Taking food ashore

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#1
Los Angeles, CA
55 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
I've seen some posts that certain ports won't let you take food off the ship. Does anyone know how to find out which ports let you take food off the ship, which don't let you, and which don't check?
Specifically, I need info for Roatan, Grand Cayman, Belize City and Cozumel. We're doing the Tulum tour in Cozumel and I hear the box lunches leave something to be desired. In GC our excursion doesn't include food and in Roatan we're just beach bumming it by ourselves.
My other concern is eating local food. Will we be safe is we eat local food in all of these ports? Our cave tubing in Belize includes a lunch at a local restaurant and now I'm rethinking this. I hope I'm not coming off as an ignorant American, it's just that I have a sensitive stomach already and we'd like to save a little money by not having to buy more food.
Any help for be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Angela Crowley


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#2
Gulfport, Mississippi
15,850 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
Pookie, at most ports-of-call, you aren't allowed to take any food off the ship. MX, for example doesn't allow any type produce or fruit. Prepackaged, unopened foods are ok....like boxed cereal, cookies, etc.

I look forward to sampling the cuisine of each port I visit. I know that on Cozumel, most restaurants have signs saying they use purified water. I've never had a problem with anything I've had to eat or drink on Cozumel, and I too, have to watch what I eat.
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#3
241 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
I'm so glad this question came up. I have to eat a little something every 2-3 hours or I will get a headache which will then turn into a migraine if I don't eat. I, for one, will have to have a little something in my bag to snack on. As far as pre-packaged foods....is that something that would be available on board the ship? Or should I plan ahead and pack some cracker or cookie packs in my suitcase for my excursions?
#4
Gulfport, Mississippi
15,850 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
The ship will have plenty of the 2-pk. crackers, and the small boxes of cereal you could get from the buffet area. Would those items do? If not, you could bring a few candy bars or snack cracker packages from home to take on shore...?
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"Laissez les bon temps rouler!"
1987 - Carnival Festivale
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#5
Wisconsin
902 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I've been to all the ports mentioned by the origianal poster and here's been my experience:

No problem. Boxed/canned stuff only tho..... I have taken sandwiches from room service offship that I have wrapped in plastic and foil myself (gotta bring this stuff from home....)

I MUST take snacks offship or I will have a low and that could be dangerous, especially if beaching it or in a place like Roatan or Belize.

In answer to the ? of eating in Belize....I ventured out on my own in Belize after my tour and found a wonderful local eatery. I still remember my meal; it was delicious and the water is safe ... nope didn't get sick....so try that local food; it may be the only time you get to do it (and it was great in Belize....)

Mary
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#7
Ontario, Canada
22 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Hi all!

I have been to Cozumel 5 times and if you want to eat at a nice place try the Pancake house not too far from the docks. You will find the food very good there. There are also a number of restaurants from Burger King to Subway to T.G.I. Friday's if that is more your tempo.

Have a great cruise!

Sheri
#8
1,716 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
Most ports don't allow fruit, veggies, meats or dairy to be taken off. While packages of crackers and cereal are OK - sandwiches are not because of the butter, cheese, meat etc. on them.

We usually bring some packages of trail mix with us and also a candy bar when we go ashore. Don't always need it, but it's nice to have just in case.
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#9
Florida
484 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I have been to all of those ports and have never had problems taking stuff off the ship of any kind for my kids...I always bring ziploc bags and pack sandwhiches etc from room service since they are so picky and never want what we are eating in the restaurants we pick...also it's good if we are just going to the beach.
#10
San Diego, Ca
17,574 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Please dont take any food ashore, in most cases the natives dont have the type of health care you and I have. Just Image a whole tribe wiped out due to a fruit you took off the ship and left behind that was contaminated by a shipboard kid with full blown chicken pox etc.

The CD always mention people and Hard Boiled Eggs, these are popular with folks leaving the ship for excursions... They say leave the eggs behind.

I say if its packaged, its ok.
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#11
Extremely Rural DEEP SOUTH
2,401 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by smellywax
I have been to all of those ports and have never had problems taking stuff off the ship of any kind for my kids...I always bring ziploc bags and pack sandwhiches etc from room service since they are so picky and never want what we are eating in the restaurants we pick...also it's good if we are just going to the beach.
This'll probably get me in trouble, but I agree with you. Dom and I have often ordered BLTs, chips, etc. from room service and taken ashore. We're not "feeding the locals", just feeding ourselves.

Don't forget to smuggle out some bread to attract fish whilst snorkeling!
#12
Florida
484 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
i am more worried about what my kids will catch eating the local food than the food I bring off contaminating theirs...like I said, we support their economy by dining out but for my kids, we will always pack a sandwhich of their choice to bring off the ship and if they don't eat it, the fish will when they snorkel.
#13
United States
380 Posts
Joined Mar 2012
i have read that at the mayan ruins in cozumel and progresso food items are not allowed to be taken onto the ruins grounds what worries me is that i am diabetic and it my sugar starts to drop i may need to eat something quickly like some peanut butter crackers or something will there be any problems if i take something like this in with me has anyone had experience with this
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#14
USA
2,299 Posts
Joined May 2004
A seemingly innocent food taken ashore can create an ecological nightmare to the port country's food supply, human and animal health, etc.

http://www.paloaltohistory.com/palo-...y-invasion.php
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#15
Fredericksburg, va. USA
83,046 Posts
Joined May 2001
Pre-packaged, sealed foods, like peanut butter crackers are fine.

It's fresh meats, cheeses, veggies and fruits that they worry about. Those items may introduce non-native pests into their enviroment, which is terrible! Do NOT bring those items ashore. You can be fined, or even, arrested!

You may bring sealed, prepackaged things, like a box of cereal, or nabs, bag of nuts, etc...

The food in tourist areas is fine. Just shy away from ice, fresh veggies/fruits, etc.....anything that might have local water on or in it.
#16
Summerville, SC
6,786 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Pre-packaged food only if you must take something off the ship. Local agriculture laws are in place for a reason and need to be respected, does not matter what your kids want. No produce, no meats, no dairy etc. Having said that, we have eaten locally at all of the places the OP is going and have had nothing but good experiences. Sampling the local fare is part of the experience for us.
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