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Usually, cruise ships will make stops in different countries. Guests will have to follow the rules in each destination.
A new cruise passenger asked on Reddit: “I was wondering if it’s possible to take food off the ship with you.
“I’ve read it’s fine for prepackaged things but how about a banana or a sandwich? What will happen if they catch you with food?”
A passenger said: “All the ports I’ve been to have almost universally said not to bring any food off the ship besides factory sealed food.
“The ship won’t check but the port might. A lot don’t, but you could get in trouble taking it off.”
A guest added: “If there are announcements about taking food off the ship, then it’s not the cruise line making up arbitrary rules just to be annoying.
“It’s the port regulations of the country you are visiting and it will be enforced strictly. There will be checks and people going through bags at the ship exit and fines for any breaches.
“Don’t just dismiss it as another unnecessary rule to try to get around.”
Passengers are often unable to take food, including items such as fruit, off the ship as it could break a country’s import laws.
Some destinations have very strict rules on what can be brought in as some foods could disrupt the natural environment.
Another guest warned: “In many ports, it’s a hefty fine. Most of the time you’ll be okay, but walk off with a piece of fruit in the wrong port on the wrong day and you’ll be slapped with thousands of dollars owed to the Government of the port you’re visiting and an ‘I told you so’ from the cruise line. It’s not a risk worth taking.”
However, another passenger said: “They usually don’t check bags going off the ship, just going on.
“But either going off or getting on the ship, if they see it the most they will do is ask you to throw it away.”
As the first passenger warned, taking food off the ship isn’t a risk worth taking as in the most extreme cases, guests could face a fine.
Usually passengers will be able to take sealed food off the ship if they want some snacks for their day out.
Many cruise guests like to try some local cuisine and enjoy a meal at a restaurant while they are off the ship.
This can help to support the local economy and is also a great way to sample some of the local delicacies.
A passenger added: “I went to Victoria this past summer and couldn’t even take my coffee off the ship.
“In Mexico, they will have fruit sniffing dogs in port too. No fines, just throw away.”
In the UK, passengers are allowed to bring in fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds for personal use if they are arriving from within the EU.
If they arrive from outside the EU, there are some items that can’t be brought in without a plant health certificate.
If passengers do want to bring the items in, they will need to get a certificate from the plant health authorities in the country they left.
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