You have chosen your destination and booked your cruise line. Now you are ready to pack everything, from swimwear to a cocktail gown.
As you look through your packing list, the question is: Can I bring food on a cruise?
There will be plenty of food and snacks available on board. If you have a picky or restricted dietary needs, or are looking to save some money on alcohol, it might be a good idea to bring a couple of extra granola bars and bottles of wine. It’s possible, but it is not.
We’ll show you how to pack snacks, candy, and beverages on your cruise.
Is it possible to bring food aboard a cruise ship?
This question is not as easy as it seems. The cruise line and the food you bring along will determine which food items are allowed.
All major cruise lines have a policy that homemade and perishable foods cannot be brought onboard.
Are you unsure what is considered perishable? It’s forbidden if it’s homemade and not in a sealed container, or requires refrigeration. Only store-bought food is allowed on cruise ships.
It’s not a good idea to attempt to smuggle anything onboard.
Cruise ships screen your luggage just like airport security. They will also investigate any suspicious items.
You can pack snacks for a cruise in the same way as you would for an international flight. No fresh fruits, vegetables or perishable foods like cheese or meat are allowed due to the risk of spreading parasites and invasive pests.
If in doubt, just leave it at home.
Are you allowed to bring candy or snacks on a cruise?
All major cruise lines allow shelf-stable snacks such as chips, pretzels and protein bars in sealed wrappers.
Instead of making your own muffins or sandwiches, stick to the store-bought treats like candy, cookies, and savory snacks.
When it comes time to board, make sure all snacks have been sealed. If you open a package of cookies on your way to the ship, it’s possible that you won’t get boarded if it’s still in its original packaging.
Is it legal to take alcohol on cruises?
Beverages can be more complicated than candy or snacks, so it’s important to know what is allowed on each cruise line before you start packing. Because cruise lines have different policies, this is important.
A common theme on all cruise lines is that wine and champagne are allowed sometimes, but alcohol, spirits, or beer are not usually permitted. Disney cruises allow guests to bring six packs of beer instead of wine.
You can bring wine or champagne on many cruise lines, but you must do so only when you board your first ship.
Royal Caribbean allows two bottles per room. Celebrity Cruises allows two bottles per guest. Princess allows guests to bring more bottles onboard, but you will be charged a corkage fee regardless of where they are consumed.
If you intend to drink the bottle outside of your room, you may have to pay a corkage charge. To be certain, check the rules of your cruise.
You can’t just shop at the ports of call and get around these policies. Most cruise lines will require that you return a bottle you have purchased at port to the staff. They will then store it until your ship arrives back to its final destination.
Disney is a exception to the rule. Passengers can bring two bottles of champagne or six beers onboard at each port of call.
You can purchase a drink package on most ships that will allow for you to have a variety of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages as you sail between ports.
What beverages can you bring on a cruise?
How about bottled water, soda or milk? It also depends on the permissibility.
Some cruise lines allow only a limited number of single-use bottles. For example, Royal Caribbean and Carnival allow you to bring 12 cans, cartons, or bottles per person. Others, such as Norwegian, prohibit it. Before you leave for your cruise, make sure to check the policy of your cruise line.
You don’t need to bring water if you do not want to buy expensive bottles. Instead, you can pack water bottles that you can refill once you get onboard.
Bringing food to a cruise recapped
You can’t pack food, drinks, or snacks if you’re taking a cruise. It is best to consult your cruise line to get more information.
Generally speaking, liquor and spirits are not allowed. However, wine, champagne and beer are permitted in small quantities.
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