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Sneaking Alcohol On A Cruise. 7 Surprising Ways Cruise Passengers Do It.

Sneaking Alcohol On A Cruise. 7 Surprising Ways Cruise Passengers Do It.


You’re about to discover the unusual,
crazy and even bizarre ways that people smuggle alcohol onto a cruise.
I’m Gary Bembridge, and this is another of my tips for travellers. In this video, I’m
going to talk about the lengths that people will go to to smuggle alcohol on
board a cruise ship. Why do people do it?
Well, simply because the cost of drinking on board a ship is getting more and more
expensive. I’m not saying that you should be smuggling alcohol on board a cruise
ship, it’s just something that I’ve seen happening more and more. Probably the
longest, and most established, way of smuggling booze on board is by taking
existing toiletries and putting booze in them. The most popular of these is
mouthwash. What people are doing is buying a mouthwash, emptying it out,
cleaning it and putting a clear liquid in and then using food coloring dye to
make it look like an existing bottle of mouthwash. There are some mouthwash
bottles which are not clear, and those are even more popular because it’s even
harder to see the product inside and, of course, getting the colour of the
mouthwash looking right is a real challenge. Using existing
toiletries, emptying them out and replacing them is a long established way
of doing it, and mouthwash is the most popular of all of these. For
those people that don’t want to go as far as using existing toiletries, there’s
a whole range of bottles that you can buy that recreate toiletries. They come
an empty and also have little seals that you can then put on the top so it
looks like unopened bottles. There is a wide range of bottles that look like
established and existing toiletries that you can then fill with alcohol. Things
I’ve come across, for example, are sunscreen bottles, normal toiletry
bottles, shampoo and you can even buy deodorant cans which you can fill with
alcohol. If you want to go a little bit further, there are products
that look like tampons. Another long, and well established, way of bringing
booze on board a cruise ship is what’s known as Rum Runners. These are basically
little plastic pouches which you can fill with booze, put a screw cap on
and then slide within your existing luggage. They are very popular and are one of the things that people use most often to bring booze on
board. The next two ways that people use to smuggle booze on board probably verge
into the Secret Service and spy type territory, because they’re recreating
products which are fake. The first of these is around luggage. One of
the most interesting ones that I came across is a rucksack. This rucksack then
has secret pouches, which you can then fill up with booze. Linked to
that are those messenger-style bags which have secret pouches, and then
probably one of the more practical ones, if you are getting on a cruise
somewhere warm, are tote bags. Within the tote bags, which look like
designer tote bags that you can buy, they have secret pouches that you fill with booze. There’s a
whole range of luggage that you can bring on board both to help
you carry your stuff on board but have secret pouches to bring in booze too. One of the
most unusual, and fun, areas that I’ve discovered people smuggle booze on is
with a whole range of fake accessories. There is a huge range of these,
and there are companies specifically making these fake accessories to help
people smuggle booze. Some of the most interesting ones that have come across
are umbrellas, which are basically a storage container for booze, a hair
brush, cameras, binoculars, a smartphone, power pack and shoe
trees, which you can then put in shoes, and what we would call in the UK “bum bags” or
in the USA are called “fanny packs”. There’s a whole range of accessories and
luggage that are created to help people smuggle booze and, as I said, it does feel
a little bit like you’re verging on spy territory with secret devices that
double up as something else. One of things I found really interesting
is that clearly the smuggling of booze has become such a big thing that there
are companies emerging that exist to create products to help
people smuggle booze on board. Another thing that people use to smuggle booze
is clothing. There’s a range of clothing which is designed to have
various pouches where you can smuggle in booze. There are two main areas that I
came across that people are using to do this. First of those is a
bra, which has various pouches in which you fill with booze, and then for
gentlemen there are shorts which have secret pouches. So, people are going
as far as wearing the booze that they smuggle onto a cruise ship. There are two
other simpler, and more practical ways, that people are using which
probably have a higher chance of actually being discovered and caught by
the security people. First of those is miniatures. People are
buying those small miniature bottles, the sort you often get
on an aeroplane or you can buy in various liquor stores, and they’re bringing in lots of little miniatures stuffing those around
their luggage. Those then are the main devices and techniques that people are
using, but how are they ensuring that they don’t get caught? There’s a
couple of things that I’ve seen people do, or talk about, when they’re bringing booze on board. The first
thing to remember is that most cruise lines allow you to bring on a certain
amount of booze. Most cruise lines will allow you to bring either one
or two bottles of wine on board, as long as you drink that within your cabin. If
you take it into the restaurants, they will charge you a corkage fee. So, the first
thing that people are doing is bringing that on board. The next thing they’re
doing is using a number of techniques to ensure that they don’t get caught. The
first of those is making sure that they spread what they’re bringing around
their luggage, and if they’re travelling with a couple of people they’re don’t
put it all in one suitcase. They’re putting some in their hand luggage,
some in one suitcase and some in someone else’s suitcase. They’re spreading it around,
so I guess even if one person gets caught they’re hoping that the other
people will still get some stuff through. The other thing I’m seeing people doing
and talking about, is if they are trying to smuggle booze on board they
put in their checked baggage. Those bags do get screened, but when you go
through the personal security checks there may be more searches of bags and
people are tending to put their stuff into the checked in bags. I am hearing that is the way that they normally find that they are not
getting caught. The other thing that people tell me they do, if they do bring
onboard alcohol in one of these ways, is they have to drink
it in the cabin and can’t walk around the ship with it. So, some people are then
doing things like bringing their own reusable water
bottles and putting their booze in there so they can take it around the ship and
on excursions. I am not saying, or encouraging, people to smuggle booze on
board, it’s just one of those trends that I’ve seen happening more, and
as I’ve mentioned, it’s become so big that there are companies
setting up and making products to help people smuggle booze on board. If you
want a stress-free holiday don’t smuggle booze on board and
buy your drinks on board and perhaps take a look at
drinks packages, although watch my other video about when you shouldn’t buy a
drinks package, because you could find it is not a good value for you at all. I
have loads of other videos and tips about cruising so why not watch another
one of those right now?

100 thoughts on “Sneaking Alcohol On A Cruise. 7 Surprising Ways Cruise Passengers Do It.”

  1. I do feel CruiseLine’s should offer drink packages for a more reasonable price and not over almost 100$ a day including the gratuity. I believe this would alleviate the problem.

  2. Glad I don’t drink! Amazing what folks will go thru to have their booze. There is no way in this world I would reuse a deodorant container. I realize the cruise lines make a ton of money on alcohol but they really should make the drinks more reasonable. Some folks buy the drink package at an outrageous price and then figure they gotta drink themselves to drunkenness to get their moneys worth. And then the problems start. Bartender I would like a soda please!

  3. My ex co worker sneaks on two cases of beer every time he cruise. He just puts it in his extra luggage!! Said he has never been caught. I always thought he was nuts for doing so.

  4. Any operator that deprives an adult of bringing their own preferred booze on board isn't worth the time or money. Save yourself the humiliation. Do a smaller boat river cruises. far more rewarding and satisfying experience. You can bring your own booze.

  5. The cruise lines know all these tricks, so maybe Mr. Smuggler is not as clever as he thinks. I don't think I want to risk being caught and punished. Of course, this practice will continue until the ships start disembarking offenders.

  6. Good to know, thanks. Its particularly annoying when drink you might buy on a day excursion is confiscated 'for safe keeping' when you return to the ship. I've mixed feelings about the controls on what booze paying adults may bring aboard. It seems a bit petty to smuggle stuff in, but wine prices at dinner can be ridiculously steep. General bar prices have been similar to UK pub prices in my experience, and there are drinks packages which cover the basics included in some cruise packages at no additional cost – Saga, Titan, for example.

  7. I figure the one reason a large number take their own booze is that the drinks on board are weak and I am not a big drinker. I usually just stick with beer unless their is a Jamaican bar tender, at least they know how to mix a drink. If you mix your own you know what you are getting.

  8. Fantastic! I, too, think the drink prices are high. While I can enjoy a nice glass of wine with dinner, I don’t find alcohol necessary to have fun. This might sound elitist and I am sorry for that but, I don’t know that I would enjoy the cruise if many of the passengers have snuck a bunch of booze onboard. Sitting near someone who has had a bit too much, talking loudly, begging for attention, bellowing, looking for trouble, crying? Or a whole table full of drunks, :::::shudder::::::: I would keep my money and stay home rather than endure that kind of thing for even a few hours. Being stuck on a ship with someone (or several someones) like that next door, across the hall or keeping the same basic schedule as I do would be miserable (and I suspect for all parties involved) while the poor fool misses most of the cruise because of the booze it then becomes doubly pathetic. No thank you, even if I didn’t pay for the privilege of seeing something like that. The question becomes ‘how much will you pay me’ to put up with a mess like that? I don’t think that the cost of a large balcony suite for 28 days is enough recompense. Once again, No Thank You!

  9. Which Cruise ships have the most problem with this, so people can stay away from those trips. So sad for these people. Maybe they should start having AA meetings on the ships.

  10. Oh the ingenious ways people are doing this only to get booted off their very expensive cruise … shame shame….. however it is funny how they hide it and where they do….. LOL
    Thank you for the awesome video as always Gary !.

  11. Love the jerks who are calling everyone who smuggles booze an alcoholic. How about this… People who buy drink packages are alcoholics. I bet you the smuggler ends up drinking less. They are being cheap. Stop with the name calling and get off your high horse.

  12. Soon they will have capsules you can fill, swallow, and then take a poop on the shit and pick out the capsules. I have snuck some before. I Simply put a bottle in my crotch and wear loose shirt. I usually wait until my first stop the buy it. Usually security is lax.

  13. My 1st cruise was 40 years ago. Drinks were cheaper on board than on shore, because all of there alcohol is duty free (and still is).
    We have 2 suntan bottles made for our alcohol for our before dinner cocktails. I figure it saves us $90 per cruise .

  14. Since many lines limit the number of alcoholic drinks you can get in a day, even with the booze package; It would definitely be great to have an option for 1/3, 2/3 of that for those of us who drink but aren't super heavy drinkers… Let those packages also include soda/coffee bottle water etc… and that would be a great way to get people buying in, then maybe spending more if they choose to upgrade while on the ship or buy more than their allotted drinks.

  15. Not everyone is happy with a bowl of fruit and a glass of water , looking and smelling like a book. I see those non scented poor people on my cruise and a small tear runs from the corner of my lively eye.

  16. I would offer that just because someone wants to “get their drink on” while on vacation doesn’t make them an alcoholic. This seems a bit judgmental. We’ve smuggled and we’ve done drink packages. When we smuggled, it was a bit of a game. If we got confiscated, bummer. If not, woohoo! Maybe the ‘thrill of the game’ is part of it.

    All that being said, if cruise lines allowed one 750ml bottle of alcohol (not just wine), a lot of the smuggling would likely be reduced. They would likely sell a lot more non-alcohol drink packages!!

    Cheers!!

  17. If you don't like stressing Bottles can be purchased online with most cruise lines along with mix after you make a deposit. The price is high but lower than per drink. Soda by the can as well as water packages. Less stress and hauling. But I don't see the harm of cruise lines allowing a mickey or so per passenger. It's just more civilized and friendly. Or a wee bit of onboard credit ear marked for wine/beer including the inside passengers would be very attractive imo. Personally I could never drink enough to buy a package.

  18. We are going on Viking. They are fine with you openly bringing booze on board and will even provide pouring service and mixers.

  19. We really like your videos as you have such valuable information. We only request would be that you speak a little bit louder as the volume in our cell phones watching on YouTube can only go so loud and sometimes it's hard to hear you. You always come up with great and we look forward to them. Thanks for videos.

  20. If people can’t afford to drink booze, how do they afford the cruise?? This is very depressing indeed. Why do we need to know this??

  21. If cruise companies weren't so greedy people wouldn't have to do this…if they cut their drink prices in half. More folks would drink and they make the same profits…

  22. OMG, to read the snobbery below. You think we were in the days of transcontinental cruising. Where the elite were never mixed with the stewards on ship. "Let em eat cake"🙄

  23. As I mostly cruise with Marella it is all inclusive so it isn't a problem. Many years ago we took gin in a make up type bottle. It appears it wasn't food grade plastic and by the third day it became one of these specialist gins with unusual botanicals.
    We are on a Royal Caribbean cruise in February and I nearly choked when I saw the cost of the drinks package! Considering making it a detox cruise.

  24. We simply put pints, plastic bottle plastic cap, all in checked bags around the edges. Large bottles make a large void that is quite easy to see on a scanner. MOST luggage has a steel stiffener ring around the edges. Your flat pint bottles hide under it nicely when all your cloths push them outward. We actually had too much and brought some liquor OFF the ship! We also gave 2 bottles of left over wine to our dinner servers with their cash tip on final night. Who wants to be trashed drunk for their entire vacation? You can stay home and do that.

  25. I once smuggled a 1/2 pint on a cruise…by accident. My travel to the port was going to be a very long day. So I thought I would bring a small bottle to drink after I got to my hotel. The trip to the hotel turned into a complete nightmare. When I finally got to my room I just wanted a shower and to go to bed. I completely forgot about my bottle. One the 3rd day of the cruise I found it in my suitcase. I was too scared of getting caught I just left it.

  26. Gosh, there's a whole industry out there for making booze smuggling accessories. Makes me think of the old flask in the walking stick or umbrella handle. I actually don't think drinks are that expensive on a cruise, at least not for the amount we drink. The types of drinks we like would be harder to sneak on board, such as beer and cocktails. More hassle than it's worth for us, since we need to fly to most departure ports.

  27. Oh why would you bother , those same people would be those who bring a nagen (quarter bottle) of vodka to a pub and top up their coke under the table.
    Mind you I have to admit they have come up with some ingenious ways to smuggle it onboard. 🤪🍺

  28. Wow, that’s unbelievable. I had no idea there were products designed specifically to smuggle booze on to cruise ships. When we went on an Alaskan cruise we carried on a 12 pack of bottled water. The six bottles in the middle we filled with vodka and carried it on with our hand luggage. They didn’t suspect a thing but I think cruise ships now will not allow passengers to bring water on board. This was about five years ago when it was still allowed. I have six cruises booked for next year and I am just going to buy the base drink packages. Way easier!

  29. It's unfortunate that the cruise line I go on charges $100 US (plus delivery fee) for a regular bottle of rum. When it was $50, I didn't mind because I wanted to play by the rules. I'm also in one of their top tier rewards program (indicating that I have been on many many cruises with them). To me, it would seem reasonable that if I am in a higher reward bracket then maybe I should be able to get a discount for buying a bottle. But they don't do this. Their drink package is not cost effective for me either. So yes, I have had to look at other ways to bring a bottle on board. I also buy drinks on board but that's just to try something different every once in a while or when there's a happy hour. I'm not opposed to paying for drinks but the cost is getting higher and higher. This applies to cruises out of the US.

    I was on a European cruise (same cruise line) and they sold bottles of alcohol (i.e.: rum) right in the cruise port. You could buy it and wave it around as you were walking on the ship. I felt like such an adult.

  30. Some of the "advice" is a sure way of getting called to the naughty room. Some of it is pretty reliable. If you get caught, your luggage is "held" and you have to go pick it up. Also all cruise lines have different measures. For example Windstar Cruise in Tahiti has virtually no screening. Where large popular ships have high tech scanners to detect liquid and can tell the difference of gel, lotion or liquid.

    I am not against people trying, I personally have never done it, and would never do it. If you try some of what is said here is very bad advice.

  31. I just returned from a cruise on which I spent hundreds for a beverage package including soda, specialty coffees, beer and wine for the duration of the cruise. Even so, if I ordered a bottle of the same wine I had at the bar with my room service dinner in my stateroom, it cost me another $50 + 18% service charge. The same bottle of wine on land would cost $15 or (probably much) less.

    As cruise lines become greedier, it's no wonder cruisers are increasingly motivated to be sneakier. And don't even get me started about the expensive and intentionally deceptive wifi options common on many lines. Which would be a great topic for another video if I may suggest it.

  32. Gratuities, overpriced Drink Packages, overpriced Bar prices! I would be far happier with a Cruise Fare that included everything up front, including a set number of drinks per day.

  33. I think that IF anyone goes to a high end venue, the prices on cruise ships are very reasonable, it ain’t the local VFW bar. If ya want to drink, pay the bar tab. This crap is shameful…..same folks doing this would never do this crap in a fine restaurant or other high end venue. Disgusting IMHO.

  34. None of these would work for me. Those tiny amounts. When I drink I really drink…….I can drink two bottles of wine by myself and countless cans if beer or bourbon and coke or cocktails.

  35. On the build up to her cruise, a friend of mine used to ask us for travel sized bottles that we picked up from hotels. She would empty them and fill them up with her booze. I feel that these tactics are a bit extreme to save a couple of bucks on drinks. But I'm not a drink everyday kinda gal, so I'd like to hear from those who do smuggle and why (besides cost).

  36. Been using the Cruise Runners Brand for years and have probably saved enough money to pay for several additional cruises. Most cruise lines don't serve cocktails in your cabin, even with the beverage package so we use the shampoo & conditioner bottles to keep a stash for cocktails on the balcony or in the cabin…well…and other areas too LOL!

  37. The idea is to save money, right? How much can you save? I bet it would be a lot if smuggling booze onboard saved $400.

  38. LOL last cruise I had a bottle of shampoo, conditioner and a wine bottle. The shampoo was strawberry rum. The conditioner was Bailey's. The wine bottle was banana rum dyed blue in a red wine bottle

  39. When I first started cruising the price for alcohol was very reasonable and I remember bringing a case of Heineken onto the ship at St. Thomas to drink with friends in my cabin. Now that I'm a senior citizen I don't drink all that much and the price of a beverage package would cost me more than what I would normally drink during a week's cruise. The other thing that some cruise lines are doing is adding a daily gratuity charge to one's shipboard account if one has purchased the drink package. I think Holland America is one of the few lines that does not do this if one has a drink package.

  40. And the simplest way … Purchase a 375 ml hip flask like bottle. Be sure the cap is non-metallic. A plastic bottle with a plastic cap is perfect. Put it in your pocket and walk on board. It won't set off the metal detector, and you are not being x-rayed. 🙂

  41. The one time we smuggled rum on board we took two bottles of red wine bottle that had a twist cap instead of a cork drank the wine and refilled the bottle with a dark rum and used a heat shrink cap over the twist top that matched the label color and had absolutely no problems because it still looked like it was completely sealed. 🤷‍♀️ not my proudest moment but we haven’t done it since because I honestly didn’t want the hassle or stress of potentially having something confiscated. So for the last cruise and this one coming up we’ve got the drink packages but thankfully Royal Caribbean allows you to cancel and rebook them if they go on sale. So we always start our cruise with a flow with Krakan rum.

  42. My wife has devised an incredible plan. We board separately, she gets to our cabin while I stay at the dock. While she is at our balcony/veranda, I throw to her a rope that is tied at the ends , essentially the rope is a circle or a loop .She secures the rope & I attach bottles that are in bags to the line and the bottles either slide or gets pulled onto the ship in a circular motion.

  43. I’ve noticed there a a bunch of alcoholics on cruises. Anyone who is so desperate to sneak alcohol on a ship is an alcoholic. Also behaving like a little kid.

  44. Why would I ever volunteer to take a trip I feel the need to smuggle alchohol on to the ship. Smuggle margaritas into Mexico?

  45. Thank you for the fun video. I drink about three drinks a year so the fun of your video is what others are up to. Great video.

  46. In 1997 I was on a cruise in the Mediterranean. On our first stop we disembarked and went to the local liquor store and bought a bag of booze. When we returned to the boat we just carried in our shopping bags. The cruise staff could care less. I guess there were less rules back then.

  47. "Now I'm not saying you should smuggle booze onto a ship. But I have noticed that there are companies creating products that help you to smuggle booze. For a list of those companies, you can find them in the description section below through Amazon. Any product you buy gives me a small commission. But again, I'm not saying you should smuggle booze onto a ship."

  48. How about if the cruise industry establishes B Y O B price policy and leave it to the Client to decide on the price and risk of bringing your own encouragement onboard.lol

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