In my opinion, it's only a matter of time. Too much abuse of a good thing.
I also think that somewhere in the future, all drinks will be included in the up front cost. So, that will mean higher prices for the cruise itself for everyone --drinkers and non-drinkers alike.
After the drinks problem has been solved, what will people try to bring aboard next ?
This lady on another site a few months ago had made a post about how her and hubby had bought an extra suitcase just so he could slip a couple cases of beer onboard, in addition to what they could carry on.
That is a little extreme to say the least.
Maybe Thomas could start a business on the side---massages at half the ship price ???
If we stay at a big-deal, five-star hotel, nobody cares if we bring along a bottle or two or wine or some Product of Scotland for in-room use.
Why should a cruise ship be any different?
I wouldn't bring a six-pack into a hotel dining room, but if I want to guzzle a couple of brewskis on the balcony of my own cabin?
My extremely non-humble opinion is that people should be allowed to do what they want to do (and that includes consumption of personal juice, wine, water, whatever) within the space they have rented. It's nobody else's business.
Taking beverages that are self-supplied into public areas -- just as in that six-pack in the hotel -- is NOT DONE. I think everyone agrees with that.
I guess there is no "right" to self-supply for private consumption, but, hey, I'm renting that "room" and I think I should be able to do whatever I want when I'm in it.
The corkage fees for self-supplied wine are now astronomical. Used to be that a quick $10 to the wine steward and another $10 at the end of the cruise did the deal. Now it's in the range of $10 - $12 per bottle for wines not purchased from the on-board cellar. And you can't get anything near decent for less than $30/bottle PLUS the 15% add-on.
What this tells me is that the lines are cutting fares to the bare bones and hoping to make the cuts back with bar bills.
For a seven-day cruise, a decent bottle of wine with dinner every night could get up into the $200 - $300 range, easy. I don't mind paying for a pre-dinner cocktail or an after-dinner drink.
But, darn it, the idea that I have to pay for (and wait for) a gin-and-tonic on my balcony at $5 rots my socks.