Box lunch

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#1
SC
186 Posts
Joined May 2008
Has anyone been able to obtain a box lunch from the ship for all day excursions? Even if it is a non HAL excursursion, I know I am pushing it.
THX
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#2
105,578 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
You can not take any kind of food off a ship -- whether it be a box lunch prepared by the cruise line or just boxes of cereal from the buffet. These are regulations by the local authorities in nearly every port.

If you have booked a private all day tour - check with your venfor and wee what they have planned for stopping for lunch.
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#3
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,550 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by GLASSCRAFTER
Has anyone been able to obtain a box lunch from the ship for all day excursions? Even if it is a non HAL excursursion, I know I am pushing it.
Most countries do not allow ANY non-packaged food or fruit off the ship and are very strict about it. I've been to many ports where there were large bins next to disembarkation filled with food people have tried to get off the ship. In some ports I've been to, carry-ons were searched before you were allowed to leave the immediate area around the ship.

The ONLY place I've ever seen boxed lunches were in Manaus for a ship-sponsored tour.
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#4
105,578 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
We have also had our back packs and purses checked when we left the ship in ports. And we have seen those big barrels full of food that people took off the ship ignoring the signs.

There will be notices in your daily program about not taking food off the ship. And many of the ships that we have been on also have reminders as you leave the ship.
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#5
Orlando, FL
787 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
Last December on the Noordam we were on the catamaran shore excursion in St Lucia. The ship delivered about a half-dozen box lunches to the boat for some HAL passenegers. I remember being envious (and hungry!), since it was an all day excursion without any provision for food. Now I wished I had asked them how they were able to set that up.
#7
Michigan
960 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by Krazy Kruizers
You can not take any kind of food off a ship -- whether it be a box lunch prepared by the cruise line or just boxes of cereal from the buffet. These are regulations by the local authorities in nearly every port.

.
I always thought that packaged food (like the small boxes of cereal pre-packaged from the buffet) were allowed in most ports . A very quick google search did not yeild an answer. Does anyone have a link to port authority sites listing specific food regulations (no reason other than pure curiosity)??

Cheryl
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#8
City of Angels, CA
27,358 Posts
Joined May 2005
Originally posted by GLASSCRAFTER
Has anyone been able to obtain a box lunch from the ship for all day excursions? Even if it is a non HAL excursursion, I know I am pushing it.
THX
Yes, HAL does supply lunch boxes for some all-day ship-organized excursions, i.e. in Peenemunde, Germany (for Berlin) and in Alexandria, Egypt (for Cairo) and there might be more in other ports.

In those boxes, which are prepared and put together on the ship by staff, you will find among other things, a bottle of water, a granola bar, a small box of raisins, a Dutch raisin bread roll called a "krentenbroodje", but also a piece of fruit such as an apple.

It is also true that in some ports, i.e. in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the local authorities will inspect purses and bags for prohibited food items, immediately upon coming off the tender.
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#11
Washington State
2,660 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
In every port in Australia and New Zealand we were strickly warned not to take any food off the ship. There were little dogs there (beagles...very cute) to sniff your bags as you walked by. If they smelled anything...even the smallest crumbs....they would sit by your bag and it would then be totally inspected. Many people were stopped because they had previously had food in their bags and crumbs remained.
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#12
Michigan
960 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by Kween Karen
In every port in Australia and New Zealand we were strickly warned not to take any food off the ship. There were little dogs there (beagles...very cute) to sniff your bags as you walked by. If they smelled anything...even the smallest crumbs....they would sit by your bag and it would then be totally inspected. Many people were stopped because they had previously had food in their bags and crumbs remained.
That sounds a bit more friendly than the armed military checking bags as I entered Cabo San Lucas a few weeks ago. They did allow packaged food to be brought in even though the daily patter said absolutely no food. The armed guard didn't have a problem with a box of cheerios that a woman on our tender brought, which is what prompted my question above. I think the 'pre-packaged' food rule might differ by port?

Cheryl
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#13
Amity, PA USA
153 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
In November in the Carribean we were told no unsealed food could be taken off. We did take sealed boxes of cereal and sealed crackers and they were OK. I think it depends on the country. On the Carnival board people talked of getting food from the buffet and taking it with them but not only will it probably be taken from them in some countries they could be arrested - at least that is what we were told onboard. DH wanted to take off some fruit but I convinced him it wasn't worth it to try.
#14
559 Posts
Joined Mar 2010
have only been to the West/East Caribbean but we travel with 4 kids (age 7M to 5 yr) and we've always taken off boxes of cereal, granola bars and fruit (apples, bananas) and have never been asked or questioned. Food is always for the kids since we don't know where we are going, when we can get food and what type.
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#15
Second City
5,223 Posts
Joined Jan 2007
Originally posted by Berk987
have only been to the West/East Caribbean but we travel with 4 kids (age 7M to 5 yr) and we've always taken off boxes of cereal, granola bars and fruit (apples, bananas) and have never been asked or questioned. Food is always for the kids since we don't know where we are going, when we can get food and what type.
Sealed, pre-packed items such as the cereal and granola bars generally are acceptable ... but fresh fruit and vegetables are a huge no-no in most if not all ports.
#16
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,550 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by Kween Karen
In every port in Australia and New Zealand we were strickly warned not to take any food off the ship. There were little dogs there (beagles...very cute) to sniff your bags as you walked by. If they smelled anything...even the smallest crumbs....they would sit by your bag and it would then be totally inspected. Many people were stopped because they had previously had food in their bags and crumbs remained.
I've disembarked in Valparaiso twice and both times, it was the same: you were transferred to a departure hall via bus and told to line up on both sides of a section with all of your carry-ons on the floor. Once everyone was in place, two soldiers holding machine guns escorted a third soldier with a dog which sniffed every single carry-on/bag on the floor. There's no way I'd want to mess with that 'cause they looked very serious.

Originally posted by camp637
Sealed, pre-packed items such as the cereal and granola bars generally are acceptable ... but fresh fruit and vegetables are a huge no-no in most if not all ports.
I agree. You can always get pre-packaged and sealed items in the ship's shop for your kids but bringing fruit or anything that isn't pre-packaged is, as camp says, a huge no-no. Heck, I was once flying from Rome to Boston (where I used to live) and as I was waiting for my luggage at Logan, an FDA official with a dog was checking everyone waiting at baggage claim. The dog stopped at the woman next to me and she was asked if she had fruit in her carry-on. She said, "No." She was asked again, and again, she said, "No." She was then asked to take everything out of the bag and sure 'nuff, there was a banana she'd brought off the plane. They waited politely until she got her luggage and then she was escorted away.

Messing with another country's agricultural industry can get you into serious trouble and even if you can get away with it, why would you want to do that? To save a couple of $? Sounds incredibly selfish to me.
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#17
The Netherlands, wintermonths in Puerto vallarta, Mexico
6,431 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
You will read the signs - no food ashore- many times on the daily reports.
It is not just "other"countries where this rule applies.
When entering the USA at many airport you will see many dogs sniffing luggage of passengers. Not just for drugs, but many times they will find food or fruits.
Some countries are very strict and you will loose your food and/or will have to pay a fine.
When HAL gives lunchboxes to their passengers on tour it will be according the rules and because there will be little time for a (save) lunchstop.
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#18
3,132 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
after spending 1000s of $ on a cruise, why bother trying to save a couple bucks on lunch?

for me, part of traveling is having some local food.
#19
105,578 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by JYGresham
No sandwiches?
A couple of years ago we did an all day excursion sponsered by HAL and did get a box lunch -- a cup of fruit, a small granola bar, a small bottle of water, and a peppermint. Nothing else.
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#20
105,578 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
Originally posted by CherylsCaribbeanTravel
I always thought that packaged food (like the small boxes of cereal pre-packaged from the buffet) were allowed in most ports . A very quick google search did not yeild an answer. Does anyone have a link to port authority sites listing specific food regulations (no reason other than pure curiosity)??

Cheryl
Some of the ports are really tough -- not even pre-packaged anything.

Don't a list of the various ports and what is acceptible.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.