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StacyandTim

Smuggling Liquor Onboard

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Hello fellow cruise-addicts! I have been reading a lot on these boards about smuggling liquor on the ship to help save on alcohol costs. I'm leaving on 2/19/05, Carnival's Triumph to Western Caribbean (can't wait!!!). Anyhow, I would love to hear your tips/advice on how you were able to get past security with your own liquor. Was it during embarkation or getting back on the ship while at a port? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as my hubby and I went over our bill from our last cruise and realized we drank about $1000!!

 

Thanks :)

 

Stacy

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I'm bringing a little rum in a clear plastic bottle (water bottle) and putting it in a zip-lock bag in my checked luggage. I have also read to use an empty Lipton ice tea bottle for brown liquor. :)

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we are leaving this saturday on the glory 2/5/05 --

vodka in water bottles, crown royal in diet coke bottles (i use small bottles) and then put them in a ziplock bag and then wrap up in a towel & then a garbage bag (just to be extra safe if they bust -- it won't get on anything else in the suitcase) -- hope that helps

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You might consider adding bubble wrap around the bottle. We used it just for another layer of security. And definitely bring it aboard in your checked luggage and not your carry on.

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I also am stopping at a liquor store and packing it in an empty suitcase. Hope it makes it to my room.

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I just got off the Miracle on Sun. My DH and I packed a case of beer and a 12 pack of Smirnoff Ice in a rolling cooler. I bubble wrapped the glass bottles. I then used a cable ziplock and a strap around it. Checked it w/ my luggage. NO problema. Lock was still on it when it got to my room. I gave my cabin steward 20 bucks and he kept it full of ice all week.

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We got 4 of the 8 - 10oz. white food grade plastic bottles from a camping store and a nylon ditty bag to put them all in. That way it just looks like your bathroom products, we put them in our carry ons and had no problem.

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Just got off the Victory a couple weeks ago. Packed 3 liters of Rum. Put a liter in each checked bag (just in case they caught one). Wrapped them in bubble wrap and sent them on. All three made it with no problems.

 

Have fun.

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There is no need to disguise it... they don't search the luggage unless there's a reason to or the dogs smell something illegal.

 

We brought a 1.5l run (plastic bottle) and a 1.5l mudslide mix to have over ice, 12 pack diet coke, and 4 packages or juice boxes (some for the 5 year

old, some to mix with the rum.

 

Also 2 bottles of champagne in the carry ons (does not violate policy

on carnival.)

 

Packing unopened containers reduces risk of leaking.

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Packing unopened containers reduces risk of leaking.

 

I agree. If you are packing it in checked luggage, there is no need to transfer to other bottles. I believe all liquor can now be bought in plastic bottles. Just wrap in a towel or bubble wrap and you're good. Now, if you intend to carry on, you may want to transfer to water bottles. A bottle or two of wine and some soft drinks will be allowed but booze may be confiscated. Some people get away with it, but you are much more likely to have it taken from you if you try to carry on than if you put it in your checked luggage. If you do have it taken from you, they will give it back after the cruise. Sneaking it on in ports is a little easier.

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Just bring one empty suitcase, stop at a liquor store on your way to the port, fill up, and check it in with the rest of your luggage. Works everytime for us. Good Luck.

 

Concur. Did this myself in December.

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If you are a wine drinker, consider bringing a box instead of bottles. We just had it in our checked luggage.

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Ok guys, but what about bringing liquor back OFF the ship when we disembark?

 

 

I really want to take advantage of the good prices (by this I mean break the law) and bring back more than ONE LITER of alcohol per person! Come on!!!

 

I would like to bring back maybe four bottles...anyone have any problems with customs when you get off the ship? How well do they check...do they actually go through your bags or xray them or what?

 

Thanks!

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We took back about 5 nice bottles of Tequila when we visited the Mexican Riviera in Feb 2002. Just packed them nicely in our suitcase. They are now here at my home, unopened (the bottles are too nice with melted wax over the corks)! We also scored a couple bottles of Rum also. Never mentioned them to customs! :)

 

Stacy

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You will not be breaking the law. You may be allowed only one bottle tax free, but you can bring back as much as you can carry, legally. You just have to claim it and pay tax, which is like $2 a bottle. Still a good deal when you're getting a liter of Absolut for $6. It's not worth it to skip on the taxes, cuz if you get caught, the fines are hefty. We bring back about 6 liters each and pay $10 in tax. Just save some $ for the tax. I think it's cash or check only.

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Damn, unfortunately I live in TX and I have read on these boards (I think) that legally it is only one liter per person....I definitely wouldn't mind paying taxes on it, no problem...how does customs work? Do they xray, or just ask you what you have?

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From my experience, all customs asked was for you to fill out a form declaring how much you spent total on items you bought. They never asked to see any of the items.

 

Of course, our $700 actual spending was reduced to about $250 on the form!!!

 

Stacy

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I agree. If you are packing it in checked luggage, there is no need to transfer to other bottles. I believe all liquor can now be bought in plastic bottles. Just wrap in a towel or bubble wrap and you're good. Now, if you intend to carry on, you may want to transfer to water bottles. A bottle or two of wine and some soft drinks will be allowed but booze may be confiscated. Some people get away with it, but you are much more likely to have it taken from you if you try to carry on than if you put it in your checked luggage. If you do have it taken from you, they will give it back after the cruise. Sneaking it on in ports is a little easier.

 

We do that too. Here's a few more tips:

 

http://www.lifeiscruising.com/secret_booze_smuggling_tips_page

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I noticed on the Glory capers (and probably on all capers) that there is a note indicating that you are not permitted to bring cases of beer on board - meaning purchasing them in port and then bringing them on. Has anyone purchased beer and had problems?

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You can purchase liquor at the port and bring it back on the ship, but they will confiscate it and hold it until the end of the cruise.

 

Our last cruise, we got lucky and bought bottles of Tequila at port in Puerta Vallarta. We put them in our carry on bag, they let us through security, and never took them away from us.

 

I guess it's a hit or miss when it comes to that, because I talked with others on that cruise who did have liquor confiscated when they returned back to the ship, so I don't know why they didn't take ours!

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I noticed on the Glory capers (and probably on all capers) that there is a note indicating that you are not permitted to bring cases of beer on board - meaning purchasing them in port and then bringing them on. Has anyone purchased beer and had problems?

 

I never tried an entire case, but you can usually easily bring on a few bottles of beer without a problem.

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We had a rolling cooler our on recent Eastern Carribean Glory Cruise. On St. Thomas we had rented a private van for a group of eight. Considering we had brought about 9 cases off beer on board (all in checked luggage) we took a 12 pack off in the rolling cooler and drank it on the way to the taxi stand and while waiting. We had the cab driver stop at a local store and we picked up a few more cases for the day, when we got back we had over 18 beers left. Just stuck the cooler on the conveyor belt of the x-ray machine and picked it up on the otherside. As a courtesy to the machine we dumped the ice and water out at the end of the pier, no questions, no problems.........

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We took on 2 cases of beer and 4 liters of vodka in our checked baggage and had no problems at all. We also brought off 12 liters of liquor in our carryons, declared it all on our customs form, and paid no tax or duty on any of it. How cool is that?

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