Depends on what cruiseline you are talking about?? On our last cruise (Explorer), we had no problem bringing drinks on board, but not all the cruiselines allow this.
What ship are you going on?
I do believe CArnival does have some rules about bring drinks on board, in that case, possible try the regular luggage, but be sure to wrap well! I guess it depends on how hard they enforce the rules. Enjoy Inspiration!!!
Carnival's official policy on alcohol is spelled out in the cruiseline brochure. It states that if you will be celebrating a special occasion on board (a nebulous definition, I think Thursdays at sea are extraordinarily special) then at the embarkation port only you may bring on "fine wine or champagne". If you choose to consume this wine in the dining room, there is a $10 per bottle corkage fee. Other than this stated exception, no alcohol can be brought on board and they do routinely check bags and hold alcohol both from embarkation and ports until the last night of the cruise when they return it to you.
See page 116 of the 2000-2001 Carnival breochure (full line version) for the cited text.
I have brought wine several times with me in my carr-on. Nothing has ever been said. Once i brought a cooler with pepsi...the guy asked me what was in the cooler and by habit i said beer...he took the cooler,,,put it around the xray machine and gave it back to me ... no questions asked and never looked in it....so go figure....