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Bringing food back on ship at San Francisco port

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I can't seem to get a 100% answer, either from message boards or Princess. We'll be in San Francisco on our West Coast cruise (leaving from LA) but was curious if we'd be able to stop by Whole Foods or anything while in port and bring the food back on. Preferably without "sneaking" it on. I know it needs to be non-perishable and prepackaged in your pre-cruise homeport but what is the rule during your cruise. Does it matter that it's a US port? 

 

Yes, I am aware that the ship has food on it so just figured I'd save a few of you that comment ;) We eat a vegan diet and don't expect the cruise line to fully accommodate us so we'd like to snag some extra stuff in port if possible to make the trip a little easier. Thanks in advance everyone! 

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Same rules apply in ports - only prepackaged food. You can’t bring anything else like produce or vegetables on or off the ship. 

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Instead of Whole Foods, I’d suggest heading down the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building to get local, quality foods. You’ll be able to find some packaged items there, in addition to lots of yummy fresh things to sample.

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We brought on all kinds of Ghirardelli chocolate just a couple weeks ago mid-cruise.  No one even batted an eyelid.

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The crew often purchase local favorites ashore and bring them back on the ship.  People bring on flowers in Hawaii and Tahiti.  I've never seen anyone stopped from bringing on food or plants.  My understanding is that you can't take it off the ship.  I brought some mini mince pies on the ship.  They were purchased at a bakery in Bermuda.  No one said anything. 

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While enforcement varies widely between ships and ports, it is a USPH, not a Princess, policy that only pre-packaged food (or food from a verifiable source) can be brought onboard.  The "verifiable source" is the key, as something from a food truck or take out from a restaurant is not verifiable that it has been kept in proper conditions over time, or that it is from legally produced sources.  Crew cannot bring open, or cooked food onboard, only pre-packaged food.

 

Cut flowers are okay to bring, but plants are not, unless there is a certificate that the soil has been sterilized.

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2 hours ago, skynight said:

I think you can bring on whatever food you like for use in your cabin. I see no specific prohibition. What you can't do is take non-packaged food off the ship at ports.

https://www.princess.com/learn/faq_answer/pre_cruise/bring.jsp

As noted, like on embarkation, only pre-packaged, sealed food allowed.

 

Yes, I've seen it happen.  When we ported in San Francisco (overnight), there were several people who attempted to bring "fresh" food onboard.  Most notably the couple who had a large, pink, bakery box with all sorts of sweets and goodies.  And, yes, they had to leave it in the trash before being allowed to board.

 

 

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3 hours ago, karatemom2 said:

Same rules apply in ports - only prepackaged food. You can’t bring anything else like produce or vegetables on or off the ship. 

Sure you can.   You are confusing what you can take ashore with what you can bring on board.

 

I have brought KFC onboard for a head waiter (his choice, not mine)

 

And, lot of people bring flowers on board in ports where they are common/pretty.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, pablo222 said:

Sure you can.   You are confusing what you can take ashore with what you can bring on board.

Not in my experience.  I saw at least two parties denied boarding until they got rid of the non pre-packaged food they had purchased that day in port (San Francisco).

 

Flower, yes, you can bring those onboard (as chengkp75 said), as long as they are cut flowers, not potted.  But you can bring them back off the ship later.

 

 

Edited by Shmoo here

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, pablo222 said:

Sure you can.   You are confusing what you can take ashore with what you can bring on board.

 

I have brought KFC onboard for a head waiter (his choice, not mine)

 

And, lot of people bring flowers on board in ports where they are common/pretty.

 

Yes I know you can bring flowers, I have done so in Hawaii, but in our experience you are not allowed to bring unpackaged food onboard. In ports in Hawaii and Mexico I have personally witnessed people being forced to dispose of food, fruit, etc. before reboarding the ship. Just because people sometimes get away with bringing food back with them doesn’t mean it’s permitted - it just means enforcement varies. 

Edited by karatemom2

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I have brought on papayas  and strawberries in Mexico.Canoli from Italy, sandwiches from France, salami from Italy. All showed to gang plank people. All said ok. Maybe it has changed. 

 

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1 hour ago, oskidunker said:

I have brought on papayas  and strawberries in Mexico.Canoli from Italy, sandwiches from France, salami from Italy. All showed to gang plank people. All said ok. Maybe it has changed. 

 

The requirements mentioned are USPH requirements, so they would not apply to cruises in Italy or France.  Very surprised that any ship allowed fresh fruit brought onboard a ship calling at US ports.

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6 hours ago, skynight said:

I think you can bring on whatever food you like for use in your cabin. I see no specific prohibition. What you can't do is take non-packaged food off the ship at ports.

https://www.princess.com/learn/faq_answer/pre_cruise/bring.jsp

 

Yes ... no problem whatsoever bringing any food onto the ship ... you just can't take it back off the ship when you get off in port or disembark ... and that's only if it is food that is against the rules!

We brought flowers on from Pike's Market in Seattle and all sorts of fresh fruit onboard from Hawaii.... but we couldn't take them back off the ship ... not the fresh stuff anyway.  And, we checked first and nobody had a problem with it ... so shop away!!  

 

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3 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

The requirements mentioned are USPH requirements, so they would not apply to cruises in Italy or France.  Very surprised that any ship allowed fresh fruit brought onboard a ship calling at US ports.

 

I’ve had both experiences. I get tired of the same fruit on board day after day so I always look for other fruit on shore. In Hawaii I was able to bring on board a bag of baby papayas with no problem. Last year in Tahiti I tried to bring a papaya on board and was refused. I had to eat it before boarding. I was really surprised since I expected to have no issues..

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13 hours ago, karatemom2 said:

Just because people sometimes get away with bringing food back with them doesn’t mean it’s permitted - it just means enforcement varies. 

Here in the real world, what people do is the answer to the original poster's question.

 

Lots of posts from people who have brought stuff on board.

 

So, I'll continue to bring on board what I want.

Later, I may exceed a posted speed limit.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, pablo222 said:

Here in the real world, what people do is the answer to the original poster's question.

 

Lots of posts from people who have brought stuff on board.

 

So, I'll continue to bring on board what I want.

Later, I may exceed a posted speed limit.

 

 

 

 

And there it is - the reason I stopped posting here for the last few years. I just decided to dip my toe back in the water this past few weeks after our most recent cruise, but now I remember why I left. 

 

I also live n the real world and as I shared (as did others) I have seen people with fresh food denied the ability to bring it onboard at port. My response to the OP and my experiences are just as real and legitimate as yours. The OP is gathering information from these responses and they can proceed as they see fit. At least they are forewarned that it is a rule that is inconsistently enforced and they can make a decision based on that. 

 

But thanks for the snarky response to my post - I guess I should have stayed away. 

Edited by karatemom2

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18 hours ago, Shmoo here said:

But you can bring them back off the ship later.

Make that "CAN'T" bring the off later.

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5 hours ago, pablo222 said:

Lots of posts from people who have brought stuff on board.

 

So, I'll continue to bring on board what I want.

when Princess allows it ... j/s

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4 hours ago, karatemom2 said:

 

And there it is - the reason I stopped posting here for the last few years. I just decided to dip my toe back in the water this past few weeks after our most recent cruise, but now I remember why I left. 

 

I also live n the real world and as I shared (as did others) I have seen people with fresh food denied the ability to bring it onboard at port. My response to the OP and my experiences are just as real and legitimate as yours. The OP is gathering information from these responses and they can proceed as they see fit. At least they are forewarned that it is a rule that is inconsistently enforced and they can make a decision based on that. 

 

But thanks for the snarky response to my post - I guess I should have stayed away. 

Please don't give up because of a few snarky peeps. Your replies are valid and appreciated!😃

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Posted (edited)
On 5/27/2019 at 3:35 AM, skynight said:

I think you can bring on whatever food you like for use in your cabin. I see no specific prohibition. What you can't do is take non-packaged food off the ship at ports.

https://www.princess.com/learn/faq_answer/pre_cruise/bring.jsp

I believed passengers could take food onto the ship and that the only restrictions were on food being taken ashore because of local quarantine laws. Going by other posts, maybe I am wrong, but I suggest the OP try to get a definitive answer from Princess.

Edited by Aus Traveller

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We always bring packaged stuff onboard , even unpackaged stuff like fresh baked pie.  

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4 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

I believed passengers could take food onto the ship and that the only restrictions were on food being taken ashore because of local quarantine laws. Going by other posts, maybe I am wrong, but I suggest the OP try to get a definitive answer from Princess.

I doubt that you'll get a definitive answer from Princess.  As such matters are in the hands of the port personnel/security.  It could vary from agent to agent, as noted (although it shouldn't).  

 

It's truly a matter of "how much risk do you want to take?"

 

 

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One poster suggested getting a definitive answer from Princess.  If you don't like the first answer ask someone else and get a different answer.  Like all things with Princess nothing is consistent.  Getting an answer from these boards is worth what one paid for it namely nothing.  So good luck to the OP and let us know what happened as I am curious of the results.  Personally all I have ever brought back on board is bottled water that I ended up not drinking on the excursion and wine which is allowed sometimes with a corking fee and sometimes not (Princess is consistent!)

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