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Sneaking Alcohol Aboard a Cruise from Galveston

Disclaimer: We don’t condone trying to sneak alcohol aboard a cruise. Frankly, for some people the stress of worrying about being caught outweighs the cost of simply buying drinks onboard. However, our goal is to provide tips on every part of cruising from Galveston, whether we agree or not. Remember, if you’re caught smuggling booze, it is your responsibility, no matter what the consequences may be.

You know that cruise lines make bringing alcohol aboard a ship a big no-no. The reason is simple: Selling booze is a huge money-maker for the lines.

In fact, if they did allow you to bring on any amount of alcohol you wanted, it’s safe to say that fares would rise sharply to make up for the lost revenue. For that reason, we like the restrictions.

But there’s no doubt that bringing your own liquor aboard the ship is a lot cheaper. So what’s the best way to sneak it on? We’ve got you covered…

There are two basic routes to bringing booze aboard. You can either try to sneak it on your person or try to sneak it in your luggage.

Sneaking alcohol in your luggage

Every cruise line allows you to bring one or two bottles of wine or champagne aboard the ship with your luggage. If this is enough for your cruise, congratulations. But for those who need a little more, there are some tips on getting by security.

First, it helps to know what happens with bag screening. When you reach the Galveston terminal, your bags are sent through an x-ray machine. With more than 3,000 people boarding in just a few hours, that means they don’t have time to search through every bag by hand. Likewise, your carry-on bags are sent through an x-ray machine like you’d find at an airport.

What does this mean?

It means that unless your alcohol simply stands out, you stand a good chance of getting it by screeners. For that reason, it’s best to stick to small containers — don’t try to bring a handle of whiskey simply stuck in your luggage.

We’ve heard of success using small travel-sized shampoo bottles, filling them with the alcohol of your choice. Since nearly everyone brings aboard some sort of shampoo or other liquids aboard, your alcohol doesn’t stand out. Important: You want to try and find colored bottles that hide what’s inside. If you use a clear shampoo bottle for a dark liquor, it will stand out if someone takes a look.

Of course, a much more common way is to refill bottles that still have seals still on them. This way they look unopened. A simple YouTube search shows how to refill wine bottles with hard liquor so that they don’t show tampering, and how to fill water or mouthwash bottles to sneak on booze.

A couple of the most informative are below…

Sneaking liquor on a cruise on your body

Most people try to sneak alcohol inside of other containers or bottles. However, the easiest way to get it aboard a Galveston cruise might be much more low-tech.

You see, the security screening at the Port of Galveston looks a lot like you’d see at the airport. But it’s not near as in-depth. Today most airports use screeners that can detect any sort of item on your body. The Galveston cruise port uses regular metal detectors.

That means unless you set off the metal detector, it’s highly unlikely anyone will give you a further look.

There are a number of collapsible pouches — more commonly known as “Rum Runners” — that can easily be put on your body or in your pocket. These non-metallic flasks are difficult for the security screeners to detect if hidden in your waistband or pocket, or strapped to your leg. (In fact, in the video below you will see people packing these in their luggage and getting through screening).

Above all, remember the most important rule of trying to sneak alcohol aboard — diversify. Putting all your eggs in one basket means you won’t have anything to drink if you get caught. If you want to increase your odds of getting by the screeners, then you’re better off trying to hide your alcohol in several places. That way if one gets caught, you’ll have backups.

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