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Old September 14th, 2009, 01:56 PM
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Default Sneaking Alcohol onboard a cruise ship?

We have had a number of questions about sneaking alcohol on cruise ships - must be the economy?

Please keep in mind that we can't really answer this question because sneaking alcohol onboard is against cruise line rules and it isn't ethical to our readers to condone anything that could get them in trouble.

A minor found trying to sneak alcohol onboard could be denied boarding. Adults who do it can also be denied boarding. I can't say I have ever heard of this happening, but it could.

Furthermore, if you can't figure out something that would work, geeze, maybe you don't need a drink? How hard is it to understand that the cruise lines use the same scanning equipment the airlines use - so they see shapes, like bottles, pretty clearly. They probably also recognize most of the common "camelback" bubble shapes now, especially if they have any metal parts.

I was at a recent Carnival check-in where a couple had a typical square bottle of tequila in their suitcase. It was pretty embarassing for them as security was called and their luggage was opened. They were held up for about 15 minutes with everyone staring at them.

The man said, "sorry, we didn't know, we just returned from Mexico and we picked it up to take home." I thought that was pretty plausible excuse for having it in your luggage. I won't say how the cruise line replied, except I am pretty sure the bottle was waiting for them at the end of the cruise.

Before you try it, check and see what the cruise line policies are. Some cruise lines allow you to bring wine onboard, and they also sell "set-ups" for your room that are an entire bottle plus mixer.

The most important point, however, is to remember that while getting alcohol onboard is probably not that hard (I have personally never tried it, but I do have an imagination) - but that any bad behavior that results from you having that sneaked liquor onboard, such as if a minor in your charge drinks it, or if you get drunk and disorderly and it subsequently comes up that you were drinking sneaked liquor, then you face the issue of having become an undesirable passenger. Such people, if they cause problems, can be put off ships, with no compensation, in any port of call.

So whatever you decide to do, be careful and don't push the limits of credibility.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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I find it interesting that this topic is next to the topic Sober Cruise (which the other day was next to to topic BYOB.

We all have our different priorities, that's for sure.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 11:05 PM
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I've mentioned before how often a post pops up asking how's the best way to smuggle alcohol aboard a ship and that there's always plenty of folks who answer right up with everything imaginable, such as hollow canes, shoes, bubble wrap, mouthwash bottles, you name it.
I can't imagine someone affording a cruise then will go to any length to save a few dollars by smuggling alcohol aboard.
First of all you still have to buy it at home or somewhere before you get to the ship. Then some will buy another suitcase to carry it in, along with the containers to put it in, etc. That all adds up to where there's not much difference between smuggling and just buying it on the ship. Add in the extra trouble of having to handle it and it's not worth it, not to mention the possibility of ruined clothes if you have it in your luggage and it gets broken.
Here's a few tips that will probably more than save your cost of alcohol aboard ship unless you're a really heavy drinker;
Forgo that one spa treatment and the health and beauty aids they pawn off on you. That alone will save you quite a bit of money.
Buy one or two less photos--again, considerable savings.
Don't over spend in the casino--know when to stop.
Buy one or 2 less bingo cards-- more savings.
Don't spend so much time in the internet cafe.
Don't make so many cell phone calls--you're on vacation anyway.
Just the above will probably save you enough to keep you drunk all week and without the hassle of trying to sneak something aboard.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 01:13 AM
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I personally find that buying the most expensive Internet package saves me Internet time, and I tend to go online instead of the casino, etc. The top pack is usually about $50 for 2 hours internet, not too much, and I can easily lose $50 in a casino in 20 minutes, so that is $200 I save by using the web.

I agree on cell phones, tat is a huge waste. Pre-write your emails and log on just to send them.

If you must have alcohol, bring a bottle or two of wine. Every cruise line has an extra-strong beer - Royal Caribbeans brand name beer ( I forget the name) is twice as strong as average beer. Buy a bucket of that and it is like buying two six-packs of Bud.

Fosters lager is on most ships, it is also a heavy beer - but the same price.

Plus - quit early, you aren't going to remember anything after a few drinks anyway - why bother?
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Old September 15th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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Hi Ron
I suggested the shoes and hollow cane, because I think they are funny. Both only contain room for 2 ozs of alcohol so they aren't a good way to sneak alcohol on board.

Normally I suggest what Paul talked about. Call the gift department and ask about a bar setup of if they sell the bottles for your room. Then you have your bottles without the trouble of sneaking on board. I know Carnival allows a bottle of wine per person over 21 and sells the bottles for the room. RCL does not allow this or sell the bottles. So each line is different.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 12:31 PM
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The specially brewed beer on RCI is Royal Belgian Ale.

I always find it interesting that people will go to a publicly accessible forum to discuss ways to circumvent rules. Cruise lines do read the various forums. While they may not be looking to identify potential rule breakers by name, they can and do learn of new techniques and can revise their screening methods accordingly. The member is also creating an internet record of their interest in breaking rules. What I am saying is if you want to break a rule, that is between you and your conscience. I wouldn't document your intent on the internet.

The forum ethics aspect is an important one. I'd hate it if some kid got drunk on smuggled liquor and part of the investigation was "we learned how to do it on cruisemates."
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Old September 15th, 2009, 01:17 PM
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Royal Belgian Ale - that's right, twice the alcohol and four times the calories. I think it is pretty decent of Royal Caribbean to make their house beer a respectable brew. A couple of those should be enough for just about anyone.

Yes - I have to admit I only made this topic because we get asked so often. We might as well have the definitive answer in one place, along with our warning about the rules.

By the way - for our article on all of the cruise line's alcohol policies, to see what you can bring onboard, etc, go here:

Cruise Line Alcohol Policies
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Old September 15th, 2009, 01:39 PM
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I agree that if someone can't figure out some way to "smuggle" booze onboard without having to ask on a message board they definitely don't have too much imagination.

Paul's link will give everyone the policies of almost all cruise lines. The Reader's Digest version is basically: No, you can't smuggle booze or beer onboard but you can bring on one or two bottles of wine but you will be charged a "corkage fee" if you open it in a public room.

One thing that does bother me when someone asks about the alcohol policy. (I am not referring to smuggling) Many of the responses are completely non-related and backhanded attacks that come up rather than a straight answer.

Nine years ago I asked the "Alcohol Policy" question on a couple of other boards (Not RTC) and the answers I received were something like: A) You are a drunk and should just leave the booze at home. B) You are a cheapskate and people who do this are just low life. C) Why do you need to drink when you are on a cruise? And D) It's people like you who give cruising a bad name.

I asked the question on these boards and got a straight answer. I stuck around.

I believe if someone asks a straight question they deserve a straight answer without making a judgment or giving them step-by-step instructions on how to break the rules.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 15th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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I remember a similar type of react. When someone asked if they could have two entrees at the supper club on Carnival. A lot of the answers were:
One entree is enough.
Why do you want to eat so much and on and on.

Maybe the guy is a professional football player, maybe he skips all meals but dinner. Maybe he loves food. It was such a strong negative reply to a simply question it surprised the heck out of me. However, a poster on carnival has said the Bon Voyage department charges 100% more then his local liquor store. Because I found that hard to beleive I will question it. I have found the Bon Voyage Dpt to be 20% to 25% higher than my local liquor store.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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20 to 25% is very reasonable - thanks for doing that research. That is actually very key knowledge. I think some cruise lines may be a bit higher (just based on prices I have seen. I don't buy a lot of bottles of hooch myself).

I also have had irrational responses to what I thought were basic message board questions - in other topics.

I guess what we forget sometimes that some people have NO experience with our topic, but it doesn't mean they are not intelligent. If you were offended by my "no imagination" statement, sorry! I guess if you have never been on a cruise at all you really don't even know what the boarding security is like.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 03:25 PM
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The current cost for Bon Voyage liquor on Carnival is $40 - $75 per bottle.

I ordered a bottle of Captain Morgan for $40 for my daughter for our November, '08 Carnival Pride cruise.

That is about a 100% mark up from Minnesota prices.

NCL's Bon Voyage liquor is $60 for a litre of Absolut vodka and $100 for a bottle of Crown Royal. That is about a 300% markup.

Even at those prices it is much better to order through the cruise line instead of going through the hassle of "sneaking" it onboard.

Take care,
Mike
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Old September 15th, 2009, 10:41 PM
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Kat, I knew you were kidding about the hollow cane and shoes --
They wouldn't hold enough to make one good drink.
I was just trying to point out how some folks are really into trying to save a few dollars by smuggling drinks aboard but will drop several hundreds of dollars on spas, photos, cell phone bills, etc. and not think a thing about it.
To each his own but the hassle of trying to smuggle drinks aboard wouldn't be worth the money saved to me.
I know one lady who had liquor in her checked luggage and when it got to her room it was broken.She had a huge cleaning bill--then had the nerve to ask the cruise line if they would cover the cost of cleaning her suitcase of clothes !! Oh well.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike M
The current cost for Bon Voyage liquor on Carnival is $40 - $75 per bottle.

I ordered a bottle of Captain Morgan for $40 for my daughter for our November, '08 Carnival Pride cruise.

That is about a 100% mark up from Minnesota prices.

NCL's Bon Voyage liquor is $60 for a litre of Absolut vodka and $100 for a bottle of Crown Royal. That is about a 300% markup.

Even at those prices it is much better to order through the cruise line instead of going through the hassle of "sneaking" it onboard.

Take care,
Mike
I think my math was a little off the other day. If the Captain Morgan is a 750 ml bottle then bevmo sells for $16.99. So $40 would be 100% mark up. Still it's cheaper then cleaning all your clothes when the bottle breaks.

Hi Ron I'm glad you got the joke. I wonder how many people went out and bought a hollow cane to sneak 2 oz of booze on a cruise ship. My favorite was the hollow hammer someone else posted.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 04:59 PM
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Default Carrying Liquor Aboard

PAUL---thanks for some common sense remarks concerning this question.
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Old September 17th, 2009, 12:23 PM
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While I do not smuggle booze onto a cruiseship, or condone such, I do recall my very successful method we used to circumvent security at football games.

A collegue at work had a urinary catheter with a collection bag strapped to his leg. After his procedure healed and he was back to normal he had many bags left over. We would fill the bags with rum, run the tube up our legs and siphon the rum into our cokes discreetly. NO THEY WEREN'T THE USED BAGS!!!!!
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Old May 25th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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If you can take in a "factory sealed" water bottle you can take in liquor. There's a site that sells the sealed caps called camocaps. net it's the best way I've seen cause it's playing by the rules.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainleppy View Post
If you can take in a "factory sealed" water bottle you can take in liquor. There's a site that sells the sealed caps called camocaps. net it's the best way I've seen cause it's playing by the rules.
That is until they shake the bottle and see the bubbles.
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Old May 30th, 2010, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainleppy View Post
If you can take in a "factory sealed" water bottle you can take in liquor. There's a site that sells the sealed caps called camocaps. net it's the best way I've seen cause it's playing by the rules.
Quote:
Originally Posted by optiron View Post
That is until they shake the bottle and see the bubbles.
The security people can tell whether you have H2O or liquor by shaking the bottle. I saw it done on Carnival Conquest. Two young men came aboard from a port with water bottles in their backpacks. Security stopped them and shook the "water" bottles they brought back. It did turn out to be H2O. I wouldn't count on the "factory sealed" bottles. In fact, since you posted this, they'll probably be looking even closer !
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Old December 7th, 2010, 09:39 PM
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I just found this site and this is my first post - you may think it should be my last. I have been on about 12 cruises, most on Holland America, also some on Wind Star, RCL, Viking, NCL (yuk), Royal Olympic. My wife, our moms, and I like to enjoy cocktails or wine on our verandah or balcony, sometimes for an hour to two at a time as CUSTOMERS of the cruise line. As such, we would prefer to enjoy the wine or cocktail of our choice (not always available for purchase at any price on board) without having to walk down to the closest bar, or order from room service well ahead of when we would like to sip on the drink. And we would like to mix it to our own standards. By not allowing us to bring a beverage of choice on board, we cannot enjoy the type of experience that we like best as we really don't prefer going to common areas some of the time.

When I go into a nice hotel, I can take a drink of my choice into my room to enjoy without having to endure the atmosphere of the hotel bar. RCL has a pretty good policy on wine allowing one to purchase a "wine package", but you can't get a bottle you have purchased in a lounge or in your stateroom. It must be "delivered" only with one's meal in the dining room. So, if you want to have a glass of wine you purchased ahead of time, prior to dinner the next night, you must order the bottle at dinner the night before and hand carry it to your room for consumption the next night. Asinine. The last time I cruised on Holland America, we could take a couple of bottles of 'special' wine on board to enjoy - a nice policy. Most cruise lines, however, don't apparently allow one to take any alcoholic beverage on board. The cruise lines need to remember they are dealing with PAYING CUSTOMERS. We have many vacation opportunities, and the inconveniences of dealing with the cruise line "rules" for adults, not being "allowed" to bring our special beverages on board so they can maintain their profit centers, or sneaking something on board like a criminal, are huge obstacles to our continuing to cruise. If the cruise companies can't make their profits on the CRUISE experience and the unique experiences (like the excursions) they offer, then they aren't pricing the cruise part of the excursion right. Cruise lines, when we choose to give up only one cruise for two people, you lose about $5000 in revenue - how many drinks do you have to sell to make up for that plus other purchases we make during the cruise?
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Old December 11th, 2010, 04:46 PM
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Something we've been doing this holiday season in prep for our cruise is giving our family our cruise information, so they can buy the drink vouchers for us so far it's been working out quite well and we'll save on alcohol on our cruise now, and definitely beats sneaking alcohol on board.
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