One Major Cruise Line Now Discouraging Cruising Ducks

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Many frequent cruisers are familiar with the cruising ducks phenomenon, but one major cruise line now has a policy discouraging the guest-led scavenger hunt. Disney Cruise Line is requesting that guests not hide the ducks in either public areas or staterooms, which effectively eliminates the activity.

Disney Cruise Line Not Supporting Cruising Ducks

Cruise ducks can be a fun game onboard nearly any cruise ship, but guests sailing with Disney Cruise Line will now have fewer opportunities to either hide or find these quirky keepsakes. In response to passenger inquiries, the cruise line has confirmed that they prefer guests not hide ducks around their ships.

While bringing rubber ducks onboard is not strictly prohibited – the small toys are not on Disney Cruise Line’s prohibited or restricted items list – the cruise line does not encourage the practice of hiding ducks for others to find.

“According to our policy, guests are allowed to bring rubber ducks onboard,” Disney Cruise Line said. “However, it’s important to note that pool toys, including rubber ducks, are not permitted to be used in the pools. Additionally, we kindly request that guests are not allowed to hide items such as rubber ducks in public areas or staterooms.”

While not strictly prohibited, the “kind request” amounts to a prohibition on the fun game that many cruise travelers enjoy. No further details about why Disney Cruise Line discourages the practice have been released or confirmed.

Disney Wish Cruise Ship
Disney Wish Cruise Ship (Photo Copyright: Melissa Mayntz / Cruise Hive)

Because travelers who participate in cruising ducks often take great pains to be stealthy about where, when, and how they hide the small trinkets, it is unlikely that any strong measures, such as fines or bans from future cruises would be taken against those who hide or find ducks onboard Disney cruise ships.

It is always important to abide by cruise line’s policies, however, and guests taking Disney cruises should leave their ducks at home.

Furthermore, because Disney Cruise Line has discouraged the ducks, disregarding the request not to hide ducks and doing so anyway will just make more work for crew members, who will need to be collecting and discarding the ducks. All cruise travelers know that crew members are incredibly hard-working already, and it is best to avoid giving them more work.

Other Cruise Lines’ Reactions

It should be noted that hiding and finding rubber ducks on cruise ships is not an official activity aboard any cruise line, but rather is a guest-driving, voluntary scavenger hunt, similar to geocaching or painted rocks.

While Disney Cruise Line is the first to gently discourage the game, no cruise line has explicitly banned ducks with enforceable consequences. This would be difficult to do, as the ducks are not often labelled with guests’ names or identifying details, though some travelers add tags or “passports” that show the cruise date, line, or ship with a fun message about the game.

Two Cruise Ducks
Two Cruise Ducks (Photo Credit: G Allen Penton / Shutterstock)

Other cruise lines have either not reacted to the cruising ducks fad, or have commented on it in a relatively unofficial capacity.

The phenomenon started aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Breeze in March 2018, and has grown to be found on all major cruise lines to varying degrees. Carnival Cruise Line has reacted to the game with their typical fun and easy-going attitude.

“Many of the crew love finding the ducks and have them in their cabins as they bring them cheer,” said John Heald, Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador. “We have absolutely no problem with guests leaving them as we do think it’s fun.”

Other cruise lines have no official policy on cruise ducks, but no cruise line outright bans the small toys either. Have you hidden or found any cruise ducks onboard a ship? Share your experiences on the Cruise Hive boards!

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