Even though many airlines will let you fly with your pet, cruises are not generally pet-friendly. “Cunard Line is the only cruise line that regularly… With marijuana legalization accross the country, you might be wondering can you bring weed on a cruise ship? Cruise lines prohibit the use and… CBD has exploded in popularity, with shops now seemingly everywhere. But can you take your CBD products on your next cruise?
Surprising Things You Can’t Bring on a Cruise Ship
While you’re sailing to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean, the glorious glaciers of Alaska or another one of the most gorgeous coastlines in the world, the last thing you need is the buzzkill of learning that you packed a prohibited item. Most cruise lines have fairly clear packing tips on their websites, offering suggestions about what to bring (you may need at least one fancy outfit) and, equally important, what not to bring, and you might be surprised by some of the items that aren’t permitted on cruise ships.
There’s no universal list of items that are banned across the board, so we combed through lists of prohibited items for the world’s largest cruise lines — with a few smaller lines, just for balance. Some of the prohibited items are no-brainers, but others were legitimately surprising. We also picked up some tips from Colleen McDaniel, editor-in-chief of CruiseCritic.com, a leading cruise resource.
One note: our list doesn’t cover every item banned by every line. Don’t wait until the last minute to check your own cruise line’s website or travel agreement to make sure your careful planning job doesn’t get sunk at the security checkpoint.
Even though many airlines will let you fly with your pet, cruises are not generally pet-friendly. “Cunard Line is the only cruise line that regularly allows dogs on board, with kennels available for boarding,” McDaniel said in an email. “Animals are banned on all other lines, with the exception of service animals.” Emotional support animals, which do not qualify as service animals under the Americans With Disabilities Act, are generally not allowed.
It’s understandable that nervous parents might want to keep track of their little ones on board (especially on one of the best cruises for kids), just as they would at home. Some lines ban baby monitors, and others have special rules about them, so verify before you go. Disney Cruise Lines notes on its prohibited-items list that baby monitors will be collected for inspection by the ship’s chief electrician and, if approved, will be returned for onboard use.
Hoverboards don’t really hover in the air, but are self-balancing scooters. Not only do some cruise lines ban them, but even if they are allowed, you may have trouble getting them there if you’re flying to the cruise terminal. Many airlines do not allow them in carry-ons or checked baggage because of fire risk.
If you want to turn the onboard buffet into a bottomless booze brunch, we suggest you purchase the beverage package instead of smuggling liquor bottles on board, as alcohol policies vary widely by line. Some lines allow any alcohol, others may allow only a bottle or two of wine or Champagne, and others don’t allow any booze to be brought on board. “Do be aware that for lines that allow guests to bring wine on board and consumed in the ship’s restaurants, you might incur a corkage fee,” McDaniel said.
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is derived from cannabis and is legal and widely available in the U.S. Some use it to relieve pain, anxiety or other issues, but the cruise industry’s strict no-drug policies mean it is forbidden by most major lines. Here are some other helpful things to know about CBD.
You may want to order room service, light some candles and turn your stateroom into a romantic restaurant, but quench that flame. “Cruise lines are vigilant about fire safety, and guests are prohibited from using open flames on board, which also means flame-lit candles are not permitted on board,” McDaniel said. In fact, the biggest difference between cruise ship kitchens and restaurant kitchens is the fact that all cruise ship stoves and ovens are electric, with no open flames.
Pack carefully, because McDaniel said you can’t bring a clothing iron on board — it can pose a fire hazard, and you won’t find one in your cabin. What to do if your dress for the formal dinner comes out of your suitcase wrinkled? “We’ve had some luck with wrinkle spray, and many lines also have laundry services that offer pressing as a service,” McDaniel said. Wearing wrinkled clothing to formal night may be an etiquette mistake, but as everyone’s in the same boat (literally), it can be forgiven.
Realistic toy guns
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Real guns aren’t the only issue — realistic toy guns, whether they’re water pistols or part of a Halloween costume, are most likely banned on your cruise line, too. The reason is obvious: They can be mistaken for the real thing. However, Disney Cruise Line notes that store-bought lightsabers, plastic toy pirate swords and plastic toy replicas of Thor’s hammer are allowed.
Mace, tear gas or pepper spray
Have a small canister of pepper spray attached to your keys or hidden in a purse? Remove it before you sail. While they may help keep you safe while traveling, these kinds of sprays are almost certainly banned.
Scissors with blades over 4 inches
A small pair of scissors might seem like one of those things you should never vacation without, but if you decide to bring a pair of scissors with you, stick to nail scissors. Generally, cruise lines disallow scissors with blades that exceed 4 inches.
Incense can make a romantic evening even more lovey-dovey (or make those tiny cabin bathrooms smell better.) But as with candles, it’s likely to be prohibited on your cruise line as a fire hazard. Stick to perfume or an air freshener.
Many travelers take cruises to celebrate a birthday or anniversary and may want to deck out their stateroom with balloons and decorations. Again, check with your line. Helium tanks, even small ones, are probably forbidden, and Disney Cruise Line, for one, bans both balloons and kites.
Inflatable kiddie pools and pool toys
Cruise ships are known for having some outrageous pools. So not only do you not need to bring an inflatable one, but unless your line specifically says otherwise, you should leave the blow-up doughnuts and pool noodles at home. Yes, even on Disney — the pool will just get too crowded if everyone brings a gigantic unicorn inflatable.
Yes, many of us cannot live without our daily caffeine fix. Rest assured your ship will serve plenty of java, and will likely forbid packing you from your own Mr. Coffee, Keurig, espresso machine or any other type of coffee maker.
This one will surely bum out Hawkeye from “The Avengers.” You may be the best archer out there, but leave your bow and arrows at home for safety reasons. No crossbows, either.
Drones can be an entertaining diversion, soaring through the sky and capturing great aerial video, but don’t assume you can bring yours. Not only is operating a drone from the pool deck one of the most annoying things you can do on a cruise, many lines ban them as a safety hazard, McDaniel said, and the ones that do allow them do not allow onboard use. It’s also not a guarantee that the ports where the ship stops will permit the use of drones on shore, she said.
Shoes with wheels
Kids and kids-at-heart may love those wheeled shoes, but even kid-friendly Disney Cruise Line doesn’t allow them. It also forbids other wheeled items, such as skateboards and inline skates — imagine the potential for collisions if an enthused wheel-wearer meets with a slow-moving passenger.
Extension cords with surge protectors
Outlets are never where you want them to be, it seems, whether in a hotel room or a cruise ship stateroom. An extension cord might seem harmless (and bringing one to a hotel is a genius hotel room hack), but some cruise lines do prohibit or restrict them. Holland America Line, for example, says they are allowed “when used with proper caution,” but prohibits the type that come with surge protectors.
Diver spear guns
Cruises can take travelers to some of the world’s best destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving, but diver spear guns are banned on many cruise lines, and other diving equipment, such as air tanks, may also be prohibited. Check with your line, which may be able to arrange rental dive equipment in ports of call.
Boating and kayaking can be the cornerstone of a memorable summer adventure. But don’t try to bring your own lifeboat, inflatable or other watercraft, on the ship. There may be opportunities for memorable boating excursions in the ports, but you won’t have to BYO boat.
Marijuana laws are changing nationwide, but not on the seas. “Cruise lines are governed by federal law — meaning you are not allowed to bring marijuana of any kind on a cruise ship, including for medicinal purposes,” McDaniel said. “There are no exceptions.”
Weapons and ammunition
Arina P Habich/Shutterstock
All weapons are prohibited on cruise ships due to security regulations, even for those who have permits to carry a weapon back home. Guns aren’t the only weapon banned. Don’t try to take other brass knuckles or throwing stars either.
A drink cooler seems harmless, right? Maybe to keep extra beverages cold in your room? Check with your line, because coolers might not be cool with them. Princess, for example, only allows coolers approximately 12 inches-by-12 inches-by-12 inches. Princess makes exceptions if you hand-carry a larger cooler and if it carries absolute necessities, such as baby food or formula, kosher or special diet food, or medication, and many cruise lines have their own policy. Reading up on what is — and isn’t — allowed on your ship before packing is just one of many cruise tips that all first-timers should know.
Can You Bring Weed on a Cruise Ship?
With countries worldwide taking a progressive stance towards marijuana, and legalization in many US states, you might be wondering if you can bring weed on a cruise ship.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about smoking marijuana on a cruise.
We’ll break down the official rules and the consequences to those who break them.
Table of Contents
Can You Bring Weed on a Cruise Ship?
You cannot bring weed on a cruise ship. All cruise lines prohibit passengers from bringing cannabis products, including both recreational and medical, on their vessels.
Cruise lines that depart from the United States operate under US federal laws. While many states have moved to decriminalize and legalize marijuana on a state level, weed is still illegal to possess at the federal level.
Even if the cruise ship departs from a state where weed is legal, passengers cannot bring the drug on board the vessel.
So, although you can smoke cigarettes on a cruise ship, you cannot smoke cannabis.
Can I Bring CBD, Delta 8, a Vape Pen, Edibles, or Other Infused Products on a Cruise?
Cruise lines do not allow marijuana and cannabis-related products on the ship.
The policies set out by cruise lines are clear; real and synthetic marijuana in all its forms is forbidden on a cruise ship.
The policy includes buds, oils, vape pens, vape cartridges, and edibles.
While items like Delta 8 have a quasi-legal status in many states, they too are banned from cruise ships.
As a rule, if it has marijuana in it, real or synthetic, it is not allowed on a cruise ship.
The rules are not limited to products that contain THC. Cruise lines also prohibit CBD products.
Cruise Line Policies on Marijuana
There is conflict on the legal status of marijuana at the state and federal levels.
Many states have chosen to legalize marijuana for medical and personal use. However, consumption and possession of cannabis is illegal under US federal law.
Cruise lines that depart the US must follow federal laws. As such, even cruises that depart states with legal pot status must prohibit the use of marijuana.
The ship isn’t the only place where pot is prohibited.
Cruise lines have policies that prohibit the use of weed on the ship, at the cruise terminal, in ports of call, and during shore excursions.
In other words, don’t expect to use weed at any time during your cruise vacation.
“In no event shall any Passenger bring on board the Vessel or check-in, or in connection with the Land Tour, any illegal controlled substances (including medical marijuana). Marijuana possession and/or use, including medical marijuana, and possession or use of any illegal drugs, is strictly prohibited in many jurisdictions visited and on the Vessel at all times, as well as in terminals, during shore excursions or any other part of the cruise, regardless of any local, state, or other laws which might permit use or possession of marijuana.”
Royal Caribbean Cruise/Cruisetour Ticket Contract
“Carnival recognizes that some states in the U.S. have fully legalized the use of recreational and/or medical marijuana. However, cruise lines are required to follow U.S. federal law, which strictly prohibits possession and use of marijuana and other illegal, controlled substances. Since all cruise terminals in the U.S. are federal facilities, the terminals and our ships are drug-free zones.”
Carnival Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line
“No illegal drugs or other illegal substances including but not limited to medical marijuana are allowed onboard or may be utilized during a Norwegian Cruise Line vacation, including during transfers to and from ships, inside terminals, during shore excursions or at our private island.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Guest Conduct Policy
“All illegal drugs, non-prescribed controlled substances, medically prescribed marijuana or synthetic marijuana and CBD products are prohibited.”
Can You Sneak Weed on a Cruise?
Despite the possible consequences of possessing or consuming weed, many passengers still try to sneak the drug onto the cruise ship.
We don’t recommend doing it.
While it might seem easy to sneak weed onto a cruise ship, the consequences, passengers caught in possession of pot face severe consequences. It’s just not worth the risk.
Consider the case of a Pennsylvania cruiser caught with two bags of pot while boarding Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas. A subsequent search of her cabin found marijuana pipes, cannabis oil, and an electric grinder. She was arrested by the Bermuda authorities and pleaded guilty to four counts of drug possession. The woman was fined $4,000, which she had to pay on the spot under the threat of jail time.
After paying the fine, she was sent home.
If you are thinking about sneaking weed onto a cruise ship, consider that, among other possible charges, bringing marijuana into international waters or a foreign county is drug trafficking.
What Happens if You Get Caught With Weed on a Cruise?
Cruise lines outline several consequences for passengers caught with weed on a cruise.
Consequences may include confiscation of the weed, a permanent ban from the cruise line, fines, immediate disembarkation, and denial of boarding. Cruise lines may report you to the local authorities depending on the ship’s location.
The exact consequences will vary, but many passengers have reported seeing other guests under arrest or kicked off the ship for possession of marijuana.
Passengers who violate the laws of any jurisdiction are subject to being reported to law enforcement or customs authorities, arrest and prosecution. Passengers who bring on board dangerous items, marijuana in any form, or any illegal drugs or controlled substances are also subject to immediate disembarkation or denial of boarding. Passengers shall have no claim for refund, loss, damage, inconvenience, or compensation whatsoever under any of these circumstances.
Royal Caribbean Cruise/Cruisetour Ticket Contract
Can You Smoke Weed at Port?
Some cruises stop in countries where weed is legal.
For example, in Amsterdam, it is legal to consume weed in the city’s famous “coffee shops.”
The menus feature pre-rolled joints, loose grass, and edibles. Just remember, there’s no takeout.
As we’ve stated, it is against the cruise line’s policy to smoke weed in port. However, there is a reduced chance that you will get in trouble.
Some cruise ports, such as Alaska and Amsterdam, offer organized shore excursions with a cannabis theme.
If you consume cannabis in a port where it is legal, then return to the ship a few hours later, it would be nearly impossible for the cruise line to know.
While security will check your bags to ensure you don’t bring cannabis on the ship, they don’t have any checks to see if you are high.
As long as you don’t cause a disturbance, you should be ok. But, as it is against the cruise line policy, there’s always a risk.
An important note, while the Bahamas and Caribbean are known for their pot-friendly culture, weed is illegal in most countries. Even in Jamaica, smoking weed is illegal and punishable by a fine.
If you plan to smoke marijuana in port, check the local laws. While local authorities turn a blind eye towards locals, they are known to target tourists.
Locals might harass tourists by offering to sell small amounts of weed only to alert local authorities. Passengers caught breaking the law are forced to pay heavy fines under the threat of jail time.
The Bahamas has a reputation for targeting tourists as a source of revenue.
What About Smoking Pot on Alaskan Cruises?
Photo by Danika Perkinson on Unsplash
Alaska has a progressive stance toward cannabis, with adults able to use the drug recreationally. You may be able to consume weed at ports of call in Alaska.
Remember, if you decide to consume pot while on a cruise in Alaska, you will be doing so against the cruise contract. It’s unlikely that the cruise line will catch you, but you should be aware of the risk.
Alaskan cruises often depart from Seattle, Washington, or Vancouver, Canada. Washington state and Canada have legalized weed, but that doesn’t mean you can take it on a cruise ship.
Washington state is one of the most progressive regarding the legalization of marijuana. Under state law, weed is legal for recreational use.
And if you depart from Vancouver, you should know that the use of marijuana became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018.
Sine most Alaskan cruises depart and return to cities where recreational use is legal; you might think you can bring it on your cruise.
But you’d be wrong.
No matter where a ship departs, or the destinations it visits, weed is not allowed on cruise ships.
Although Alaska and Washington have state laws that allow the recreational use of marijuana, it is still illegal at the federal level.
Is Weed Legal in the Bahamas
Weed is illegal in the Bahamas and is punishable by up to 10 years of prison and a fine of up to $120,000.
Is Weed Legal in Jamaica
Weed is illegal in Jamaica. Despite Jamaica’s reputation as a cannabis haven, possession of marijuana is not legal.
Is Medical Marijuana Allowed on a Cruise?
Medical marijuana is not allowed on a cruise ship. Cruise ships are required to follow federal laws. Although medical marijuana might be legal in your state, it is still illegal at the federal level and not allowed on a cruise ship.
If you use medical marijuana, cruise lines suggest asking your doctor for an alternative to use during your cruise vacation.
Do Cruise Lines Check for Marijuana When You Board?
Cruise ship security teams have various procedures to check luggage for banned and illegal substances. The security screening for passengers and luggage may involve using dogs to sniff out drugs.
What if I am High When I Return to the Ship From Port?
If you get high in port (where legal) and return to the ship, it is unlikely that you will face any consequences unless you are disorderly.
Security doesn’t check if passengers are high when they return to the ship. That said using weed in port is against cruise lines’ policies. If you are caught smoking in a cruise port, you may face consequences.
Can I Bring CBD Oil on a Cruise?
Many states have relaxed laws on CBD. However, cruise lines have broad policies which include CBD as a prohibited substance.
Can I Bring CBD on a Cruise Ship? (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian)
To say there’s been a revolution in public opinion around marijuana, hemp, and CBD would be putting it lightly. Following the passage of a recent farm bill in Congress, the rules regarding CBD oils specifically have seemingly eased; in fact, you might have noticed a boom in shops selling products with CBD oils in them. You might have even noticed CBD in places you’d never expect like convenience stores and even national chains like Bed Bath & Beyond.
So why is CBD so popular? For many of the same reasons that taking a cruise is so popular. Many people report eased anxiety, better sleep, pain relief, and more. In a country where for years many people have turned to pharmaceuticals for health problems, many believe that CBD offers better benefits with fewer side effects and are a healthier option.
Of course, with the number of people using CBD, that also means there are more people who want to know if they can bring it on a cruise ship. That’s why we’ve looked into the rules to see if you can board your ship with CBD on your next vacation.
Relaxing Rules Mean More Acceptance. What About Cruises?
As rules surrounding marijuana, hemp, and CBD relax in the United States (and other parts of the world), it has put the cruise lines in confusing situation.
Take marijuana, for instance. If you are taking an Alaskan cruise, the ship would likely leave from Seattle, sail to Alaska, and have a call in Canada. In all three of these places recreational marijuana is legal. So you can bring it on a cruise, right?
Wrong. As we explained here , cruise lines follow federal laws, which still make marijuana illegal. It’s also illegal to take the substance into or out of Canada .
So what about CBD, which doesn’t contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? Isn’t it legal in the U.S.? Doesn’t that mean you can take it?
The Definitive Word on CBD on a Cruise Ship
Truth is, the laws surrounding CBD are still fuzzy. For instance, PBS NewsHour put together an exhaustive article around the legality of CBD. They had this to say:
“Yes, purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC, but some state laws have put restrictions on buyers. For example, Virginians can only buy and possess CBD if they have a prescription…
“…These federal provisions, as written, also have a blindspot whereby a store can sell as much CBD as it wants, as long it doesn’t make any health claims about its products, put it in food nor add it to dietary supplements.”
But one thing to remember is that cruises may depart from the United States, but they travel to other countries. So cruise lines are dealing not only with U.S. law, but Mexican law, Canadian law, Bahamian law, Aruban law, and many more.
In other words, it’s far simpler and easier simply to not let passengers bring CBD on a cruise and stay clear of violations. This keeps both the cruise line and the individual passengers in the clear.
That’s why you can’t bring CBD on a cruise.
For example, Carnival Cruise Lines specifically mentioned CBD on their prohibited items list :
“Any illegal narcotics/drugs including synthetic, designer drugs, Cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana”
Royal Caribbean doesn’t specifically mention CBD products on its list of prohibited items, but does mention “illegal drugs and substances.” When we asked the cruise line, they told us that “We do not allow any cannabis-derivative products (including CBD products) aboard our fleet.”
Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Guest Conduct Policy states that “no illegal drugs or other illegal substances including but not limited to medical marijuana are allowed onboard…”
While there is no mention specifically of CBD by Norwegian, we contacted the cruise line who affirmed that the substance is not allowed on their ships either.
Put simply, don’t bring your CBD-infused items on your cruise. They are against the rules for now.