Carnival deploys drug dogs to prevent cannabis from coming on board

cruise ship at sunset can you bring weed on a cruise

With more states legalizing cannabis, many vacationers may wonder, “Can you bring weed on a cruise?”

The short answer is: no. Cruise ships follow federal law, which states cannabis is a Schedule I narcotic. Even domestic cruises that disembark from legal states must adhere to these guidelines due to the fact that cruise terminals are considered federal property.

Carnival Cruise Line, one of the biggest cruise companies in the world, recently announced a crackdown on cannabis consumers. The company is deploying drug-detecting dogs both at the time of boarding and even once the ship has set sail. 

John Heald, Carnival’s Fun Ambassador, addressed the decision on his public Facebook page while responding to the presence of animals on board ships.

“The drug detection dogs, well let me say that they have, along with our no tolerance rules and enforcement, made a massive difference to the problem of people thinking it is legal and allowed to use marijuana on their cruise.”

The company’s cannabis policy includes bans on CBD and medical marijuana. Carnival President Christine Duffy said in a video posted to YouTube that medical cannabis patients should “consult with your physician about an alternative therapy during your cruise.”

Duffy went on to say that all guests must “acknowledge and commit” to the company code of conduct before boarding. Failure to comply could result in “fines, being confined to cabins, or being removed from the ship and banned from future sailings.”

The drug dogs used by Carnival are owned by the company and are not deployed by law enforcement or federal agencies, Carnival spokesman Matt Lupoli told The Virginian-Pilot.

For cannabis consumers hoping to imbibe on the open seas, their best bet is to choose a route with stops with cannabis-friendly locales. Just remember to leave your stash behind before getting back on the ship if you’re going to light up at the port city. Some cruises may have drug dogs onboard for the duration of the trip rather than just at boarding. 


Rachelle Gordon

Rachelle Gordon is a cannabis journalist and Editor of She began her weed writing journey in 2015 and has been featured in High Times, CannabisNow, Beard Bros, MG, Skunk, Cannabis and Tech Today, and many others. Rachelle currently splits her time between Minneapolis and Oakland; her favorite cannabis cultivars include Silver Haze and Tangie. Follow Rachelle on Instagram @rachellethewriter