On this past cruise I decided to conduct a little experiment on how hard it is to bring alcohol on board a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. My target was the Adventure of the Seas and my goal would be to bring on board alcoholic beverages to enjoy in my stateroom. When I decided to attempt the experiment I had no idea what I would try to bring on board, however I did know that it would not be wine. My reasoning was because if I wanted to have wine in my room I could just pre-order a couple of bottles for the week. I’m not out to rip off any cruise lines but I do like to make things as convenient as possible for myself. In fact, I actually did have a wine pre-order up until a week or so before the cruise, but that’s another story.
Now onto the alcohol smuggling experiment
What I did was try to bring alcohol on board the Adventure of the Seas using three different methods. I didn’t do anything too radical such as filling shampoo bottles with whiskey or anything. In fact, none of them required much effort to set up. I also didn’t want to bring actual bottles along since it would greatly increase the weight of my luggage. What I decided on were three methods that friends have used but I have never tried. Now, lets see if any of them worked.
The Rum Runner
The first method involved me using the Rum Runner bags to smuggle alcohol onboard the cruise ship. These kits get incredible reviews on all the cruise websites but I had never used the Rum Runner kits before and wanted to see for myself if they really worked. I filled a pouch with Grey Goose packed it away in my luggage and honestly forgot all about it.
When we got up to the room our bags weren’t there, which was alarming. Many of our neighbors had already received their bags, which only made me more nervous. My first thought was they found the hooch and would be calling me down to the naughty room at any moment. Luckily after about 20 minutes our baggage arrived, embarrassment averted. I always like to have the room set up as early as possible so I opened up the suitcase to put my clothes away before the muster drill would commence. When I reached in to pull out the Rum Runner bag I was happy to see they arrived fully intact. I flipped and squeezed the bag to verify all was well and it was. There were no scratches or leaks whatsoever. The rum runner flask passed the test with flying colors.
Box O’ Booze
The second method involved those pre-mixed drinks they sell in the local liquor store. In the liquor store near my home, they sell boxed drinks such as margaritas, martinis and boxed wine. I chose to pick up a box of apple martinis (which btw don’t taste very good) to pack into my suitcase. I had toyed with the idea of wrapping the box up like it were a present, thinking that even if it were discovered I would have plausible deniability. In the end I decided that was too devious and underhanded, so I decided just stash the box in my friends bag sandwiched between clothes.
When are luggage finally arrived I was really anxious to see how the Box O’ Booze made it through the trip. I know it contains a bladder similar to what the rum runner has but since it’s not designed to be reused, I wondered about durability. Upon opening the bag, I didn’t get a whiff of alcohol, which was a good sign. The next step was to look for green liquid, which I didn’t find. Finally, I pulled out the box and was happy to see it too arrived intact. I will say the box was a bit damaged (probably due to the airline) but the contents were perfectly fine. So, the Box O’ Booze also passed the test.
Carry It On
The third method I chose was to simply carry aboard an alcohol purchase from the duty free in the cruise terminal. I figure the people that work there are always mislead passengers by telling them they can carry their purchases onboard, so I may as well put it to the test. I purchased two bottles of rum as well as one of those huge cigarette cartons (I know it’s a bad habit). I stashed the two bottles in my backpack and then proceeded to walk onto the ship.
I have been on Carnival ships where they just allowed me to walk right onboard with bottles in plain site, so I never really got the feeling I was doing anything underhanded by placing the bottles in my pack. When I got to the check-in before I put my bag onto the scanner I stated there was alcohol in my bag and said the duty free said it was okay. They didn’t acknowledge anything I said and just motioned me to put the bag on the scanner, so I did. I will assume they saw the alcohol because he told me to step aside and directed me to another gentleman. This is where it gets strange. When I go over to see the gentleman he asks for the duty free bag I am carrying which contains my cigarette cartons. He then looks inside the bag and sees there is no alcohol. After that, he just motions me through not knowing that I still have the bottles in my bag. I cannot call that test a success since it was likely a fluke. Instead, I will say it was inconclusive.
So, there you have it. I attempted to carry alcohol onboard the Adventure of the Seas three separate ways. All three methods were successful but I have confidence in some more than I do others. Personally I would rank them in the following order, Rum Runner, Box O’ Booze and the Carry On method. In fact, I can honestly say I will probably never cruise without a rum runner flask again as it was so easy and seemingly foolproof. Besides the fact that the Box O’ Booze didn’t taste very good I was also put off by how damaged the box was when it arrived. The contents didn’t leak at all but I have no way of knowing if I was just lucky and I am not sure if I will be trying that method again. The Carry On method worked, but not as I had intended. I would think under normal circumstances I would have been caught but lack of communication caused me to slip through the cracks. Later on in the trip, I did try the Carry On method when coming back from port but that is a subject for a different write-up.
Update: This is a bit of a follow-up to my first post about sneaking alcohol onboard a cruise ship. If you missed it, check the archives (there are lots of good posts there) or simply click here.
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