According to research, the average cocktail aboard a cruise ship is around $10 dollars, not including the 15-20% gratuity added to every bill. Thankfully, the Carnival drink package is such a great deal that it may make you want to consider cruising with them just for that reason.
For most people, being on vacation means fancy cocktails, sunshine, and good food, especially on a cruise. However, with the cost of most alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) drinks, this can quickly add up if you are not paying attention to your tab.
The last thing you want to do is worry about your tab. You want to soak up the margaritas, as you enjoy your luxurious vacation.
So how do you enjoy drinks on a cruise ship without these worries? With the “CHEERS!” Program of course!
We did all the research for you and discovered why the Carnival drinks package is the best thing since sliced bread.
Let’s get started!
What Exactly Is the CHEERS! Package?
The Carnival drinks package, AKA “CHEERS!” Is basically like an all-you-can-drink buffet aboard the ship. There is only one daily flat rate that will allow you to soak up the booze and enjoy yourself without fretting a giant tab at the end of your cruise, which can take away from the enjoyment of your experience.
This package is the same every day, regardless of how much and what you drink. Carnival’s daily limit for alcoholic drinks is fifteen drinks per day, whether you are on the CHEERS! program or not. This limit resets at 6 AM every day, and this rule does not apply to non-alcoholic drinks.
By the way, did you know that science has proven that alcohol makes you have more fun? It also makes you more creative, confident, and happier.
How Much Is the CHEERS! Package?
Before you start to question the drinks package, thinking that you may not have that many beverages during your cruise, we created a comparison with the average costs of drinks, with the package and without.
Without the Carnival Drinks Package
It’s time for some math; are you ready? If the average Carnival drink prices are around $12.95 for a cocktail, and let’s say you only drink 5 per day, that comes to $64.95, and with gratuity, it comes to $76.64!
Now let’s say that you want to add two coffees ($2.95 each), one bottle of water ($5), and a Powerade ($4). You are now looking at a total of $94.22 (with gratuity) for only one day!
In just a short seven-day cruise, you are looking at a whopping $659.54, if you stick to only those drinks of course.
With the CHEERS! Carnival Drinks Package
If purchased ahead of time, the Carnival drinks package is only $51.95 per day, and with gratuity, it comes to $59.74 per person. Adding to this, you have a drink limit of 15 alcoholic drinks per day, instead of just five which we previously calculated.
In a seven-day cruise, the Carnival drinks packages work out to be only $429.11, and this includes basically all you can drink!
Even if you do not drink very much alcohol, this is a clear example of why the carnival alcohol package CHEERS! Is the way to go.
Imagine yourself sitting poolside, soaking up the hot sun when those mojitos and margaritas keep coming around. You want to enjoy these special moments, not stress about the cost of drinking when you are on vacation.
Purchasing the Day of the Cruise
If you wait until the day of the cruise to purchase, you will be paying a bit extra. Buyer beware- this will add up! The daily cost grows to $56.95, plus the 18% gratuity, bringing it to a total of $65.49.
While this does not seem like a big difference at first, it does when you start to add up the days. For a seven-day cruise, this works out to be $470.41.
You are saving $41.30 by purchasing ahead of time (the cost of about two to three drinks!).
Photo By: Russell Otway
What’s Included in the CHEERS! Carnival Drink Package?
The awesome part about the CHEERS! Program in comparison to the other cruise ship drink packages is what they have included. Most other cruise line packages are very limited to what you can drink, which takes away from the fun and enjoyment of it all.
The CHEERS! Program includes:
- All cocktails
- All beers (excluding the ones sold in souvenir glasses)
- All spirits, including cognacs, whiskey, tequila, etc.
- All cocktails ($20 or lower menu price)
- All champagne by the glass
- All wine by the glass
- Specialty coffees (Baileys and coffee for breakfast anyone?)
- 25% off all cocktails above $20 menu price
- 25% off all wine above $20 menu price
- 25% off all spirits above $20 menu price
- 25% off all bottles of wine and champagne
- 25% off all beverage workshops, seminars, or tastings
- All soft drinks
- 500 ml Bottles of water
- Large bottles of water in the main dining rooms
- Virgin cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages sold in bars
- Rockstar energy drinks, Vitamin Water, Honest Tea, Coconut water.
- Zero-proof Frozen Beverages
As you can see, everything under the sun (literally) that you would want to drink is in that price of $59.74 per day! Time to lay back, relax, soak up the sun as well as those fancy umbrella drinks.
This is especially perfect for those couples who are celebrating their honeymoon, tropical-cruise ship style!
What Does the CHEERS! Program Not Include?
There are a few exceptions to what you can not include in the CHEERS! Program, including:
- Bottles of spirits
- Beverages sold in souvenir glasses
- Freshly squeezed orange juice in the Havana bar
- Drinks offered in the Gangway
- beverages ordered through room service, Stateroom packages, and min-bars
- Any beverage from the enomatic wine machines
- Any sharing of buckets, cocktails, pitchers, floaters, and tubes.
- No cigars, cigarettes, or merchandise.
- No food
The drinks which are not included are not very commonly consumed beverages, which again, makes this package very irresistible.
What Are the Restrictions in the Cheers! Drink Program?
Of course, with any drinks package comes certain rules and restrictions that you need to follow. Most of these are common sense, however, it is by law that they need to be written out.
- Since Carnival is an American cruise line, no matter where the cruise destination is, you must be 21 years or older to purchase the package
- CHEERS! is non-transferable, meaning you cannot purchase it and hand it off to anyone else. You will be given a sticker on your sail and sign card, and cannot remove it
- No sharing of any drinks, unless both parties have the CHEERS! Package
- Everyone sharing an estate room must have the CHEERS! Package if one person is purchasing it
- You must purchase the package for the entire cruise, not selected dates
- CHEERS! is a non-refundable package. You have up until 10 PM the evening before the Cruise begins to cancel
- You can only order one drink at a time, you must wait five minutes in between ordering for your next drink
- Doubles are considered two drinks and fall under the above rule.
- No sharing of the non-alcoholic drinks
- This only applies to alcohol served onboard, not any location that is not aboard the cruise ship
- You must purchase the package at the beginning of the trip, once you have left port, you are stuck purchasing drinks the regular (and expensive) way
- On ships departing from the states of Texas and New York, the CHEERS! program can not begin until 6 AM on the second day of the cruise. Before then, all drinks will be sold in a normal manner due to state laws
- Within US waters, taxes according to that state are applicable
- All drinks will be served open, including beer and wine
- Not applicable to two-day cruises
- Each person has to order for themselves. If one guest orders a round of drinks, the first drink will be on their CHEERS! package and the rest will go to their account to pay at the end of the trip.
- No more than 15 alcoholic drinks in between 6 AM- 6 AM (24 hour period). If that guest reaches 15 in that period, they will only serve non-alcoholic drinks that are applicable to the CHEERS! program
These rules are straight across the board when compared to other cruise ship lines and their drink packages. In fact, the Carnival drinks package is a bit more lenient when compared.
What Are the Average Drink Prices Without the CHEERS! Program?
Without being on the Carnival drinks program, your drinks can add up if you are not keeping track.
- The cost of a beer is $5.00 – $7.95
- Mixed drinks range from $6.25 – $17.00
- Glasses of wine are $5.95 – $12.50
- Cocktails range from $8.95 – $12.95
- Sodas are $2.50
- Powerade, Honest Tea, Iced tea, and Ginger beer range from $1.95 – $4.00
- San Pellegrino, Perrier, Vitamin water, Coconut water, and bottled water range from $1.25 – $5.00
- Specialty Coffees range from $6.25 – $12.50
Bring out your calculator and do some math yourself, even if you limit your alcohol consumption, it is still a better deal to go with the CHEERS! Package.
Photo: Copyright Cruise Hive
What If You Do Not Drink Alcohol?
If you do not consume alcohol, don’t worry, there is still a great package for you. “The Bottomless Bubbles program” is much more affordable if you are only consuming soda during your cruise.
The prices of the Bottomless Bubbles program depend on whether you are an adult or a child. For adults, the program is $8.50 per day, and for children, it is $5.95 per day.
This package includes a 16-oz glass of soda or a 10-oz glass of juice, and just like the alcohol package, you have to wait five minutes before ordering another. This package does not include bottled water or coffee. Just juice and soda only.
How You Can Purchase the Program
There are multiple ways to order the CHEERS! Package, we will start with the easiest and cheapest route first.
Purchase it Online
It is ridiculously easy to order the CHEERS! Carnival drinks package online, just go to the Carnival Fun Shops website and click on the “CHEERS!” Drink package, add it to your cart, then easily fill out your credit card information.
This is completely safe, and the most common way that customers order this package.
Order it By Phone
If you choose not to purchase the drinks package online, you can contact the Fun Shops via phone at 1-800-522-7648, then request to add it to your account.
They are open seven days a week, 8 AM till 10 PM Eastern time.
Purchase On Board *Most Expensive*
If you neglected to purchase ahead of time, or could not make up your mind until the day of the cruise, you are still in luck! However, when purchasing the day of the cruise, you have to pay a bit more. ($5.75 per day more, or $40.25 per week)
Once you get on board, there will be numerous tables set up with information about signing up for the CHEERS! program.
You can also head to the bars and purchase it right there.
Things to Keep in Mind
Whatever you do, do NOT share your drinks with someone who is not on the CHEERS! program. If they catch you, they will cancel your package and you will have to begin ordering drinks individually without the deal.
The Carnival drinks program is a very smooth system. Every bartender will know that you are on it because of your Carnival cruise drink card called the “Sail and Sign” card.
Learn More About the Benefits of Sailing with Carnival Cruise Lines
Whether you are a full family, couple, solo, group of friends, or celebrating your anniversary, there are many benefits to sailing with Carnival Cruise Lines. Cruises are all about letting loose and enjoying the experience, so the Carnival drinks packages will add to the fun.
If you want to learn more about the awesome benefits of sailing with Carnival Cruise lines, check out our blog section on Carnival cruise line tips.