From all the traveling that we do you might conclude that Kellie is an extravagant woman, but that would be incorrect, she’s actually quite frugal. Kellie perpetually scours the Internet for looking discounts and special rates, she selects and uses credit cards based upon how many frequent flyer miles she can accumulate, and when it comes to cruising, she employs whatever measures are necessary to avoid paying the exorbitant shipboard prices for alcohol.
Some cruise lines allow guests to bring minor quantities of alcohol aboard, maybe one or two bottles of wine when initially embarking, confiscating any spirits exceeding their established limits. Royal Caribbean, the company we are currently sailing with, has a strict zero tolerance policy; passengers are not permitted to bring any of their own booze aboard, leaving Kellie no alternative but to try to sneak her refreshments past the ship’s baggage inspectors.
After carefully and methodically researching her options, Kellie identified three techniques for smuggling her liquor. Rather than picking just one approach, she strategically decided to execute a multi-pronged attack, hoping that at least one of the methods would be successful in getting her beverages past the ship’s crack security team.
Kellie placed a single bottle of wine in each of our suitcases, rationalizing that even if the bottles were discovered, the luggage inspectors would probably permit a limited amount of alcohol to pass. Just in case the first approach failed, Kellie poured a bottle of rum into several small plastic containers, the kind that travelers sometimes use to carry a few ounces of shampoo, conditioner, or mouthwash. Lastly, she purchased a clear plastic bladder, the sort that campers and hikers typically use for carrying and storing water. At our hotel room in San Juan, just before embarking, she emptied a bottle of vodka into the bladder, wrapped it in one of her dresses, and buried it deep within her suitcase. I tried to dissuader from carrying out this last idea, warning her that if the bladder ruptured, her clothes would wreak of alcohol and she’d end up smelling like a walking distillery. Kellie heeded this warning the same way she listens to any other caution I suggest; she ignored it.
Kellie was ready to do battle. The only question that remained was which, if any, of the tactics would work. Just in case you’ve forgotten, this is Kellie’s World, and in a brilliant display of logistical prowess, she succeeded in clandestinely transporting all her supplies past the ship’s luggage inspectors. Emboldened, I fully expect that she will attempt to repeat the operation at the next two ports to ensure that we have ample stores on hand for our six-day transatlantic crossing.