When you book a Carnival cruise, you’ll need to decide whether to buy the drink package or whether to pay for your drinks individually.
Whether you like to drink a variety of alcoholic drinks or prefer to stick to soda, a drink package could save you a lot of money. But don’t wait until you board the ship to get the package, as it’s cheaper to buy it in advance.
In this thorough guide, I’ll give you all the info to help you decide whether to buy a drink package for your Carnival cruise.
If you’re short on time and just want to make a decision, then I recommend that you make use of my Carnival drink package calculator. Just choose which drink you’d like and it will calculate how much you will spend with and without the package.
The Two Carnival Drink Packages
What’s included in Carnival drink packages?
Carnival Cruise Lines offers two drink packages. The Cheers package includes virtually all drinks up to the value of $20. The Bottomless Bubbles package includes only sodas and juices.
Let’s take a closer look at exactly what’s included in each of Carnival’s drink packages…
The Cheers package includes:
Drinks priced up to $20
- Beer by the glass
- Wine by the glass
- Zero-proof frozen cocktails
- Energy drinks
- Specialty coffees
- Hot tea
- Bottled water (500ml)
- Other non-alcoholic bottled drinks
The Cheers Package also gives a 25% discount on drinks priced above $20, bottles of wine and champagne and drinks classes and seminars.
What’s not included?
The Cheers package does not include:
- Drinks in souvenir glasses
- Bottles of liquor
- Drinks offered at the gangway
- Room service or mini bar
- Sharing cocktails, pitchers, floaters, tubes and buckets
- Self-service wine machines
- Freshly squeezed orange juice in the Havana Bar
- Drinks purchased off the ship including Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay
Carnival Drink Package Limit
Carnival’s Cheers drink package limited guests to 15 alcoholic drinks per day. A day is considered to be 6 am – 6 am. There is no limit for non-alcoholic drinks.
The Bottomless Bubbles package includes:
The Unlimited Soda Program
- Fountain soda by the glass (16 oz)
- Juice by the glass (10 oz)
Soda flavours may vary but generally include Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Pepsi Zero Sugar, Caffeine Free Pepsi, Diet Pepsi Caffeine Free, Sierra Mist, Sierra Mist Zero Sugar, Mug Root Beer, Mountain Dew, Diet Mountain Dew, Bubly Lime Sparkling Water, Bubly Grapefruit Sparkling Water, Bubly Orange Sparkling Water
Juices include orange, cranberry, tomato, pineapple and grapefruit.
What’s not included?
The Bottomless Bubbles package does not include:
- Non-alcoholic beverage other than soda and juices
- Bottles water
- Hot drinks
- Drinks offered at the gangway
- Room service or mini bar
Carnival Drink Package Prices
How much are Carnival drink packages?
Carnival’s alcohol drink package costs between $51.95 and $59.95 per person, per day, depending on the length of the cruise and when you buy it. There’s also an 18% gratuity to pay as well as a 10% sales tax on any drinks purchased while the ship is docked in a US port.
Cheers Package Price:
|3-day & 4-day cruises||5-day & longer cruises|
|Buy before you cruise||$54.95||$51.95|
|Buy on board the ship||$59.95||$56.95|
The package price is per person per day. You will also have to pay an 18% gratuity on top. When the ship is within US waters (docked in port) you will also have to pay an extra 10% sales tax on each drink.
For a 7-day cruise, if you pre-purchase your drink package, you can expect to pay $429 per person for drinks on your Carnival cruise.
If youse cruise departs from Texas or New York, state laws mean that you cannot use a drink package on the first day of your cruise. In this case, you will charge drinks to your account on the first day, and the Cheers package will start from 6 am the following day. You will not be charged for the first day.
Bottomless Bubbles Package Price:
Carnival Cruise Line’s unlimited soda package costs $8.50 per day for adults and $5.95 per day for kids. There’s an 18% gratuity on top, plus a 10% sales tax on any drinks purchased while the ship is in US waters.
|Kids (under 18)||Adults (18+)|
For a 7-day cruise, if you pre-purchase a soda package, you can expect to pay $ 70.21 per adult or $49.15 per child for unlimited sodas and juices.
Do Carnival drink packages go on sale?
The Carnival drink packages never go on sale. The only way to get discounts on Carnival drink packages is to book it before you cruise. This will give you a $5 per day saving on the Cheers package compared to the price you will pay if you wait until you’re on the ship to buy it.
Can you buy a Carnival drink package with onboard credit?
You can buy a Carnival drink package with onboard credit, but it’s not recommended. You can only use your onboard credit once you get on board the ship, meaning that your drink package will cost an extra $5 per day than if you pre-purchased it.
If you want to use your onboard credit to buy the soda package, that’s okay, as the price is the same whenever you buy it. But if you want the alcohol package, you would be better to pre-purchase it before your cruise and save your onboard credit for something else.
Carnival Cruise Drink Prices
To work out whether a drink package is worth it for you, or whether you would be better off buying your drinks individually, you’ll want to look into the price of each drink, as well as which drinks are always free.
How much are drinks on a Carnival cruise?
The average cost of drinks on a Carnival cruise ship in 2022:
- Cocktails: $8.95 -$12.95
- Beer (16oz): $6.00 to $7.95
- Wine by the glass: $8.00 to $14.00
- Spirit and mixer: $6.95 to $20.00
- Soft Drinks: $2.50
- Specialty Coffee: $2.00 – $4.95
- Energy Drinks: $4.95
- Smoothies: $6.50
- Bottled Water: $1.25 – $5.00
What drinks are free on Carnival cruises?
Carnival Cruise Line is pretty generous with the free drinks on offer in the main dining room, buffet and room service. The free drinks include water, lemonade, fruit juice, coffee, hot tea, iced tea, hot chocolate, milk and chocolate milk.
The following drinks are free of charge in the main dining room and the Lido restaurant:
- Non-bottled water
- Iced tea
- Hot chocolate
- Hot tea
- Non-specialty coffee
The following drinks are available free of charge through room service:
- Juices (orange, tomato, apple or grapefruit)
- Coffee (regular or decaffeinated)
- Hot tea
- Ices tea
- Hot chocolate
- Chocolate Milk
- Milk (regular or skim)
How much is water on a Carnival cruise?
On a Carnival cruise, you can order water to be delivered to your room. The prices are:
- 12-pack of 500ml bottles: $4.50 (+18% delivery fee)
- 1.5-litre bottle: $3.75 (+18% delivery fee)
- 8-pack of 1.5-litre bottles: $20 (+18% delivery fee)
The best value option is definitely the 12-pack of small bottles. You can purchase these before your cruise here: www.carnival.com/funshops
What drinks can you bring with you on a Carnival cruise?
On a Carnival cruise, each adult can bring one 750ml bottle of wine or champagne in their carry on luggage. Each person can also bring 12 cans or cartons of non-alcoholic beverages such as water, soda, energy drinks, juice or milk.
You can drink your own wine in your stateroom. If you wish to drink it in a bar or restaurant, you will be charged a corkage fee of $15 per bottle.
Carnival Drink Menus
Are Carnival drink packages worth it?
Generally speaking, a Carnival drink package is worth it if you drink five or more alcoholic drinks per day. The unlimited soda package is worth it if you drink four or more sodas or juices per day. The exact number of drinks depends on what it is that you drink.
For example, if you drink mixer drinks costing $20 each, you will break even with your third drink. But with $1.50 bottles of water, it would take at least 35 to break even.
If you’re trying to make the decision of drink package vs no drink package, the easiest way to do this is with a drink package calculator. This will show you how much you can expect to spend with and without a package, based on the drinks you would have.
Carnival Drink Package Calculator
Just enter your email address and the free calculator tool will be sent straight to you.
Alternatively, if you mostly drink the same drink, then this chart will help you to work out how many drinks you would need to break even. The prices are based on a pre-purchase of the Cheers package.
As gratuities are added on to individual drinks or onto the package price (but not both), I’ve not included them in this calculation.
Carnival Cruise Drink Package Chart
|Drink||Price||Drinks to Break Even (short cruises)|| Drinks to Break Even |
(5 days or longer)
With the Bottomless Bubbles soda package, it would take four sodas per day for an adult to break even and three sodas per day for a child to break even.
How to book your Carnival cruise for less…
Whichever suite you choose, the price you pay will vary depending on which travel agent you book it with, even though what you get will be exactly the same!
Carnival Drink Package FAQs
When you play in the casino on a Carnival cruise ship you’ll earn casino points. Once you have enough points you will get a ‘Drinks On Us’ card which gives you free drinks while you play.
You get one point for every $2.50 you play through the slot machines and you need 1500 points to get a Drinks On Us card. So, you’ll need to spend around $3750 in the Carnival casino before you start to get free drinks.
If you accumulate 5000 points, you will get a Drinks On Us card to use on your next cruise.
As the drinks are only free while you’re actively gambling, in the time it takes between ordering a drink and being served it, you’ll likely spend more than the cost of the drink.
Carnival Cruise Lines does not offer a coffee package. Specialty coffees are included in the Cheers drink package or can be purchased individually. Regular coffee is available for free in the dining room, buffet or via room service.
On a Carnival cruise a coffee costs between $1.95 for a small brewed coffee to $3.75 for a large cappuccino. Blended frappes cost $4.50, while coffees spiked with alcohol cost $6.50. Coffee is free of charge in the main dining room, buffet and via room service.
On a Carnival cruise, 16 oz beers cost between $6.25 and $6.75 depending on the brand. In some bars, you can also get a pitcher for $18.00 or a tube for $28.95.
You cannot buy Coke on a Carnival cruise, but a Pepsi costs $2.50. Die-hard Coke fans can bring 12 cans of Coke in their carry-on luggage.
On a Carnival cruise, cocktails cost between $8.95 and $12.95. Most classic cocktails such as pina colada or strawberry daiquiri cost $9.95. Zero-proof non-alcoholic cocktails cost $6.50.
On a Carnival cruise, each guest can bring a 12-pack of soda. These can only be in 12-oz sealed cans or cartons, not bottles. The drinks must be brought in your carry-on luggage.
Carnival cruise ships service Pepsi, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Zero sugar as well as other PepsiCo sodas like Sierra Mist, MTN Dew and Bubly. You have not been able to get Coke on a Carnival cruise ship since January 2020.
Carnival cruise ships do not have Red Bull. Instead, they have Rockstar energy drinks including Rockstar Sugar Free and Rockstar Lemonade. These cost $4.95.
500ml bottles of water are included in Carnival’s Cheers drink package. It also includes San Pellegrino sparkling water, Vitamin Water and coconut water. It doesn’t include water that is delivered via room service.
Carnival’s Bottomless Bubbles packages doesn’t include coffee, only soft drinks and sodas. However, coffee is included in the Cheers drink package.
Carnival’s Bottomless Bubbles packages does not include Gatorade. It includes only fountain sodas like Pepsi, Sierra Mist, MTN Dew and Bubly.
Carnival’s Cheers package doesn’t include any drinks on private islands like Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay. However, if you cruise to Princess Cays on a Princess cruise ship, the Princess Cruises drink package will work!
You cannot share a Cheers drink package. To prevent sharing, every adult sharing a stateroom must purchase the same package.
If one person cannot drink alcohol for medical reasons or religious reasons, they should ask the cruise line if an exception can be made to allow only one person to buy the Cheers package. This is not guaranteed.
If you have a Cheers drink package and buy a round of drinks for your friends, their drinks will be charged to your onboard account. If you wish to buy drinks for others, you must bring their cruise card to the bar so that the drinks can be paid for with their package.
Carnival’s drink packages can only be purchased for the whole cruise. You cannot buy them for only a portion of your cruise. The exception to this is cruises departing from New York or Texas, when you are not allowed to use a drink package on departure day.
If you purchase the Cheers package before your cruise and then change your mind, you can get a refund up to 9.00 pm ET on the evening before departure. After that time it is not refundable.
Don’t Overpay For Your Carnival Cruise!
Here’s how I get the lowest price when I book a cruise…
Please don’t book with any old company just because they have a cheap deal. I recommend that you find the best price and then take it to a trusted travel agent who will beat it, as well as giving you the best service.