Most cruise lines offer a number of restaurants to dine at, but the most popular is generally the buffet.
The largest space on most ships, the buffet is included in the price of your ticket and offers an easy, self-serve way to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It’s often loved because of the huge variety of food on offer from local cuisines to popular British dishes – meaning even fussy eaters are happy.
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But, an argument erupted on Reddit recently when a passenger suggested that cruisers should be allowed to take food from the buffet on daytime excursions off the ship.
One guest asked: “Are we allowed to fill our personal plastic containers with buffet food?
“We will be leaving the ship and exploring but want to take food from the ship and pack it for later during the day while we are out exploring.”
Most cruise ships will have their own rules about allowing food off the premises and many won’t stop you from trying to do so.
But, fellow passengers were aghast at the money-saving suggestion, reports the Express.
A passenger said: “Wow, I can’t think of anything more tacky honestly.
“Take a box of granola bars with you if you must, for when hunger strikes and food is nowhere to be seen but practices like this are exactly why Venice stopped allowing cruise ships to dock in their ports.
“Passengers would come off the ship, bring a picnic, tour the sights, leave their garbage in the city, spend as little money as they could get away with, and sail off leaving the city more worn than it was before without really doing much to contribute.
“Please consider partaking of local food, drink and delicacies while you are ashore in various places.
“The people who graciously welcome tourists into their ports also depend on them for their livelihood.”
Another noted: “Keeping food in your backpack at room temperature til you want to eat it sounds like how you get food poisoning. Fruits and the like will likely run up against port restrictions.”
“Not sure if you're allowed or not, but that just sounds tacky…” noted a third.
Another guest added: “I would slightly judge someone filling up a container in line but you paid for the food.”
While a fourth said: “Your items go through security when getting off at the ports and this is where they will confiscate your food items if it’s not allowed. I’ve seen many bananas at security.”
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It’s important to obey the laws of the countries you visit when on a cruise ship.
The islands and ports are not an extension of the ship and as such may have import and customs rules around various foods.
Meat, cheese and fruits are particularly risky to take into another country as many ban these items from being imported to protect their local animals and crops from disease and pests.
If you wish to know whether you can take food off your ship we would advise checking with guest services before doing so.
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