bringing food on board when returning to the ship after an excursion

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#1
404 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Hi all,

I know that bringing food off the ship is definitely not allowed - for obvious reasons. My question is: what about bringing food onto the ship which you've purchased in port? The reason that I'm asking is because I had two different experiences on two different cruise lines.

A few years ago I was on the Star Princess doing a Hawaiian Island cruise. When we got to one of the islands (I can't remember which one) I was shopping and couldn't resist buying four baby papayas (by that time I was tired of the lack of variety of the fruit on board). I returned to the ship and went through security with no issues and enjoyed my papayas for the next few days!!

A few months ago I was on the Radiance of the Seas and we were stopped in Tahiti. Again my eye went to some fresh fruit and I bought some to enjoy on board. When I was going through security they told me that I was not allowed to bring it in and I ended up getting off and having to eat it (or as much as I could) near the gangway before I was able to board. I was surprised that it was an issue now when it hadn't been the previous time.

So..I was wondering..do different cruiselines have different policies about this? Could it be different depending on which port you are in? Or..did Princess just not notice it the first time?
#2
Columbia SC
187 Posts
Joined Nov 2010
I've brought wrapped food onboard, like rumcakes or chocolate, but never tried to bring fresh fruit. I don't think that fresh fruit is permitted because you can unwittingly transfer pests to the US if you brought it into the states, so they must have not been paying attention the first time. Or maybe if your ship sailed out of the US and Hawaii is the US, the rules are different.
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#3
Point Richmond CA
7,102 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by Camelia-
Hi all,



I know that bringing food off the ship is definitely not allowed - for obvious reasons. My question is: what about bringing food onto the ship which you've purchased in port? The reason that I'm asking is because I had two different experiences on two different cruise lines.



A few years ago I was on the Star Princess doing a Hawaiian Island cruise. When we got to one of the islands (I can't remember which one) I was shopping and couldn't resist buying four baby papayas (by that time I was tired of the lack of variety of the fruit on board). I returned to the ship and went through security with no issues and enjoyed my papayas for the next few days!!



A few months ago I was on the Radiance of the Seas and we were stopped in Tahiti. Again my eye went to some fresh fruit and I bought some to enjoy on board. When I was going through security they told me that I was not allowed to bring it in and I ended up getting off and having to eat it (or as much as I could) near the gangway before I was able to board. I was surprised that it was an issue now when it hadn't been the previous time.



So..I was wondering..do different cruiselines have different policies about this? Could it be different depending on which port you are in? Or..did Princess just not notice it the first time?

Unless that fresh fruit in Hawaii was inspected by a US Dept of Agriculture officer at the port (and received a sticker/stamp), it should never have made it on to that ship.
FYI, predominantly agricultural states like Hawaii and California take a very dim view on endangering one of the "prime movers" of their economy. And, it's the pests (microscopic or otherwise) that are not clearly visible that can cause crop decimation (or worse).

BTW, in many Pacific ports, cruise lines are required to make multiple public address announcements before port stops regarding no food allowed to be transported on or off the ship.
#4
404 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
thanks for your replies. In Hawaii I purchased the fruit at one of the large stores - Walmart perhaps - I can't remember - and perhaps it had a sticker. And yes..definitely we were warned over and over about not taking food off the ship - that's quite clear but I don't remember being warned in the reverse - I would definitely have picked up on that since it was of interest to me. Of course I understand why it wouldn't be allowed - even though I planned to consume it on the ship and not bring it back into the country there's no guarantee that something isn't unwittingly brought on board. I guess security was not as vigilant in Hawaii so I was allowed to bring it on board - still have fond memories of enjoying it on my balcony!!

I'm glad that I didn't purchase the fresh vanilla beans in the market as I was tempted to do - I would have lost my money I think!!
#5
Southern California by way of Kentucky
22,097 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
What about when in Portland Maine sailing on RCI Adventure next October...can I bring some Holy Donuts back onboard ?? Hope so
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#6
Fredericksburg, va. USA
88,764 Posts
Joined May 2001
You can bring food ONTO the ship, but you cannot take it OFF again....eat it, or trash it...unless it's "factory sealed".....like a cake or cookies, etc...

Liquids are different...they are afraid you might bring BOOZE (god forbid) back to the ship, so you may have to pour out any opened beverages prior to boarding in ports.
#7
3,208 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Contrary to what some others have said whether you can take food off or on or both depends on the country and sometimes even the port. There are ports where you can do both, there are ports where you can only take food on and there are ports where you can do neither. Just ask the folks at the gangway and you’ll be fine.


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#8
Point Richmond CA
7,102 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by cb at sea
You can bring food ONTO the ship, but you cannot take it OFF again....eat it, or trash it...unless it's "factory sealed".....like a cake or cookies, etc...

Liquids are different...they are afraid you might bring BOOZE (god forbid) back to the ship, so you may have to pour out any opened beverages prior to boarding in ports.


See post #3