I'm sure this question has been asked a thousand times, but I can't seem to find a thread for it. A person in the group I am traveling with in a couple of weeks would like to take a bottle of wine onboard with him. Is this allowed? Thanks in advance for your help!
In one word, no. RCL has a policy (one of the other moderators will be able to provide the link) against bringing any alcohol onto the ship. IF purchased at a port, which IS allowed, when you re-board the ship, your purchase is taken and stored for you until the last night or day of your cruise. Our last cruise, they returned your purchases on the morning you left the ship at the end of the cruise, which was VERY inconvienent, and much like a "bum-rush". VERY bad practice (Voyager OTS in New Orleans-March, 2012).
Royal Caribbean's policy is located here. RCI is an outlier in the industry in that they don't allow anything to be brought aboard, whereas others such as Carnival and Holland America do allow personal wine on embarkation day. They used to allow the wine but even that went away after all the public relations problems RCI had with drunks going overboard - due to their sneaking booze aboard and getting hammered in their cabins.
Also, in case you're thinking about maybe trying to hide it in your suitcase, it's not worth it. All baggage (checked and carry on) is screened, just like at airports. If they see something, they will call you down, and you will have to explain why you have alcohol in your luggage. Like Dave stated, if you do bring alcohol onboard, either at embarkation or in a port, you must inform the security personnel, and they will stow it, and return it to you either on the last evening of your cruise after dinner, or the morning of debarkation.
If you purchase wine by the bottle at dinner, they will tag it, and save it for you for the next night. You may be allowed to bring a glass back to your stateroom once you're done, but you will not be allowed to bring the bottle back to your stateroom.
2007 - Majesty of the Seas
2009 - Enchantment of the Seas
2010 - Freedom of the Seas
While we endorse cruise line rules in the forum, I can tell you that from what I've observed they don't get too excited if a passenger brings bottled water or a couple of six-packs of soda aboard. Just have it in your carry-on and it will likely be ignored. Booze is what they are focused on. I've seen many passengers embark with water and soda in the past several RCI cruises. Just be prepared to lose it if Barney Fife happens to be on duty at the x-ray machine.
This policy tends to be enforced port by port and ship by ship. We got off Vision yesterday after 14 day Trans Atlantic (fantastic). We brought a bottle of wine on board in Southampton, told the security, and they simply waved it through. We also brought a bottle at various port stops in Spain with no questions. As to water, we always bring on a case of Smart Water (my wife needs the electrolytes) with no problem anywhere. You can also get a bottle of wine on the ship and take it to your stateroom. You can do this in the dining room, windjammer, etc. If you have a wine package, just use it to purchase a bottle and take it with you. We did that for the last day at sea. Took 2 bottles of champaign (there were 8 of us) after dinner the night before. Our Asst. Waiter brought them complete with buckets of ice and 8 glasses. The next day we had room service deliver 6 large glasses of orange juice and got some pastries from the Windjammer (need to get orange juice during the breakfast hours in the dining room). Made mimosas and had pastries and toasted a great cruise.