Box lunch

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#1
Colorado
1,008 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Has anyone ever ordered a box lunch from the ship for a day trip? What does it contain? can you make up your own "menu" or are they standardized? Thanks.
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#2
968 Posts
Joined Aug 2001
...you generally can't take food off the ship -especially meats, cheeses, fruits/vegetables etc. If you brought a box of cold cereal from the buffet you probably could get away with it. But why not just enjoy the local cuisine at your port of call ?!?! We always enjoy the local flavor - and will often ask our driver to take us someplace where the "locals" go so we can taste the REAL indigenous flavor.
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Kwaj girl
#3
California
21,297 Posts
Joined May 2002
It really depends on the port where you are disembarking to visit for the day. Many times there are very strict rules about taking food off the ship, I know when we have gotten off in Mexico there will be a trash can full of food.

So pay attention to the international rules and don't try to break them. I know if you fly there are very strict rules about non-packaged food items and you can be charged a stiff fine. The ships usually have the information printed on the daily newsletter and will sometimes tell you as you are disembarking.
#4
British Columbia
6,315 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I had a boxed lunch some years ago from NCL. Foodstuffs are limited in these boxes due to import restictions, so, IMO the most edible item was probably the cordboard box, in which it was packed.

john
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#5
Portland, OR
1,149 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Originally posted by Kwaj girl
...you generally can't take food off the ship -especially meats, cheeses, fruits/vegetables etc. If you brought a box of cold cereal from the buffet you probably could get away with it. But why not just enjoy the local cuisine at your port of call ?!?! We always enjoy the local flavor - and will often ask our driver to take us someplace where the "locals" go so we can taste the REAL indigenous flavor.
What if you are on a special diet, say gluten free per chance? Try asking for gluten free food prep at a local diner.

Best bet, if you are going to be away from the ship for an extended amount of time, is to pack some prepackaged items with you to take on your excursions.
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#6
Canada
18,315 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
copi2boys, as others have said, there are strict rules about taking food off the ship. It may not be done, and if you are caught, you will have to trash the food, plus it's embarrassing and you are left with nothing.

Best bet is to bring some pre-packaged food items from home; the ship has limited pre-packaged items. You can pack a few things you know your family will eat, and perhaps supplement them with a local meal.

Have fun on Liberty.
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#7
Wisconsin
6,138 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Some long-time cruisers might remember that people used to take food off the ship all the time, and if they didn't just make up sandwiches from the buffet, they had the ship prepare boxed lunches and such.

Well, times have changed. Laws have changed. Most countries (including the US, by the way) have very strict laws in place to protect the agriculture -- crops --and other vegetation in their countries. So food cannot be taken off the ship unless it's in commercial packaging, like you'd buy from a store, UNopened, sealed.

So if you have special dietary issues, you need to prepare for those in advance. There are lots of commercially packaged single-serving foods available these days to meet your needs -- but it will mean you have to buy that stuff in advance, bring it with you, and take it off the ship UNopened. Or be prepared to get back to the ship to eat. Or risk eating on shore.
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#8
SoCal
3,789 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
Pre-packaged foods are the way to go. We usually bring some breakfast bars and hard candy with us. Oh, also the boxed cereals from breakfast. If we find a local market we will by a snack there.

Lots of problems with introduced pests harming agriculture. A few months ago Southern California was on a Asian Psilliad watch. Mediterrean Fruit Flies have also wrecked havoc over here. No fun being Malathioned by air. Disgusting, sticky and the possibility of losing your pets.

We really appreciate people not inadvertantly bringing pest here and our family tries not to bring pests into other areas.
#9
The Big Tomato; i.e. Sacramento CA
7,406 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
As was mentioned, not only at sea, but coming back to California by car or motorcycle one would get stopped by the agriculture people & questioned as to whether you're bring in any fruit or other items on the wartch list. This has been going on for years.
So don't take anything off the ship that isn't sealed/prepackaged.
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#10
more or less in TX
10,419 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Prepackaged means absolutely never been opened. I tried to carry off an opened package of ginger cookies and was prevented from doing so. Also you can't even take prepacked food items into any port in Australia. They use sniffer dogs.

I've been OK with (outside of Australia) candy bars, granola bars and upopened cans of soda.
#11
Northern Colorado
6,836 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
I've carried pre-packaged snacks - small sets of cheese & crackers, or a small box of crackers. Candy bars are good for quick energy. Granola bars. (I've gone looking for the better quality bars with a decent amount of protein in them.) These are also good things to have on an airplane - you can't count on being fed on planes anymore.

We've been on excursions where we were supposed to be able to stop and eat, but the majority of passengers didn't want to, so the meal we were expecting didn't happen. It's good to have a bit of stuff to eat.

Kathy
#12
South Jersey
1,957 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Originally posted by copi2boys
Has anyone ever ordered a box lunch from the ship for a day trip? What does it contain? can you make up your own "menu" or are they standardized? Thanks.
You can not take a box lunch from the ship. Only sealed, pre-package food can be taken off such as protein bars, trail mix, granola bars, cheese/peanut butter crackers, etc. If sailing to a hot climate, chocolate candy bars will melt.
#13
Corpus Christi, Texas
151 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
We are cruising to St Petersburg, Russia in June, 2010. Our private tour guide is recommending we bring a box lunch from the ship. Someone even said the driver and guide would also appreciate a box. Maybe things are different in that area.
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#14
Chicago by way of Boston and NOLA
16,674 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by bojomitch
We are cruising to St Petersburg, Russia in June, 2010. Our private tour guide is recommending we bring a box lunch from the ship. Someone even said the driver and guide would also appreciate a box. Maybe things are different in that area.
I would be shocked if Russia does not have laws to protect their agriculture. Most likely you would be subject to a large fine and possibly be detained if you were caught smuggling fresh food onto Russian soil. Unless the box lunch consists of only pre-packaged foods such as granola bars, I would not take the chance of likely violating Russian law unless I found out for 100% certain that it was legal.
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#15
Moon Township, Pa
23,122 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by bojomitch
We are cruising to St Petersburg, Russia in June, 2010. Our private tour guide is recommending we bring a box lunch from the ship. Someone even said the driver and guide would also appreciate a box. Maybe things are different in that area.

All three times I've been to St Petersburg, we were most definitely warned NOT to bring any food off the ship, except factory sealed items such as candy, granola bars and juice boxes. They searched everything and had dogs around.
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Darcie
#16
In the Valley, CA
22,838 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I pack Power Bars, Balance Bars, and that type of food to take on cruises with me. That way, I can take one or two (unopened) ones with me off the ship to tie me over until we stop for food. I really regretted forgetting to do so on an excursion that had included lunch. That turned out to be sandwiches made at the tour guide's favorite place. Probably very good ones, but came premade with mayo and other things that I do not eat. So I was starving by the time we got back on the ship.

You'll often see warnings in the ship's newsletter on a port day warning you not to bring food off the ship. And you'll see a big trash can near the gangway with food confisicated by those not heeding these warnings.

Many locales, including where I live, take agriculture very seriously and do not allow illegal food being brought in.
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#17
Maryland
4,401 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
We went on an excursion through RCCL. It was an 8 hour trip. It included a box lunch. The box lunches came off the ship and were passed out to those people going on the excursion. It was all prepackaged things --like juice, cookies, tuna kit. That was about 1 1/2 years ago in Mexico.
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#18
Ashley, IN
8,683 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
We have taken food off the ship all of the time. If there would be a sign saying we couldn't, then we wouldn't. We usually go to the breakfast bar and get a croissant, some cheese, some breakfast rolls, and sometimes (OMG) a piece of fruit. We would NOT do this if there were signage telling us not to. Maybe it is the ports of call we have been to? There will be information in the daily newspaper telling you if you cannot take items off the ship. Yes, follow the rules, but know that some ports are "box lunch" friendly.
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#19
Palm City, Fl
3,628 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Originally posted by Sheffie
We have taken food off the ship all of the time. If there would be a sign saying we couldn't, then we wouldn't. We usually go to the breakfast bar and get a croissant, some cheese, some breakfast rolls, and sometimes (OMG) a piece of fruit. We would NOT do this if there were signage telling us not to. Maybe it is the ports of call we have been to? There will be information in the daily newspaper telling you if you cannot take items off the ship. Yes, follow the rules, but know that some ports are "box lunch" friendly.
Thank you Michelle...we have too. That ham and cheese sandwich hits the spot after trudging around some tourist site for several hours.

Rules are rules, but there are many places that don't have the rules that many of our passionate posters are so absolute about.
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#20
Canada
18,315 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by thinfool
Rules are rules, but there are many places that don't have the rules that many of our passionate posters are so absolute about.
I find your comment and the "smilie" used very interesting. I'd really love to know how you know this infoirmation, and could you list the ports for us so we are all better informed? I'm being serious, not sarcastic. We'd like to know.
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