Propel RC is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

Can I Bring A Drone on a Cruise Ship? Policies and Guideline

By: Richard J. Gross
Updated On: October 16, 2023

The first time I heard the phrase “Drone on a Cruise Ship,” my immediate reaction was one of intrigue mixed with a dash of uncertainty. Think about it. There’s something almost magical about capturing high-definition aerial footage as your ship sails through sapphire-blue waters, past sun-drenched beaches and majestic coastlines, right? But what occurs behind the scenes to make those awe-inspiring visuals possible?

Delving deeper into the concept, however, raises several hip-level questions. Is it allowed or just an infringement of cruise line policies? What are the safety implications involved in flying drones over a sea of people lounging on their sunbeds? Perhaps you’re wondering whether drone usage might breach privacy laws or if there are penalties for breaking said rules onboard.

Well, hang tight as we navigate these choppy waters together in this blog post. I’ll bring you up to speed on general and specific drone policies across major cruise lines and discuss potential consequences should those rules be broken. After reading this article, you’ll have all the information necessary to operate (or tolerate) a Drone on a Cruise Ship- keeping safety and enjoyment clicking at full tilt! So, are you ready to set sail with me?

Cruise Line Drone Policies

Drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs),” are no longer a figment of sci-fi movies. They have become quite popular and widely used by both hobbyists and professionals for capturing amazing aerial videos and photos.

Can I Bring A Drone on a Cruise Ship?

But, when it comes to cruise line vacations, you might find yourself stuck at an impasse. Can you bring your drone aboard? If so, what are the rules? In this section, we will delve into the general policies regarding drone usage on cruise ships and some specific rules enforced by major cruise lines.

General Policies

Generally speaking, most cruise lines have a stringent policy about operating drones on their ships. This policy mainly stems from concerns over passenger safety and privacy.

  • No Fly Zones: Most of the time, drones are not allowed to be flown within the confines of the ship or when embarking or disembarking at ports.
  • Storage: While some cruises might allow you to bring your drone along for the ride, they generally require passengers to store them in their staterooms. They’re meant to be stored away safely when not in use during shore excursions.
  • Permission Required: On certain occasions where one might be permitted to fly a drone onboard – say for a wedding ceremony or other significant event – it’s typically subject to prior approval from ship management.

Specific Cruise Line Rules

To provide more clarity on these drone policies onboard cruise ships, let’s take a closer look at some stipulations set forth by popular cruise lines.

  • Carnival Cruises: Drones can actually result in eviction from Carnival Cruise Lines! The company has made it clear that drones brought onboard without express written permission could get guests removed at the next port of call.
  • Royal Caribbean: Royal Caribbean’s drone policy is slightly more relaxed but still limited. Drones may be brought onto vessels but must be stored safely in the stowage compartments in guests’ rooms and can only be operated off the ship.

These policies do vary between different liners; thus, as a passenger and a drone enthusiast, it is vital to read the fine print of your cruise agreement to avoid any potential issues down the line. In our next section, we will further explore why these strict regulations on drone usage exist on cruises.

Also Read: Can You Take a Drone on a Plane: All You Need To Know

Understanding the Concerns

Before taking your drone onboard a cruise ship, or even considering it, there are a few crucial things to think about. Namely, there are substantial safety issues and privacy concerns that go with flying drones in such a confined space.

Safety Issues

To begin with, operating a drone on a cruise ship is fraught with safety concerns. A cruise ship is packed with passengers and crew members going about their business. Flying drones can become intrusive and hazardous in these confined spaces for several reasons:

  • Possible collisions: Drones can potentially collide with other passengers or even the ship itself. They could cause physical injuries or damage the property.
  • Disturbance: Drones can create trouble by generating noise when people are trying to enjoy their vacation.
  • Ship Security: Drones might interfere with the navigation equipment of the ship, leading to serious safety issues.

Remember that while you’re having fun operating your drone, others might find it annoying or, worse yet – threatening.

Privacy Matters

Drones aren’t only about potential safety hazards, though; they also raise some significant privacy concerns:

  • Invasion of Privacy: With high-powered cameras capable of shooting from afar, drones could invade other passengers’ private moments without them even knowing.
  • Unwanted Photography/Videography: Some guests may feel uncomfortable being filmed or photographed without their consent.

As we live in an era where protecting personal data becomes more critical each day, bringing something on board that could potentially violate someone else’s privacy is something worth pondering upon.

So, before packing that drone in your luggage for your next cruise trip, remember – while capturing stunning visuals from angles only drones can provide sounds thrilling – ignoring these concerns could result in negative experiences for you and other passengers on board.

Also Read: Where DJI Drones Are Made? Origin, Manufacturing & History

Consequences of Breaking the Rules: Drone on a Cruise Ship

When it comes to handling drones on a cruise ship, two significant areas need consideration: penalties from ship security if caught flying and the potential legal implications you might face. Let’s dive into these critical points for a clearer understanding.

Penalties from Ship Security

If I were caught flouting the drone rules on board, the ramifications would be swift and potent. Here are some penalties to expect:

  • Confiscation – The security team has every right to confiscate my drone until the end of my trip if they catch me flying it on board.
  • Removal – In worst-case scenarios, I might even find myself being removed from the cruise with no refund for breaking the chain of trust by disregarding safety rules.
  • Ban – Cruise lines do not take kindly to deliberate rule violations, leading to permanent bans further down the line.

It is essential to respect both written and verbal orders pertaining to drones onboard; leniencies are rare where security is concerned.

Legal Implications

Beyond just possibly frustrating other passengers or exasperating crew members, breaking drone regulations may lead to more severe consequences. Here’s what could happen:

  • Lawsuits: If my drone happens to injure someone or damage personal property while I’m in control (or lack thereof), I could be sued for injuries or damages.
  • Regulatory fines and penalties: Depending on regional laws around drone usage, breaking those laws can result in hefty fines or legal problems.
  • Criminal Liabilities: If a government deems that my actions were reckless enough or caused significant harm, there might even be criminal charges waiting at my doorstep.

In essence, dealing with drones isn’t as simple as one would think—particularly when considering fashionable leisure such as a cruise journey.

Drones and Shore Excursions

In our fascination with drones, it’s crucial to understand their implication during shore excursions. These trips offer an excellent opportunity to capture beautiful sights and environments from a unique perspective.

Flying Drones Ashore

While you’re constrained from flying drones onboard a cruise ship due to security concerns and privacy issues, during excursions, the rules can vary.

  • Know the Local Laws: Before you fly your drone ashore, it’s of utmost importance that you familiarize yourself with local laws regarding drone usage. Some countries have strict regulations even on recreational usage of drones. Always make sure to double-check this before take-off!
  • Respect Wildlife: Drones can be intrusive, especially for wildlife. Always maintain a safe distance from any animals, and never use your drone in a manner that could disturb them.
  • Avoid Restricted Areas: Military bases, private properties, or areas heavy with air traffic are no-fly zones for drones in most countries. It is essential to respect these boundaries when aerial filming during your shore excursions.
  • Weather Conditions Matter: Although this might seem obvious, always check the weather before launching your drone for some aerial shots. Strong winds or rain can turn into a drone operator’s worst nightmare very quickly.

Remember, using drones responsibly not only ensures that you avoid any potential legal mishaps but also goes a long way in preserving nature and respecting the privacy of others! Your memorable vacation should not come at the cost of inconveniencing others.

We have covered most points that need to be kept under consideration while operating drones offshore during a cruise ship excursion! Stay informed on local regulations, fly safe distances away from people or critical infrastructures, and lastly – capture those breathtaking seaside views responsibly!

Also Read: Decoding Drone Laws in Tennessee: A Comprehensive Guide

What are the Drone Policies of Popular Cruise Lines?

Cruise lines have rapidly developed policies to deal with the proliferation of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), given their increasing use among enthusiastic cruisers. Here, let’s delve into the drone regulations of some renowned cruise lines.

Can I Bring A Drone on a Cruise Ship? What are the Drone Policies of Popular Cruise Lines?

Carnival Cruise Line

Flying a drone aboard a Carnival ship is strictly forbidden. This prohibition extends to any device that could potentially disrupt navigational or communication equipment on the ship.

Celebrity Cruises

Similarly, Celebrity Cruises enforces a firm policy against flying drones aboard their vessels for safety reasons. Drones may not even be carried onboard unless they are completely disassembled and packed appropriately in checked luggage.

Holland America Line

Holland America strictly prohibits the possession and use of drones on its ships due to safety and privacy concerns.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian embraces similar policies, stating explicitly that “drones are prohibited onboard”.

However, it’s worth noting that cruise lines may adjust these rules subject to reviews or updates at any time. As such, passengers who wish to bring along their flying gadgets should make sure they keep up-to-date with their specific cruise line’s latest drone usage policies.


As technology continues to evolve, the rules of goods and services must adapt quickly, and cruising is no exception. Drones have rapidly emerged as widely used devices for capturing stunning aerial footage, making them a popular tool among vacationers wanting to document their experiences.

However, with their usage comes the responsibility of understanding and adhering to many policies regarding safety, privacy, and legality, especially in inherently communal spaces like cruise ships. Drone enthusiasts should stay updated on specific cruise line rules before packing those propellers.

Finally, while onboard restrictions may seem to limit your creative pursuits, remember there are countless other ways—sans drone—to capture the mesmerizing beauty of a cruise voyage just as vividly. After all, your trip is about unwinding in the spectacular vistas and open seas more than anything else!

Richard J. Gross

Hi, my name is Richard J. Gross and I’m a full-time Airbus pilot and commercial drone business owner. I got into drones in 2015 when I started doing aerial photography for real estate companies. I had no idea what I was getting into at the time, but it turns out that police were called on me shortly after I started flying. They didn’t like me flying my drone near people, so they asked me to come train their officers on the rules and regulations for drones. After that, I decided to start my own drone business and teach others about the safe and responsible use of drones.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram