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We were on the Nieuw Amsterdam last week and tried to bring 3 conch shells on the ship. They were taken away by security. There was a pile of them on the floor. Just an FYI for Holland America passengers.
yes it is illegal to take these, there could still be conch inside. And even if you did make it on the ship with one or more, chances are you'd give it up at US Customs.
Carnival Inspiration, January 2006
Carnival Sensation, February 2007
Carnival Legend, May 2009
Carnival Dream, January 2010
Carnival Dream, May 2010
Carnival Dream, June 2011
Carnival Liberty April 2012
Carnival Breeze, November 2012
We were on Carnival Victory in Dec. I found 2 Conch shells on the beach by the Osprey Hotel, neither having a house guest. I rinsed the sand out of them and put them in my backpack. Boarded the ship and back to my room. Left the ship in Miami with both shells in my back pack. They our both on a shelf next to my computer as I type.
If you would happen to find one with a guest , I would NOT bring on the ship. I did that in Florida about 30 years ago. Found one with the Snail or Guest inside of it. Put in the trunk. Drove back to Illinois. About Atlanta the Smell was unbearable. The conch shell ened up in a rest stop garbage can.
While on our honeymoon in 2010 I picked up two, one for me and the other for my sister in law. We put them in our beach bags and boarded the ship with no problems. I made sure that there was nothing living in there. Also found a sea urchin shell perfect condition.
Perhaps the reason for them to take shells away would be the type?
"old crusty", store sovenier vs. new from sea? Does Holland passenger recall of saw any old bone looking type? Just wondering. We sail Carnival in March 2013 there.
Carnival 2001 to present:
Destiny 5X, Miracle, Liberty 2X, Legend, Victory 2X, Glory upcoming
RC Adventure of the Seas 4/6/08
NCL Southward 7/1985
Three of us picked up conch shells from the graveyard this past January and we all brought them home, no problem. The shells that you pick up from the graveyard have been harvested and discarded empty. Many were old and crusty but there are a few nicer ones if you look.
We did not openly carry them onto the ship, we wrapped them in towels and placed them in our beach bags. Not to hide them but to protect them from damage when they went through the scanner.
I just returned on the Miracle today which had a port stop in Grand Turk. I visited the Conch graveyard or the area where I found many. My daughters and I had no problems bringing them back to the ship including some coral stones found on the beach. We also bought two nicely cleaned and polished conch shells from downtown.
We brought a total of 5 back on board the Liberty in March with no problem. Be sure to bring bags to pack them in because they all still had some degree of odor to them! We packed them in a separate bag to carry off the ship when we arrived back in Miami.
We were able to bring back ours from Grand Caymen when we were doing the stingray city tour. Our guides dove down and brought up enough for our whole group to take back home. They of course cleaned each shell and let us taste the conch if we wanted to. Had no problem bringing it on board the ship.