Cruising with a CPAP: Common Questions & Answers
  • 17 Jun 2022
  • 4 Minutes to read
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Cruising with a CPAP: Common Questions & Answers

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By Lily - Registered Respiratory Therapist

Cruising with a CPAP is not as complicated as you may think. Cruise lines do their best to accommodate passengers, and bringing your CPAP machine along won’t take away from your overall cruise experience. 

This guide answers common questions on how to cruise with a CPAP. Please note that information regarding specific cruise lines are taken directly from each cruise line’s official website.  

Can I bring my CPAP on the cruise?

Yes, you can bring a CPAP machine on your cruise. This applies for all cruise lines. Please make sure you let your cruise line know in advance (at least 30 days before the sailing date) you will be bringing a CPAP. 

This can be done on the cruise line’s website. There is usually a “Special Needs” form that you can fill out online. If no such form exists, you can email or call the Guest Special Needs department. 

What voltage is used on cruise ships?

The type of cruise you’re going on (ocean vs river) and the cruise line you’re sailing with determines the voltage used on board. Most of the major cruise lines (Viking, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, MSC, Celebrity, MSC, Carnival, Cunard, Holland America) that offer ocean cruises have 110V and 220/230V outlets in the staterooms. Disney and Princess Cruises only have 110V outlets in the staterooms. 

River cruises may only offer one type of outlet depending on which part of the world you’ll be cruising in, so it’s best to check with your cruise line on that. Viking Cruises, for instance, have both 110V and 220V outlets on their Europe and Mississippi river cruises, but if your Viking river cruise is in Russia, Egypt, or Ukraine, there is only 220V/230V on board. 

Will I need an adapter for my CPAP? 

If your cruise ship has 110V outlets, you will not need an adapter. You can just plug your machine into the outlet. If your ship only has 220V/230V outlets, you will need to check the voltage on your machine. 

If you see INPUT AC 100V - 240V on your AC adapter, your machine is dual voltage and can be plugged into 220V/230V outlets. You may need a plug adapter if the shape of the outlet is different from the standard US type A and B plugs. 

Can I bring lithium batteries on a cruise? 

Yes, there are no limitations/restrictions for batteries on cruise ships.  

Can I bring distilled water on the ship? 

Yes, you can bring distilled water onboard cruise ships including Royal Carribean. Many cruise lines will provide distilled water to your stateroom if you let them know before the sailing that you will bring a CPAP machine. 

When cruising on Royal Caribbean, please fill out the "Guest Special Needs" form the Royal Caribbean website at least 30 days prior to your sailing. 

Do cruise ships provide distilled water?

Yes, many cruise lines will provide a gallon of distilled water in your stateroom provided you notify them in advance that you will be bringing a CPAP. You can do this by going to the cruise line’s website and submitting a guest special needs form. Your distilled water will be waiting for you in your stateroom. 

You can also request distilled water from your stateroom attendant if you forget to request it prior to sailing. A lot of cruise lines will also provide an extension cord along with the distilled water because outlets are usually located at the desk rather than by the bed. 

Is there a fee for distilled water provided by the cruise? 

Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Princess, Disney, Celebrity, MSC and Cunard provide complimentary distilled water. Carnival and Holland America charge a small fee per gallon of distilled water. 

Do I need to bring an extension cord? 

A lot of staterooms have outlets by the desk rather than by the bed, so you may not be able to use your CPAP without an extension cord. Newer ships may have outlets more conveniently located by the bed. 

You can always look at stateroom photos for your ship and stateroom category to see if you can spot the outlets. Most cruise lines provide extension cords upon request at Guest Services. 

You can also speak with your stateroom attendant to request one. Please keep in mind that ships have a limited supply of extension cords, so they can run out. It’s best to request one prior to sailing. 

You can bring your own extension cord and put it in your carry on along with your CPAP. Please do not bring a power strip as there is a chance that the surge protector can overload the ship’s circuit and cause an electrical fire. Power strips are prohibited and will be confiscated at check in. 

Should I check in my CPAP or bring it as a carry on? 

Please bring your CPAP and all supplies on the ship as your carry on. It can take a few hours for your checked luggage to arrive at your stateroom, so you might be out of luck if you want to take a nap on embarkation day. 

Don’t expect to receive all your checked luggage at the same time, either. There’s always a chance that the suitcase with your CPAP will end up arriving last, hours after all your other stuff has been sent to your stateroom. Save yourself the stress of wondering where your CPAP is and just bring it with you. 


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