Packing, Prohibited Items, Life at Sea

Academic Life at Sea

Academic Life at Sea

Living and learning on a Semester at Sea voyage is an exhilarating, exhausting, and challenging endeavor. Chances are it is unlike any living-learning experience you have had, either on a traditional land campus or any other study abroad program. The experience has a number of distinctive elements you should bear in mind:

  • The rhythm of the voyage dictates your life more than a typical academic semester does. Classes meet every other day at sea, including Saturdays and Sundays. Port stays are the closest you will get to a weekend. However, some days in port will be dedicated to Field Classes. See a visual breakdown of the schedule of class days on the Academic Calendar.
  • Time management can be a challenge during Semester at Sea. You will face a myriad of outside pressures—from cultural exploration in port to a vibrant student life program on the MV World Odyssey—that may tempt you to postpone your coursework. While a large part of your time during the voyage will be spent outside of the classroom, it is expected that you will come to class prepared, with all assignments completed on the due date. You must make time to study. 
  • You will be living and learning in a floating residential college with nearly 600 students from over 200 different colleges and universities; a number of Lifelong Learners; 25-28 faculty members and their families; 25 staff members and their families; and upwards of 200 crew members from around the the world. The ship’s community includes a rich mix of generations from young children to senior adult Lifelong Learners. We encourage you to embrace this unique and diverse academic village and avail yourself of your shipmates’ knowledge and experiences.

Dietary Restrictions

The dining halls on board the MV World Odyssey will have a variety of options for each meal, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free options. Each meal will also have a sign posted above it indicating if it contains any dairy, nuts or wheat/gluten. While this is sufficient for those with light allergies or sensitivities, it should not be your only resource for those with severe food allergies.

If you have any medically diagnosed dietary restrictions, please speak with a dining room steward so they can properly prepare meals. View the video below to learn more about vegan eating options on our shipboard campus!


Packing List

What to Bring, and What to Leave

Preparing to pack for your voyage may seem like a daunting task, but words to live by are: lay out everything that you think you need, put back half, and then pack what’s left. The bottom line: come prepared, but travel lightly. Your belongings (including the luggage itself) are stored in your cabin. Keep this in mind when you are deciding between a huge suitcase or a soft-sided duffel on wheels (the latter is a great choice.) The packing list is intended as a suggestion only and is not exhaustive. Please use your personal judgment and best discretion when preparing for your voyage.


General Packing List

Baggage Limit: 2 checked bags, 1 carry-on luggage (such as a small duffel bag), 1 personal item (such as a backpack)

  • Your luggage will be stored in your cabin. Consider bringing a duffel bag on wheels rather than a huge suitcase.
  • You may want to sway toward more conservative dress in port as certain instances, such as visits to businesses, meetings with government officials, and special events or dinners, will call for special attire. Additionally, visits to houses of worship will require covered shoulders, shorts/skirts below the knee, and closed-toe shoes.
  • Life with Semester at Sea is casual except for a few special occasions. You are limited to two pieces of luggage plus a carry-on. Pack for maximum versatility.
  • Bed linens and bath towels are provided on the ship. You do not need to pack them.


Additional Tips for Preparing to Sail on the MV World Odyssey

  • The MV World Odyssey only has European outlets with a voltage of 220v. If you have a non-European device with an input range of 110v-240v you will only need an adaptor. If your device only has a single input range of below 220v, you will need a converter. To verify if you will need a converter, check the label on your device’s power supply.
  • There are only two European outlets in each cabin and one shaver outlet in the bathroom. The shaver outlet is dual voltage (110v and 220v) however, it is designed for low voltage appliances and can only accommodate shavers or similar devices. Power strips and extension cords are not allowed. However, in order to increase plug capacity, consider purchasing an adapter that also offers two USB connections.
  • Straightening/curling irons are only allowed on board if you have proof that they are auto-shutoff. If you have no proof, it will be confiscated during check-in and will not be returned to you. Please verify the voltage on your device as many of these devices are single voltage and may need a converter to be used on board. You may also consider purchasing a dual voltage hair straightener or curling iron.
  • You will not be allowed to affix any items to your cabin walls. The cabin walls on the MV World Odyssey are not magnetic. All adhesives including, but not limited to, regular tape, duct tape, wall mounting tape/adhesive strips, poster tape, and thumb tacks/push pins are not allowed on the ship. Cabin stewards check cabins daily so please do not plan to affix any items to the interior or exterior cabin walls. If any adhesives are brought to the ship they will be confiscated at check-in.

Prohibited Items


In accordance with the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the following items are prohibited aboard the ship.  Confiscated items cannot be returned and will be destroyed. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary.

(includes empty bottles/cans, souvenirs, or gifts)
Illicit Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia 
(includes pipes, water pipes, hookas, souvenirs or replicas)
(includes these guns: air, bb, pellet, flare, paint ball, starter, blow, and replicas)
Sharp Items/Weapons 
(includes ice pick/axe, box cutter, utility knife, saber, swords, or look-alikes)
Martial Arts/Self Defense Items

  • billy clubs
  • black jacks
  • brass knuckles
  • Kubatons
  • night sticks
  • nunchucks
  • throwing stars
  • stun guns/shocking devices
  • Disabling Chemicals (includes pepper spray, mace, tear gas)
Drones or Kites of any kind
Adhesive Tape

  • duct tape
  • electrical
  • regular tape
  • double-sided
  • masking tape
  • blue (painter’s) tape
Select Tools 
(includes hammer, crowbar, axe, saw, hatchet)
Dangerous Materials
(includes fire extinguishers, bleach, paint & thinner, fireworks, flares, all fuel)
Any Items that are potential fire hazard

  • aerosol cans
  • candles
  • incense
  • oil lamps
  • lighters
  • matches
Items with Hot/Heating Elements 
(includes hot or coffee pots, halogen lamps, clothes iron)
Personal hair appliances that are not auto-shut off

  • Curling irons and hair straighteners must be UL approved and have auto shut-off devices
  • Portable Hair Dryer for In-Country Use Only (Each cabin is equipped with a hair dryer)
Electrical Extension Devices (includes extension cords, octopus plugs, power strips)
Walkie-talkie and 2-way radios
Select Sporting Goods 
(includes darts, bats, bows & arrows, spear gun)
Oversized Items
(includes surfboards, bikes, scuba gear, steamer trunks, x-large luggage, x-large musical instruments, x-large exercise equipment, x-large souvenirs, oversized fossils/stones)
Live Animals/Pets/ Plants
(of any kind/size)
Select Food & Beverage Item, to include but not limited to:

  • Unsealed fresh or dry food (individually factory sealed portions not exceeding 1 kg /2.2 lbs) OK; they must be able to be consumed at one time)
  • Fresh produce of any kind
  • Beverages with twist-off caps; ** No beverages may be brought to the ship at the initial embarkation
  • Ready-to-eat meals

*Lifelong Learners, Faculty, Staff, and their legal-aged Dependents may bring aboard two bottles of alcohol per port (maximum size: 1 liter per bottle) for personal use in their cabin.