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Can I bring weed on a cruise?


If weed has been legalized where you live, you're probably wondering whether you can bring it on your next cruise or not. Though it's legal in numerous states across the United States, marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, meaning that it's also prohibited on cruise ships since terminals are considered federal facilities. 

While cruise ships operate in international waters, they also visit different countries where they're subject to local laws. Imagine that you're going on a cruise that visits Honduras, Mexico, and Jamaica. Although weed is legal in Mexico and decriminalized in Jamaica, it's strictly prohibited in Honduras. Anyone found with marijuana, even while onboard the ship, will face legal consequences imposed by the local authorities. 

Though you can certainly bring weed on a cruise at your own risk, it's important to be aware of the consequences if you are caught, as it's considered a banned substance by all mainstream and luxury lines. You don't want your vacation to come to an abrupt end because you thought the rules would not apply to you. 

Legally, weed is not allowed onboard cruise ships, even if it is for medicinal purposes 


Aside from marijuana, bringing any other illegal drugs or substances onboard is strictly prohibited. You're supposed to refrain from consuming weed while in port on cruise line-sponsored excursions, too, even if it has been legalized there. 

The ban extends to all forms of the drug, including edibles, joints, hash oil, vape pens, etc. Products containing CBD aren't allowed onboard, either. Cruisers with medical marijuana cards are not exempt from these policies, so you'll have to speak with your doctor to discuss alternative ways to treat your illness during your vacation. 

Carnival Cruise Line goes one step further to ensure that their ships are a drug-free zone. During the embarkation process, all carry-on bags are sniffed by a K9 narcotics dog. You may even notice dogs onboard before the ship sails away. 

Read more: Why you shouldn't bring camouflage clothing or marijuana on a cruise ship


It's important to read the cruise contract before booking, as it will outline what is and isn't permitted onboard your ship. During the booking process, you agree to abide by the code, even if you haven't fully digested all of its contents. Those who book their cruise through a travel agent can have the major points conveyed to them so nothing goes overlooked or misunderstood. 

Royal Caribbean's guest conduct policy, for instance, states that "no illegal drugs or other illegal substances are allowed onboard nor may they be utilized during a Royal Caribbean Group vacation...Jurisdictions throughout the voyage may have strict laws that address and severely punish drug possession. Guests found in violation of such laws are subject to arrest and prosecution in the relevant jurisdiction...and may be prevented from boarding or re-boarding the ship."

Failure to comply, whether you're caught with marijuana or continuously engage in reckless behavior, could result in you getting kicked off your cruise mid-sailing with no compensation provided. 


While no cruise line can monitor your actions if you go ashore independently, make sure that you're following local rules if you choose to smoke weed. If, for instance, you're visiting Amsterdam on your cruise, you'll find plenty of coffee shops with weed available for purchase. Similarly, Seattle and Alaska are hotspots for dispensaries. 

Note that even if it's legal in the port of call, you cannot bring any marijuana back onboard with you. 

Read more: 15 cruise ship rules you shouldn't break

Those caught with marijuana either in the terminal or onboard have received harsh consequences 


In September 2023, TikTok user @infamousxdrew took to social media to document his experience getting caught with medicinal marijuana onboard Mariner of the Seas and subsequently kicked off. 

"Unfortunately," he says, "they saw my medical marijuana...and all the senior security advisors or whatever they're called...have [come] to the conclusion that I must disembark."

He was supposed to be enjoying a family cruise, however, his time onboard came to an end while Mariner was docked in Falmouth, Jamaica. In addition to receiving no compensation from Royal Caribbean for an unused portion of his cruise fare, he was also responsible for all expenses incurred while traveling back to the United States. 

Read more: 20 things cruise lines really do not want you to bring on ships


Though an extreme example, guests sailing with other cruise lines have faced equally severe punishments. In August 2023, Melina Van Veldhuizen, a 42-year-old nurse practitioner and chiropractor from Texas, was preparing for a celebratory cruise onboard Carnival Horizon out of Miami. 

During the embarkation process, she was caught with CBD gummies in her bag and denied boarding. That wasn't all, as she received a letter from the cruise line that stated she was banned from sailing with Carnival again in the future. 

Though marijuana isn't allowed onboard, you're welcome to bring cigarettes 


Smoking, including vaping, is permitted on cruise ships, albeit just in designated areas. Most major cruise lines won't allow guests to smoke in public venues or staterooms, including private balconies. Instead, you'll have to seek out the permitted areas onboard your specific vessel. 

If you choose to smoke outside of the designated areas, you could receive a hefty fine. Depending on the cruise line you're sailing with, the penalties range from $250 to $500 per violation. Those caught smoking outside of permitted areas multiple faces could face additional consequences, including being kicked off the ship. 

Rather than risk ending your vacation abruptly or with an expensive fine, abide by the cruise line's rules regarding smoking. Though it may seem like an inconvenience, these rules are in place to help facilitate a safe and enjoyable environment for all guests onboard. 

Read more: How To Get Away With Smoking On A Cruise Ship

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