They must have been doing baggage checks. Do you know?
Originally Posted by Snoozeman
They found a lot with them, but then a lot may have gone through. In my case I think it was the 8 coke bottles. When they see them they may suspect mixers and just tag the bag. They will then find them by searching. If you use rum runners, don't pack cokes or other suspect items in same bag.
Not sure if they did physical searches. I don't think so. My bag was secured by cable ties (another thread) and it was not opened until we were in the naughty room.
Rumrunners do show up on xray - it's just that the shape and material (thin plastic and thin profile layer of liquid) isn't what they have been traditionally searching for (bottle shape, glass, metal cap), and it is harder to see - but not invisible. You can see the outline of the organic liquid / plastic if you look closely and also detect the plastic cap. It's tough though: 2000+ passengers = 6000+ bags many times. That's a lot of bags to scan in 4 to 6 hours or so. 1000 to 1500 per hour or 20 per minute. With two scanners fully operational for 6 hours (think inattention, maintenance/breakdown, operator skill, etc) that's still only 7 seconds per bag. Imagine trying to focus your attention for any period of time doing this, even with breaks and rotating personnel. Add that there are many permissible liquids - flagging every container that could possibly contain alcohol is impossible - half the bags would wind up in the naughty room.
Xrays generally show organics, inorganics, and metals in computer enhanced colors. But newer equipment can distinguish more accurately the density of different materials, including fluids, and computer technology can be programmed to flag / highlight / alarm this thus greatly increasing operator's ability to flag the bag. Alcohol has a different density than water and many other liquids, so it can be distinguished. The future is one of increased scrutiny and ability to detect alcohol, and of course, of more innovative ways of smuggling.
From a smuggler's point of view, smaller is better, thinner is better, shapes that don't look like containers are better, location is important, as is the angle the beam(s) hits the bag at, which is somewhat random do to orientation on the bag belt. Breaking up the stash amongst several bags gives a better chance of some of it making it through, as does having a "sacrificial lamb" in the bag(s), though this could be negated by rescanning.
I don't cruise that often, so I'm hardly an expert. But this is just the common sense logistics of security. The cruise lines have seen and know pretty much every trick in the book. Their security managers are often ex navy types and have years of experience dealing with sailors smuggling everything under the sun as well as the civilian cruise booze tactics. They aren't the idiots some people on cruise boards think they are (the one's who say "Don't post that, now they'll be looking for it, they read these boards"). Right I don't have their experience, but even so, if it were my job I'd know just a bit more about it than the passengers.
I don't know what a rum runner is, or what it's made of, but if the creator of them made good money selling them, version 2 of the rum runner needs to look like a teddy bear. That shouldn't flag in the suitcase!
Only problem is don't walk around the ship with you teddy bear sucking on his arm !
I think they will be even more diligent as we approach spring break.
I have some friends that boarded yesterday and some more next week.
I'll get an update from them.
Ray McDonald / Snoozeman
My Personal Cruise Blog: My Cruise Blog
Future Cruises: Carnival Triumph-Caribbean-7/28/2014, Carnival Legend-South Pacific-8/30/2014, MSC Preziosa-Mediterranean-10/25/2014, MSC Fantasia-Mediterranean-11/2/2014, Navigator of the Seas-12/14/2013, Norwegian Jewel-1/3/2015, Emerald Princess-1/11/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/2/2015, Carnival Freedom-2/15/2015.
Snoozeman is the exception. If someone is smuggling booze they want to drink therefore they will buy onboard. I'm sure they could give you stats to prove it.
IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII dunno Felix, I'm thinking Snoozeman is not the exception. Even though bringing booze onboard is against policies, if its something that any cruiser was doing for a while, then all of a sudden they policy got more strictly enforced I would think that the cruiser would naturally feel somewhat disgruntled, and I think I would too. Some may even say, "Fine, if I am going to par these kind of drink prices, I will choose to drink in the ports only."
I honestly don't see the problem with bringing on a small amount of your own booze anyway. Lets look at a couple possibilities...
1.) Every bag that has booze in gets nabbed. Now, has the ship loaded enough of their own booze to supply everyone? Assuming that every guest will replace the volume of booze they brought on with bar sales? Lets say yes. If there was more product loaded onto the ship to sell, do they have adequate storage space for it? If they ordered and loaded more product, someone ran a forklift around a couple more times loading it. Someone will have to pull this off the pallet and ship it upstairs to the bars at some point. Workload or man hours will increase due to this extra labor, so there is an additional cost as well to load, handle, and distribute it.
2.) Lets say my gf and I go on a 7-day cruise. We have 2 suitcases. We have a dozen cans of beer in each suitcase for me (24 total) and we have a 26er of Vodka in each suitcase for her....for 7 days. Lets look at the beer. 24 beer divided by 7 days is less than 3.5 (12 oz) beer per day. Yea, I'm not getting drunk on that! That's a couple beer each day that I can sit and enjoy in our room and get primed up before we go out and hit the bars and casinos on the ship and we will have MORE than 3.5 per night (on average). So at the end of the week, our bar tab (S&S) is $500. Can't the cruise line be happy with that? BEST case scenerio for the cruise line if they took my 24 beer that I paid $20 for and I bought them on the ship instead for about $108. So is it worth a potentially disgruntled guest over $108? Not if I don't come back again! On our last cruise they GAVE us a $100 for being a stockholder. They ALSO gave me a $100 shipboard credit because I bought a $100 cruise certificate onboard to use on a future cruise. THEY WANT YOU TO COME BACK SO THEY CAN MAKE MORE MONEY!
While policies exist, I believe some lines are more leniant than others because to a point, it makes no financial sense. If someone walks on a ship and has booze in their luggage, and their suitcase makes it to their room door, are they not MUCH happier when they see it has arrived to their room? You think, "YEA! I beat the system! I got some cheap booze onboard, woohoo, let's drink it and then hit the bars and drink more!" Vs. wasting presious drinking time waiting in the "Naughty room" and when you walk away from the Naughty room are you less enthused about having a drink?
I believe there are multiple angles at work here behind the scenes. RCL has chosen to nickel and dime their passengers it seems lately and going no holds barred for the sake of the bottom line profit. Other lines are more leniant.
I believe this is going to far and in the long run will hurt their business. I mean really, no one can bring on that much luggage, to store that much alcohol, that they be smashed out for their minds for a full week! I doubt anyone would try and bring what would essentially be a complete bar with them.
"What's in that crate you're bring on sir?"
"That's my wife's shoes."
We have been on 4 cruises and while some other people may have seen the occasional person that is completely plastered out of their minds and being a nusiance, I have not. Even if you did, I doubt they were plastered on what they managed to sneak onboard, even if they drank it all the first day. One of the ship bars likely got them to that point.