Can I Bring CBD on a Cruise Ship? (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian)

To say there’s been a revolution in public opinion around marijuana, hemp, and CBD would be putting it lightly. Following the passage of a recent farm bill in Congress, the rules regarding CBD oils specifically have seemingly eased; in fact, you might have noticed a boom in shops selling products with CBD oils in them. You might have even noticed CBD in places you’d never expect like convenience stores and even national chains like Bed Bath & Beyond.

Hemp plant for CBD

So why is CBD so popular? For many of the same reasons that taking a cruise is so popular. Many people report eased anxiety, better sleep, pain relief, and more. In a country where for years many people have turned to pharmaceuticals for health problems, many believe that CBD offers better benefits with fewer side effects and are a healthier option.

Of course, with the number of people using CBD, that also means there are more people who want to know if they can bring it on a cruise ship. That’s why we’ve looked into the rules to see if you can board your ship with CBD on your next vacation.

Relaxing Rules Mean More Acceptance. What About Cruises?

As rules surrounding marijuana, hemp, and CBD relax in the United States (and other parts of the world), it has put the cruise lines in confusing situation.

Take marijuana, for instance. If you are taking an Alaskan cruise, the ship would likely leave from Seattle, sail to Alaska, and have a call in Canada. In all three of these places recreational marijuana is legal. So you can bring it on a cruise, right?

Wrong. As we explained here, cruise lines follow federal laws, which still make marijuana illegal. It’s also illegal to take the substance into or out of Canada.

So what about CBD, which doesn’t contain THC, the active ingredient in marijuana? Isn’t it legal in the U.S.? Doesn’t that mean you can take it?

The Definitive Word on CBD on a Cruise Ship

Truth is, the laws surrounding CBD are still fuzzy. For instance, PBS NewsHour put together an exhaustive article around the legality of CBD. They had this to say:

“Yes, purchasing CBD is federally legal as long as it doesn’t contain more than 0.3 percent THC, but some state laws have put restrictions on buyers. For example, Virginians can only buy and possess CBD if they have a prescription…

“…These federal provisions, as written, also have a blindspot whereby a store can sell as much CBD as it wants, as long it doesn’t make any health claims about its products, put it in food nor add it to dietary supplements.”

But one thing to remember is that cruises may depart from the United States, but they travel to other countries. So cruise lines are dealing not only with U.S. law, but Mexican law, Canadian law, Bahamian law, Aruban law, and many more.

In other words, it’s far simpler and easier simply to not let passengers bring CBD on a cruise and stay clear of violations. This keeps both the cruise line and the individual passengers in the clear.

That’s why you can’t bring CBD on a cruise.

For example, Carnival Cruise Lines specifically mentioned CBD on their prohibited items list:

“Any illegal narcotics/drugs including synthetic, designer drugs, Cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana”

Royal Caribbean doesn’t specifically mention CBD products on its list of prohibited items, but does mention “illegal drugs and substances.” When we asked the cruise line, they told us that “We do not allow any cannabis-derivative products (including CBD products) aboard our fleet.”

Norwegian Cruise Lines’ Guest Conduct Policy states that “no illegal drugs or other illegal substances including but not limited to medical marijuana are allowed onboard…”

While there is no mention specifically of CBD by Norwegian, we contacted the cruise line who affirmed that the substance is not allowed on their ships either.

Put simply, don’t bring your CBD-infused items on your cruise. They are against the rules for now.


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