A couple of things to remember: Like when boarding an airplane, your baggage will be passed through an x-ray scanner on arrival. Stash all of your alcohol in a checked bag rather than a carry-on so there’s a smaller chance of security personnel digging through it. The other rule of thumb: divide and conquer. Split the alcohol between travel companions’ suitcases so if one bag gets busted, the others have a chance of making it through.
Rum Runner Flasks are Your Best Friend
These things were created expressly for sneaking booze onto a cruise. Rum Runner’s flexible clear plastic flasks are undetectable by x-ray, so you can fill them with the liquor of your choice, stash and relax. We suggest filling them about 80 percent of the way full, squeezing out the remaining air and wrapping them in-between folds of clothing in your checked luggage.
Let’s face it—you’re never going to get a mouthwash bottle so clean that whatever liquor you put inside won’t taste like mint. That’s why you should buy a bottle of clear Listerine Naturals, clean it as well as you can and fill it with white rum. Then when you mix it with Sprite by the pool, if you squint, it’ll taste like Mojitos.
Buy Decoy Bottles
Tons of companies make fake products such as hairbrush and binocular flasks, but you can also buy empty toiletry bottles. ShampBooze does it right with their matching shampoo and conditioner bottles that hold almost 17 oz each. And they change their labels every few months to throw off cruise bouncers who’ve seen it all.
Hide In Plain Sight
Most cruise lines allow passengers to bring one bottle of wine aboard the ship. But let’s be honest, one bottle isn’t going to be nearly enough for your whole trip. Luckily, cruise ships will also usually allow you to bring additional wine, provided you pay a corkage fee (typically around $15 per bottle). While we’d never recommend breaking the law, if a person were really committed to low-cost drinking, it’s conceivable they could buy a case of inexpensive wine, pour it into other containers, then refill the bottles with the spirits of their choice. After that, they’d just pop in new corks and shrink-wrap them in place. Hypothetically speaking, of course.
Restock at Foreign Liquor Stores
If you’re on an international cruise that’s making stops at various destinations, make sure you visit a liquor store before heading back to the ship. They won’t pat you down when you re-board, but they will make you walk through a metal detector, so look for pocketable pints with all-plastic hardware.
Seduce a Bartender
This won’t work if you’re traveling with your special someone (unless that someone has a very open mind), but if all else fails, bartenders have been known to play favorites if they’re canoodling with someone on board. And cruise ships are notorious for staff/passenger hookups. Anchors aweigh!