How to smuggle alcohol onboard your cruise ship?

You are going on a cruise, but you are a cheapskate who is concerned about the price of alcohol.

While the food on board is usually “eat as much as you like,” cruise lines overcharge alcohol, telephone, internet, excursions and other “extras.” It is therefore tempting to bring your own supply when going on a cruise holiday. It can´t hurt to bring a bottle or two back to the ship after a stop over, right?

- We will keep this bottle for you, Sir.
Wrong, cruise lines protect their profits and you will have to go through a security check before embarking the ship, if any irregularities are discovered the cruise line will usually offer to keep your drinks until you reach your final port of call.

So, what is a cheapskate gonna do?

Put it in the checked luggage
Fill your drinks in water bottles (to avoid breaking the glass) and put them in the checked luggage. They don’t check every piece of luggage – too many people to get through in way too little time.

The water bottle
So, you have been on an excursion from the boat and bought something in the local shop. It is time for the water bottle trick: Put whatever you want to take onboard in 1-litre water bottle in your carry-on. Be discreet: Do not pour it in front of any staff.

Mouth wash
The water bottle trick is the oldest one in the book and you may get an eager security person who would like to smell your water if he/she suspects it is alcohol. If you put it in a mouth wash bottle instead it will be less suspicious and the smell will not be unreasonable if someone would like to smell it.

The water bottle and pack of condoms distraction
This tip is from a very creative woman:

“Yes, I am a bad, bad girl. It became a game for all of us to see who was successful. The ship security would confiscate any alcohol found in your luggage or carry-on’s…they make a lot of money off of overcharging for drinks on board. Hard alcohol is easier to smuggle than beer or wine (looks clear, less odor). I had the winning smuggle combination. Take a large saline solution bottle with you off of the ship and leave a large empty water bottle in your room. On land, buy a small bottle of vodka, pry off the top of the saline solution bottle with a nail file and fill it with vodka. Put cap back on. Buy a regular bottle of water on land but only drink a little bit of it. Pack it all in with your gear when you return to the ship.

When you go through security, they will focus on the bottle of water because that is how EVERYONE ELSE tries to smuggle. They will sniff the water and may pour a bit out to taste it! Well, you’ve got just water so they will wave you on through. Empty your saline solution bottle into your “collection bottle” in the room and use the punch, OJ, etc. provided in the dining area (ours was open 24/7) to mix drinks. Salut! Repeat as many times as necessary.

If you are very partial to rum, etc., buy little airplane bottles (make sure you DON’T open them before smuggling them) and hide them in deep pockets of clothes you have on or…ahem…the cleavage of a sports bra works well. If you are REALLY nervous about the saline solution thing, um….throw a box of condoms in the same bag as the saline solution bottle, preferably on TOP of the bottle so security hits these first. And make sure to get in line with the youngest, shyest looking security guard. I have never seen security close my bag so fast.”

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  • Cipenlins
    7 Dec 2007 | Permalink | Reply
  • CeneReedetves
    2 Feb 2008 | Permalink | Reply
  • Ashley
    22 Feb 2009 | Permalink | Reply

    I smuggled alcohol in my bra. Just bought a maternity bra, a lot bigger than my breast got some breast feeding bags, filled them up with alcohol, taped them shut with duct tape, stuffed them into the maternity bra. Put a sports bra overtop and finished with a baggy t-shirt and a sweatshirt. I smuggled over 2 liters of alcohol on the ship and saved tons of money!

  • beach pictures
    6 Mar 2009 | Permalink | Reply

    If a cruise ship officer reads this, your tips will be blown away. :)

  • Chelsea
    7 Jul 2009 | Permalink | Reply

    I have smuggled vodka on board many times using the water bottle trick, however on Norwegian Sky on our last 4 night Bahama cruise as we were getting on the ship, with our “water bottles” the security guy shook the bottles-the one with the vodka didn’t bubble like plain water so he confiscated it. We have never had that happen before so it seems like they are getting stricter.

  • Studly Hungwell
    7 Sep 2009 | Permalink | Reply

    How about in a colostomy bag (preferrably new and unused).

  • cassy vann
    10 Oct 2009 | Permalink | Reply

    empty a perfume bottle!!! like, a bath and body works body spray bottle. Make sure you wash it really well beforehand, but it works. They just see perfume bottles, which have alch in them anyway, so the smell isn’t prominent.

  • kat
    7 Jan 2010 | Permalink | Reply

    bag of wine removed from box it flatens out nicely and rum runners. they are reuseable clear bladders that cannot be seen in xray

  • anonymous
    14 May 2010 | Permalink | Reply

    people who wear contacts….?

  • Connie
    15 May 2010 | Permalink | Reply

    I am not sure what a bottle of salilne solution is; is it the stuff you use for contact lenses? And, if that is the case, aren’t they kind of small?

  • Jennifer
    18 May 2010 | Permalink | Reply

    Conact Lens wearers would obviously take saline soloution on holiday

  • derek
    25 May 2010 | Permalink | Reply

    Just use camocaps on your water bottles. They’re the factory sealed caps so you just break the seal on a water bottle empty it out fill it back up with whatever and put a new cap on. Worked bringing it on the cruise from port and when we did excursions we bought more and just recapped the bottles. They’re at camocaps. net

  • Ashley
    29 Sep 2010 | Permalink | Reply

    So they aren’t gonna check the water bottles and make sure it’s not vodka? I have some camo caps Im just scared to use them. Can they tell the diffrence between water and vodka?

  • Amy
    3 Jan 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    what about trying to put vodka (with food colouring in it) into a green wine bottle and cork the bottle again? put that in your carryon and it looks like the bottle of wine that you are allowed to bring on anyways?

  • Mac
    9 Jan 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Get a spearmint scope bottle, put the vodka, rum, ect. in. Then buy tasteless green food coloring, and BOOM. Looks and smells like mouthwash.

  • Ray
    24 May 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    I agree with Derek above. I got some camocaps ( and they worked like a charm.

  • KB O'brien
    5 Jul 2011 | Permalink | Reply

    Hey all,
    Here are some of the ways I got booze on board cruise ships. Have a women (guy can do it) wrap a large button down type shirt around the arm w/ a 1/10th or smaller bottle held firm. I use to drape a large shirt similar to the one just mentioned over my shoulder covering my right side down to the thigh and I held a bottle inverted against my body and walk on board (do not bring anything else and be in the middle of a conversation so as to make someone “interrupt you “ if they talk to you….especially if you are talking w/ your lady about the great sex last night…). Another method is buy balloons and 2 litter coke or any dark liquid. Dump out about 1/3-½ of the coke into a cup or cups for later use. Place the balloon inside the 2 litter holding onto the open end of the balloon. Fill the balloon with liquor using a straw(stretch the balloon first). You will have to suck the liquor into the straw and force it into the balloon, if you can find a small funnel or make one that makes this much easier (or even us those large needles that come in printer ink cartridge refill kits w/o the needle attach b/c it flows faster and less risk of puncture. Don’t get to greedy and have the balloon pressing on all sides, regardless wrap a shirt around the bottle when boarding and have an empty cup or a bunch of Dixie cups w/ you as you board and pour the guard a cup full for him to drink. I use to hide ½ pints as well as the local smoking produces under my baseball cap. One more successful method is buy a large bag of chips and place a bottle on the bottom. One more way (this will be the last I have to keep some of my techniques to myself…) is buy smokes (or leave the ship with multiple packs of smokes or a carton) and hide the liquor in the boxes (never did a carton just packs). Use the balloon trick mentioned above to fill each pack to capacity. If your still worried use unopened packs and cut the plastic from the bottom and slide out the full pack remove smokes insert smoke….I mean booze. If they look at the pack you show them that the safety seal is in place and therefore the pack unopened and unhampered with. These are just some of my secrets that I have used over the years may they be as helpful and the rewards as enjoyable as they were for me….
    Take it light

  • Scott
    20 Dec 2011 | Permalink | Reply


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