Carnival Cruise Drink Packages

   November 25, 2015 ,   Food & Drinks

Review all Carnival Cruise Lines drink packages. Company's beverage packages include unlimited soda card (Bottomless Bubbles program), 3 wine packages (Cruise The Vineyards program), a total of USD 1500 per stateroom (pre-purchased Cruise Cash credit), all-inclusive beverage package with unlimited alcohol (Cheers program) and beer package.

Since January 2020, via a partnership with PepsiCo Carnival's North American fleet serves various Pepsi-branded beverages, including sparkling water, energy drinks, iced teas, sodas, juices (also no-sugar and low-calorie variations), Starbucks coffee. The list of Carnival's PepsiCo beverages includes Bubly (water), Gatorade (sports drink), Naked Juice, MTN Dew (carbonated), Pepsi, Pepsi Zero, Pure Leaf (iced teas), Sierra Mist (lemon-lime flavored), Sierra Mist Zero.

Carnival cruise drink packages

Read here all about Carnival Cruise Lines discounted alcohol, wine and soft drinks pricing, and beverage packages (cost and inclusions).

CHEERS - Carnival's all-inclusive beverage package with unlimited alcohol

CHEERS is the company's all-inclusive alcohol package by the Cheers program (separate article). This drink card includes liquor (alcoholic beverages), alcoholic and non-alcoholic frozen drinks (priced under $10 each) and soft drinks (unlimited soda).

Since January 2018, the new price of the Cheers beverage program is USD 51.95 per person per day plus tips. If purchased on the ship, the price is USD 56.95 (plus 15% gratuity). Since December 2018, Cheers package costs USD 61,30 (with included 18% gratuity / increased on Nov 27).

Since August 8, 2014, the prices of "Carnival Cheers” are based on itinerary length. The "alcohol included package" is available for purchasing fleetwide. Although referred to as "all-you-can-drink" card, Cheers doesn't include coffee drinks, plus its alcoholic beverages are limited as to a number - 15 per day (24-hour period). The new package can be purchased only on the ship, only on embarkation day, by all adults in the stateroom and for the voyage's whole length.

Carnival cruise drink packages

Wine package "Cruise The Vineyards"

Carnival wine packages can be ordered prior to departure (through Fun Shops / Carnival Bon Voyage department) or can be purchased on board (through the Fun Shops or through waiters in MDRs). Either way, you'll be charged 18% gratuity and you will not have to select the actual wines until you're ready to drink one of them.

For related information see our Carnival wine packages/policy/list/prices - an extensive review and info on the "Carnival Cruise Wine" subject, including how much is wine by the glass and bottle. Here we'll just list the package cost - the selections are at the above link. All the below prices are inclusive of 18% gratuities.

  • 3 Wine Package prices - Basic ($79), Deluxe ($100) and Premium ($117, available only on 5 days or shorter sailings).
  • 5 Wine Package prices - Basic ($135), Deluxe ($158) and Premium ($199, available only on 5 days or longer sailings).

Unlimited soda package "Bottomless Bubbles"

Carnival's "Bottomless Bubbles" program offers an unlimited soda card which must be purchased for the entire voyage (not available by the day). This drink package is non-transferable and may not be shared (even between family members), it can't be used through the 24 hr room-service or the mini-bar in your cabin. It's a sticker placed on your "Sail&Sign" card, and can also be used on the Carnival Line's private island Half Moon Cay.

Carnival's unlimited soda package (soft drinks and juices), former Fountain Fun Card

  • It can be purchased at the onboard Casino bar and at the pool bar, and only on the embarkation day or the next day. When the drink package is purchased prior to sailing or at the port, the price is subject to sales tax. Avoiding this tax is possible by purchasing your sticker on the 1st night or the next morning (in international waters - waiting until the casino opens would be a good judge!)
  • Soft drinks by this program are served in 16oz glasses, juices - in 10oz glasses.
  • The list with all Coca Cola Company products available on Carnival ships includes Coke (plus Diet and Zero), Sprite (and Diet) and Fanta Orange. When sailing from Galveston and New Orleans to the list are added Dr. Pepper Company products (Dr. Pepper, and Diet), while when sailing from other ports "Pibb Xtra" (by Coca Cola) is offered instead of Dr. Pepper. Other products under the Carnival Lines unlimited drinks program are club soda and tonic water.
  • Take advantage of the following beverages, all available in Lido Deck Restaurant, complimentary: coffee; hot chocolate; hot tea; unsweetened iced tea; lemonade.
  • A tip for parents: for your kids, you can set a daily (or a total) limit on their S&S (Sail&Sign) card, or make it so they can't charge anything on board.
  • 2 more tips for adults: No 1 (only if you can live without the soda card the 1st day) to save a bit more, wait until the 2nd day to buy it (you don't get a full day on embarkation to use it anyway), and No 2 - if you do want the soda package the 1st day, wait until the ship leaves the port to save the Gov taxes on the purchase.
  • Keep in mind - there is no bottled water included in the fountain card package.
  • Notes: the Carnival soft drink tumbler (a souvenir thermal cup, 16oz) is optional - it may be purchased as an extra for $4,95 with this program (its cost without the program is $9,95). Additional sales tax will be added when the soda card is purchased prior to sailing or at the port, so the tip is - buy it when the ship is in international waters.

Bottomless Bubbles ("soda card") cost

According to the guest's age and the trip duration (prices inclusive of gratuities (15%). Remember, it's a package deal per person at fixed/one-time purchase price).

Cruise Length (in days)17- years of age18+ years of age
(per day prices)$5,95$8,50

Since May 2017, adults paid US$7.50 per person per day for unlimited soda package, plus 18% gratuity. The increase was US$1. The price for kids (children 17 and younger) remained at US$4.95 pp per day, plus 18% gratuity. Packages can't be shared and must be purchased for the duration of the voyage.

Starting in mid-January 2019, the Bottomless Bubbles package is US$5.95 per person, per day for children and US$8.50 per day for adults, plus gratuities.

NOTE: Currently, Carnival Cruise Line passengers pay 18% gratuity on alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks, even those who buy CHEERS. Carnival increased drink gratuity by 3% (from 15% to 18%) on November 27, 2018. Company’s website gratuity section states that for beverage purchases, automatic 18% gratuity is added to the bill. For individual purchases, drink gratuity is added to the price charged to the customer's Sail & Sign account. When buying beverage packages, the 18% gratuity is automatically factored into the overall price. Drink gratuity also applies to the soda package Bottomless Bubbles.

Carnival Cruise Cash (credit account)

"Cruise Cash" is a new "drink coupons" (paperless) credit discount program with drinking money "digitized" into the "Cruise Cash" account. "Cruise Cash" credits are for the photo- and bar- services with discount pricing. These are the company's new alcohol and soda coupons (plus photo credits) pre-purchased through Bon Voyage (Fun Shops). The alternative for pre-purchasing drink coupons is buying the Cheers (all-you can-drink) alcohol package (available on the ship).

"Cruise Cash" account = old Drink Coupons

By the company's old system of drink coupons ("Carnival Bar Credit Coupons") they were on paper and available for purchase in groups of 4, saving the 18% drink gratuity (applied if paying drinks with "Sail & Sign" card). The actual price reduction occurred when the coupon was entered into the shipboard computer.

The new "Cruise Cash" accounts replaced the coupon-based program. It allows purchasing (on the ship) bar credits in increments from $25 up to $100 (photo credits are in $10 increments). All credits are applied to the guest's S&S (Sail&Sign) account. By the new program are offered 3 types of credits:

  1. general credit (can be used to offset any type of charge on S&S accounts)
  2. Cruise Cash Bar (credit toward bar purchases only)
  3. Cruise Cash Photo (credit toward onboard photo purchases)

"Cruise Cash" program review

"Cruise Cash" program was developed as a convenient (more user-friendly) system. Cons of the old coupon system were:

  1. Pre-set value of $5,75 per coupon - guests lost money when buy items less than that amount or they owed money for items exceeding coupon's value.
  2. Old drink coupons were distributed the first night in Main Dining Rooms. If you don't go to MDR that evening you wouldn't receive your coupons until the next day.
  3. If you lose your coupons, there's no way to replace them.
  4. No coupons anymore, no loss in value on cheaper drinks, no risk of losing your credit (formerly on paper).
  5. The credit is immediately available for use - you don't wait for the coupons to be delivered.
  6. These credits are inclusive of taxes and gratuities. Cruise Cash discount purchases are limited to USD 500 per Fun Shop category and per stateroom. It means that each stateroom can purchase one of the 3 types Cruise Cash (Bar, Photo, Cruise Cash) for a total of USD 1500 (per cabin).
  7. The new bar credit is not refundable and non-transferrable. It can be purchased only by adults (21 years of age and older) and through Fun Shops (ordering prior departure), meaning the account is valid for a single voyage - any unused credits will be forfeited. For comparison - Early Saver onboard credit is refundable, Future Cruise Credit is not.
  8. Carnival doesn't send email confirmations after buying credits and gifts from Bon Voyage. These purchases also won't show up on your account when you log-in or on any of your cruise documents. This is simply because most people buy gifts for other people as a surprise. You can call Fun Shops and request e-mail confirmation for the purchase or just screen print the confirmation and bring it with you. When you get to your stateroom, there'll be a card left from Fun Shops confirming your purchase. The cash credit will be on your S&S card as "ship money" ready to be spent.

Review of Carnival's old "Bar Credit Coupons"

  • "Cruise Cash" alternative is to purchase "Carnival Gift Cards" - use what you need and what's left - use on a future cruise.
  • The new cash account idea provides a way of gift-giving and also the option to pre-fund your vacation. It's not refundable (use-it-or-lose-it deal), but can be used for any onboard purchase. To get the most of it (use all non-refundable money), visit ship's duty-free shop, Casino, Spa complex.
  • Drinks valued over Carnival drink coupons face value ($5,75 for liquor and $1,95 for non-alcoholic beverages) had the difference in value charged to S&S accounts. On an alcohol for $5,75, the actual saving was $0,87, on soda-can for $1,95 - it was $0,30.
  • Some of the best savings were for Guinness beer - priced at $5,95 ($0,20 over the drink coupon value) and guests were not charged this difference in most cases. You're paying $5,75 for it instead of $6,85 ($5,95 + 15% tips), thus generating savings of $1,10 per beer by the drink coupon.

Some additional information about Carnival's old drink coupons and why they were better than the new "Cruise Cash" credit system:

  • delivered to you by the Maitre 'D in the MDR on the 1st night you dine there
  • non-refundable
  • don't expire - you can use them on future Carnival cruises
  • don't stop the service staff (waiters/bartenders) from getting tips
  • can't be used for room-service or cabin mini-bar drinks

Bar Coupons vs Bar Credits (basic math exercise):

  • [old program] you order a drink that costs $7,75 and you pay tips on $2, all total you pay ($5,75 coupon) + ($2 drink cost) + ($,030 gratuity 15%) = (total $8,05)
  • [new program] you order the $7,75 drink, you pay 18% on the whole $7,75 ($1,4 gratuity) = (total $9,15) charged to your S&S Bar credit account = a $1,1 overall loss per drink.

Carnival drink coupons are specifically designed for gift giving. Despite the fact that most people buy them to prepay as much as possible to reduce the final bill of their voyage, drink coupons don't really save you so much money, except for the cents in gratuities. This article is integrated with our surveys on Carnival drink prices (alcohol policy), Carnival bar menu prices, Carnival food menus, and Carnival tips and tricks.