Taking Conch shells on ship.

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North Carolina
56 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
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.
Tallahassee , FL
14,591 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
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.
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it will probably be ok as they take the snail fom the shell before as they eat the meat. I have brought one back from St. Lucia w/o a problem.
litchfield il.
188 Posts
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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.
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Joined Oct 2011
On our cruise in December I had no problem bringing mine onto Amsterdam. It was definitely an old one though and I did nothing to hide it. I also had no problem with customs.
Fairbanks, Alaska
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What if you buy one from a stand and then bring it back? I would imagine if you bought one any little guests would've already been eaten. LOL
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Ontario - Hamilton (when necessary) and Haliburton (when possible)
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I believe it depends on the Port.......it's illegal to export conch from some places, but not, I believe, from all.
North Carolina
56 Posts
Joined Oct 2011
Originally posted by bgal31
On our cruise in December I had no problem bringing mine onto Amsterdam. It was definitely an old one though and I did nothing to hide it. I also had no problem with customs.

hmm, that's weird. We were on the Nieuw Amsterdam and they would not let you bring them back on the ship. You would think that all Holland America ships would have the same policy?
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Other than the conch, other living creatures use their shells as living places.
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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.
Carmel, IN
2,878 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
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.
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Originally posted by potsie57
hmm, that's weird. We were on the Nieuw Amsterdam and they would not let you bring them back on the ship. You would think that all Holland America ships would have the same policy?
Not weird to me. I have found a big difference between policy and enforcement. That's one reason for some of the confusion and conflicting experiences on these boards.
Ontario, Canada
366 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Originally posted by torchd
I was able to get mine on no problem on the Destiny last week

LOL I was just going to type the same thing! I am looking at mine too from our Dream cruise.
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Milwaukee, WI USA
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Joined Sep 2002
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.
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Milton, VT
618 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
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.
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04-20-2012 Carnival Miracle
177 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
We've always wanted to do this. We've been to Grand Turk twice and I've never brought one back because I was afraid of them shaming me and taking it away.

Maybe I'll try it this next trip!
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Norfolk Virginia
5,604 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
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.
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Joined Jan 2011
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.
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