With the proliferation of influencers on different social media platforms increasingly wanting their own exclusive video footage, more and more travelers are hoping to bring drones onboard cruise ships.

While drones are not explicitly prohibited at all times, Carnival Cruise Line has responded to guest inquiries and clarified why the popular robotic aircraft are not permitted for use on ships.

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald, who answers hundreds of questions daily on his popular Facebook page, has addressed the somewhat controversial topic of drones.

Travel influencers – individuals who market themselves through social media promoting brands, destinations, and experiences – are always looking for new photos and video footage that will set them apart from the thousands of other influencers looking for the same market share. Exclusive drone video footage is a top option to showcase oneself in a unique way.

Drones, however, are not permitted for use onboard Carnival cruise ships. The technology is listed under the “Items for Port Use Only” section of Carnival Cruise Line’s prohibited items list. Heald has also directly responded to inquiries about drones and their use onboard.

Carnival cruise ships in port (Photo Credit: pablopicasso)

“I get asked so much these days about our rules on this that I thought I had better mention it,” Heald said. “I am sorry but for safety reasons of the drone perhaps crashing into a guest or damaging the ship in some way we cannot allow people to be flying drones over the ship.”

The prohibited items policy does note that drones are permitted, but details how they must be kept onboard.

“Drone(s) are allowed, but must be held in the custody of the Chief Security Officer and must be checked out/in by the owner for PORT USE ONLY,” the policy reads.

Heald has further clarified that it is the guest’s responsibility to ensure they are in compliance with local laws about drone usage.

“You will be given the drone back in port but please check on the websites and the rules of the places you are cruising to so that you can make sure drone flying is allowed,” he said.

Drone Being Used (Photo Credit: Yesurathinam)

Because many cruise ports are government facilities that may also service official vessels, including military craft, many ports do not permit drone use at all.

Furthermore, many popular tourist areas prohibit drones for various reasons, such as to protect wildlife from disturbances in nature preserves, to safeguard visitors’ privacy at resorts, or simply to prevent any inadvertent mishaps.

Carnival Cruise Line is unlikely to assist any passengers who may find themselves in a difficult situation with local authorities because they violated a drone use policy.

It should also be noted that should a drone malfunction or be misdirected and accidentally crash into the sea, international maritime laws about debris and refuse could apply. Such an incident would also be in violation of Carnival Cruise Line’s Ticket Contract, which all guests must abide by while on a Carnival cruise.

Section 9(i) of the contract reads: “Any willful or negligent act of discharging or releasing any unauthorized item overboard, without the express permission of the ship’s staff may result in a $500 charge, per violation, posted to Guest’s Sail & Sign account.”

Carnival Cruise Line Ship (Photo Credit: Amonarch)

Guests might also be liable for additional fees or fines if a drone went overboard.

“Guest shall also be responsible for any fines or penalties imposed on Carnival by any government, governmental agency or official, port or port official, or for expenses or losses caused or incurred for Guest’s violation of this policy,” the contract continues.

Read Also: Things You Can’t Take on a Cruise

Additional consequences for violating the cruise line’s environmental policy – which covers items gone overboard – could include guests being disembarked at the next port of call and left on their own to return home.

Carnival Cruise Line would not cover such travel expenses or other charges, and no refund of any unused portion of the cruise fare would be provided. Guests might also be banned from sailing with Carnival Cruise Line in the future after such an incident.

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