When Does The Drink Package Start on Carnival Cruise

Carnival cruises departing from certain ports, especially Texas and New York, have different activation procedures for the drink packages. So, many people are unaware of this and ask when Carnival Cruise’s drink package begins.

On Carnival cruises departing from Texas and New York, the drink package starts on the second day at 6:00 am.  

Drinks on the first day are charged separately, and the package is non-refundable after 10:00 pm ET the evening before departure.

Have you got the answer? Keep reading to learn more interesting and valuable facts about Carnival Cruise’s drink package. Let’s jump into it.

Why do Carnival Cruise Drink Packages Commence on the Second Day?

Carnival Cruise drink packages commence on the second day to enhance beverage management, ensuring a smoother and more consistent passenger experience.

Below are some other reasons for activating the drink package on the second day of the cruise:

1. State Regulations

Texas and New York have specific laws that prohibit the sale of drink packages on the first day of a cruise. 

For this reason, Carnival complies with these laws by delaying the activation of the package to the second day.

2. Verification Of Legal Drinking Age

Most importantly, Cruise lines need to ensure that passengers who purchase drink packages are of legal drinking age. 

So, by delaying the package a day into the cruise, they can verify passengers’ ages before allowing them to access unlimited alcoholic beverages.

3. Embarkation Day Logistics

Last but not least, embarkation day logistics are also the major cause of delays in cruise drink packages. The first day of a cruise, called embarkation day, can be a busy time. 

On the embarkation day, passengers board the ship and get settled in their cabins. So, by delaying the start of drink packages, cruise lines can reduce the congestion at bars on the first day.

Check Out: The NCL Drinks Menu

Understanding Carnival Drink Packages

Understanding Carnival Drink Packages

Carnival Cruise Line offers a wide range of drink packages to enhance your onboard experience. 

These packages are priced per person per day and must be purchased for the entire duration of the cruise. 

One of the most important things that most people don’t know is the service charge on the drink package. Remember, the prices you see initially don’t include an additional 18% service charge, which will be added when you purchase the package.

Can I Purchase the Carnival Cruise Drink Package Online?

Carnival Cruise drink packages can be purchased online easily through their portal. Just visit their portal or contact the Fun Shops department at 800-522-7648, Monday – Sunday, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm ET.

Online purchasing is my favourite as it allows you to secure your drink package in advance and sometimes is a discounted rate compared to buying it onboard.

I strongly recommend you purchase the cruise drink package online as the onboard availability may be limited. So, booking in advance guarantees you access to the package of your choice.

Refund and Transfer Policies for Carnival Drink Packages

When choosing the Carnival Drink packages, make sure to choose them wisely, as these are typically non-refundable and non-transferable once you’re onboard the ship.

It means that you cannot refund or transfer an unused portion of a drink package once you’ve purchased it.

So, I strongly recommend you choose your package carefully based on your preferences and consumption habits, as Carnival’s drink package policies are strict in this regard.

Are There Any Discounts Available for the Carnival Cruise Drink Package?

Carnival Cruise drink packages rarely go on sale. They only offer discounts on drink packages when you book them before your cruise.

Pre-booking the package will give you a $5 per day saving compared to the price you will pay if you wait until you’re onboard.

According to the Carnival portal, you can save 10% by purchasing the Cheers package before you sail. The cut-off for pre-purchase is 11:59 pm the day before embarkation and 9:00 pm EST through the call centre.

Pros And Cons Of the Carnival Drink Package

The Carnival Cruise drink package offers value for passengers who plan to enjoy a variety of beverages during their cruise.

Below are the pros and cons of the carnival Drink package:


  • Convenience
  • Cost Savings
  • Budgeting
  • Variety
  • Unlimited Refills


  • Age restrictions
  • Price
  • Limited selection
  • Non-refundable and non-transferable

What Are the Different Types of Carnival Cruise Drink Packages?

Here’s what each of Carnival’s drink packages includes…

The Cheers Package (Drinks Price Up to $20)

  • Cocktails
  • Spirits
  • Beer by the glass
  • Wine by the glass
  • Sodas
  • Zero-proof frozen cocktails
  • Energy drinks
  • Milkshakes
  • Smoothies
  • Juices
  • Hot teas
  • Much more

Bottomless Bubbles

  • Fountain Soda By the Glass (16 oz)
  • Juice by the glass (10 oz)

Carnival Cruise Drink Prices

Here’s the average cost of drinks on a Carnival Cruise ship in 2023:

Beverage CategoryPrice Range
Cocktails$10.50 – $12.50
Beer (16oz)$7.00 – $8.50
Wine by the glass$9.50 – $14.00
Spirit and mixer$7.50 – $15.00
Energy Drinks$4.95
Bottled Water$1.50 – $3.95
Soft Drinks$2.75
Specialty Coffee$2.50 – $4.95


What Drinks Are Free On Carnival Cruise?

The free drinks include Water, fruit juice, lemonade, hot tea, coffee, iced tea, chocolate milk and hot chocolate and milk.

Are Carnival Drink Packages Worth It?

A Carnival drink package is typically worth it if you consume five or more alcoholic drinks daily.

Can I Share My Carnival Cruise Drink Package With Others?

Carnival Cruise drink package policies are very strict, and they don’t allow you to share your package with others.

Final Verdict

In this post, I’ve mentioned everything related to drinks packaged on the Carnival Cruise and when it starts.

Hopefully, now you should know when the drink package starts on the Carnival cruise and other related facts.

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