In 15 years of writing about the cruise industry, the number one question I get repeatedly is “How can I take alcohol aboard a cruise ship?” Pre-9/11, it wasn’t much of a challenge. But like other areas of the travel industry, cruising was affected by the event. Since cruise lines were practically giving the ship away with steep discounts, they focused on increasing on-board revenue. When occupancy returned to normal, they continued the policy of forcing passengers to purchase drinks instead of bringing it aboard for consumption in their stateroom.
Today, your carry-on bags are searched at the gangway and the liquor held until the last night of the cruise. I suppose if you’re optimistic one could stuff a bottle in a suitcase, which not searched and delivered separately to your cabin. Personally I’d start imagining my complete cruise wardrobe reeking of scotch. If you do try this, be sure to put the bottle in the suitcase when you arrive at the port, before turning it over to baggage handlers.
I’ve never heard of hotel or resort staff searching bags and luggage in search of alcohol so they may confiscate it. Like cruise ships, hotels and resorts know they’ll make money from the sale of wine and alcohol to hotel guests.
CruiseMates did a terrific round-up of cruise line policies about bringing alcohol aboard ships. Click: Cruise Industry Policies About Alcohol.
Have you tried to carry alcohol or wine aboard a ship? What happened?