Can You Bring Sunscreen on a Cruise?

Can You Bring Sunscreen on a Cruise? Are you ready to set sail on the adventure of a lifetime? As you prepare for your upcoming cruise, there’s one important question that might be on your mind: can you bring sunscreen on a cruise? Fear not, my sun-worshipping friends, for I am here to shed some light on this topic and ensure that you are well-prepared to protect your skin from those glorious rays.

Sunscreen is a must-have item for any cruise, whether you’re basking in the Caribbean sunshine, exploring the historic wonders of Europe, or marveling at the breathtaking beauty of Alaska. But before you start packing your favorite SPF, it’s crucial to understand the rules and regulations surrounding sunscreen on cruises. In this article, we’ll dive into the dos and don’ts of bringing sunscreen onboard, explore the concept of reef-friendly options, and provide you with some handy tips to choose the best sunscreen for your destination.

Can You Bring Sunscreen on a Cruise

Can You Bring Sunscreen on a Cruise

When it comes to packing for your cruise, one essential item you shouldn’t forget is sunscreen. After all, you want to protect your skin from the sun’s harsh rays while enjoying your time onboard and during shore excursions. But can you bring sunscreen on a cruise? The good news is, most cruise lines won’t stop you from bringing sunscreen on board.

Traveling often requires taking note of specific rules and regulations, and sunscreen is no exception. While you may think that all sunscreens are created equal, it’s important to do your research and find out which ones are considered reef-friendly. If you’re planning to visit destinations that bring you close to Mother Nature’s coastlines, it’s crucial to opt for biodegradable sunscreens.

Luckily, liquids for grooming purposes, including sunscreen, are generally allowed on cruises. This means that you can bring full-sized bottles of sunscreen to cover yourself during your cruise and protect your skin. However, keep in mind that depending on your cruise line and the destination you’re sailing to, you may be required to use biodegradable sunscreen that does not contain chemicals harmful to marine life.

To ensure maximum protection, it’s recommended to bring two types of sunscreen with you on your cruise. One for onboard outdoor activities and another one for shore excursions. This way, you’ll be prepared for any situation and can enjoy your time under the sun comfortably.

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Now that you know you can bring sunscreen on a cruise, make sure to pack it in your suitcase along with other necessary items. Whether you’re cruising the Caribbean, exploring Europe’s historical sites, island hopping in Hawaii, or marveling at the stunning beauty of Alaska, don’t forget to protect your skin and have fun in the sun.

Tips for Bringing Sunscreen on a Cruise

Tips for Bringing Sunscreen on a Cruise

Check the TSA Regulations on Sunscreen

When it comes to bringing sunscreen on a cruise, it’s important to first check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. While sunscreen generally doesn’t fall under the liquid restrictions, it’s always good to double-check before packing it in your carry-on. Remember, any liquids you bring must be in containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or smaller, and should be placed in a clear, quart-sized bag. This ensures a hassle-free security screening process at the airport.

Pack the Right Amount of Sunscreen

When packing sunscreen for your cruise, it’s important to bring enough to last for the entire duration of your trip. Consider the length of your cruise and the activities you’ll be participating in. If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, especially on deck or at the beach, you may want to bring larger bottles or multiple smaller ones. Aim to pack at least one ounce (30 milliliters) of sunscreen per person per day to ensure you have enough coverage.

Additionally, if you’re planning on bringing multiple types of sunscreen, such as ones for onboard outdoor activities and ones for shore excursions, make sure to pack them separately and label them accordingly. This will help you stay organized and ensure you have the right sunscreen for each specific occasion.

Keep Sunscreen Accessible During Your Cruise

To ensure that you are always protected from the sun’s rays during your cruise, it’s important to keep your sunscreen easily accessible. Consider packing a small sunscreen pouch or bag that you can keep with you at all times. This way, you can quickly apply sunscreen whenever you need it, whether you’re lounging by the pool, exploring a port of call, or participating in outdoor activities onboard.

It’s also a good idea to carry a travel-sized bottle of sunscreen in your day bag or backpack when going on shore excursions. This way, you’ll be prepared to reapply sunscreen throughout the day, even when you’re away from the ship. Remember, it’s important to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’ve been sweating or swimming.

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Alternatives to Traditional Sunscreen on a Cruise

Alternatives to Traditional Sunscreen on a Cruise

Sun-Protective Clothing and Accessories

When it comes to protecting yourself from the sun’s rays without relying solely on sunscreen, sun-protective clothing and accessories are excellent alternatives. These specially designed garments have a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating that indicates their level of sun protection. UPF clothing can effectively block harmful UV rays, providing a physical barrier between your skin and the sun.

Consider packing the following items for your cruise:

  • Wide-brimmed hats or caps: These will shield your face, neck, and ears from the sun’s intense rays. Opt for styles with a brim of at least three inches for maximum coverage.
  • Lightweight long-sleeved shirts and pants: Look for clothing made from breathable, lightweight fabrics that offer UPF 50+ protection. These garments will keep you cool while shielding your arms and legs from sun damage.
  • Cover-ups: Perfect for transitioning from swimming to dining, cover-ups provide an extra layer of protection for your shoulders and back. Choose options with UPF certification to ensure optimal sun protection.

Natural Sunscreen Options

If you’re concerned about the effects of traditional sunscreen on the environment, there are natural alternatives available that are both effective and environmentally friendly. Look for sunscreens that are mineral-based and contain ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These mineral sunscreens have larger particles that are less likely to be ingested by coral reefs, making them a safer choice for marine ecosystems.

When selecting a natural sunscreen, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Look for “non-nano” formulations: Non-nano mineral sunscreens have larger particles that are less likely to harm coral reefs and other marine life.
  • Check for biodegradable certifications: Some sunscreens are specifically labeled as biodegradable, meaning they break down more easily in the water, minimizing their impact on the environment.
  • Choose broad-spectrum options: Broad-spectrum sunscreens protect against both UVA and UVB rays, ensuring comprehensive sun protection for your skin.


Now that you have all the necessary information, you can confidently bring sunscreen on your cruise without any worries. By checking the TSA regulations beforehand, you can ensure that you are following the guidelines and avoid any issues at the security checkpoint. Remember to pack enough sunscreen for the duration of your trip, as it’s better to have more than run out. Keep your sunscreen easily accessible, so you can reapply it throughout the day and protect your skin effectively.

If you prefer alternatives to traditional sunscreen, consider investing in sun-protective clothing and accessories. These can provide an additional layer of protection against harmful UV rays. Additionally, there are natural sunscreen options available that are environmentally friendly, making them a great choice for eco-conscious travelers.

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Remember, sun protection is essential, especially when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors on a cruise. Follow the recommendations provided in this article to choose the right sunscreen products and enjoy your cruise while keeping your skin safe from the sun’s harmful rays. Bon voyage!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bring full size lotion on a cruise?

Yes, cruise lines do not have restrictions on bringing toiletries. You can bring full size lotion and other toiletry items on your cruise.

What is the 3-1-1 rule?

The 3-1-1 rule refers to the guidelines for carrying liquids in your carry-on bags. Each liquid must be in a 3.4-ounce or smaller container, all containers must be placed in a one quart-sized plastic bag, and each passenger is allowed only one plastic bag.

Can I bring sunscreen in my carry on?

Yes, you can bring sunscreen in your carry-on bag. The TSA allows liquid or aerosol spray sunscreen as long as it is in a container that is 3.4 ounces or less.

Is toothpaste considered a liquid?

Yes, toothpaste is considered a liquid by the TSA. However, if you prefer an eco-friendly option, toothpaste tablets are not subject to the 3-1-1 rule.

Can I bring sunscreen on a cruise ship?

Yes, you can bring sunscreen on a cruise ship. You are allowed to bring a quart-size, zip-lock bag of liquids, including sunscreen, as long as the individual containers are less than 3 ounces.

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