Actually, no. If you buy at duty free it is brought to your room the night before you debark. Same with whatever you buy on shore. As for taking alcohol on board, they are cracking down more but if you put some in your check aboard luggage you can get it on. Generally we put some vodka or bourbon in plastic water bottles, wrap in zip lock bags and pack in our checked luggage. We still buy plenty on the ship but it is nice to have a drink while getting ready for dinner, etc. If you are caught (they do xray luggage), the simply confiscate it and return it to you the night before you get off.
Hope this helps.
Thanks so much for your reply. I'm really confused now. A friend of mine took a cruise, mind u ..it was with Royal Caribbean....and they could purchase as many bottles in the liquor store on board. They were able to take the bottles to their room.
To continue the discussion, you are right, a few years ago RCI allowed you to buy at duty free on the ship and for $9.50 per bottle you could carry it to your room. That was a great deal because Abslout Vodka which is $27 per litre where I live, was only $8.00 per litre on the ship. So with the added $9.50 it was still cheap. However they rescinded the rule. Last year RCI had a kid go over the side and drown. When they checked his cruise card they found a small amount of alcohol purchases. However he brought his own and that was so drunk he went over. They really cracked down. However we did RCI in Feb. and I got a liter of Vodka and a liter of Bourbon on in my checked luggage. My friend got caught but I think either it was a random x-ray or it's because he had 3 bottles and simply left them in the original bottle. But no worries, they were very nice and gave him his alcohol back later. At one port stop he bought 3 bottles. Two at one shop and one at another. He put them through the x-ray, went over and checked the one bottle and simply kept the others in a separate bag and took them to his room. So it's still can be done, but in light of the numbers falling off ships lately there is a good chance they will begin to really crack down.