Carnival Cruise Drink Packages 2024: The Ultimate Guide (Are They Worth It?)

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When you book your Carnival cruise, you must decide whether to buy the drink package or pay for your drinks individually. In this thorough guide, I’ll give you the facts you need to make that decision.

Carnival Cruise Drink Packages

If you’re short on time, just use my Carnival drink package calculator. Choose which drink you’d like and it will work out how much you’ll spend with and without the package.

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 Carnival’s drink packages…

Cheers Package – From $59.95 per day

Includes:

  • Cocktails
  • Spirits
  • Beer by the glass
  • Wine by the glass
  • Sodas
  • Zero-proof frozen cocktails
  • Energy drinks
  • Milkshakes
  • Smoothies
  • Juices
  • 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.

Carnival’s Cheers drink package limits 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.

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
Cheers Package Terms and Conditions
Cheers Package Terms and Conditions

Bottomless Bubbles – From $9.50 per day ($6.95 for kids)

Includes:

  • 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.

The Bottomless Bubbles package does not include:

  • Non-alcoholic beverages other than soda and juices
  • Drinks in souvenir glasses
  • Bottled water
  • Hot drinks
  • Drinks offered at the gangway
  • Room service or mini bar
Bottomless Bubbles Package Terms and Conditions
Bottomless Bubbles Package Terms and Conditions

More info on package prices

Cheers Package

Buy on websiteBuy on ship
6 days or more$59.95$64.95
5 days or less$69.95$74.95

Carnival’s alcohol drink package costs $59.95 per person, per day, if you buy it before your cruise or $64.95 per person per day if you buy it on board the ship.

For cruises of 5 days or less departing after December 1st 2023, the prices are $69.95 per person per day for advance purchases or $74.95 per person per day if you buy in on the ship.

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 $495 per person for drinks on your Carnival cruise including gratuities.

If your 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.

Carnival drink package prices

Bottomless Bubbles Package

ChildrenAdults
$6.95$9.50

Carnival Cruise Line’s unlimited soda package costs $9.50 per day for adults and $6.95 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.

For a 7-day cruise, if you pre-purchase a soda package, you can expect to pay $ 78.47 per adult or $57.41 per child for unlimited sodas and juices, including gratuity.

They never go on sale – so don’t delay hoping for a discount

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.

Carnival's Alchemy bar

Technically you can use onboard credit, but…

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.

Suggested read: 12 Ways to Use Your Carnival Onboard Credit Like a Pro

Drinks prices – is it better to buy individually?

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.

The drinks on Carnival cruises are reasonably priced and tend to be a little cheaper than other cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises.

The average cost of drinks on a Carnival cruise ship in 2024:

  • Cocktails: $10.50 -$12.50
  • Beer (16oz): $7.00 to $8.50
  • Wine by the glass: $9.50 to $14.00
  • Spirit and mixer: $7.50 to $15.00
  • Soft Drinks: $2.75 
  • Specialty Coffee: $2.50 – $4.95
  • Energy Drinks: $4.95
  • Smoothies: $6.50
  • Bottled Water: $1.50 – $3.95

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

See the latest Carnival cruise offers…

A good selection of free drinks is available

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.

These drinks are free of charge in the main dining room and the Lido restaurant:

  • Non-bottled water
  • Lemonade
  • Iced tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Hot tea
  • Regular and decaf coffee
  • Milk (regular or skim)
Free lemonade and iced tea

These drinks are available free of charge through room service:

  • Juices (orange, tomato, apple or grapefruit)
  • Coffee (regular or decaffeinated)
  • Hot tea
  • Iced tea
  • Hot chocolate
  • Chocolate Milk
  • Milk (regular or skim)
Coffee

Carnival Cruise Lines does not offer a coffee package. Speciality 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.

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 5,000 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.

Water prices

On a Carnival cruise, you can order water to be delivered to your room. The prices are:

  • 12-pack of 500ml bottles: $14.95 (+18% delivery fee)
  • 1.5-litre bottle: $4.50 (+18% delivery fee)
  • 8-pack of 1.5-litre bottles: $24.95(+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

Don’t forget to bring your own

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

If you’d like to take a closer look at the Carnival drink menus from each of the bars and restaurants, you can see those here: Carnival Cruise Drink Menus 2024.

Carnival drinks menu

So, drinks 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 40 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 – how to break even

DrinkPriceDrinks to Break Even
Cocktails$10.506
Beers$7.508
Wines$12.005
Sodas$2.7522
Coffees$3.5018
Energy Drinks$5.0012
Smoothies$6.509
Water$1.5040

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.

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

See the latest Carnival cruise offers…

Good to know

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!

And 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.

Before you cruise, be sure to check out my 19 Best Carnival Drink Package Tips for some handy hints that will help you make the most of your drink package and avoid any hidden charges.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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17 thoughts on “Carnival Cruise Drink Packages 2024: The Ultimate Guide (Are They Worth It?)”

  1. Thanks for this very useful article.

  2. July 2023: Cheers! can be purchased at the reduced price using On-Board Credit prior to sailing! The funds are preloaded on your Carnival account when managing your booking.

  3. One of the major turn offs against Carnival is the lack of a mid-tier drink package.

    Since I cruise with 2 minors, it stinks that they are limited to sodas only… my daughter loves specialty coffee, and both love non-alcohol cocktails (basically frozen slushies…).

    Hell, I can’t even get them the Cheers program, knowing they wouldn’t be allowed the alcoholic drinks.

    Looks like Royal Caribbean wins here too.

  4. Idk if you can call it generous when your only free drinks are “water, lemonade, fruit juice, coffee, hot tea, iced tea, hot chocolate, milk and chocolate milk.” It’d be generous if it included alcoholic beverages or even brand sodas.

  5. If you buy a bottle of champagne with your 25% discount with your cheers package how does that count toward your 15 drink limit per day? Does it count as 1 drink or maybe 4 drinks? Or does it even count?

    • Hi Tena. That wouldn’t count. Only the drinks that you don’t pay for count towards the limit. Jenni

      • I’m taking a cruise on the 26th of June and I don’t wanna get the drink package. Can I still by single drinks?

        • Yes, you can.

  6. I have a USD$500 Onboard credit for my next cruise, can I use it to buy the Cheers Package?

    • Yes, you can, but only once you’re on the ship. As it’s cheaper to buy your package before you cruise, this may not be the best use of your credit. Here’s what else you might like to spend it on: https://www.cruisemummy.co.uk/carnival-onboard-credit/

      • This is so untrue. We always use onboard credit for Cheers preorder before the cruise.

    • That’s wrong. You can use your OBC prior to sailing. We did.

  7. Question? If you have free drinks in the casino, should you buy the drink pack?

    • That depends on how much you like to drink at other times. You can use my drink package calculator to work that out. Enjoy your cruise.

  8. We were able to use On Board Credit two times in 2022 to help pay for the drink package before boarding. When purchasing it will allow you to use OBC.

  9. We want to join our friends that are going on a cruise in August to Aruba. It sails out if Miami. It is on the Horizon and I think it sails on the 8th. My husband and I have sailed several times with carnival. I need the absolute best deal on a balcony room on the back of the ship if possible.

  10. So Mo Promo Codes For March 2022???
    Also would love that Drink CalcuLater!!!

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