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Bluetooth Speakers and Cruises – How and When to Bring One Onboard

If you are taking a cruise you may be wondering if you are allowed to bring a Bluetooth speaker onboard. Cruise lines have many rules and restrictions about what can and cannot be bought onto the ship.

I have been on multiple cruises and have personal experience using Bluetooth speakers on cruises. The guidelines and restrictions mentioned in this post also apply to portable speakers which are not Bluetooth connected.

Can You Bring a Bluetooth Speaker on a Cruise?

Cruise lines do allow guests to bring Bluetooth speakers on cruises. The majority of cruise lines only allow Bluetooth speakers to be used in personal staterooms and it is usually best to bring the Bluetooth speaker onboard by placing it in your hand luggage.

The cruise line is able to confiscate your speaker if they feel the need to do so. Some cruise lines will confiscate large speakers at check-in but a small Bluetooth speaker should be fine.

Carnival Cruise Line have the following to say:

“Bluetooth, portable and wireless speakers are only permitted within your stateroom and must be used respectfully and at reasonable sound levels and times of day.”

Carnival Cruise Line – source
bluetooth speaker

Where Can You Use Bluetooth Speakers on a Cruise?

The majority of cruise lines allow Bluetooth speakers to be used only in cabins.

Bluetooth speakers are not allowed to be used in the public lounges or on the top deck at any time.

On occasion, guests do try to use speakers in public spaces but when this happens the guests are usually asked to turn off the speaker. If a passenger didn’t comply the cruise line would be able to confiscate the speaker in question.

Using a Bluetooth Speaker in a Cruise Cabin

It’s worth bearing in mind that cruise ship cabins are not soundproof. It’s possible to hear the guests in the next cabin yawn or sneeze on occasion, so be careful not to create too much noise.

The following cruise ship speaker etiquette is appreciated:

Keep The Volume Low

I’d strongly suggest that the Bluetooth speaker volume is kept at the same level as the cabin’s TV on medium. By doing this it is unlikely that other passengers would be affected by the noise.

Avoid Using The Speaker on a Balcony

Listening to music through a Bluetooth speaker on the balcony of a cruise ship is likely to negatively affect fellow passengers. Sound travels further than you’d think on the balcony and this is best avoided at all costs.

On the majority of cruises, it’s unlikely that you’ll notice the other guests at all when stood on your balcony. There are a couple of cruise lines where smoking on the balcony is allowed but this is very rare. To learn more, click here: Cruise Line Balcony Smoking Policies – On These 4 Lines You Can Smoke on Your Balcony.

If at all possible, make sure that the balcony cabin door is closed when the Bluetooth speaker is in use.

Use The Speaker Only During The Day

Even if you have the speaker at a low level, it’s likely that others will hear the music if it is early in the morning or late at night. When the ship is quiet sound tends to travel further.

I’d suggest not using the speaker before 9 am and not after around 7 pm. Cruises are very popular with families and the last thing you want to do is keep a child near you awake.

Some Cruise Lines Have Built in Bluetooth Speakers

I recently took a cruise with MSC onboard the MSC Virtuosa. The MSC Virtuosa actually has a Bluetooth speaker built into the desk of all of the cabins.

The speaker is called Zoe, she is a personal assistant who is meant to do a lot more than just being a speaker, but in my experience, she is best used as a speaker. Zoe connects to guest’s phones and guests are able to play music through her.

Zoe is fixed to the desk (I assume so that guests don’t take her home).

zoe MSC speaker
Zoe – MSC’s Virtual Assistant

How to Bring a Bluetooth Speaker on a Cruise

When bringing a bluetooth speaker onboard a cruise it’s best to place the speaker inside your hand luggage.

When embarking on a cruise, the cruise line will usually take your suitcase and the next place you will see it is in your cabin. I always suggest that anything of value or anything that could break, such as a speaker is taken in your hand luggage.

Of course, if you didn’t want to do this, you could wrap the speaker in a few t-shirts and I’m sure it would be fine.

Any technology like this is bought on board at your own risk.

Here’s the bluetooth speaker that I have (and love), it’s light, easy to use and cheap! >> UK site. US site.

Other Common Cruise Tech Queries

Many cruise passengers have questions about bringing power strips and portable hotspots on cruises. You’ll find these restrictions explained in more detail here:

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

Mobile Hotspots Do Work on Cruises (Where’s When and How)

Taking a Cruise: Recommendations and Resources

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