regarding the items that you can bring on the cruise. It simply is not worth accidentally bringing a forbidden item onto the cruise. 

Power Strip Alternatives

USB Charging Stations

Like power strips, USB charging stations are made to power numerous devices at once. They will typically have numerous USB ports that you can plug various cables into. 

Just bear in mind that you will be more limited in terms of the number of devices that will connect to a USB charger. Namely, USB charging stations are primarily designed to charge laptops or mobile phones.

One of the main benefits of USB charging stations is that they are fairly inexpensive. Not to mention, they are compact and lightweight devices that will not take up much space in your suitcase. As a result, they are perhaps the best option for cruises. They are also ideal for taking on the go. 

USB charging stations may also be known as wall chargers.

Power Banks

Up next, you may also wish to consider taking a power bank on your cruise instead of a power strip. A power bank is a variety of portable chargers that you can use whilst on the move. They are typically designed for use on mobile devices, such as phones and smartwatches. 

The portability of power banks makes them one of the best options on this list. It is worth crying a power bank with you wherever you go just in case your phone starts to run low on battery. 

On the other hand, it’s worth noting that power banks do not work in the same way as power strips. This is because they will be more limited in terms of what devices you can use. 

The market is saturated with lots of different types of power banks, so be sure to find one that is suitable for your devices. They come in a range of different shapes and sizes, many of which are designed to be as slim and compact as possible. 

Plug Adapters

Across the globe, there are different types of outlets. Outlet adapters are designed so that plugs with three cords can be connected to an outlet made for two prongs.

These devices are often taken on holiday, especially when visiting a foreign country that uses different plug sockets. For instance, they are commonly used to switch from a US socket to a UK socket. 

A plug adapter could also be a useful tool for your cruise. With an outlet adapter, you will no longer need a separate adapter. 

Multi-Socket Outlets

Last but not least, you may want to include a multi-socket outlet when you are packing your suitcase. As the name suggests, these outlets will feature slots for multiple sockets. 

Power Banks

Because they are so similar to power strips, multi-socket outlets may also be forbidden on certain cruises. Consequently, we advise that you confer with a cruise company before you attempt to pack a multi-socket outlet. 

How To Pick The Right Power Strip Alternative

Now that you know a little more about the alternatives to power strips, you might be wondering which one you should choose. Here are some of the most important factors to consider:

The Price

Nobody will want to spend a fortune on electronic goods. To prevent yourself from spending a fortune, it is a good idea to consider the cost of the various power strip alternatives. Power banks and USB charging stations tend to be particularly cheap. 

The Number Of Sockets

The primary purpose of one of these devices is to provide numerous sockets. When looking for a replacement for a power strip, you will likely need a device with multiple socket slots so that you can power up numerous devices at once. As a result, you will likely want to invest in a tool with a decent number of sockets. 


When packing your luggage for your cruise, you likely won’t have a large amount of space. Consequently, you will likely want to invest in a compact and slim device that will take up as little space as possible. 

Device Compatibility

Certain electrical products are more limited in compatibility than others. For instance, USB charging stations will only work on devices with USB cables. Therefore, do not invest in one of these products if you have a device that is not compatible. 

Whether It Is Accepted On Your Cruise

Lastly, you need to confirm whether or not your device is suitable for whatever cruise you are attending. It is advised that you check the list of banned items for a specific cruise company before buying a multi-socket device.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Items Are Banned On Cruises?

Every cruise liner will have a slightly different list of banned items. However, some of the most common banned items on cruises include:
Sharp items
Alcoholic beverages
Clothing irons
CBD products
Harmful chemicals
If you attempt to bring any of these items onto your cruise ship, they will likely be removed by staff members and returned to you once you have finished the cruise.

Is It Safe To Leave A Power Strip On All The Time?

No, it is not recommended that you leave a power strip on constantly. When not in use, you should turn off the power strip. This will help you to save power. Not to mention, you must refrain from overloading the power strip, as this could be a fire hazard.

What Happens If The Power Goes Out On A Cruise Ship?

You shouldn’t worry about the power going off whilst you’re on a cruise ship. In the unlikely event that this occurs, the emergency generators will kick in. In serious cases, the ship may be abandoned. 

Final Thoughts

Though power strips are incredibly useful devices, they should not be taken on a cruise liner due to safety concerns. Fortunately, there are a plethora of alternatives that you can use instead of power strips. These devices have a similar effect but are generally eligible on cruise lines as they pose a much lower risk. 

Alex Kallen

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