We were told only one carton of cigs per person, as well as one bottle of liquor per person, but we could have taken it out in our carryon bag that we took off ship, as it wasn't even checked by customs. So, go ahead and buy as many as you want, just put it in your carryon or even carry it out in the bag you used to purchase items. I had received roses from my husband and was pulled out of line for customs to check them for insects, but other than that, no problemo. Also, carried on miniatures and a pint of vodka and they said nothing about it. Ended up not even using it though, and it was in my other luggage that went through customs and they let me keep it also, obviously.
I've never had my luggage inspected by US Customs (although Canadian Customs did when we disembarked from our Alaska cruise - weird). I always fill out the form and just present it...if they want to charge me a few dollars duty for some extra bottles, then fine. However, I've had a customs agent tell me that "the paperwork costs $10" so unless they make more than that on the duty, they don't bother...
you can buy as much as you want, but if customs catches you with too much, they will take it, and they wont give you your money back either. Its the risk you take when you buy more then the legal limit. That being said, different countries have different amounts you can bring back to the USA.
02/2008 Carnival Pride
10/2006 Carnival Glory
Sailed this past July. Friend traveling with us (single parent) purchased 4 bottles of alcohol. Was stopped by customs and asked to show. They questioned her having so much for 1 adult. Explained it was for gifts and all was fine.
Also other cruisers were being questioned about the $ of the forms. Seems the cruise lines submitted reports showing the actual price of items purchased in the stores, not the price paid by customers. This was causing the most problems when disembarking.
So, question whether we should shop on the ship anymore or not?????
Always say, honesty is the best policy.
RCCL Freedom of the Seas 2/10
Carnival Legend 2/09
Carnival Victory 2/08
Carnival Liberty 7/07
Carnival Valor 4/06
Carnival Celebration 4/05
Carnival Sensation 4/04