Cruise Ducks No Longer Welcome On Disney Cruise Line

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A rubber duck I found on my Celebrity Cruise Vacation
  • Disney Cruise Line requests guests not to hide rubber ducks, effectively ending the popular scavenger hunt.
  • Cruise ship guests have made a tradition of hiding and finding rubber cruise ducks.
  • Disney's new policy aims to reduce the workload for crew members, with no strict enforcement measures announced.

Disney Cruise Line has recently updated its policy regarding a popular guest-led activity involving rubber ducks. The cruise line now requests guests not to hide rubber ducks in public areas or staterooms on their ships. This effectively ends the rubber duck scavenger hunt, a fan-favorite activity among many cruise travelers.

A rubber duck sitting on the side of a cruise ship poolPin

Cruise ducks are a popular activity among cruise ship passengers. The scavenger hunt involves hiding and seeking small rubber ducks around the ship.

The game isn’t exclusive to Disney and is popular across cruise lines.

Guests typically add a tag to the duck, encouraging finders to keep or re-hide them for others to discover. The trend originated on social media, specifically within Facebook groups. The activity is similar to geocaching, or the practice of hiding painted rocks.

While guests can bring rubber ducks on Disney cruise ships, the cruise line discourages guests from hiding them around the vessel.

“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.”

View from deck 11 of the pool deck with passengers playing in the pool and relaxing on sun lougers. View of the AquaDuck waterslide and iconic disney cruise line funnelPin

While Disney Cruise Line hasn’t strictly prohibited the presence of rubber ducks on board, their new stance discourages the act of hiding them. The planDisney panel, responding to a guest inquiry, confirmed that guests are not allowed to hide items like rubber ducks in staterooms or public areas.

When a guest asked planDisney if guests can hide ducks on the ship, Panelist Adrianna answered the question, saying, “I know that this is a popular thing to do for many cruisers onboard, but it sounds like it’s being discouraged and as you said, Crew Members are removing any ducks they spot around the ship.”

Disney’s stance on cruise ship ducks aims to reduce additional work for crew members, who are tasked with removing any ducks found around the ship.

Interestingly, this phenomenon started on Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Breeze in March 2018 when a 10-year-old girl named Abby wanted to put a smile on the faces of her fellow passengers. Carnival Cruise Line has reacted to the game with a fun and easy-going attitude, with their brand ambassador noting that many crew members enjoy finding the ducks.

“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.”

Disney Cruise Line’s new policy reflects a growing need to balance guest activities with operational practicality. While they haven’t implemented strict enforcement measures, such as fines or bans for those who hide or find ducks, the line’s request significantly changes how such activities are perceived and managed on board.

Disney is the first cruise line to discourage the popular game. Most cruise lines don’t have a specific policy on cruise ducks, but no cruise line has banned the practice of hiding them on the ship.

Article by

Marcello De Lio