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Taking "Snacks" off ship


RMLLEL

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Yes, they'll check at every port and the basic rule is that you are not allowed to bring any foodstuff off the ship.

 

The important thing is to "tell and show" - make sure that the food is still in its original, unopened, packaging, tell the officials that you have the food, show a receipt for where you bought it, if possible. While you may be allowed to carry off food for medical purposes (emergency supply for a diabetic for example - although nuts would not be a first choice here), but I doubt that you would be allowed to bring off something "just because." That decision would be made by the officials on a case-by-case basis, on the day.

 

Actually my wife is diabetic and usually brings nuts or an energy bar in her purse, especially if we are going on a day trip. Since our cruise starts in Auckland, maybe she could go to a grocery store or drug store and buy some energy bars which she could have in the other ports. Are you saying that we should not bring her usual bars from the USA?

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Actually my wife is diabetic and usually brings nuts or an energy bar in her purse, especially if we are going on a day trip. Since our cruise starts in Auckland, maybe she could go to a grocery store or drug store and buy some energy bars which she could have in the other ports. Are you saying that we should not bring her usual bars from the USA?

 

Bring them if you must, but you should declare them when first entering NZ. Have them in your hand baggage, prepared to show them. They must be unopened, still wrapped in their original packaging. From then on, it is up to the agriculture inspectors whether or not to allow them. This is taken on an individual, case-by-case basis.

 

You'll have to do something similar when entering Australia - you can't bring food from NZ to Australia.

 

It might help if you have a doctor's letter saying that your wife is diabetic. However, that will still not permit you to bring prohibited foodstuffs into the countries.

 

I can't give you a definite answer. I took a small packet of muesli from NZ to Australia. Although it was unopened and I declared it, it was confiscated, because it contained dried fruit and nuts.

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Dmgmd50,

 

Before my trip to New Zealand this Spring, I read on a web site, I think New Zealand's Immigration/Customs site, that one should have a written prescription from one's doctor when bringing prescription medicines into the country. I asked my doctor to give me one Rx for each of the medicines I take. And, he put on the Rx the reason for the medicine. The Customs forms asks about what medicine you are bringing in--not specific drugs, though. I declared what I had and in going through the inspection process, the very pleasant Agent did inquire about what I had declared. She was satisfied with my answers, but I felt having those written prescriptions as back-up had been a good idea.

 

This is a long-winded recommendation that you DO take information from your doctor that your wife is a diabetic.

 

Might I suggest you contact the New Zealand and Australian Embassies with your concern and see what they say? And, if they give approval, be sure to take the original message from them with you. Maybe it will help to prevent confiscation of items. And, maybe it won't.

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Dmgmd50,

 

Before my trip to New Zealand this Spring, I read on a web site, I think New Zealand's Immigration/Customs site, that one should have a written prescription from one's doctor when bringing prescription medicines into the country. I asked my doctor to give me one Rx for each of the medicines I take. And, he put on the Rx the reason for the medicine. The Customs forms asks about what medicine you are bringing in--not specific drugs, though. I declared what I had and in going through the inspection process, the very pleasant Agent did inquire about what I had declared. She was satisfied with my answers, but I felt having those written prescriptions as back-up had been a good idea.

 

This is a long-winded recommendation that you DO take information from your doctor that your wife is a diabetic.

 

Might I suggest you contact the New Zealand and Australian Embassies with your concern and see what they say? And, if they give approval, be sure to take the original message from them with you. Maybe it will help to prevent confiscation of items. And, maybe it won't.

 

Here is a link so that people can see the NZ Passenger Arrival Card for themselves:

http://www.tourleader.co.nz/downloads/arrival_card.pd

 

Note that in Section 5 you are required to declare "Any food: including . . . packaged or dried."

Particularly mentioned are "Plants or plant products: including fruit . . . nuts . . "

Dried fruit and nuts and foodstuff containing them are unlikely to be allowed.

 

Section 6 addresses "Goods that may be prohibited or restricted, for example medicines.. . . " That is why it is best to carry a doctor's letter or a copy of a doctor's prescription, which proves the medicines are for you, for a specific purpose. Also, keep medicines in their original containers.

 

I don't think that a letter from one of NZ's or Australia's embassies abroad will make a scrap of difference to your experience on entering the country. If the foodstuff is deemed forbidden, a letter from an embassy is not going to sway the customs and agriculture inspector one little bit.

 

Perhaps the diabetic person could ask her doctor if she can carry with her a foodstuff that is more likely to be acceptable to agriculture than the nuts she usually carries - such as boiled sweets, for instance. This would raise her blood sugar for long enough to buy her time to purchase something more substantial on shore.

 

I'm afraid that NZ and Australia are very hard-nosed about the importation of foodstuffs - we have to be, to protect the biosecurity of our island nations.

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An official letter from your doctor stating you are diabetic still won't permit you to bring prohibited food items ashore. They are particularly strict about fruit and nuts, dried or otherwise. They may cut you some slack with wrapped sugar candy but these things often boil down to whether the AQIS inspector is having a good day or not. A bit like our friends at US Homeland Security ;)

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Visitors to our countries (both NZ and Australia) need to understand that we are 1st world countries. You can buy everything you need here. There is absolutely no need to take foodstuffs with you.

Our regulations are strict for very good reasons and the suggestion to contact ones embassy is nonsense.

Both countries also require you to declare prescription and non prescription medicines. Provided the medication is in its original packaging/box/bottle etc and not loose, you will not have any problems. A script should be carried for essential medication (not only in case of proof) but in case you need to get more whilst away from home. No need to get concerned on this point though.

But pleassssse - no food of any kind.

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Thanks everyone for getting back to me. Not a crumb will be in my bag.

 

Thanks for the laugh.

 

We Aussies and Kiwis are so well trained with regard to not bringing any food, etc. back into Australia, I was astounded on a recent cruise to the Baltics to see passengers taking shipboard snack food, including fruit, off the ship at various ports of call.

 

PS That little beagle gets me every time. He knows there was food in my hand luggage, at one time, and still gets his reward for being a clever dog!

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  • 3 weeks later...
One of the assumptions I made, and it may be incorrect, is that you're not allowed to bring food in ANY port. So what if you do stock up in Sydney at one of the many great supermarkets, and want to take that food with you into Cairns (yes, Cairns has Woolworths and Coles, but I don't think they're right on the pier where you'd catch the GBR excursion and be on a catamaran for 1.5-2 hours)?

 

Would customs be at every port, and if so would they be a bit more lenient with food that you're trying to bring into Australia that was purchased in Australia (i.e. maybe food with nuts is a no-no, but a SEALED bag of nuts purchased at Coles would be a-ok)?

 

You would have no problem with any unopened packet of nuts & chips, most processed foods would be fine like biscuits muslie bars. You dont need to declare them at all, if you are flying domestic, just dump any fruit as you come off the plane. :) Also when we have flown over to NZ there isnt any problem taking that kind of thing as long as you declare it.

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You would have no problem with any unopened packet of nuts & chips, most processed foods would be fine like biscuits muslie bars. You dont need to declare them at all, if you are flying domestic, just dump any fruit as you come off the plane. :) Also when we have flown over to NZ there isnt any problem taking that kind of thing as long as you declare it.

 

This is totally incorrect when advising people about taking foodstuffs off a cruise ship. No matter what decisions are made about the (declared) foodstuffs when you enter Australia and NZ by air, the rule for cruise ship passengers is:

 

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE ANY FOOD OFF THE SHIP AT ANY PORT IN AUSTRALIA OR NEW ZEALAND.

 

Yes, I'm shouting! I'm shouting because this message does not seem to be sinking in.

 

There are no exceptions for the type of food, or for any medical condition that any passenger may have. And yes, they will check at every port.

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The general rule of thumb is this: if in doubt, declare it and let the quarantine officers decide whether items are allowed or not and if not. If you declare it and it's not allowed, it's just taken off you and there's no penalty (apart from losing the item/s and their value).

 

We disembarked the Pacific Dawn on Saturday and this is what our debarkation paperwork from AQIS says (their bold):

 

Food: you cannot bring food such as fresh fruit or vegetables, dairy products, eggs or meat products, sandwiches and pastries into Australia. Please do not carry any of these items off the ship. Commercially packaged chips, roasted nuts, confectionery and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection...

...In many cases the goods you declare will be returned to you after inspection...

...If you are in Australia on a day trip only, your bags will be checked as you leave the ship. Do no carry any fresh food off the ship.

You must declare all food, plant material and animal products for inspection upon arrival in Australia....Failing to declare quarantine items for inspection could result in an on-the-spot fine of over $200, or imprisonment.

We had packaged lollies, chocolate and muesli bars which we declared and we were waved through when we told them what our food items were - took us about 15 seconds longer than those who didn't declare anything. Try to sneak them through and get caught with a random inspection and that's when you'll have problems.
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On the NZ Passenger Card asks if we might be bringing in any prohibited or restricted drugs. Do I have to say "yes" if I am bringing in prescription drugs from the U.S.? I don't know what is prohibited in New Zealand. My prescriptions are just for antiobiotics and something for my thyroid. Do I have to write down anywhere every pill, even things like imodian and cold pills that I take along "just in case".

Thanks

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On the NZ Passenger Card asks if we might be bringing in any prohibited or restricted drugs. Do I have to say "yes" if I am bringing in prescription drugs from the U.S.? I don't know what is prohibited in New Zealand. My prescriptions are just for antiobiotics and something for my thyroid. Do I have to write down anywhere every pill, even things like imodian and cold pills that I take along "just in case".

Thanks

 

Do "restricted drugs" mean the same as " controlled substances" in USA such as Ambien and Xanax?

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On the NZ Passenger Card asks if we might be bringing in any prohibited or restricted drugs. Do I have to say "yes" if I am bringing in prescription drugs from the U.S.? I don't know what is prohibited in New Zealand. My prescriptions are just for antiobiotics and something for my thyroid. Do I have to write down anywhere every pill, even things like imodian and cold pills that I take along "just in case".

Thanks

 

I declared only the medicines that I need that are prescription medicines and had copies of the prescriptions with me. My doctor had written on the forms what the medicines were for. The Customs inspector seemed to be more interested in the quantity of the medicines. I believe from what she said, any quantity that is 90 days or less is OK.

 

Declare what you are importing. Better to be safe than sorry.

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Perhaps to explain why Australia & NZ are so strict about this issue; we are both islands with unique biodiversity and we both rely heavily on exports around primary product (butter, meat, fruit, seafood). Something like a foot and mouth or BSC outbreak or an imported fruit fly would cost billions in exports and thousands of jobs.

 

We don't do it to be mean - we do it to protect our country's productivity, people's jobs and our unique environments. If in doubt, declare it. If it's permitted, you'll be allowed to keep it, if it's not, you'll have it removed.

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This is totally incorrect when advising people about taking foodstuffs off a cruise ship. No matter what decisions are made about the (declared) foodstuffs when you enter Australia and NZ by air, the rule for cruise ship passengers is:

 

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TAKE ANY FOOD OFF THE SHIP AT ANY PORT IN AUSTRALIA OR NEW ZEALAND.

 

Yes, I'm shouting! I'm shouting because this message does not seem to be sinking in.

 

There are no exceptions for the type of food, or for any medical condition that any passenger may have. And yes, they will check at every port.

 

My understanding is they are talking about ship food, with regard to taking food off the ship, not a box of muesli bars, or a packet of chips etc, you bought to have ashore on long excursions. We have never had any problem doing this, & always mention it to customs if they are in port, & they say no worries. so i stand by my quote.

Shout a little more if you wish.:p

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Perhaps to explain why Australia & NZ are so strict about this issue; we are both islands with unique biodiversity and we both rely heavily on exports around primary product (butter, meat, fruit, seafood). Something like a foot and mouth or BSC outbreak or an imported fruit fly would cost billions in exports and thousands of jobs. We don't do it to be mean - we do it to protect our country's productivity, people's jobs and our unique environments. If in doubt, declare it. If it's permitted, you'll be allowed to keep it, if it's not, you'll have it removed.

 

Appreciate more on the details why, helpful background and unique circumstances in NZ and Australia. Good to know it's more than just telling us . . . NO to make us buy average, over-priced local stuff.

 

We are looking forward to our Jan. 20-Feb. 3, 2014, Celebrity Solstice sailing, departing Sydney, doing a total of 14 days, finishing in Auckland and maybe going down to Queenstown. Of course, one of stops will be in Wellington and we are excited about visiting there, seeing your famed museum in your national capital, doing the other key stops in NZ, etc.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

Did a June 7-19, 2011, Solstice cruise from Barcelona that had stops in Villefranche, ports near Pisa and Rome, Naples, Kotor, Venice and Dubrovnik. Enjoyed great weather and a wonderful trip. Dozens of wonderful visuals with key highlights, tips, comments, etc., on these postings. We are now at 98,900 views for this live/blog re-cap on our first sailing with Celebrity and much on wonderful Barcelona. Check these postings and added info at:

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1426474

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Visitors to our countries (both NZ and Australia) need to understand that we are 1st world countries. You can buy everything you need here. There is absolutely no need to take foodstuffs with you.

 

Well said Cassamanda.

 

DECLARE what you have and have it in a bag within easy reach for customs to check. If you must bring anything keep it in it's original packaging and a doctors letter to cover prescriptions is a good idea. As said before there are very good reasons why Australia and New Zealand have such strict controls.

 

I love watching Border Security, always something to amuse me.:D

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You would have no problem with any unopened packet of nuts & chips, most processed foods would be fine like biscuits muslie bars. You dont need to declare them at all, if you are flying domestic, just dump any fruit as you come off the plane. :) Also when we have flown over to NZ there isnt any problem taking that kind of thing as long as you declare it.

 

My understanding is they are talking about ship food, with regard to taking food off the ship, not a box of muesli bars, or a packet of chips etc, you bought to have ashore on long excursions. We have never had any problem doing this, & always mention it to customs if they are in port, & they say no worries. so i stand by my quote.

Shout a little more if you wish.:p

 

The first quote above is what you said, and what I addressed in my post. It didn't sound at all as if you were talking about bringing food off a ship! You spoke about flying.

 

FWIW, meusli bars, chips etc are food - anything that goes in your mouth for consumption is food. It doesn't matter where you bought it, or why. It all has to be treated as a possible carrier of infection or infestation. You cannot take ship's food onto shore.

 

As long as you declare your food items and they are in unopened wrappers, they will probably be allowed, but that is at the discretion of the official on the day. If the food's origin is uncertain, it is likely to be confiscated. If you don't declare it and it is found, it will certainly be confiscated and you will be fined.

 

I once took an unopened packet of muesli from NZ to Australia. I declared it. It was inspected and confiscated, becacuse it had dried fruit and nuts in it. So, you can't always depend on an unopened packet being allowed.

 

I'm glad someone tried to explain why Australia and NZ are so careful about food importation. We have to be, because any foreign infestation could cause millions of dollars in lost exports, as well as loss of jobs. As island nations, we have to take it seriously. It also causes great inconvenience to the general public.

 

A few months ago, one foreign fruit fly was discovered in a trap in a suburb of Auckland. The entire area was put into lock-down. People were not allowed to take any food or fruit off their own properties and they could not put their rubbish out. This lasted for about 2 weeks. Fortunately, no more fruit flies were found. If they had been, the area would have been subjected to several treatments of aerial spraying with a very unpleasant substance. This last happened a couple of years ago and the people in the suburbs sprayed were not allowed to go out of doors until several hours afterwards. Some still had respiratory problems.

 

Please understand that our countries are not just being "picky". It does matter to our economy and we don't want our people to have to be subjected to the unpleasant treatment procedures necessary if an infestation occurs.

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Perhaps to explain why Australia & NZ are so strict about this issue; we are both islands with unique biodiversity and we both rely heavily on exports around primary product (butter, meat, fruit, seafood). Something like a foot and mouth or BSC outbreak or an imported fruit fly would cost billions in exports and thousands of jobs.

 

We don't do it to be mean - we do it to protect our country's productivity, people's jobs and our unique environments. If in doubt, declare it. If it's permitted, you'll be allowed to keep it, if it's not, you'll have it removed.

 

I think a lot of people don't appreciate the significance of your situation. An island nation does not have a land border with another country. So pests of any sort can't migrate across on their own. They only get in if they're carried in. This means the country can keep pests out by controlling potential carriers. Americans often don't "get" this because we don't have this advantage. Pests like the medfly can wander in from a neighbor across a border.

 

We had 7 port stops on our Australian cruise, and there were inspectors and dogs at every port. Before the ship could be cleared, the captain had to read a lengthy explanation of quarantine rules. By the end of the cruise, I was almost able to recite it with him. MOST pax complied, but there were those few who thought, "well, it's only one banana." But if that one banana has bugs it's a big deal.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks all for this post.

My husband is a vegan (who also doesn't eat nuts or anything with oil) and usually brings a piece of fruit (or two) on excursions because there is RARELY anything he can eat.

We are in Auckland for 3 days pre cruise and plan on our first stop being to a supermarket to get him packaged snacks. Our next stop will be to a Health Food store.

I hope that if we find him packaged snacks he'll be allowed to take those off the ship with him in the rest of NZ and in Australia. (I will leave them wrapped and keep the receipts.)

I understand that both countries are civilized and have grocery stores but it would be awful to make that our first stop at every port!

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Thanks all for this post.

My husband is a vegan (who also doesn't eat nuts or anything with oil) and usually brings a piece of fruit (or two) on excursions because there is RARELY anything he can eat.

We are in Auckland for 3 days pre cruise and plan on our first stop being to a supermarket to get him packaged snacks. Our next stop will be to a Health Food store.

I hope that if we find him packaged snacks he'll be allowed to take those off the ship with him in the rest of NZ and in Australia. (I will leave them wrapped and keep the receipts.)

I understand that both countries are civilized and have grocery stores but it would be awful to make that our first stop at every port!

 

Karen, All of us understand your situation but unfortunately it is up to the Agricultural inspectors at every port to make a determination. Regardless of where the food has been purchased - you will not be allowed to take it on board or off the ship at every port. They have sniffer dogs at each port and you make a declaration at each port. Please read the previous post by 3rdGenCunarder again carefully.

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Thanks all for this post.

My husband is a vegan (who also doesn't eat nuts or anything with oil) and usually brings a piece of fruit (or two) on excursions because there is RARELY anything he can eat.

We are in Auckland for 3 days pre cruise and plan on our first stop being to a supermarket to get him packaged snacks. Our next stop will be to a Health Food store.

I hope that if we find him packaged snacks he'll be allowed to take those off the ship with him in the rest of NZ and in Australia. (I will leave them wrapped and keep the receipts.)

I understand that both countries are civilized and have grocery stores but it would be awful to make that our first stop at every port!

 

Although I can't speak for AQIS (and you do get people who try to be as absolute as they can be in any environment), I think you would find that most of them are pragmatic.

 

I would suggest as long as the packets are still sealed, purchased in whichever country you're entering and you can present the receipt, there's a good likelihood that you will be fine. This wouldn't apply to raw fruit itself as I believe you're aware.

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