Poll Position: Operation Alcohol

November 10, 2011 | By | 106 Comments

Since most big-ship cruise lines continue to raise alcohol prices and officially ban passengers from bringing their own beer and liquor onboard, many cruisers have taken to smuggling it — in their luggage, in their clothing … in, well, pretty much anything you can think of. Some of the secrets we’ve come across have been quite creative. We won’t share them here, but we were curious to see just how many people have attempted to beat the system — and how many were successful in the endeavor.
What we asked: Have you ever tried to smuggle alcohol onboard?
What they said: The largest single group of voters — 44 percent — said they haven’t tried it because it’s against the rules. Another 41 percent said they’ve tried it and were able to sneak it onboard undetected. A further 12 percent said they haven’t tried it but would like to give it a go, and the remaining 2 percent said they gave it a whirl, but didn’t hide it well enough and were caught.
What it all means: The largest group of respondents seem to think breaking the rules is shameful. Then again, it also seems that nearly as many folks think it’s fine and have actually had good luck trying. What do you think? Be sure to leave us your comments below.
Vote in today’s daily poll here.
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    106 Responses to “Poll Position: Operation Alcohol”

    1. Pam
      November 10th, 2011 @ 1:23 pm

      What is shameful is the price of drinks on a cruise!! Smuggling is easy, and yes my husband and I have done it on all of our cruises and have not been caught. As long as your bottle is small enough, you can wrap it up in your towel the you are carrying under your arm…and then pour it into pop cans and walk around looking like you are completely sober! We let our tablemates in our secret because they thought we never drank and were to straight edge for them! LOL

    2. joyce andersen
      November 10th, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

      don’t drink enough to worry about it. have cruised with carnival and they allow wine at embarkation. should allow you to at least drink the booze they sell in the shop. I believe they held it until debarkation. Didn’t check because as I say we don’t drink enough to worry about it.

    3. Lenore
      November 10th, 2011 @ 1:38 pm

      We lost some VERY expensive wines/ports from boutique wineries in our celler because we didn’t hide it well enough. Like the towel idea, Pam, but that doesn’t help with embarkation. Maybe thoroughly cleaning a large shampoo bottle? Would work for whites and clear hard liquor, but I’m a red drinker. If anyone else has some good ideas, I’d love to hear them. I miss the days when they would at least let you bring two on board….

    4. Crissi
      November 10th, 2011 @ 1:44 pm


    5. Heather
      November 10th, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

      My husband and I poured vodka in 20 oz sprite bottles & put them in our carry on bags. I think you are allowed to have 12 20 oz bottles in your carry on bag so we did half of the bottles with vodka. The other half was sprite. We just mixed the sprite & vodka once we got onboard..yummy! I also tried to sneak a small bottle of tequila in my garment bag with my underwear (hoping they wouldn’t go thru them) but they got it!

    6. Diane A. Gallimore
      November 10th, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

      Oh dear..I was going to take some red wine on my cruise coming up in a few weeks.. Maybe try anyways,I know my sister will.

    7. Steve
      November 10th, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

      Nice to have a bottle for the room. With that said I’ll still drop an @$$ load of money at the onboard bars. My private cache is for nightcaps and my big cup to carry on deck by the pool each afternoon (Once it runs out I buy at the bar.) Walking back and forth from to room to refill is for the birds (I’m on vacation damnit!)

    8. Valorie
      November 10th, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

      Carnival allows you to bring 1 bottle of fine wine per passenger……. Weve done it for years…… never attempted to bring additional in luggage but have thought about it since I am a champange drinker…

    9. Wendy
      November 10th, 2011 @ 2:54 pm

      CARNIVAL allows 1 bottle of wine per person but it must be brought on in your CARRY-ON luggage. If it is in your checked luggage it will be confiscated until the end of the cruise. Also, If you sneak liquour on with Carnival and get caught, it will be confiscated but given back to you at the end of your cruise. Therefore, you are not “losing” that expensive bottle you purchased.

    10. Jackie ferguson
      November 10th, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

      I have been very lucky with wine in a box. Have done this everytime I cruise and have not been caught yet. My husband had his big bottle of Vodka taken away. Also works good with the very small bottles of wine and spirits.

    11. Judy
      November 10th, 2011 @ 5:07 pm

      We have been on 3 cruises, tried to take liquor on the last 2. Once we got 1 plastic bottle in each suitcase. 2nd time we tried 1 bottle got taken the other didn’t. It was Carnival and the bottles were not opened, so we got them back at the end of the cruise. We are going on a RC cruise this spring and have heard they don’t allow any liquids to be brought on board :(.

    12. Helena
      November 10th, 2011 @ 5:17 pm

      Whilst cruising new Zealand, one man bought 6 beers whilst onshore, wouldnt let him on, so he sat at the top of the gangway and drank the lot!

    13. Pamela Ryan
      November 10th, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

      Yes, we’ve smuggled it on. We drink gin so it’s easier than bourbon. The price of booze is totally obnoxious, but we only want some to have in our room but mostly we buy at the bar anyway.

    14. mona
      November 10th, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

      i have started to save listerine bottles to put scotch!! we’ll see if it works…

    15. Mark
      November 10th, 2011 @ 7:05 pm

      We’ve brought 50 or so airplane type little bottles of different varieties on all 5 cruises we’ve been on, except Celebrity (bought the drink package, so there was no point) and have never been caught. Just put them all over all our checked bags, in shoes, etc. Small bottles fit in pockets and purses!

    16. Erin
      November 10th, 2011 @ 7:30 pm

      I found it super easy to smuggle cheap rum and gin back onto our RC ship in Nassau. I bought several $2 plastic topped half-pint bottles and shoved them under my swimsuit (wink!) which itself was under a billowy coverup. It didn’t set off a metal detector, and of course I didn’t get patted down… I made a couple of trips muling liquor onboard. It was such a raging success, in fact, I tipped our room steward a half pint upon debarkation…

    17. Debra
      November 10th, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

      We did b2b cruises, party hard first 10 days bank ac getting low still had 8 days 3 of us, got to Vila bought 3 1 ltr bottles of water 3 bottles of vodka, tipped the water out and vodka in, my husband had done a dummy run…if you have your water in a cooler bag it had to be screened, if it was’nt you just walked thru with it, my daughter n I said we would’nt do it so we stayed ashore while he went on and off 3 times. Succeeded in 3 ltrs of Vodka.

    18. mimi
      November 10th, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

      I stuff all our shoes with miniatures, not been stopped yet. A friend wore vodka in Ziploc bags and walked it on. Have to be careful when pouring it, though.
      I don’t want to have to go to a bar, buy a drink, and then take it back to sit on the balcony. I do like Princess’s policy of wine and beer allowed, and I’m less apt t smuggle when I sail them. RCCL makes me want to smuggle.

    19. cindy
      November 11th, 2011 @ 2:11 am

      LOL, Disney allows carry on liquor and beer with no problem–go figure THAT one!!!

    20. diane
      November 11th, 2011 @ 2:30 am

      We have been on several cruises & have always got alcohol on board. One cruise was on a Star cruise ship we took our usual wine , beer & spirits on board. Then when getting back on board in Fiji my husband had a carton of beer in his back pack! Went through scanners & they never said a word.

    21. Beth
      November 11th, 2011 @ 6:55 am

      Love to smuggle! What is more fun to post on the boards here and see the self righteous members get all hot and bothered. They really need to loosen up and have a drink from my rum runner!

    22. Capt Mano
      November 11th, 2011 @ 9:02 am

      What happened to personal freedoms? Do you give them up just because you walk on a ship. I think not.

    23. Lawsey
      November 11th, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

      I love my cheapo boxed wine. I remove the plastic bag from the box and put in my luggage. When I get on board it goes into the fridge and you can mold it to fit. Always give the stewart a nice tip at the BEGINNING of the cruise and there are no problems.

    24. William
      November 11th, 2011 @ 6:57 pm

      I have been 100% successful in taking aboard red wines for many years. To give my approach here would be stupid… If the cruise lines did not charges such outrageous prices for bottles of wine aboard, it would not be worth the effort. So I blame the cruise lines for \forcing\ us into sneaking wine aboard.

    25. Randall
      November 11th, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

      Yes, a nice bag of cookies & cream Hershey Kisses for the steward on night one most definitely makes them your friend. I’ve had my bottle (original container) sitting right on the bathroom shelf and no one bothered it. I’ve put beer in the mini-bar fridge and same for that. I usually purchase the majority of my drinks on board. Also, purchasing beer in buckets on deck bars saves $$. As for RCCL’s no liquid. Put it in a medical container. What’s wrong with filling a colostomy bag with hooch. They’ll NEVER search THAT!!! Think like MacGyver, people!!!

    26. Barbara
      November 11th, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

      Thank God for rumrunnerflasks.com!

    27. FlyerGirl
      November 12th, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

      I smuggled most of a bottle of rum in a mouthwash container. We bought an off brand mouthwash and dumped it in a separate container. Then poured the rum in the bottle and used food coloring to make it match the original contents.

      I sure when scanning it looked funny. We had packed a couple of travel sized tubes of toothpaste and this giant family sized bottle of mouthwash. :)

    28. Lory
      November 14th, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

      Princess & Oceania allow 1 bottle of wine per person. But I must warn those who put wine/spirits in your checked luggage as someone did on one cruise, the bottles broke & leaked not only on theirs, but mine as well. Had to have all our clothes cleaned, thankfully Oceania did that complimentary. I have brought bottles onboard thru carryon baggage, no problem yet.

    29. Amy
      November 14th, 2011 @ 10:34 pm

      Thanks fot the rumrunners website! Will be looking that one up! The only extra cost on our last cruise was the mandatory tipping and the $500 bar bill for my husband since I can’t drink anything carbonated and barely drank any of the $8-$10 drinks. I just can’t stop myself from thinking a bottle of vodka costs them $15 and they are making 20 drinks out it at those prices! I went for a few drinks of the day and then went off shore….

    30. Dion
      November 21st, 2011 @ 7:14 am

      I’ve been on 7 cruises, tried the listerine bottles yuck minty Rum but i actually did get it onboard. Then i found RumRunners.com and for 6 cruises i’ve used them with no prob and no minty rum lol. I also buy buckets of beer as i sip from my “water bottle” lol so the cruise line makes it money also…even had own mixed drink crystal light and rum(add xtra water) actually was very good and u can mix it right in front of crew hey i’m just adding CL to water and shaking

    31. Suze
      November 22nd, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

      So, do you think the cruise lines aren’t checking these comments for clues? :-(

    32. Rebecca
      November 23rd, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

      We have been on 14 cruises (Princess, RCL, NCL, NCL America, HAL, Cunard, Carnival) and we have smuggled beer and liquor on every cruise in our checked luggage with a lock on it. We’ve never had any issues…until the Carnival cruise we just took (returned Nov 20 and first time on Carnival). They didn’t deliver our suitcase with the ‘goods’ and we got a letter that we had to go open it in front of security. They then took it and said we’d get it back on the last morning. So now we know not to try bringing beverages on Carnival. They do allow you to bring 2 bottles of wine in your carry on when you check in though. And people has cases of soda and water they were carrying on. We mostly just drink the alcohol in the room but still buy plenty from the bars. The prices are insane.

    33. Linda
      November 23rd, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

      WE have been on 3 cruises and have taken drink onto the ship. We like a relaxing drink in the cabin before we go out for the evening .We would be happy to buy a bottle on board if thay would let us.

    34. Dave
      November 24th, 2011 @ 11:42 am

      I have brought on board, and never opened, a bottle of rum. I left it in the open in the room fot the whole cruise. It is too much of a hassle to mix your own drinks.

      I purchased four or five bottles of rum at the Bacardi factory across the bay from San Juan, PR. I walked on board the Carnival ship with a big black Bacardi bag, bat and all, full of booze. The Security crew and I made eye contact(me with the big black bag) and nothing was said, and the very nice rum (not available in the USA) was not confiscated. Maybe I just look honest.

    35. Pat
      November 24th, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

      Being in the UK we always go with P & O. They let you buy duty free spirits to use in the cabin and that is much cheaper than buying it ashore. Also their bar prices are less than most pubs in the UK. No need to smuggle.

    36. Naughty Bobby
      December 1st, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

      Try a tip from a former radiographer. Choose plastic bottles,Teachers,and Grants for instance. When packing them into your suitcase surround the metal cap with other metal objects,belt buckles,battery chargers,spare cutlery. X-ray will pick up glass easily but not plastic. Disguising the metal cap is the only (minor) problem.

    37. Barb
      December 9th, 2011 @ 10:18 am

      I was a manager of a airport checkpoint before the TSA took over so I knew what the xray screens look like. We take a box of wine on board, put it in our check bags. I always put some shoes on top of it and put it in between some clothes. That way it appears to look like a shoe box with shoes in it. I also have a rum runner bag that you can order on line (just google it). Its a bag like the bladder bags in the wine box but refillable. I fill that with whatever and slip that into one of my husbands shoes. I put the two idems in sperate bags that way if one is found the other one may be over looked. We haven’t had any problems so far. Happy Smuggling Everyone!!!

    38. Ken
      December 10th, 2011 @ 9:29 am

      If people are allowed to bring 1 bottle of wine each onboard ( I assume 1litre) has anyone just took an empty wine bottle filled it with booze turned the cork around and jammed it down without the corkscrew hole showing then sealed it with wax over the cork?

    39. Diane
      December 21st, 2011 @ 9:36 am

      3 friends and myself went on a NCL cruise a couple of years ago and each one of us carried a gift bag with a bottle of wine we told them it was a reunion and we were allowed to bring it on the ship. Also I have put a couple of bottles of sparkling wine in my luggage another time…no problem. From what I have heard from the employees on the ships is they are more worried about hard liquor than the wines.

    40. Joe King
      December 25th, 2011 @ 4:23 am

      I don’t agree that a cruise line should be able to prohibit you from bringing booze onboard to be drunk in the privacy of your room. Imagine if a hotel tried that? Certainly I can understand that you cannot bring your own booze into the bars or restaurants but I doubt many ever go that far.

      Perhaps if the cruise lines wouldn’t gouge their pax to death on booze prices it would not be a major issue.

      I remember many many years ago sailing on Holland America and they were very proud of the fact that they featured Heinken Beer from Holland and sold it way below what you would pay on land…i seem to remember it was about 50 cents or less per bottle. Of course that was before the name of the game was stock options of the cruise line execs and how much can we squeeze our customers to line our own pockets and retire early.

    41. Dee
      December 29th, 2011 @ 10:26 am

      Just cruise on Seabourn, that will solve the problem!!!!!!>>>>

    42. Jerri
      January 31st, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

      I’m cruising next week, and I’ve purchased some “rumrunner” bags. I’ve never tried those before, but I’ve read many success stories. They come in many different sizes, I think I have 8 oz, 16 oz, and 32 oz. They’ll obviously have to go in our checked baggage when we fly, and then we’ll move some into carry-on bags to embark. I also have a few empty rubbing alcohol and peroxide bottles I may try. They may catch some, but hopefully not all. And, if they don’t catch any, we’ll have enough liquid fun to host one heck of a party in our cabin! I really don’t even drink that much, but I guess I enjoy the challenge! HA!

    43. Kelly
      February 4th, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

      I got married on the ship on embarkation day. As the bride, they rushed me through, never scanned or checked any bags and I carried my suitcases (which had vodka in sprite bottles) on board. It was so hectic that my mom brought 4 bottles of wine in a grocery store bag on the ship (I meant to pack them in our suitcase and my sister’s suitcase). No one said a thing. They just kept rushing our whole party of ~50 people on board. Looking back, I wish I had brought more liquor.

    44. DocMerlot
      June 8th, 2012 @ 1:03 pm

      We’re going on a 10 day cruise, and it would be perfect to have to bottles of vodka and two bottles of tequila. However, to do that legally on Celebrity would cost $320, which is totally outrageous.

    45. JoAnne
      June 9th, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

      My husband and I ALWAYS bring some alcohol on board in our rum runners. Love those rum runners. We like to have a drink in our cabin while getting ready for dinner so I don’t think there is anything wrong with bringing a small amount on board. We still spend plenty in the lounges and at dinner so I don’t feel bad at all.

    46. callie
      June 10th, 2012 @ 7:48 pm

      I’ve always just put vodka or rum in water bottles and stored it in my suitcase. This past year for my honeymoon my husband bought a 6 pack of coke bottles (which is allowed w/carnival) and dumped out most the coke and filled the rest with Jack Daniels-than stuck them back in theyre plastic ring coverings. Never had an issue. I do like the whole boxed wine thing :) I’ll have to try it-and if it dont work i’d only of lost like $15 :)

    47. Craig
      June 27th, 2012 @ 8:39 am

      The trick is in the Bottle, Wanna bring Wine ? Put in a Ocean Spray Juice bottle, Wanna bring Baileys ? Put in a Coffee Creamer Jug. Wanna bring a Liquior ? Put in an emptied and cleaned Shampoo or Mouthwash bottle. Never got taken in over 30 cruises….

    48. Lynn
      June 27th, 2012 @ 9:00 am

      So what about Celebrity..getting ready to travel on that ship..I have a little bigger bottle of wine then normal…and was going to buy a bottle of red. Do I need to check it through my bag and hide it…should it be carry on….?
      If I go with a room mate how do they keep track of the 2 bottle per cabin allowed on board..can you take any on board.

    49. Dave
      June 27th, 2012 @ 10:13 am

      Holland America allows buying a bottle of liquor from the ship. We had a one liter bottle of V.O.Canadian waiting in our room upon disembarking. Our cost was $29, Order through the HAL website.

    50. Kevin Pearson
      June 27th, 2012 @ 10:16 am

      I am not a big drinker, but when I saw the price of drinks on cruise ships, it just pissed me off as another way they nickel and dime you, so smuggling became a challenge. I drink whiskey, so I bought a 12 pack of Lipton Ice Tea. I carefully removed the bottles from the plastic wrap and filled the two inside rows of six bottles with whiskey. Then using the ice tea in the two outer two rows, I color matched the whiskey with the iced tea. Whiskey is lighter than tea, so mixing the tea with water works perfectly. Both the whiskey and iced tea bottles were carefully filled so the level was extremely close, then I put them back in the plastic wrap and carton after cleaning each bottle with soapy water to cover any whiskey smell. Since I did not have to fly, I put the iced tea and diet gingerale in a small suitcase and added dirty cloths that smelled pretty ripe. No problem getting through security. When I fly, I pack the small suitcase in my big one and custom mix the night before boarding at the hotel. Works every time! With around 5,000 pieces of luggage, security can only inspect a small percentage. And I usually end up only drinking one or two of the 16 oz bottles, but the thrill of screwing the cruise line, like they do us, is worth the effort.

    51. slickyboy
      June 27th, 2012 @ 10:26 am

      easy to smuggle—I brought more home than I couold consume–
      1-boxed wine wrapped in bon voyage wrapping paper-in suits case with shoes on top to dissguise as a shoe box in xrays machines

      2-rubbing alcohol bottles–in first aide kits—clear booze—dark booze goes in peroxide bottles,

      3-careful as some plastice bottles have absorbed taste–like Scope mouth wash(bad taste)

      4-baby infant water bottles–vodka(clear) with grape food coloring

      5-rum runners or any plastic bags

      6-carry on sprite bottles–clear booze on inside bottles of a 12 pack–booze bubbles when shaken..

      7-spread around- in suit cases

      8- we lose nothing smuggle in EVER–interesting to listen to others whine as they get busted due to poor planning

      smuggling saves several hundred dollars for 7 day cruise with a couple people each simpling drinking 3-6 a day—daily money adds up fast
      1-2 drinks at the pool

      1-2 before dinner

      1-2 after dinner at shows et or casino–

      Cruise drink prices are expensive -beer to e foo foo drinks $$$
      $7-12.00 per drink X 6 = $60.00 per day PER PERSON X 6-7 days==$$$$ $600.00-$1000.00 a week

      crazy to not smuggle—cruises are losing money do to high prices
      you still end up at a bar at times

      TIP heavy early and bartenders take better care of ya all week..pours are heavier et…LOL

    52. High Yield Consultant
      June 27th, 2012 @ 10:33 am

      We have taken red wine consistently on our cruises, although now (last 4) we have “upgraded” our cruising to a cruise line that supplies free flowing wine at lunch and dinner so there is no need. We never had a problem on any cruise when we brought on own wine as I am in excellent physical condition and could carry my travel bag with a 5 liter box of wine in it! :-) (Just remember, if, a cruise line does X-Ray your travel bag a wine bottle shape will easily be seen while a box of wine just looks like a box) We would still buy a bottle of red wine at dinner about every 5 days or so but would ‘tell’ the waiter we were taking it to our room with out glasses. Then, the next night we would return with our purchases bottle (almost full) and 2 full glasses. Good Luck To All!

    53. Gary
      June 27th, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

      if your a wine drinker book on Holland American. They let you bring on board all the wine in bottles that you can carry and if you’re really sneaky fill one or two wine bottles with your favorite hard liquor. Just re-cork it, drip a little dark colored candle wax over the cork and there you go. Works every time.

    54. Joe King
      June 27th, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

      What would you say if you stayed in a hotel that refused to let you drink your own booze in a hotel room? Of course you would not take your own booze into the hotel restaurant or sit in the lobby BUT in the privacy of your room? I suspect a hotel with that kind of policy would either go broke or get sued or both.

      For some reason when you go on a cruise ship it seems that some basic rights like doing legally what you like in the privacy of your own room is taken away.

    55. Goofydust
      June 27th, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

      Yes, we did it with Rumrunners. We didn’t smuggle huge amounts, just enough for our night cap and before dinner drinks every night. Carnival still made a bundle on all the other drinks and stuff we purchased, so I didn’t feel horrible about it. We also purchased the cruise the vineyards package on board and the mark up on those wines is 40%, so no, they didn’t lose anything on us and I would definitely do the Rumrunners again.

    56. saga1
      June 27th, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

      HAL does let you bring wine, in fact their round the world cruisers can bring an entire trunk of it and then refill it half way! Princess also allowed at least one bottle a person, and last we sailed with them there was no limit on the size of the bottle. Plus we had to bring one for the elderly guest who was already “resting” on board…It is amazing to me that anyone would continue to travel Carnival or RCI given the low quality of the experience coupled with these bald money grabbing, liberty infringing tactics.

    57. Kathi
      June 27th, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

      Well I have read all the posts on the subject of smuggling Booze on board…..We are booked on the new Carnival Breeze next April 27,2013 and will be our 9th cruise(not all with Carnival)first cruise ever we were on Holland America cruise line and smuggled a box of wine ..it went straight to our cabin no problum….2nd cruise also Holland a box of wine AND a bottle of Rum…again made it to our cabin…3 more cruises (on Carnival) wine and rum and both came to our cabin…but on the 6th cruise wine and Rum made it to our cabin, but we forgot to hide the 1/2 gallon when we went down to dinner…sooo when we got back from Dinner our Room Steward had wrapped a toel animal around our bottle ….and we all got a laugh out of that one…now we are on our 7th cruise and the wine made it to our cabin,but the suitcase with our Booze was not deliverd to our cabin but a note was…we had to come down and unlock our suitcase as they said they found something very odd when it was scanned….yep you guessed it BUSTED by the BOOZE CREW….LOL…we got it back when we got off on debarkation day….8th cruise ….we had 5 cabins booked and we told everyone about RUM RUNNERS so we all bought 2 bladders each and each a box of wine….to make this as short and to the point, it worked for all 4 cabins but ours…..they keep our box of Wine and DICARDED our 2 BOOZE BLADDERS I mean tossed them in the trash as open containers…..I think we will just buy a Bottle from Bon Voyage and it will be in our cabin when we arrive in April….now don’t get me wrong we always have a very good size bar bill at the end of our cruises….always…. so we really were not trying to be cheap…just wanted some down time to relax in our own cabin.. oh well ….happy crusin y’all

    58. Evee
      June 28th, 2012 @ 7:06 am

      The only cruise liner that allows you to buy Duty Free alcohol and cigarettes for consumption on board is P and O operating out of the UK. So they score at every turn.

      All the other cruise liners should take a leaf out of P and O’s book.

      We sailed on the Oriana in March 2012 and I don’t think they would have been disappointed in our bar bill and it was so nice to be able to have a drink while dressing for the evening.

      Who wants to be hauled over the coals when embarking on “a holiday of a life time”, which is the case in many instances.

      Go P and O!!!!

    59. Snoman
      June 28th, 2012 @ 8:16 am

      A friend of ours make homemade wine and bottles it themselves. So we had them put our Jack Daniels in a bottle of wine and seal it. Carried it on during the embarkation process. It passed security.

    60. Terry
      June 28th, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

      I finished my first and last cruise on Royal Caribbean (Radiance of the Seas). Beautiful ship accompanied by loud, intrusive noise (music?) all day long. Purchased a number of bottles of La Terre chardonnay at dinner–$25.00 a bottle. After the cruise I went to a duty free store before entering Mexico. The identical wine was normally $4.00 a bottle–on sale at 2 bottles for $5/00. No more Royal Caribbean. I’ll stick to Holland America for their reasonable wine policy.

    61. Steve
      June 28th, 2012 @ 3:09 pm

      Never had a problem. Everyone goes thru all of this trouble to conceal the alcohol in your luggage. I smuggle on two 1/2 gallons of vodka and two 1/2 gallons of pina collada mix w/alcohol in it. Now to blend it all together, I also smuggled on a smoothie blender. How’s that. What’t the worst that can happen, they take it. Ooohh! Saved over $500 I bet you.

    62. Sue
      June 28th, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

      I am of the opinion that all of these cruise ships already know most of the tricks. I believe most of what is being done is to discourage people from brining it in the first place so they will make their money (hand over fist). They will take some but not all of what they find, purposly. I know this because when I was on my last cruise with RCI I brought two bottles on board from port both in the same plastic bag from the store. They took one out of the bag and left the other. I think they know people will try to bring it and so they let some through and not others???

    63. Doug
      July 1st, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

      For clear spirts,a 1.5 ltr. mouthwash bottle.
      3 drops of greene food coloring, 2 drops blue.
      Will pass every time.

    64. Tommy
      September 23rd, 2012 @ 12:15 am

      Forget about the plastic bags. Take what ever you want in these 1.5 ltr all plastic bottles of coffee mate creamer. We purchased these from a place online called NationwideCandy.com and they even have a cool punp dispenser.

    65. JANE
      October 11th, 2012 @ 6:01 pm

      Leaving next week on RCI and getting nervous , hubby and college buddies reunion so I need to sneak a little something on board. What is so funny is we have cruised the past 3 times on carnival and didn’t know to “hide” it. Brought original containers in a bubble wrapped/ziploc bag in EACH suitcase in plain view and never had any confiscated..
      Will report back to let everyone know how we fared, I’m just a little too old and conservative to have to go to the naughty room but might be a fun story to tell the college aged kids when we get home!

    66. tonia
      November 1st, 2012 @ 8:33 pm

      I bring travel size paper towels

    67. Sara
      December 27th, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

      We have smuggled alcohol on board. We almost got caught, but when they searched our bags they didn’t notice the alcohol in the towel they were holding. We also carried some on from one of the ports. They took some(we gave it to them) and hid the rest. We also had soda in the bag so they assumed that they were seeing it and that’s why they searched our bags.

    68. Gman
      December 29th, 2012 @ 9:09 am

      I’ve been on 27 cruises (most with RCI) and have NEVER had a “drinking problem”. (The absolute truth is, we hardly drink at home – no more than once a week). But cruising, and it’s inherent relaxing/partying/do whatever atmosphere, is conducive to the free flow of ‘spirit’!!

      I have found the use of “Rumrunners” (there’s also some un-branded others that work just as well) are the absolute best for whatever you need! There’s never been an issue with them. Used 8, 16 & 32 oz sizes, mixed into various pieces of CHECKED luggage. (actually had an 8oz. in my pocket at embarkation, to use when we first got to the cabin).

      Our last cruise (8 days), we brought over a GALLON of assorted liquid refreshments: Vodka, Rum, Jack, Scotch, even some Amaretto. Also a couple of 12 pack cans of soda & some Crystal Light ‘to-go” units. Also 2 each of carry-around 20 oz. sport bottles, filled each day with whatever we wanted, and re-filled each evening for even more fun! Took them everywhere on the ship & in port.

      Don’t worry about the cabin steward – he wants his gratuity. He even told us to just put them away so the occasional security sweep won’t see them – they don’t check drawers. Call me cheap or whatever your judgment word-of-the-day is -we saved at least $600-$800 – and most of that was then spent in their gift shop & jewelry shops.

      We did have some sober moments – I just don’t remember them!! ;)

    69. Jen
      January 19th, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

      My husband and I, and a group of our friends are going on a Princess cruise to Alaska this August, and will definitely smuggle on board! This is our first cruise, so was happy to find this site for all the tips. We like the idea of the Rum Runners flasks, so thanks everybody for that tip. Has anyone done the Alaska cruise from Seattle on Princess? And what was your success rate with “sneaking” liquor on board?

    70. Mel
      January 24th, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

      We did the Princess to Alaska – there were so lenient about booze. DH & friend bought Crown Roayl on board – the ship let us keep it as the store had put it in a grey security bag…we jsut cut the bag open in our room! Princess & hollard are easy, I’m al little concerned oabout our upcomign CArnival cruise in Feb.

    71. Karla
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 2:11 pm

      Mouth wash bottles make your liquor tast like mouth wash. The reason the bag win works is because there is no metal for the x-ray machine to pick up. Go to Rummrunner.com and order the cruise package for $30. you get 3 32 oz 100% plastic flask and 3 8 oz 100% plastic flask. Here in the US, most all drinks have 1-1.5 oz of liquor but on Carnival the only give you 1/2 an oz per drink. they measure out the liquor in shot glasses and the shot glasses have a inside wall that is at leat 1/2 an inch thick. I don’t mind paying premium price for drinks if I get premium drinks. Never again on Carnival. If I am forced to cruise with them I will definetaly take by plastic flasks.

    72. Anne Coackley
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

      I have taken booze on board with two cruise lines. Unlike other people I just walk on with the bottle in my hand. One theory is that the staff cannot be bothered to take it off you.

    73. leonard
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 2:12 pm

      we have always brought booze aboard ships. Even purchased at ports getting past security is easy when the detect the bottle they point you to an employee who takes it and gives u a receipt just walk past him or wait until he is busy with some one else and walk past–remember he is the guy who does not have shore liberty while his friends have a half day off.

    74. Michelle
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

      We used multiple rum runners on our last two cruises (one on Royal and the other on Carnival) and got through completely undetected. And we’ll do it again next time!

    75. Erik
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

      The cruise lines can make the drinks cheaper……but realize it’s a profit center. If they lower the prices the price of the cruise will go up. Take your pick, can’t have one without the other. Businesses that don’t make money aren’t around long.

      For those that smuggle – all you’re doing is increasing the odds your cost to go on a cruise will go up. Same as the piggies have led the lines to make cuts in the food.

    76. Greg
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

      Well, with all these good tips I am sure that the guards on shore will be looking. better to keep the ideas to yourself and share them with your friends on facebook or something. Now all the good ideas are out there.

    77. JimS-Indy
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 3:46 pm

      Regency — Not only all-inclusive, but they bring your two bottles of whatever is your favorite booze and leave it in your room for your convenience. When you add it all up, it’s worth the price.

    78. Lee in SF
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 6:19 pm

      With Celbrity and Princess have had no problems bringing red wine on board — both as carry-on and packed in our luggage. Depends on the cruise line I guess.

    79. Tony
      May 22nd, 2013 @ 7:09 pm

      It’s the whitetrash cruiselines like CARNIVAL and NCL that will always be more strict on BYOB. I have been selling cruises for 26 years and all my clients that go on these two lines always have problems.

    80. Leah
      July 18th, 2013 @ 5:51 pm

      Ok…. I believe there are people on this advertising their ‘ rum runner’ business so don’t believe everything your reading.

    81. Sam Sneed
      December 4th, 2013 @ 12:09 am

      The funniest thing is the cruise lines deny the alcohol policy has anything to do with profit, and is more to prevent people from drinking too much…then they offer all you can drink packages at prices that would make you want to swill as much as you possibly could before the end of the cruise.

    82. hershey
      December 27th, 2013 @ 6:10 am

      Royal allows 2 bottles of wine of champagne per cabin per cruise. I have done 4 back to backs,sometimes they hold the extras and deliver them and sometimes they just let me through. Once on a back to back I had 4 bottles of Asti and I heard the security guard whisper to another one, she’s going to have a good time.

    83. maggie
      March 19th, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

      What eye openers!! We’re 75 have our share of Adult Bev. & had no idea things we’re this stiff. Going on 12 day Princess trip—any suggestions! Thanks

    84. LaVisa
      April 17th, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

      I agree that the prices for drinks are outrageous. $5 for a beer?? I’ll be going on a cruise this August to celebrate my sisters 50th birthday and my brother is going also. They are not big drinkers meaning they will probably have some kind of frozen drink maybe once or twice, but for me, I like to drink beer, so I was thinking of getting the beverage package, but everyone in same cabin has to get it. That really sucks! They dont want to pay out all that money when they will just mostly be drinking water and an occasional pina colada, but I could drink 6 or 7 beers a day plus a couple tequila shots now and then.They need to change their policy.

    85. Hmk
      April 21st, 2014 @ 6:51 am

      With Princess you do not have to purchase the drinks package if another over 21 in your cabin does. I’ve just rung the company and checked

    86. Smuggin
      June 20th, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

      We have the perfect solution for you getting your booze on a cruise… Check out our website at http://www.smuggsjugs.com

    87. nicole
      December 31st, 2014 @ 1:41 pm

      Each cruise I clean out a jumbo white Listerine bottle with vodka. I always make the seal look untapered. Works everytime.

    88. Stevie
      December 31st, 2014 @ 1:47 pm

      I’m one to bend some rules that seem unduly onerous, but on this one I can’t see the point, unless you’re a boozer.
      I’m usually quite happy with good quality soft drinks and the occasional wine, or whatever.
      If you’ve got to smuggle so much booze onto a cruise, then I think there’s probably something a bit wrong with you, unless it’s just for the thrill of the challenge!

    89. RAlexander
      December 31st, 2014 @ 2:25 pm

      The only time we haven’t smuggled onboard was the last time we cruised and bought the beverage package. This was a lot less stressful because I am always nervous about smuggling.

    90. danny
      December 31st, 2014 @ 4:08 pm

      On my last cruise on carnival in may 2014, one person told me he didnot get alcoholic package because if there was two persons in same room over 21 both had to buy package.

    91. Riccardo
      December 31st, 2014 @ 6:03 pm

      GOOD NEWS is coming! On my last cruise (NCL) in the Med (Oct’14) I was totally shocked to find a Duty Free Shop right in the Cruise Ship Terminal! Despite the severe warnings from NCL not to bring personal alcohol aboard, the duty free folks assured me that I could buy as much as I wanted and consume it aboard as long as I stayed in my cabin. As one of our cruise highlights is always sundowners on the balcony, and as we avoid the bar scene with its watered down cocktails, that worked out just fine. At the next port (Athens) there was even beer to be had at the duty free. Too bad this lured us into thinking that all ports now have a duty free in the cruise ship terminal, as we only experienced one other the rest of the trip. But hey, it’s coming. Problem solved. In the meantime remember to buy a whole lot more beer than a six-pack when in Athens!!

    92. Sharon Campbell
      January 1st, 2015 @ 8:28 am

      What wasn’t told was what percent of the people who said they never tried smuggling it were either non-drinkers or light drinkers. Not everyone even drinks alcohol, so I suspect those people were counted in the 43.79% Others will have a drink occasionally but not often and they can take it or leave it. The high prices on drinks don’t affect them much.

      It’s those in the habit of drinking every day who find the high prices of drinks cost prohibitive. Many of them probably spend as much or more buying drinks as those in that 43.79% even if they smuggled some on board.

    93. Norman Ledwinka
      January 1st, 2015 @ 10:29 am

      We are seasoned cruisers and do not drink excessivly. The alcohol sold on board ship has an immense profit margin. The alcohol that is sold on board as far as we are concerned has probably been purchased by them duty free.( think about the cost of shore prices in St. Thomas and St Maartin)They certainly want to seel their own booze and make the most amount of profit while preventing you from undercutting them. A 40 oz bottle will make 40 drinks when mixed with coke equals $200. Not a bad profit on a $10 bottle On the extreeme side how about using a colostomy bag. I bet they won’t want to check that to carefully.

    94. Medford2
      January 1st, 2015 @ 5:24 pm

      I’ve carried rum-runners on a few cruises with great success…till my last cruise on RCCL. Made the mistake of putting both runners in same bag so I lost all of it. My Sister-in-law and her husband cruised with us that time, and I got them a couple of rum-runners to use. They didn’t get caught, but when I saw them laying in their luggage, they were empty..wtf? I asked them why they were empty and they said they didn’t know they were supposed to put liquor in them BEFORE they came on the ship…huh

    95. bart
      January 1st, 2015 @ 10:26 pm

      We’ve successfully used rum runner bags for the last 4 cruises. A couple cruises ago I thought I was caught. Our incriminating bag was late getting delivered when we received notice to report downstairs regarding a problem with our luggage. When asked to open our bag for inspection regarding a possible suspicious weapon, with them observing, I pushed the hidden rumrunner bag out of the way and revealed the 2.5″ pocket knife which I had forgotten was there. They didn’t notice the liquor and the blade was allowable under their rules anyway. So big scare over nothing.

    96. fran donnelly
      January 14th, 2015 @ 6:34 am

      My husband has to drive all year round so taking a cruise and being able to chill on the balcony with a drink is a luxury to him and Fred Olsen cruises have the right idea, you can order from a list in the cabin and that same evening the bottle of your choice will be waiting there. We just loved this arrangement, they also offer all inclusive for £10 per day which I believe is the cheapest package available. The drinks prices are scandalous on cruises, in addition to the 15% service charge and not forgetting the daily cabin charges so I don’t actually blame people for trying to bring their own drink on board. The cruise companies should lower their bar tariffs and perhaps people would spend more, I have seen people sitting nursing the same drink for hours.

    97. kippa
      January 21st, 2015 @ 3:42 am

      Interesting reading all these comments and suggestions. Just wondering, if anyone has been denied boarding for trying to smuggle alcohol. RCCL state that they have the right to do so. A scary prospect at the attempt to save some money on alcohol.

    98. john ernest smith
      February 11th, 2015 @ 4:59 pm

      you can buy rumrunners from the USA they are undetectable in suit cases we have tried on 3 different lines & never been detected that is bourbon & gin

    99. Jimmy
      March 1st, 2015 @ 12:51 am

      I have never tried to take anything other than the wine but this time I am going to try. Next time I am going to go buy one of these and try this boozeonacruise.com and I am going to try one of the rumrunners as well.

    100. maey
      April 3rd, 2015 @ 9:59 pm

      I want to sneak rum on the boat . It is
      easy as all the review,

    101. David
      April 9th, 2015 @ 10:14 pm

      Just my opinion but I don’t smuggle anything when I go cruising. I’m on vacation and I don’t want the stress or worry while breaking rules.
      Second, the drinks are not watered down. I enjoy several of their cocktails and they are all good. The “Funship”, “Long Island Ice Tea” or the “Spicy Mary” They are also very close to the prices that I pay at some bars I go to.
      Drink shots. That way you’ll know how much alcohol you’re getting. :-)
      Admittedly, I don’t drink a lot of beer and they are kinda high but cheaper than the stadiums or arenas near you or me.
      Oh, and nothing wrong with making profit. That’s what allows us be able to have vacations like these.

    102. Gene
      May 6th, 2015 @ 7:50 pm

      I successfully smuggled 5 liters of hard alcohol onto a Celebrity 15 day Hawaii cruise. 3 1/2 liters of Bicardi silver rum in second bladders in camelback hydration backpacks. First bladders had 1/2 liter of water in case they checked. Celebrity allowed 1 bottle of wine per person so I had a lovely but young Johnny Walker red Chardonnay and the misses had a blush tequila. We drank, rinsed, filled and recorked the bottles. Next came heat shrink capsules (cork seals) from eBay. A couple new empty 8 oz travel size shampoo bottles from Target were used to decant from the camelbacks and carry out too doctor the soda package cups after refilling. I stayed pleasantly buzzed for the entire trip. My downfall was Raul and his double martinis before dinner. $28 per day for the two of us. Cheers.

    103. Crusing Couple
      May 19th, 2015 @ 6:40 pm

      No brainer! BoozeBuddy.com
      Their flasks have worked for us 4 times and our parents twice. Flawless, cheap, and easy!

    104. margaretlb
      June 12th, 2015 @ 11:29 am

      I’m not much of a spirits drinker and two martini’s will turn out my lights! But, when I cruised Princess Star in 2009 I drank three or four martinis when sitting in a lounge area with my husband and didn’t even get a “buzz”. No way these drinks were unadulterated alcohol. I’ll pay for a bottle in my stateroom for my HAL Alaska cruise in August. Plus, in looking at the wine list prices for this cruise…well, I had to laugh out loud. Cheap wine with incredible markup. I purchased 7 bottles of good wine to bring on board – 5 of which will require $18 corkage each. But, I’d rather pay the $18 on an $80 bottle of wine ($98 total) than pay $100 to HAL for a $20 bottle of wine. (I will smuggle on my vermouth to go with my purchased Bombay Sapphire:) )

    105. Big Tipper
      June 29th, 2015 @ 3:34 pm

      So, I’ve brought booze on all 4 cruises I’ve been on (3 different cruise lines). I haven’t tried to sneak it on. I go on shore, buy big clinking bags of booze, and bring it back on the ship, putting it through the scanner, at the security check in. No one ever tells me they need to confiscate anything.

      What’s the latest experiences with this? I have sometimes asked, before leaving the ship, as I know what the policy is, but I want to know if the ship is going to enforce it. Mine don’t seem to want to.

    106. mel
      July 31st, 2015 @ 12:40 am

      We planned ahead of time, emptied out our mouthwash containers and poured vodka in it. We also put food colouring in it so it really looked like mouthwash. Make sure to air it out enough so your booze doesn’t taste like mouthwash. Six adults went on the trip with full bottles, only one was thrown out. SUCCESS!!

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