The Popular Recording Device You Should Think Twice Before Bringing On A Cruise

From curling irons to a bouquet of roses, you can't bring a lot of unexpected items on a cruise. While packing your collapsible luggage for a water voyage, don't bother making space for your drone. As beautiful as footage taken flying over the ocean might be, all major cruise lines have basically banned drones. Some may allow you to pack your drone so that you can use it when you disembark at different ports, but you still won't have permission to fly it while at sea.


Cruise lines may ban drones for a few reasons, but passenger safety seems to be the main concern. The risk of a passenger getting hit by a speeding drone while trying to enjoy the ocean breeze so that another passenger can get a gorgeous shot of the ship from above isn't worth it from the point of view of the cruise lines. Some won't even allow you to fly drones when at a port. Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald explained (via Cruise Hive), "There have been some instances where these drones have caused problems, and also one recently where a drone pilot crashed his drone very close to the ship while in one of the ports ... This causes all sorts of problems, including paperwork and environmental stuff which is one of our top priorities."


Drone regulations differ between cruise lines

A cruise line might kick you off the ship if you get seriously ill, but you probably won't get banned from your vacation if you attempt to bring a drone — unless you try to use it on board. Just like you can get banned by cruise lines for fishing off the side, you can get in serious trouble for flying your drone while onboard. The cruise might even ask you to leave early. The exact drone regulations depend on the cruise line you travel with, but in general, you will have to check it in with the ship's chief security officer, keep it inside your cabin, or have it confiscated during boarding.


Many cruises, like Carnival Cruise Line, Disney Cruise Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises, have completely banned drones, so you won't have the option to bring them on board even if you don't plan to use them during the cruise. Some companies, like Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, allow you to use drones on land. However, Royal Caribbean specifies that you can't do so at all ports, and Celebrity Cruises asks you to leave the port before using your drone.

What will happen to your drone if you try to bring it on a cruise?

If you show up with an unauthorized drone, the cruise line will likely still permit you to board — but the staff may confiscate it. While cruise ship security is generally considered a less tiring process than airport security, personnel will seize any banned items you try to bring on the ship — including drones. You might discover that the cruise line confiscated one of your belongings during boarding, or if you packed it in your checked luggage, you might find a note in your cabin asking you to talk to security.


If your banned items have already made it on the ship, security will lock them up until the cruise ends in what some passengers jokingly call "the naughty room." In general, though, guests can get items back when they leave the ship. For instance, Carnival Cruise Line states passengers should proceed to shoreside security after disembarking to collect any belongings seized by staff.