We find just the opposite on Princess. Their retail selections, like T-shirts, polo-shirts, quality dress shirts and jackets, snacks, toe nail clippers, cork screws and bottle openers as well as ship replicas to put in your attic, etc. are much greater than they used to be. However, regarding liquor, are you talking the on board duty free shops where you purchase liquor to be given to you as you leave the voyage or the liquor selection offerings they offer for consumption in cabins and or in the dining venues? With regard to the duty free offerings, I think they over do it as their promotions take up huge amounts of space that could be used for other purposes in my opinion and we are not about to buy very expensive duty free liquor on the ship to take home in our luggage.
With regard to their wine selections, both from a quality and variety standpoint, for on board consumption in cabins or at the dinner table leaves much to be desired.
It is nice to have a decent store on the ship where you can purchase something you forgot to pack. Also, very handy if the airlines have lost your luggage getting to the embarkation port. One time we were on a lengthy cruise around Africa where most ports didn't have anything to offer, it was nice to be able to shop on the ship.
Another time, about five cruises ago, we got on Princess for a month voyage. I had preordered wine plus we brought our two free ones on board. After we got situated I couldn't find a cork screw in the cabin, I usually pack one, but forgot. I called room service to have them bring one by. They said it is against company policy. Another voice came on the line. "Kids could use them to harm themselves" they said. I responded, no kids here bring on a cork screw. No can do they said. How do I get my wine open then I asked? Sorry they said. You get the gist, I was irritated.
Well, I set there a while moaning, then went to check the gift shop. Sure enough, they had excellent cork screws with their logo on them even. For just a few bucks too.
After finally getting my bottle open and enjoying a glass on the balcony, an officer paid us a visit. Nice guy. We chatted a minute or two and he apologized. I said, let me help a bit with diplomacy here: When a call like mine comes in, don't lie. Tell the truth instead. For instance: "Sir we have an excellent selection of corkscrews in our gift shops, we are sorry but no longer furnish these in the cabins". Don't fabricate justifications like: "Kids could get hurt with a corkscrew" or "We will send someone to your cabin, in due time, to open your wine for you when you call." Don't simply leave your guest hanging without a viable solution. Truth is, that you have good ones for sale and the reason you don't provide them anymore is that guests take them home with them regardless of whether or not they order wine.
Sure was nice to have an adequate on board gift shop then.