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Weed on a Cruise Ship: Is It Legal?

Executive Editor, U.S.
Chris Gray Faust

Jan 8, 2020

Read time
4 min read

With marijuana legal in more states every year, weed decriminalization happening in many U.S. cities, and full-blown dispensaries, shops and boutiques dedicated to pot across the country, it's only natural to wonder if you can bring weed on your cruise.

Unfortunately for weed enthusiasts, marijuana is still classified as a narcotic under federal law -- and those rules govern cruise lines. Besides the fact that the aforementioned law supersedes any state or local laws, every single cruise line has a rule prohibiting weed.

From whether you can smoke up in port to whether CBD gummies are allowed on ships, we're breaking down everything you need to know about weed and cruises. Read on for our answers to all of the questions you might have before you land yourself in trouble on your next cruise vacation.

Can I Smoke Weed on a Cruise?

You cannot smoke weed on a cruise ship even if it's legal in the state from which you've departed or in which you live.

Can I Bring Edibles (Pot-Infused Food or Gummies) on a Cruise Ship?

You are prohibited from bringing or using weed edibles on a cruise ship.

Can I Bring a Weed Vape, Hash Oil, or Marijuana Cartridges on a Cruise Ship?

You cannot bring a weed vape, hash oil or marijuana cartridges on any cruise ship.

Related: How Cruise Ships Deal With Crime at Sea

I Have a Medical Marijuana Card. Can I Bring Any of the Above With Me on a Cruise?

No. If you take marijuana for a medical condition, you will have to find alternative ways to treat your illness during your cruise vacation. The ships do not take doctors' notes or make allowances for medicinal use.

What About CBD Products, like Lotions, Oils and So On?

If you use CBD products, you'll need to consult with your cruise line as to whether or not they are allowed. Most major lines prohibit CBD products on board, including Carnival, Disney and Royal Caribbean. You should also check rules about CBD on the airline you're using to reach port if you're planning on flying to your cruise, as well as international laws if you're flying abroad for your cruise.

What Happens If I Get Caught With Weed on a Cruise?

Being caught with weed while boarding on on board a cruise ship can land you in big trouble. As we've told you, weed is still illegal at the federal level in the U.S.. That includes smoking it or transporting it across state or international borders. You will not only be thrown off the cruise ship immediately, but you may also be turned over to the local police, and you will either face fines or -- depending on where you are -- jail time.

I'm a Resident of a State Where Weed Is Legal. I Still Can't Bring Weed on My Cruise?

Even if you live in Washington, Alaska, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey or any other state where weed is legal or has been decriminalized, you cannot bring or use weed on your cruise.

Related: 11 Ways to Get Thrown Off a Cruise Ship

Can I Use Marijuana in a State Where It's Legal Before My Cruise?

If you live in a state where marijuana is legal, you are at your liberty to smoke up before you board your ship as long as you do it where smoking weed is legal. For instance, while you can spark up almost anywhere in Seattle or NYC, you may not smoke at the ports, which generally fall under federal maritime control. You also cannot bring whatever you have left on board your cruise.

Can I Buy Marijuana in Alaska, Seattle, or NYC Once I Get There and Use It There?

While on land and not in the cruise port itself, you may buy and smoke weed to the extent that it is legal or decriminalized in that destination. You'll see dispensaries in most Alaska cruise ports, for example, and all over Seattle as well. You're welcome to visit these shops during a port call, before embarkation, or after disembarkation, so long as public consumption is allowed.

Keep in mind that if you're visiting National Parks or any federal lands, you are forbidden from smoking weed or using edibles (and almost all of Alaska's Inside Passage falls in that category). Also remember that anything you buy with weed in it cannot come back into the port area or on the ship. Carefully check local and state laws before you arrive at port to make sure you're complying with rules and regulations. Also note the destinations of your shore excursions if you plan on consuming weed on shore, as it may be prohibited in certain parks and elsewhere.

What If My Cruise Visits or Departs From Canada? Can I Smoke Then?

Recreational marijuana use is legal in Canada. However, it is still not legal to bring or use weed or edibles on your cruise ship even if it stops in Canadian ports.

Related: 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Try to Sneak Alcohol on Your Cruise

Forget the Pacific Northwest. What About Jamaica? Surely I Can Smoke Weed There?

Contrary to popular belief and a million reggae songs, recreational weed has been illegal in Jamaica for decades. In 2015, the country did relax its medical marijuana rules so that tourists who have a card can legally buy up to two ounces, but there's no dispensary system similar to what you see in the United States.

As cruise tourists know, if you really want to find pot in Jamaica, you don't have to work that hard. Vendors often solicit aggressively outside of cruise ports, and tours that visit Bob Marley's birthplace in the hills are particularly known for running into marijuana sellers. Again, keep in mind that if you make a purchase, you'll be doing so at your own risk and it all has to be gone before you get on the ship.

Practicing Rastafarians in Jamaica are allowed to smoke marijuana for religious reasons, but wearing a crocheted beanie does not make you a Rastafarian.

My Cruise Begins or Ends in Amsterdam. Can I Visit the Coffee Shops and Buy Weed Products There?

Marijuana is not technically legal in the Netherlands, but the Dutch laws do allow it to be tolerated, and Amsterdam's city center still has plenty of coffee shops. Just like in Seattle or Alaska, what you do in ports where marijuana is available is up to you. You cannot bring it on your river cruise, however, as the ships' contract of carriage prohibits it.

Updated January 08, 2020
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