Can I Bring Marijuana on a Cruise?

If you want to bring marijuana on your cruise, you won’t be allowed.

It’s true that in the United States, the laws regarding marijuana have eased considerably in the past decade. Today, many states have allowed recreational use with even more decriminalizing the drug. Still others have enacted medical marijuana laws, as well as easing restrictions on related products like CBD oil or “delta” compounds.

Marijuana on a cruise ship
No, marijuana is not allowed to be brought on cruise ships.

Thinking of bringing marijuana on your cruise? Unfortunately at this time, marijuana of any type (including both medical and recreational) is not allowed on cruise ships, even if the ships sails from a state where the drug is legal. This rule includes items like CBD oils and delta blends as well.

Rules Regarding Marijuana and Cruise Ships

Obviously there is some conflict between the laws in many states and the federal rules around the drug. While some states have chosen to legalize marijuana, it’s still illegal at a federal level.

This puts the cruise lines in a limbo. With conflicting laws, they choose to stay on the safe side and follow federal law.

In fact, on Carnival Cruise Line’s list of prohibited items, marijuana and drugs are listed as the first item not allowed:

Prohibited Items

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

Norwegian Cruise Line has a similar policy, and specifically mentioned medical marijuana in its prohibited items list:

All illegal narcotics/drugs. (Including Marijuana prescribed for medical purposes and other items used as drug paraphernalia. This includes all products containing CBD, oils, candies, and gummies or any product containing THC.)

You’ll find similar policies across cruise lines. 

Remember that on a cruise, it’s not just a matter of United States’ law. Ships sail from port to port, putting passengers under the laws of several different countries in the course of a single cruise.

Banning marijuana helps the cruise lines stay in the good standing of all local laws, no matter where they sail.

Is Medical Marijuana Allowed on a Cruise?

You might think that medical marijuana would be legal if you have a prescription. However, just as with the state versus federal rules, medical marijuana is illegal on a federal level and specifically mentioned as prohibited by cruise lines.

It doesn’t matter if you have a doctor’s note for a medical need, or if it’s recreational, marijuana of all types is prohibited.

Can I Bring Delta 8, Vape Pens, Edibles, Synthetics or Other Infused Products?

The rules put out by the cruise lines are clear and broad-encompassing. If it’s marijuana (or a synthetic), then you can’t bring it on the ship. This includes everything from actual buds to more discrete products like edibles, chocolates, and the popular vape pens/cartridges.

Where there is some grey area is with things like Delta 8, which are in a quasi-legal status in many areas. While usually not specifically mentioned by the cruise lines, products like these would likely fall under “synthetic” or “designer” items mentioned by the cruise lines. In other words, we wouldn’t risk bringing them.

If it has marijuana in it — or is meant to mimic marijuana — then it is safe to say it is not allowed on a cruise.

Marijuana and Alaskan Cruises

Let’s say you are headed on an Alaskan cruise. If you’re headed to Alaska, odds are that you will be sailing from Seattle, Washington or Vancouver, British Columbia.

The state of Washington is seen as one of the most progressive in the United States when it comes to marijuana laws. It’s currently one of many states that allow the recreational use of the drug. Within the state, people can purchase it legally for personal use. If sailing from Vancouver, the drug is also legal there.

Meanwhile, Alaska is also progressive on marijuana use. Recreational use is perfectly legal for adults.

Since cruises from Seattle/Vancouver head to Alaska, it creates an extremely unique situation where a cruise is traveling from one area to another where both allow the drug to be used legally. So it begs the question. If marijuana is legal in both spots, does that mean you can bring it on your cruise?

No. Marijuana (medical or recreational) still is not allowed on cruise ships, no matter where it departs or sails to.

While the drug is legal in Canada, Alaska, and Washington, it is still illegal at the federal level. That means technically it’s not even legal in Alaska/Washington if the federal government chose to enforce the law.

What About CBD Oil on a Cruise?

Many states have relaxed rules on CBD oil, even if marijuana is still illegal in those states. Even so, cruise lines lump CBD in with its cousin and ban it from their ships. You’ll typically find CBD mentioned specifically on “Prohibited Items” lists from the cruise lines.

Can I Buy Marijuana in Port and Bring it Home?

Many people buy alcohol while in port and bring it home with them for after the cruise. So can you do the same if you sail to a place where marijuana is sold legally, like Alaska?

While it may be legal for you to buy in port where your cruise stops, it’s still against the rules to bring it onboard the cruise, even if you don’t plan to consume it on the ship.

That said, if you want to enjoy the product while in port, then that’s legal to do (assuming you follow the state laws). When you are off the cruise ship, you are no longer under the cruise line’s rules. There’s nothing against you partaking, assuming you are doing it legally in port.

What Happens if I am Caught With Marijuana on a Cruise Ship?

If you are caught with an illegal drug like marijuana on a ship, it’s difficult to say exactly what will happen. That’s because there are overlapping rules of law on a cruise ship, some of which depends on where the ship is located at the time of the offense.

Chances are that small amounts of marijuana that you try to bring on the ship would likely just be confiscated. But it’s really up to the cruise line. They reserve the right to remove you from the cruise. At worst, they could alert local authorities to the situation. 

In fact, in some Caribbean locales, the local police are known for entering staterooms when a cruise ship is in port looking for small amounts of drugs. This gives them an opportunity to levy fines on cruise passengers who aren’t aware of the local laws.

Our advice is to simply not risk it.

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  1. Pot on a cruise ship is bad news. Where will you smoke it? Privacy is zero. And it is NOT condoned at any level: (1) Passengers: they are typically people who like buffets and cabaret music and disco and drinks; totally non-heads, the newlyweds and almost-deads. (2) The administration: it doesn’t matter where pot is legal: you can be off the dock in California and you are in federal jurisdiction and the CG can pull that ship over there–or anywhere else, even 90 miles out–and run a dog through the ship. If drugs are found the Captain is held responsible and it is, at the least, a black mark on the ship and the cruise line with the Federal govt. However unlikely this scenario you can believe the Captain looks at it that way.

    There have been cases, honestly, where cruise ship passengers were checked with drug dogs and busted right off the cruise before it started. It sucks like all bigoted pot laws suck just like cruise ship disco-dancing drunks suck.

  2. I vape marijuana in public fairly often (in a state where legal medical use is just developing) and people honestly don’t care (not that I’m doing it right up in their faces). Welcome to the future lol.

  3. Seems to me that some laws need to be changed. I can not go on a cruise ship and absorb the very medicine prescribed to me by a physician, because some lame brain doesn’t get the need for it. Shame on this nation of self absorbed politicians. We need to change things people.


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