Do you take food off the ship?

I can’t recall and can’t find where we have had a discussion over taking chow off of the ship on this forum. But it is an issue that stirs quite a bit of interest, both for and against. On another forum this subject got rather intense. Below are a few samples. What are your thoughts?

“I have seen too many passengers sick after eating local foods. In general I do not trust them in many countries.”

“At the risk of being disagreeable... a common complaint lodged by those around me, we have often taken a picnic meal with us, especially for "on your own" tours. Prime rib left over from the night before, or whatever, some good Princess rolls or baguettes, etc. Often whatever condiments we want as well. Don't recall seeing dogs anywhere, except here in the States. I wouldn't try to bring those things into the US, but a day in Paris or Amsterdam on your own, only begs for it. The worse that I think would happen is that they take your kids' burger or steak sandwich away. Easily worth the risk in our book.”

“We understand parents that let the kids make the rules. So that being the case the situation is clear. If you take food off the ship (hidden in a backpack or somewhere) you will be fine unless there is a dog working. In that case, the dog will alert and you will be caught. In most cases they will simply take the food and let you go. On the other hand, if somebody is having a bad day perhaps they will decide to make a big issue out of your violation....which will certainly ruin your day (and also your kids).”

“On the other hand you can simply follow the rules of the host country (which is polite and classy thing to do) and not take food off the ship. If your kids get hungry you can either tell them "sorry my precious ones, but you will have to wait until we get back to the ship" or perhaps, you might spend a few dollars (OH MY GOD) and buy them something locally!

P.S. Sorry in advance but a lifetime of extensive travel has given me a dislike of the UGLY AMERICAN syndrome.”

“I have read many of these threads with dozens of posts warning of dire consequences for taking food off the ship -- but I don't recall any posts ever containing details showing the poster has personally gotten in trouble or has actually seen people getting in trouble for this. DW often makes a ham sandwich from the breakfast buffet and carries it off in a baggy -- and we have never been stopped. Note Again: this is not an official post, and I am not advocating that anyone break the law -- but I am asking for anyone to confirm that they personally have seen people getting in trouble for bringing a sandwich off the ship?”

“We have seen many passengers sick with Norovirus on ships! We live in Mexico for about 2 months a year and our main fear is that we will pick up a bug on the flight down. Once in Puerto Vallarta we have no fear of the food or drink...and having dined out over 500 times (in the past 10 years) we have only gotten sick one time...and that was when we ate "imported fish" at a high end restaurant. Go figure.”

“Can you get sick in a port? Absolutely. Can you get sick on a ship? Absolutely! Can you get sick at home? Absolutely! Can you get sick on a plane! Grrrrr. Now that is the big problem. In fact it is thought (by the CDC) that many of the Noro problems on ships are brought aboard by passengers who picked up the bug on planes.”

33 Answers

It depends on the local laws. If permitted, I may take a piece of fruit. I usually travel with packaged snacks and haven't had any problem with them.

There are signs posted by the doors saying fresh food can't be taken off the ship, and it's been in the FunTimes too on Carnival. We take commercially packaged stuff like granola bars to munch on when we are leaving in a port, but never anything from the Lido or room service.

In most countries, it is against their agriculture laws to import food items that are not commercially packaged.

Why is there an argument (on the other forum)?

Surprises me how adamant some are on the subject. I didn’t realize how many people put together sandwiches with ingredients from the buffet line to take ashore for lunch. Seems to boil down to: 1. Families with kids 2. Those who are paranoid over catching something from the local food and absolutely must have something to eat. 3. Those who don’t like to be told what to do by any government, particularly if they judge a country to be “inferior”. 4. Medical reasons, such as diabetes. 5. A combination of the above.

What can be brought on shore depends upon the country’s regulations of course. It appears to me that pre-packaged foods are okay at a lot of places, except if they contain meat. Beef jerky is a no-no and so are canned meats. But that can be deceiving as the rules can be complicated and confusing. Most cruise lines try to ferret all this out for you and provide a notice in their bulletins.

As a general rule, beware of bringing anything with meat, vegetables, fruits, plants including grains and nuts.

We don't take food off the ship.

Wow, Such long posts about something that I don't believe is allowed anywhere, anytime.

With the exception of Hawaii maybe with the Pride of America, being an American ship in American waters all the time.

If you have dietary concerns then maybe address them before the shore excursion. Otherwise, follow the laws.As silly as some are.....

Being an American ship doesn’t make any difference as to what Hawaii lets in and out. We travel to Hawaii a lot, almost once a year, mostly by air on domestic air carriers, sometimes by voyaging. Due south of Alaska, we are the closest State to Hawaii. They are indeed pretty strict about what you bring in or take out.

”According to the State of Hawaii’s Plant Industry Division, most foods that are cooked, canned, frozen, commercially processed and/or packaged (including meat!) are welcome to Hawaii and do not need to be declared or inspected… if you purchased them in the U.S.A. If you’re coming from another country, that’s a different story. Whether you’re flying directly from a foreign country, or transiting through another U.S. destination before arriving in Hawaii, products you bring with you are subject to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol regulations. Read their guidelines on traveling with food for personal use.

That apple you packed in your bag for the plane but didn’t finish is OK to bring into Hawaii. Your orange, however, might not be. Citrus and pulpy fruits from Florida and Puerto Rico, due to the presence of the Caribbean fruit fly, are a no-no. If you can prove that your orange is actually from California, or that it was subject to fumigation, then it’s welcome in the state of Hawaii. (If you’re not sure what proof is needed—a grocery store sticker may not pass muster—call or email the Hawaii Dept. of Ag at (808) 973-9560,”

The only food I have taken off the ship is maybe one of the small boxes of dry cereal from the breakfast buffet.

I only carry my own packaged snacks from home with me....just in case. Traveling in unfamiliar places you just aren't sure what may be available. I prefer to be safe rather than hungry. Wink

We have taken a couple of cookies with us. But as a rule usually not. I will bring protien bars with us and we will take those.

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