Are Drones Allowed On Cruise Ships? (7+ Cruise Line Drone Policies)
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My wife and I love cruises! There’s no better bang-for-your-buck travel experience that will allow you to see so many incredible places in a short period of time. I hadn’t been on a cruise since I got into filming with my drone and wondered if I could take my drone on a cruise. So, I did some research to see if drones are allowed on cruise ships.
Drones are allowed on board of Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity cruise lines. They must be stored in your room and CANNOT be flown on the ship or in the port area. They may only be flown at the destination if local laws allow. MSC cruises offer drone racing experiences on some of their ships for families to learn and experience drones for the first time.
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Can you bring a drone on a cruise ship?
Whether or not you can bring your drone on your cruise entirely depends on what cruise liner you are traveling on. Some cruise lines allow for drones to be used at the destinations only while some prohibit them from being brought on board entirely.
As consumer drones continue to rise in popularity, I expect most of these cruises to change their policies to allow for drones much like the major airlines.
I have researched eight of the top cruise lines and found their policies on drones. Bookmark this page and reference it right before your trip to make sure that you are up to date on the latest policy changes.
Are drones allowed on Royal Caribbean cruises?
According to the Royal Caribbean cruise policy, drones are allowed to be taken on board for use only at destinations or ports of call.
You may not operate a drone on the ship itself and will have your drone confiscated at the very least and possibly be kicked off the ship. Your drone must stay stored in your room unless you are taking it off the ship with you.
You also cannot operate your drone within the port area or at any of the Royal Caribbean private destinations like Perfect Day at CocoCay, Bahamas or Labadee, Haiti.
So as long as you never take your drone out on the ship, you can bring your drone on Royal Caribbean cruise lines to use for filming and enjoyment at destinations.
For the most up to date policy on bringing drones on Royal Caribbean, click here.
Can you bring a drone on a Princess cruise?
Princess Cruises explicitly states in their list of prohibited items that drones are NOT allowed on their ships at any time. This extends to any flying device or toy.
They don’t go into reasoning but like much of the other prohibited items, it is probably purely a safety measure. As drones rise in popularity in the consumer market, this policy could change.
Some forum users indicate there might be exceptions made by ship security, but I have a hard time imagining a good excuse for them to let you board with your drone.
So if you are planning a Princess cruise, you will be restricted to ground level photography because drones are not allowed on their cruise ships.
For the most up to date Princess cruise policy on drones, click here.
Are drones allowed on Carnival cruise ships?
According to Carnival’s latest policy on prohibited items, you absolutely can bring a drone on their cruise ship. Much like Royal Caribbean, drones are only allowed for use on land.
You must keep your drone stored in your room until you reach a destination where you can take it with you to do what you please.
You will have to make sure the destination allows drones, but that research is on you and Carnival won’t accept any responsibility for local government or police confiscating your drone.
So for Carnival cruise goers, you can bring a drone on their ship for some amazing photos and video of all your travel fun!
For the most up to date policy on bringing drones onboard Carnival cruises, click here.
Can you bring a drone on a Disney cruise?
While not listed with the serious prohibited items like firearms, Disney cruises do not allow drones onboard for safety reasons.
Considering the target market of Disney cruises being young families, drones are probably not going to be allowed on this cruise line for a while, if ever.
So if your family is planning on cruising with Mickey and Goofy and the gang, leave the drone at home because it will not be allowed onboard.
For the most up to date policy on bringing drones onboard Disney cruises, click here.
Are drones allowed on Norwegian cruise lines?
At the time of writing this article, drones were number twenty-two on Norwegian Cruise Lines prohibited item list.
They specify that any autonomous or remote-controlled aircraft including drones are prohibited from being brought onto the cruise ship.
After browsing a couple of forums, I did see multiple stories of people successfully bringing their drones onboard Norwegian cruises and taking them off the boat at port, but the official policy prohibits them.
So according to company policy, drones are not allowed on Norwegian cruise lines.
For the most up to date policy on bringing a drone on Norwegian, click here.
Can you bring a drone on Celebrity cruises?
According to the Celebrity Cruise FAQ page, drones are allowed on Celebrity cruises but may only be flown on land.
The policy is identical to Royal Caribbean’s policy and requires your drone to be stored in your room and not to be flown on the ship or in the port area.
As drones continue to rise in popularity with consumers, I imagine this is going to be the policy for most cruise lines. Until then, you for sure can bring a drone on Celebrity cruises.
For the most up to date FAQ about Celebrity’s drone policy, click here.
Are drones allowed on Holland America cruise ships?
According to the Holland America information packet, drones are not allowed on their cruise ships for safety reasons.
Any drone or remote-controlled flying device cannot be brought on board at this time. This policy may change in the near future.
For the most up to date policy on if drones are allowed on Holland America, click here.
Can you bring a drone on MSC cruises?
Unfortunately, MSC cruises does explicitly call out drones on their prohibited items list (although without much explanation).
So drones are not allowed on MSC cruises, at least personal drones. They do, however, offer a cool, new family experience on the MSC Grandiosa called The Drone Academy!
The Drone Academy is a night time event where teens learn drone piloting skills and then compete in a drone race with glowing drones, relay gates and more! You can check out what drone racing is all about on some of these YouTube channels.
So while you can’t bring a drone on MSC cruises, at least there’s some drone fun to be had!
For the most up to date MSC Cruise drone policy, click here.
Flying a drone on a cruise ship
So no matter the cruise ship, flying a drone while aboard the ship is strictly prohibited. Your drone will be confiscated and there is a chance you will be kicked off the boat.
Apart from the obvious safety concerns that the cruise lines have with drone flying on a crowded boat, there are other reasons that would make flying a drone on a cruise ship pretty stupid.
One big one is wind and the speed of the boat. When you are aboard one of these massive ships, it is hard to decipher just how fast those boats are moving.
Also with you a hundred plus feet in the air on the top deck, the wind can be pretty extreme and erratic. The second your drone takes off, the wind and speed of the boat could carry your drone helplessly out of range until it dies into the ocean.
Radar and electronics systems on cruise ships could also potentially cause lots of problems with your drone’s flight making a successful flight unlikely.
The only reason to bring a drone on a cruise ship is for filming, photography and flying your drone at the ports of call, or the destinations.
You will have to do your own research into the local laws and regulations of the destination to make sure you can fly your drone legally. Make sure you check out our list of countries where drones are banned.
Tips for traveling with a drone
Traveling with a drone is becoming more and more common and airlines and cruise liners are adjusting to the rise in drone popularity. Policies are changing making it easier to travel with drones, but here are some quick tips:
- Protect your drone, accessories and batteries in a drone specific bag or backpack like this one
- Check policies of both the airline and cruise ship before bringing your drone
- Check the local laws and regulations for each destination city
For more in-depth tips, make sure to read our guide on how to travel with a drone.