Are you wondering if you should purchase one of the drink packages on Carnival? You are not alone, as it is a question we get quite often from fellow cruisers.
There are many factors involved in deciding if a beverage package is right for you. We’ve had the chance to test out the Carnival Drink Package on a few recent sailings and see several pros and cons to purchasing one.
In fact, while there are quite a fewbenefits of buying a beverage package on a cruise, there are also some reasons whycruise ship drink packages can be a waste of money.
So, in this Complete Guide to Drink Packages on Carnival, we detail all the plans, drink prices, and FAQs to help you decide if a Carnival drink package is right for your next cruise.
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Complete Guide to Drink Packages on Carnival (2023)
Carnival Drink Package Basics
There are a few basic things you need to know about the drink packages on Carnival before we dive into the details of each option.
- All drink packages on Carnival are priced as per person, per day.
- You must purchase a Carnival drink package for the entire length of the cruise. You can not purchase just select days.
- The stated prices do not include the additional 18% service charge which is added when purchasing the package. Additionally, applicable state and local taxes will be applied to purchases made in US waters once onboard the ship.
- Beverage packages are non-refundable and non-transferable after 9 PM ET the evening before departure.
- Drink packages on Carnival are not offered on 2 day cruises or charter cruises
- You can use these packages almost everywhere on the ship. This includes the bars and lounges, complimentary dining venues, and specialty restaurants.
- However, they do not work at the cruise line’s private islands of Half Moon Cay or Princess Cays in the Bahamas.
What drinks do you get for free on Carnival?
Some beverages are included in the price of your Carnival cruise fare and are available 24 hours a day in the Lido Marketplace. They are also free while dining in the main dining rooms.
These options are non-bottled water, lemonade, iced tea, hot chocolate, and non-specialty coffee and tea.
How do you purchase drink packages on Carnival?
You can purchase drink packages on Carnival online pre-cruise or once onboard the ship. Purchasing your beverage package pre-cruise will save you 10% off the onboard prices.
The cut-off for pre-purchase is 11:59 PM the day before embarkation.
If you pre-purchased a Carnival drink package, it will be activated upon boarding the ship. You should head to a bar once onboard the ship for a sticker which will be placed on your Sail & Sign card.
Due to state laws, the Cheers package can not be sold on the first day of the cruise on departures from Texas or New York. If you have pre-purchased a package, it will only be activated at 6 AM on the second day of the cruise. Drinks purchased on the first day of the cruise will be charged to the guest’s Sail & Sign card in the usual manner.
Can one person get a drink package on Carnival?
Of course, it is never mandatory to buy a drink package. The drink packages on Carnival are add-ons to your cruise vacation. However, there is no sharing of the package or using your package to order drinks for other cruisers.
So, if one guest in the stateroom wishes to purchase a beverage package, each adult in the cabin needs to purchase one as well.
Cruisers must be 21 years of age or older to purchase the Cheers program (alcoholic beverage package).
What are the drink packages on Carnival cruises?
Carnival Cruise Line offers two drink packages. There is the alcoholic drink package, also known as the Cheers! Beverage Program. There is also the unlimited soda program, called the Bottomless Bubbles package.
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How much is the drink package on Carnival?
- Cheers Package: Starting at $59.95 per person, per day
- Bottomless Bubbles: Starting at $6.95per child or $9.50 per adult, per day
How do you get the best deal on a Carnival drink package?
You can save 10% on your Carnival drink package by purchasing before you sail.
How many drinks do you get with the Carnival drink package?
Soda and other non-alcoholic beverages are unlimited; however, you can not consume more than 15 alcoholic drinks per 24 hour period (6 AM to 6 AM).
No matter what package you choose, you can only get one drink at a time with a 5 minute wait time between orders. There are no double shots as that is considered ordering two drinks at once.
If guests purchase drinks for friends, one drink will count towards the Cheers package and the remaining drinks will be charged to the guest’s Sail and Sign account.
Of course, staff do have the right to refuse you bar service if you are intoxicated. Knowing your limits is just as important on a cruise ship as it is during your regular life!
What drinks are included in the Carnival drink packages?
When it comes to a Carnival drink package, cruisers can select from a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic options. Below, we detail what is included in the drink packages on Carnival.
Carnival Cruise Line offers only one alcoholic drink package, known as the Cheers Beverage Program. Many cruisers refer to this as the unlimited drink package, as it includes essentially all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for a flat daily rate.
The pricing of this package starts at $59.95 per person, per day (plus gratuity).
This plan covers all alcoholic beverages, including beers, wine and champagne by the glass, and cocktails and spirits up to $20. This also includes the self-serve beer stations.
Further, this Carnival drink package also includes soda, virgin cocktails, juices, specialty coffees and teas, milkshakes, energy drinks, Powerade and Vitamin Water, and 500ml bottled water.
The Cheers Program also entitles cruisers to a 25% discount off of any drink costing more than the $20 allotment, wine and champagne by the bottle, and beverage seminars and classes.
However, there are some exclusions to the Cheers Program. This includes beverages sold in souvenir glasses and bottles of liquor. Also, drinks sold at the gangway, through room service, or the mini-bar are also not included in this beverage package. Sharing cocktails, wine machines, pitchers, and buckets are not included either.
While there is a limit of 15 alcoholic drinks with this Carnival drink package, soda and other non-alcoholic beverages do not count towards this limit.
Summary of what’s included in the Cheers drink package:
- All spirits, cocktails, beer, and wine by the glass with a $20 or less menu price
- Sodas, Zero-Proof frozen cocktails, energy drinks, specialty coffee, hot tea, 500ml bottled water, and other non-alcoholic bottled beverages
- Packaged water in the main dining room and specialty restaurants
- 25% discount off the menu price for any spirit or wine by the glass above $20
- 25% discount off the menu price for wine and champagne by the bottle
- 25% discount off beverage seminars and classes
Bottomless Bubbles is Carnival Cruise Line’s unlimited soda package. For one flat fee, cruisers can enjoy all the fountain soda and juices they want with this package.
The pricing of this package starts at $6.95per child (17 years of age and younger) or $9.50 per adult (plus 18% gratuity).
Like the alcoholic drink package, you can only order one drink at a time, either a 16 ounce glass of soda or a 10 ounce glass of juice.
Soda choices include Pepsi products. For juices, cruisers have the option of Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Tomato Juice, Pineapple Juice, and Grapefruit Juice.
Again, like the Cheers Program, this package does NOT work off the ship, even at Half Moon Cay or Princess Cays. Bottled water and specialty coffee are also not part of this package. Other exclusions include beverages sold in souvenir glasses, beverages sold at the gangway, and room services orders.
Summary of what’s included in the Bottomless Bubbles drink package:
- Soft Drinks/Soda (Pepsi products)
- Juices: Orange Juice, Cranberry Juice, Tomato Juice, Pineapple Juice and Grapefruit Juice
Carnival Drink Prices
Below are a list of the sample drink prices on Carnival Cruise Line. You can also check out our bar menus from a recent Carnival Celebration cruise to determine the cost of your favorite beverages.
- Beer: starting at $6.50
- Wine by the glass: starting at $9.50
- Mixed Drinks: $7.50– $20.00
- Specialty Cocktails: starting at $10.50
- Soft Drinks: $2.75
- Specialty Coffees:$2.50– $4.25
- Energy Drinks: $4.95
- Water: $1.50– $5.00
Is the Carnival Drink Package Worth It?
This brings us back to the original question, are Carnival drink packages a good value? Essentially, the question is whether you will consume enough beverages to make the purchase “worth it”.
Below are the average costs of the different beverages within each category. Using this chart, you can do the quick math to see if you would routinely hit the daily drink costs of the above packages.
|Bottled Water 500ml||$1.50|
|Bottled Water 1L||$3.95|
|Other Non-Alcoholic Drinks||$3.50|
Ultimately, you need to know your own habits to determine if the drink packages on Carnival will be a good value during your cruise.
Other considerations include the length of the cruise and how many ports of call are on the itinerary.
For instance, will you be able to sustain the same drinking pattern over the course of a 10-day or 14-day cruise? If your cruise is port intensive, will you be on the ship enough to make good use of your Carnival drink package?
The drink packages on Carnival certainly do offer convenience, as you never have to worry about the bar tab at the end of the cruise! They also make your cruise feel more all inclusive.
While we don’t go overboard with alcoholic drinks, we do consume plenty of bottled water, specialty coffee, Vitamin Water/Powerade, and the occasional soda. Combining our alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink purchases, we usually recognize a cost savings with the beverage package.
Of course, if you wish to forego a beverage package, you can always pay a la carte for your drinks purchased on the ship.
You can also purchase items pre-cruise via your cruise planner to be delivered to your stateroom. The prices for bottled water are very reasonable on Carnival Cruise Line when compared to some competitor brands.
Further, on embarkation day, guests are allowed to bring onboard a maximum of 12, 12-ounce cans/cartons of non-alcoholic beverages per person in their carry-on. Guests 21 years of age and older may also bring onboard one 750ml bottle of unopened wine or champagne in their carry-on luggage.
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Do you purchase a drink package on a cruise? Do you find them to be a good value? Drop us an anchor below to share your experiences with drink packages on Carnival.