Avoid Packing This Fashion Item When Going On Your Next Cruise

If you're packing for a cruise vacation, there's an important fashion item you should leave out of your suitcase: camouflage clothing. Surprisingly, wearing camouflage is illegal in some countries and can lead to uncomfortable and unintended issues for tourists on and off the cruise. This prohibition of camouflage is not a fashion statement; it's a legal matter that applies equally to both travelers and residents. 

This zero-tolerance law exists in 18 countries around the world, most of which are located in the Caribbean region: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. The ban dates back to at least the 1980s when many Caribbean nations were dealing with political instability and violence at the insurgence of armed groups. The rationale behind this law is to prevent civilians from being mistaken for police officers or military personnel. In Grenada, you can be jailed, and in Barbados, you could also be fined up to $2,000. Yikes!

The Philippines, a popular Asian island cruising destination, also has a ban on camouflage. A fine up to $36 for the offense might not seem too bad, but imprisonment sure does. According to the Revised Penal Code, anyone in the Philippines dressed in clothes or accessories linked to an official job or group they don't belong to can be imprisoned for one month to two years. Unless you're actually serving in the armed or police forces in any of these countries, and chances are, you are not, ditch camo for some other pattern.

Ditch the camo on cruises to the Caribbean and the Philippines

This rule applies to any item of clothing, footwear, or accessory with a camo print, from shirts to socks and everything in between. Any pattern or color of camouflage is prohibited, from pink to blue to the standard army green, and children's clothing isn't out of the question either. Joanna Kuther, a New York City-based travel agent, told USA Today, "As a rule, just don't bring it, don't wear it while you're cruising."

In a nutshell — no camouflage attire on cruise ports of call, or anywhere on land or sea in these countries. It may not be a problem on the cruise ship itself, but it'll certainly be a problem on cruise stopovers. You will be forced to face the consequences and hand over the camo item to the authorities. The stress and trouble is simply not worth it. By avoiding camouflaged clothing, you respect the local customs and can cruise with ease.

When preparing for a cruise vacation, it's as essential to research the laws and regulations of your destinations as it is to bring sunscreen. This knowledge will help you pack appropriately and ensure a smooth and trouble-free travel experience. One guest, who wore camo shorts and a camo backpack on the Carnival Venezia cruise, described how they were "marched back to the ship like a common criminal by the Barbados police" (via Cruise Hive). Surely, that's not a travel story you want to bring back home.