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Whether it's wine or liquor, we take 1 and sometimes 2 picinic wine carriers with us. We empty the contents (2 glasses, corkscrew, foil cutter, toppers) so that each carrier can hold up to 2 bottles. We then pack that in our suitcase. Have never lost a bottle this way.
Jay & Scheila Lowery D+
SS Oceanbreeze 10/00
Explorer 10/02, 03/03, 04/05
Radiance 04/04, 11/07-Panama Canal
Adventure 10/04, 04/08
Grandeur 10/05, 04/06
Voyager (In the Med) 11/06
Navigator 04/16/09- Transatlantic
Adventure 11/28/10- Transatlantic
Enchantment 03/12- 12 night Caribbean
Explorer 08/14 New England/Canada
Future- Grandeur Bermuda 5/2014; Alaska (Ship TBD) June 2016
Last Sat, I had to pack 2 bottles in a hurry at the airport just before the security screening (I forgot about the restriction and put them in my carry on). I had no choice but to pack them in my little pull suitcase (carry on bag) and recheck that bag. They came out alright and these are my tips:
(1) good padding - make sure the bottles are wrapped in some sort of clothing and the area immediately around them is well padded (line the suitcase with some sort of clothing first before you place the bottles) and on top of the bottles too.
(2) tight packing - the bag/ suitcase should be well packed; there shouldn't be a space for the bottles to roll around. I ended up wedging my books, my biscuits etc in the bag to fill up the space.
If I had to do it all over again, I would bring some bubble wrap with me (to wrap the bottle with) and several plastic bags (preferrably larger ones) to contain the spill (the last thing you want is red wine all over your suitcase). And then make sure the bottles are well padded and the suitcase tightly packed. I also think that the fact those bottles are in a smaller bag means less throwing about by the baggage handler (they could actually carry the bag quite easily and don't have to 'swing' it).
We just got back Sunday and used 3 options, they all worked.
I bought a wine shipping box from the local liquor store for $15. It had molded cardboard inserts and could hold 12 bottles. On the way to the ship I filled the box with bottled water and tapped it shut. It looked just like these. http://www.ebeaver.com/EBpulppak.html
My wife bought a bottle of Crown and it would not fit in the box so I just wrapped it in clothes and packed it in a suitcase.
My Stepfather brought back 3 bottles in the regular box that the liquor store put them in.
I would advise the shipping box.
Also note TSA (airport security) will only allow 5 bottles per container! If you have more they will probably not let the box on the plane.
03/2011 - Norwegian Epic - Spring break trip with friends.
02/2010 - RCCL Independence of the Seas - Surprise trip for the kids.
03/2008 - Carnival Liberty - Kids 2nd Cruise
10/2006 - RCCL Mariner of the Seas - 10 Year Anniversary, taking the kids
10/2005 - RCCL Adventure of the Seas - Wife's Birthday gift
11/2003 - Carnival Legend - last minute deal over Thanksgiving
05/1999- Carnival Destiny - Our friends honeymoon
11/1996 - Norwegian Seaward - Honeymoon
07/1985 - Carnival Holiday
I usually put a couple of sheets of bubble wrap in my bag to use in case I want to bring home alcohol of any kind. By wrapping the bottle in bubble wrap and then in clothes, I have never had any problem with breakage.