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With so much to remember about what’s included and what’s not included, there can be a lot of misinformation out there about the Carnival drink package, CHEERS! Hopefully this list helps to clear up some misconceptions.
Carnival Drink Package Misconceptions
1. You have to drink 15 drinks per day to get your value.
No way! Fifteen drinks is your limit, not your break-even. As far as alcoholic drinks go, it only takes about 5 per day to “break even” on the cost of the Carnival drink package. But Carnival’s CHEERS package also includes non-alcoholic drinks (like bottled water, specialty coffees, Powerades, milkshakes, energy drinks, etc.), meaning you could get more than your money’s worth without hitting the booze too hard.
2. It’s unlimited.
While you may drink unlimited non-alcoholic drinks on the CHEERS package, your consumption of alcoholic drinks is capped at 15 per day. For many people, there’s no way they’ll ever drink 15 drinks in one day. But there’s also many people who can drink 15 in one day and still go for more. For those cruisers, this cap is rather frustrating, as Carnival will not even allow you to purchase extra drinks in addition to what you paid for the CHEERS package. You are cut off at 15 drinks, no matter what. And for those wondering, the 24-hour period resets at 6:00 am every day.
3. Non-alcoholic drinks count against your limit.
This is simply untrue. The fact is that you may order as many non-alcoholic drinks as you like with the Carnival drink package. Plus, if you want to order a daiquiri and a bottle of water at the same time, that’s allowed – unlike not being allowed to order two alcoholic drinks at once.
4. Everything is included.
While the overwhelming majority of the ship’s alcohol is included in the CHEERS package, there are a few items that are not included. For example, while glasses of wine are covered, bottles of wine come at an extra expense, though with a 25% discount. Other drinks not covered include those in souvenir glasses, bottles of liquor, drinks offered at the gangway, drinks offered through room service, mini-bars and other in-stateroom beverage programs, sharing cocktails, floaters, pitchers, tubes, buckets, and beverages offered through enomatic wine machines and self-serve beer stations.
5. It’s the same price onboard.
If you plan ahead and pre-purchase the CHEERS package online, the price is $49.95 per person per day plus 15% gratuity. Once onboard, the price jumps to $54.95.
6. You can share.
Unfortunately, you cannot order drinks on your drink package and then turn around to hand them to your buddy. That’s not to say it hasn’t been done by some sneaky cruisers. But getting caught doing so could land you in big trouble, including losing your onboard drinking privileges altogether.
Read More: Pros and Cons of Carnival’s CHEERS Package
7. You can buy it on a per-day basis.
It’s understandable: you are unsure about whether to purchase the CHEERS package because you see the value in it but may have a port-intensive itinerary and are therefore concerned that you won’t get the value in it on those days. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase the CHEERS package on a per-day basis (for example, only for sea days) rather than for the entire cruise. You must pay for the package for the entire length of the cruise. With that being said, if you have a port-intensive itinerary and don’t think you will get your money’s worth on those days, it may be worth looking into skipping the package and buying each of your drinks individually.
8. You can purchase the Carnival drink package individually.
Sorry folks, but just like other cruise lines, every person 21 and older in the same stateroom must purchase the CHEERS package. So if you and your roommate are at odds over whether or not to get it, one of you will have to concede this battle.
9. It works on the private islands.
Several cruise lines have extended the benefits of their drink packages to their private islands so when cruisers get off the ship their drink package still applies. However, Carnival and its private islands Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays are not included on that list. While you can certainly order drinks on these islands, your CHEERS package will not apply.
Photo: Flickr Creative Commons/Madonovan
Do you order the Carnival drink package when you cruise?