The Bizarre Reason This Helpful Baby Tool Is Banned From Cruise Ships

Cruise line passengers can't take objects like weapons, drugs, or even certain amounts of alcohol on to the ship for a range of easily understandable reasons. However, it might surprise you to learn that baby monitors often feature on the list of prohibited items, although the rules vary between companies. For instance, Royal Caribbean prohibits baby monitors, alongside drones (another device you should think twice before bringing on a cruise) and hoverboards.


Even if a cruise line allows guests to have baby monitors on board, they often don't work correctly on the ship. Just like with your cell phone or similar devices, the signals coming from the monitors may not have enough strength to reach you — especially if you wander the decks far from your cabin. In a Reddit thread about baby monitors on cruises, multiple posters commented that the tech doesn't suit the setting, citing the lack of signal from outside of the room. One such Redditor wrote: "As long as you can be back with the baby in 60 seconds, you are fine. Basically the range of the monitor."

You may wonder why you can't bring baby monitors on a cruise if they won't offer much benefit. Well, safety plays a major role in these policies. In this case, baby monitors can disrupt the ship's navigation or radio systems. The latter has occurred on at least one occasion on an airplane. Security tends to seize prohibited items, so consider that before you pack for your upcoming cruise.


Do any cruise lines allow baby monitors?

Disney Cruise Lines stands out as the major exception to the industry-standard "no baby monitors allowed" rule. It permits these items, though with a key caveat: The ship's Chief Electrician must examine any baby monitors you bring on board. For this reason, you'll want to pack these items in your carry-on. If they pass the inspection, you can use them during your trip. However, security will keep the monitors until disembarkation if they don't receive approval as part of this process.


The company doesn't list the parameters for what baby monitors passengers can use during a Disney Cruise. However, cruisers on DISboards sharing their experiences with items like monitors and white noise machines said it depends on the wattage of the device. Disney Cruise Lines has approved a maximum wattage of 1500W for 110V items and 2000W for 220V items. Meanwhile, Redditors discussing the same topic suggested avoiding a Wi-Fi enabled monitor to pass security screening.

Alternatives for baby monitors on a cruise

When it comes to baby monitor workarounds, legacy cruisers often have terrific advice. Since the majority of cruise lines don't allow these items, parents remain on the lookout for alternatives. For cruisers with good Wi-Fi packages, some Redditors suggest using two cell phones to communicate with each other in lieu of a baby monitor. In this case, you would set up one phone to act as a monitor using an app like Facetime with or without video and keep the other phone on you. As long as the Wi-Fi signal stays strong, you should be able to hear or see your little one.


Meanwhile, some cruisers on the Royal Caribbean forum suggest using regular walkie-talkies with the button taped down so it stays on. Though others say this method often proves inadequate, and companies like Norwegian Cruise Line have banned walkie-talkies on their ships. You could also download a security camera app on your phone to keep an eye on the situation, according to users on both the RC forum and Reddit.

Other cruisers suggest doing away with the need for the monitor at all, such as not leaving the child alone. Whatever your vacation style, you should have options to make it work. When you're ready to book your trip, check out Samantha Brown's top tips for planning your dream cruise!