Smuggling Alcohol and avoiding the so-called "Naughty Room"

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#61
31 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by mbisson
Well, if you're a student I'm sure you're right!
I'm not sure if you are being genuine or sarcastic, but I will choose to interpret this statement as the former and not the later.

And, yes, I am a student! I will graduate in May with a law degree and am very ready to finally, after 20+ years of education, be done with being a student!
#62
San Diego, CA USA
685 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
I will be doing the bar setup on an upcoming cruise. However, I do admit to having smuggled a bit in my day.

I could give you specifics, but that's too easy. Rather, I'd prefer that you simply imagine that you are the X-ray operator for NCL. What would tip you off? What would you be looking for? What sort of objects might look suspect and which probably would not?

I'll let you figure out the rest from here.
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#63
Iowa
534 Posts
Joined Jun 2002
Lester,
I'm with ya on trying to save a few bucks, but after our last cruise, I honestly believe you are better off with the bar set up. Our NCLA cruise last month was very tough "sneaking" anything on. I didn't try anything in my checked luggage, but I walked thru security at one port with a airplane bottle of rum (the single shot little bottles) that I had forgotten about. I had a couple of quarters in my pocket and that was enough to set the alarm off and yes, I was padded down and that little bottle was confiscated. Never seen anything like that before. Funny thing was, I went thru that exact same xray line earlier with my cell phone on me and it didn't go off. The booze tables for confiscating seemed very full at all the ports.

I think the real problem is that up until the past year, most cruise lines turned the other cheek and didn't really enforce the booze rule. Several ports had duty free shops that you could pick up a few things after you went thru security and they would tell you to just put it in your carry on, and I think most folks thought it was ok to do that since the liquor store was in the terminal (myself included). Sadly, I'm afraid those days are gone. Lots of folks are going to be in for a suprise if they haven't cruised in the past year as there will be much longer lines at the naughty room. It sure sounds like NCL and RCI have cracked down. We used to walk on at almost every port with local beers, no questions asked, seems like the booze police would only stop you if you were carrying a box of booze from one of the liquor stores.

And I'm no law expert (nor do I play one on tv) and maybe the cruise lines can't legally check your bags, even with you present, but they can refuse you passage on their ship. That is in their contract.

Sorry if I didn't help answer your question, a year ago I would have said just put it in a bag, checked or carry on. I'm guessing that the crew gets to drink anything left behind, so they now have some incentive to get it all from us!

Mark
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#64
Charlotte, NC
10,143 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by ElizaBenet
And, yes, I am a student! I will graduate in May with a law degree and am very ready to finally, after 20+ years of education, be done with being a student!
Congratulations on the upcoming graduation! But with such advanced education, you surely must know how to read a contract. And I am certain there is no amendment in the US Constitution protecting any of us passengers sailing on a foreign-flagged vessel in international waters. Did you see that in the contract? What about the part that gives the Captain the right to disembark any passenger at any time for any reason? I think refusing to allow your bags to be searched would be a valid reason. But I'm sure it wasn't worth the hassle to them.

But I don't doubt for a minute you were able to convince them it did apply. Reminds me of that scene in Legally Blonde where the woman is reclaiming her dog from the ex...

I just hope you don't seriously belive that you are subject to any US laws at sea on an NCL ship. I am about as far from an attorney as you can get, but I know US law stops at the border.
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#65
12 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by MarkMichaels
And I'm no law expert (nor do I play one on tv) and maybe the cruise lines can't legally check your bags, even with you present, but they can refuse you passage on their ship. That is in their contract.
They are not going to turn the ship around if you have already set sail. The boat had already left the port when the notices where being placed on people’s doors.
#66
Charlotte, NC
10,143 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by newcruisernomore
They are not going to turn the ship around if you have already set sail. The boat had already left the port when the notices where being placed on people’s doors.
No, they will not turn around but they can and do put people off at the next port of call for all sorts of violations. Not for liquor smuggling, but if you were a smart-a$$ to the security and caused a scene about bogus "rights" you have, who knows, they just might.

I know they put you off for criminal acts. They toss your belongings off too, and you are on your own at the pier, in a foreign country, to get back home on your own dime.
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#67
31 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
Originally posted by USC93
Maybe the crew didn't search your stuff but I don't think it had anything to do with the Constitution. The Constitution protects against state (as in the government) action. The last time I checked there is no constitutional right to cruise or to smuggle booze onto your cruise. This is a matter between private parties (you and the cruise line). As another poster mentioned, many stadiums subject patrons to searches for alcohol. Do they have the "right" to do that. No, but they do have the right to refuse you entry if you don't consent to it, just as the cruise ship could leave you at the next port if you refuse to consent to the search of your luggage.

Of course, if the cruise line conducts the search in an unreasonable manner, you may have a cause of action against the cruise line but, again, that is between private parties and doesn't involve constitutional rights.

BTW, to the OP, best of luck to you! The worst that can happen, assuming you don't invoke your "constitutional rights" against the cruise line personnel, is that they keep the booze until the end of your cruise.
I agree. Much of what you are stating is an exact review of what I stated in my original post.

As I said in the original post, it was not a constitutional issue unless the people who attempted to search me were police or government actors or something. I am not 100 percent sure what their positions were. I think they were just members of the crew...but I am not sure.

I also stated in the original post to which this was referencing that if they were just crew members acting on behalf of NCL, they did NOT have the right to search my belongings because it was not in the contract.

Also, the "constitutional right" I was referencing was the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures... not the right, as you characterize it, to carry booze on cruise ships. This right is guaranteed by the 4th Amendment and the applicable to the States through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
#68
JC, NJ
180 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
i was able to get alcohol in initially as well as after one of the ports. the only issue was on the last day when my bf and I, as well as 2 other couples, had our "water bottles" confiscated at the pool. we couldnt be angry since we broke the rules, and in a couple hours were able to purchase a bottle from duty free and open it right away. in addition to the smuggled alcohol there were plenty of bar drinks ordered (a final tab of about 400) and its safe to say I won't be drinking anything but water for the next 2 weeks

so good luck!
#69
South Carolina
46 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by ElizaBenet

I also stated in the original post to which this was referencing that if they were just crew members acting on behalf of NCL, they did NOT have the right to search my belongings because it was not in the contract.

They don't have the right to search your belongings but they do have the right to force you off of the ship or refuse entry onto the ship if you refuse.

Also, the "constitutional right" I was referencing was the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures... not the right, as you characterize it, to carry booze on cruise ships. This right is guaranteed by the 4th Amendment and the applicable to the States through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
It is applicable the States as in the States acting through the government. That has absolutely nothing to do with a cruise line subjecting you to a search. The right that is guranteed is that the government, be it federal, state or local, will not subject you to unreasonable searches and seizures. As I said, if the cruise line or any other private party subjects you to an unreasonable search or seizure, you may have a private cause of action against that private party but that has nothing to do with your consitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
#70
South Carolina
46 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by ElizaBenet

I also stated in the original post to which this was referencing that if they were just crew members acting on behalf of NCL, they did NOT have the right to search my belongings because it was not in the contract.

They don't have the right to search your belongings but they do have the right to force you off of the ship or refuse entry onto the ship if you refuse.

Also, the "constitutional right" I was referencing was the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures... not the right, as you characterize it, to carry booze on cruise ships. This right is guaranteed by the 4th Amendment and the applicable to the States through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment.
It is applicable to the States as in the States acting through the government. That has absolutely nothing to do with a cruise line subjecting you to a search. The right that is guranteed is that the government, be it federal, state or local, will not subject you to unreasonable searches and seizures. As I said, if the cruise line or any other private party subjects you to an unreasonable search or seizure, you may have a private cause of action against that private party but that has nothing to do with your consitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
#71
Granbury, Texas
8,255 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Originally posted by USC93
It is applicable to the States as in the States acting through the government. That has absolutely nothing to do with a cruise line subjecting you to a search. The right that is guranteed is that the government, be it federal, state or local, will not subject you to unreasonable searches and seizures. As I said, if the cruise line or any other private party subjects you to an unreasonable search or seizure, you may have a private cause of action against that private party but that has nothing to do with your consitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
To add, NCL reserves the right to not accept anyone who will not submit to the search. Answer with a no, you could be tossed off the ship at the very next port.
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#72
A TX girl now living in the midwest
638 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by ianmerc
I thought this response was rude and obnoxious. Exactly who are you to question the OP if he can afford a cruise. A lot of people scrimp and save very, very hard to have what may be a once in a lifetime experience for them. the OP said he was the dad of 3 kids. Instead of questioning his ability to afford the cruise he should have been praised for at least making the effort. I certainly hope he has a fantastic cruise and if he gets on with liquor then good luck to him.
Applause!!! Standing Ovation!! I second this post!

Would someone explain what to RULES are for cruising 'right'? We have booked our 9th cruise.....gosh have we been doing it the wrong way all this time? I never saw a list of rules on how to cruise right!
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#73
Winnipeg
8 Posts
Joined Jan 2008
I guess I just want to say that we were successful in bringing 1 bottle and a few beers onboard and we are also sure that because we didn't go overboard and were discreet in our cabins with our contraband - it appeared the staff simply turned the other cheek.

This was our first 7 day cruise and as such are comparing with other vacation options. The significant price per drink is a real deterrent for us in choosing to cruise again - we don't need an all-inclusive but as beer and wine tends to be our beverage of choice - we usually can be quite happy shopping at a grocery store and not having to pay such large bar prices. (we're not ones for the fancy cocktails) It's not that we drink that much - but the price per drink is simply too high to make cruising an equitable choice.

We definitely enjoyed the cruise but I suspect this very fact will mean we'll choose a land vacation next time. ....and we were successful!

I also wanted to say that I think it's reasonable that this question keeps coming up because it is probably one of the most frustrating issues for a cruise vacation.
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#74
Reading, PA
299 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
I hope I replied to all that emailed me. If I missed someone, just email me again. Once again, i will state that these are things that have worked for me in the past 15 cruises but things change and occasionally you get caught...but not from lack of trying. Good Luck to all and most of all

HAPPY CRUISING!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#75
A TX girl now living in the midwest
638 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Originally posted by Kevinc6969
I hope I replied to all that emailed me. If I missed someone, just email me again. Once again, i will state that these are things that have worked for me in the past 15 cruises but things change and occasionally you get caught...but not from lack of trying. Good Luck to all and most of all

HAPPY CRUISING!!!!!!!!!!!!
I didn't email you....cause I don't drink...but I wanted to thank you for jumping in and helping.....on our last cruise our son and DIL's on board account was a shock....and they do not drink very much...but it was their holiday and wanted to enjoy it.....they know now to ask drink prices before ordering
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#76
Denham Springs, LA
1,837 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Bottom line, try a little of this, a little of that, and hope for the best. Have a great cruise, Lester. I've successfully used some of Kevin's ideas in the past. In this case, smaller is actually better.
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#77
Michigan
758 Posts
Joined Jun 2007
Originally posted by Alsgal247
I guess I just want to say that we were successful in bringing 1 bottle and a few beers onboard and we are also sure that because we didn't go overboard and were discreet in our cabins with our contraband - it appeared the staff simply turned the other cheek.

This was our first 7 day cruise and as such are comparing with other vacation options. The significant price per drink is a real deterrent for us in choosing to cruise again - we don't need an all-inclusive but as beer and wine tends to be our beverage of choice - we usually can be quite happy shopping at a grocery store and not having to pay such large bar prices. (we're not ones for the fancy cocktails) It's not that we drink that much - but the price per drink is simply too high to make cruising an equitable choice.

We definitely enjoyed the cruise but I suspect this very fact will mean we'll choose a land vacation next time. ....and we were successful!

I also wanted to say that I think it's reasonable that this question keeps coming up because it is probably one of the most frustrating issues for a cruise vacation.
Yepper's Al'sGal, we came to this same conclusion a couple of years ago. We still go on a cruise now and again when friends or family ask us to join them but find it more cost effective to go on land base vactions now with all of the "added" costs of a cruise.
#78
41 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Originally posted by shark_bait
Yepper's Al'sGal, we came to this same conclusion a couple of years ago. We still go on a cruise now and again when friends or family ask us to join them but find it more cost effective to go on land base vactions now with all of the "added" costs of a cruise.
Yep. Land-based vacations have a lot of "added" costs, as well...but I have yet to visit a land-based resort which forbids me to bring my own wine or hard liquor onto the premises with me. I realized the cruise lines need to make a profit...but (and I'll get flamed for this, I'm sure) plenty of cruisers don't drink or gamble at all, so they are not contributing to keeping cruise rates lower for the rest of us. Why should people who choose to drink alcohol subsidize those who don't? I'm talking about what I drink in my own cabin, of course...not referring to taking my own cocktails into the dining room or to the ship lounges.

Nonetheless, we paid for a bar setup and paid corkage on a case of wine when we cruised NCL in November...just because I didn't want to deal with any hassle. Good luck, Lester. Maybe you could sneak in some vodka in a rubbing alcohol bottle and some Jack in Pine Sol bottle...Norovirus is rampant, I hear. One can't be too careful.
#79
Phoenix, AZ
238 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Lester, did you think that you would get this much responce in just 2/3 days? This is an explosive area! My husband "needs" his alcohol and I really hate the price of the doubles that he orders. Our drink bill on our first time back into cruising was about $200.00. Thank heavens he only drinks in the evening Our next cruise I ordered a bottle of his favorite and he bought 6 bottles of wine for the total of $200 something! I get scared trying to figure out how I would smuggle or if the bottle breaks in my luggage. It really is a personnal decision on breaking these rules, but one question you really have to ask yourself...your "a dad of 3 boys" what are you teaching them I have 2 dogs, they don't care or watch what my actions are. I know... bring the damn moral thing into it What ever you do, I hope you have a great time and remember you are bring up the next generation, good luck.
Happy cruising, Pam
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#80
Bermuda
3,720 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
When we cruised last year after 9 years break (except for 2 Hurtigruten cruises where we were allowed to bring booze aboard for consumption in own cabin) we were unaware that bringing booze on board has been disallowed. Upon embarkation we had 2 litres of rum in our luggage. Never got caught. They were gifts to some friends in one of the ports we visited.

We continued to be blissfully unaware when we bought 3 litres of different rum in different port to take home. We just put the bottles in our kid's backpack and went thru security but they didn't spot them. People in front of us had to hand over theirs for storage until end of cruise.

We never opened any of those 5 bottles aboard - we drank the ship's booze. VERY nice onboard bill we got at the end of the cruise !!

Next cruise we're buying some nice wine and pay $15 corkage per bottle - for us to drink in cabin - we have a starboard balcony cabin with a PULLMAN bed for 3rd guest, so we'll be using the balcony more!

I thank most of you for the head-up - we are now better prepared for our next cruise.
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