If you’re taking a cruise aboard a Carnival ship, then chances are that you’ve seen mention of the CHEERS! beverage package. And you’re likely wondering if it’s worth the money.
Put simply, this package is an “all-you-can-drink” plan that covers alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages purchased aboard the ship. So instead of having to pay each time you get a beer or a cocktail from the bar, you simply pay one flat rate, and your drinks are included.
While the price may seem high to some (nearly $65 per day in some cases), it easy to see that it could also offer a lot of value to those who plan to drink regularly on their cruise.
Still, there is a lot of fine print that comes along with the CHEERS! package and many people have questions about whether it’s a good deal for them. Below, we run through more than a dozen of the most important questions regarding CHEERS! and help you decide whether it is worth it for your next trip.
In This Article...
What is the Carnival CHEERS! package?
As mentioned above, the beverage package is like a buffet for drinks on the ship.
The “regular” way to purchase drinks is to buy them individually — so you pay the menu price for every beer or cocktail or soda that you drink. Given the cost of beverages on a cruise, the price can quickly add up. For some people, worrying about the cost can put a damper on the fun. Instead of enjoying their drink, they are thinking of the bar tab that awaits their account at the end of the cruise.
CHEERS! allows passengers to instead pay a flat daily fee per person to enjoy all the drinks they would like. They pay the same amount each day whether they have two beers or if they have ten cocktails. It makes it much easier to budget for the cruise and enjoy yourself without worrying about how much you’ve spent.
The package covers a wide variety of drinks, including everything from bottles of water to sodas to energy drinks to beer and cocktails. Basically, if you can drink it, it’s likely included in the CHEERS! package.
How much does CHEERS! cost?
The price for Carnival’s CHEERS! package varies based on the length of the cruise and when you buy.
As of this article’s publication date, the CHEERS! package aboard Carnival costs $59.95 per person, per day — if bought ahead of time. If you wait to purchase the beverage package until you board the ship, the price rises to $64.95 per day.
On top of that, the cruise line charges an 18% gratuity fee. Therefore, the actual total cost is $70.74 if bought ahead of the cruise or $76.64 per person, per day for those waiting to purchase until on the ship.
You are charged this amount every day you are on the cruise — no matter if you are in port or at sea. It also doesn’t matter if you drink nothing on a certain day, or have 15 drinks. Each day is charged.
Is gratuity included in the price?
The “headline” price that’s advertised doesn’t include gratuity, but it will be included on your final charge.
Carnival charges an 18% gratuity automatically on the value of the package. Therefore, if you are sailing on a weeklong cruise and buy the package ahead of time, the cost is $59.95. But you’ll actually be charged $70.74 per person, each day.
Since you pay gratuity on the cost of the package, when you get a drink from the bar you are not charged an additional gratuity.
How old do you have to be to buy the CHEERS! package?
Passengers must be 21 years old to buy the package. Even though the drinking age may be lower in the ports you visit, Carnival goes by the 21 year age limit on the ship.
Does everyone in the cabin have to purchase the package if one person does?
Yes. All adults over 21 in the cabin must purchase the beverage package if one person does. This requirement is likely to help stem the incentive for people to share drinks by only purchasing one package and then giving them to others in the cabin.
We’ve heard stories of Carnival relaxing this requirement if there is some sort of extenuating circumstance (such as the other person in the cabin is pregnant). However, if the other person doesn’t drink or simply doesn’t want the package, the rules say they still have to buy it if someone else in the cabin does.
Even so, it’s worth a few minutes to call before your cruise if you have a person in the cabin that doesn’t want the package.
How do I buy the CHEERS! package?
The easiest and cheapest way to purchase the package is to book it online through the Carnival Funshops after you’ve booked your cruise. You can also call Carnival and request the package be added to your account. Remember, booking the CHEERS! package ahead of time gives you a cheaper rate so you want to book before you board.
If you wait until you board the ship, you can head to a bar and request to purchase the package. There are also tables set up the first day advertising the package.
What’s included in the package?
The good news is that most drinks served on the ship are included in the beverage package.
According to the cruise line, all “spirits, including cocktails, cognacs, whiskies and other spirits, as well as beer (including self-serve beer stations – PYOB) and wine and champagne by the glass, with a $20 USD or lower menu price per serving” are eligible. In our experience on the cruise line, that covers just about anything you could want.
In addition, you can drink the following with your package:
- Virgin frozen cocktails
- Sodas and juices
- Specialty coffees
- Energy drinks
- Bottled water
There is also a 25% discount off the menu price for wine and champagne by the bottle and drinks over $20 per serving.
What’s NOT included?
While pretty much any drink from a bar is included, there are some exceptions that you will still be charged for, even if you purchase the CHEERS! Package:
- Drinks in souvenir glasses
- Alcohol by the bottle (except beer)
- Drinks offered at the gangway (welcome beverages)
- Room service alcohol or mini-bar drinks
- Shareable drinks like buckets or pitchers
- Fresh-squeezed orange juice served in the Havana Bar
In other words, stick with drinks served at the bar if you want to keep from spending extra.
What if I order a drink over $20 per glass?
The Carnival CHEERS! package gives you the run of beverages from the ship’s bars for up to $20 per glass. If you order a drink that’s more than $20, the fine print says that you receive a 25% discount off the menu price. So a $30 drink would be charged at $22.50.
What about liquor rules in Texas and New York?
If you are sailing from Galveston or New York, you might have heard there are strange laws affecting alcohol sold on cruise ships. Due to state laws, Carnival can’t activate the CHEERS! package until the second day of the cruise.
If you purchase the package when sailing from one of these ports, you won’t pay for the package on the first day of the trip, but you also will have to purchase drinks instead of having them included. The package will activate at 6:00 a.m. on the second day of the cruise. For more on alcohol rules on a cruise from Texas, click here.
Can I share the package?
No. Sharing of the package is expressly prohibited. In fact, stopping passengers from sharing of the package is likely why Carnival requires all guests in a stateroom to purchase the package if one person does so.
If we’re honest, however, unless you’re being blatantly obvious in front of a bartender, it’s unlikely anyone would know that you shared a beverage bought with the package.
Do I have to buy the package for the entire cruise?
Yes. The package is sold only for the entire trip. You can’t pick and choose dates that you want to purchase nor can you purchase it halfway into the cruise.
That means you will pay for the CHEERS! package even if you are in port or don’t feel like drinking one day. So if you have a day where you decide not to drink, you’ll still pay for the package, even if you don’t use it.
How many drinks can I buy at one time?
You can only purchase one beverage at a time. There is a five-minute waiting period between drinks.
If you want to purchase more than one drink, you can charge one to your drink package and simply pay for the others on your onboard account. Or just wait five minutes to get another beverage included with the package.
Is there a daily limit to how many drinks you can have?
Yes. Carnival allows up to 15 alcoholic drinks per day (6:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.). After that, the guest will not be served any additional alcoholic beverages.
There is no limit on non-alcoholic drinks, so drink all the bottled water and sodas that you want!
Can I order a “double”?
Want to spice up your drink with an extra shot? You can’t do it on the beverage package. According to Carnival, a double shot is the same as ordering two drinks and is prohibited.
How will the bartender know I have purchased the CHEERS! package?
When the bartender swipes your card, your account will let them know that you’ve purchased the CHEERS! package. As well, they place a sticker on your card when you activate the package at a bar once onboard that identifies you as having purchased the package.
Does the drink package work on Carnival’s private islands or in ports?
No, the package only works for beverages served on the ship. Even though Carnival has private islands for its guests, the drink package doesn’t work there. It also doesn’t work in ports of call like Cozumel or Nassau.
But that doesn’t mean you are out of luck on port days. As long as you are on the ship, you can use the CHEERS! package from the ship’s bars. So if you decide to hang out on the ship during port days (or when you return to the ship after visiting), you can still get drinks, even though the ship is docked.
What about buying a round of drinks?
If you are enjoying time with friends, you might want to buy everyone a round. In that case, you can. The first drink will apply to your drink package, but the rest of your drinks will go on your onboard account.
Is the CHEERS! drink package worth it?
If the package is worth it depends on your personal preferences.
Remember that the CHEERS! package from Carnival has to 1) be purchased for every day of the cruise and 2) be purchased by every adult member of the cabin. Including 18% gratuity, the price per day is more $70 per person.
Meanwhile, you can only use the package on the ship, so if you are out exploring ports of call, you’ll need to pay for drinks out of pocket.
For reference, the price of alcoholic drinks on the ship are roughly:
- Beer: $6-8 per drink
- Cocktails: $10-14 per drink
- Wine: $8-14 per glass
So a person would have to drink about 8-10 beers per day or about 4-6 cocktails each and every day. Of course, this doesn’t include things like soda, bottled water, or juices, which normally cost a few bucks each.
How much you plan to drink will help you decide if the CHEERS! package is right for you. If you’re the sort of person who always enjoys a drink in their hand, then you could do well purchasing the package. Costs for individual drinks can quickly add up if you drink regularly.
But those that drink moderately or like to take breaks on some days may not get their money’s worth.
One other thing to consider is the convenience of having a set price. Some people may not come out ahead with the package based on how much they drink, but like not having to worry about what the bill will be at the end of the cruise. Drink packages allow you to better plan your costs and budget given that the cost is the same each day. It also lets you try new drinks without worrying about wasting money if you don’t like it.
To help you figure things out, we’ve put together the Drink Package Calculator to make it easier to estimate whether you should purchase the package.
Have more questions about the package? Let us know in the comments below…
If you are getting the drink package from a casino offer was the gratuity still paid for them. I know when they comp 555 Steakhouse I was told the gratuity was included so I’m just checking. This is just a question in no way does it mean I’m not tipping them. I may just tip a bit more if it’s not included.
If I buy travel insurance and the Cheers pkg,What happens if for some reason I have to cancel my cuise? Do I get my money back on the Cheers pkg?
Yes, gratuities, taxes/fees, and onboard purchases are refunded in the event of a cancelled cruise.
Is it 15 drinks per day per person? I.E. you have two adults in a cabin paying for the cheers program, each adult can have 15 alcoholic drinks?
Since we don’t drink much can we purchase the drink package RU2. What exactly is included in that package.
Do you have to finish the drinks where you’re served or are you able to freely roam with your drinks? Or even take it back to your stateroom?
You can take drinks anywhere with you around the ship. Feels strange at first, but you quickly get used to it!
Do you get charged the day of departure which in my case us 7am?
No. The day you leave is not included.
We’re considering purchasing the Cruise Cash Bar instead of the Cheers! Package since we don’t think we’ll drink that much. Is the Cruise Cash Bar, and the Cruise Cash, reloadable?
Are bottles of liquor included in the 15 drink limit or can I buy a bottle and still enjoy 15 drinks ?
Liquor from the duty free shops shouldn’t count toward the 15.
What are the prices of the non alcoholic drinks (i.e. milk shakes, energy drinks, etc.)? Wife isn’t a big drinker but would enjoy the drinks.
Depends on the drink. Sodas are around $3 per glass. Expect energy drinks, coffees, etc. to be in the $4-7 range.
What does “Alcohol by the bottle” mean? Do they sell bottled alcohol in a store on the ship?
In the duty-free shops there is alcohol for sale. You can’t buy that with the drink package.
So my wife and I booked a cruise and in the deal she got the cheers package included but just for 1 person which will be for her. Now that I will be in the same cabin and I want the cheers package, can I just pay for myself while I’m on the boat?
It’s usual that all passengers in the same cabin need to get it. If you want the package anyway, I’d suggest buying it online before you cruise as it is cheaper this way.
i am curious about the cheers package one thing i have not read or seen explained is if you decide to get cheers WEEL in advance ((I.E. 1 year away)) does it just get the total price added to your total cruise cost and payable over time like the cruise cost or is it a lump price paid in full at one time?
Can I buy a fish bowl first, and then have my fifteen drinks on the Cheers package? I’m not sure I’ll make all those, but if I buy one first, does it count toward the drink maximum?
Not sure. I’d guess that any drink you buy — package or otherwise — would count toward a 15 drink limit per day. I’ve never even been close.
Hi! If I have a gift card, cruise cash or cruise cash bar. What about the gratuities? they discount it from that card?
I prepaid the gratuities, but I don´t know if they charge it again.
That, I’m not sure! If you’ve prepaid gratuities, that doesn’t apply to bar drinks.
However, if you’ve bought the drink package, then the gratuities are already included in the cost of the package.
Do they have a package that includes all the non-alcoholic drinks, but not just sodas? We have teenagers and they like to drink virgin frozen drinks (i.e. pina coladas) and specialty coffee.
Oddly enough, they don’t. There is CHEERS!, which has virgin cocktails included and then Bottomless Bubbles, which is soda and juice. There’s nothing in between.
I understand that adults over 21 cannot share one CHEERS! package. However, can I share with my child? For example, can I get my 8 year old a milkshake? Thanks!
Carnival says “sharing is not permitted.” So technically, no. However, I think it would be surprising for them to be too upset about giving a kid a milkshake!
With the Cheers beverage package, I noticed that it includes specialty coffee. Can I use this in the RedFrog Rum Bar and the Coffee Bar? Or would it need to be paid for out of pocket?
Yes, it should work there.
Is it 15 drinks per person in the cabin per day or 15 drinks per the entire stateroom per day?
It’s per-person. Remember that non-alcoholic drinks don’t count toward the total.
Cancelled cruise had drink package for 4 people for 7 days. 1700.00 how long does it take to get reimbured?
That’s a question best left to the cruise line. Give them a call and they should be able to help you out.
Does the price go down the closer to sail day or is it the same price no matter when you buy the package
No, Carnival keeps the prices steady. There’s the discounted rate before you sail and then the higher rate on the ship.
Hi, when having purchased the Cheers package – can we then go directly to the bar after bording? Or do we have to wait until the ship has left the port?
Thank you in advance.
Depends on where you sail from. For most ports you can use it on the first day while the ship is in port (but you will be charged state tax if still ported). Texas and New York don’t allow drink packages, so your package will start the second morning.
Do you know il sparkling water is include in cheers package? Like perrier, lacroix or san pallegrino?
Yes, it will be included. The last bar menu we saw had San Pellegrino and Perrier aboard, but that was before the switch to Pepsi. You can also bring a dozen cans of anything non-alcoholic if you have a favorite brand.
Can we use our Cheers Program in all areas such as all restaurants, pool, casino, bars? We went on Oceana and restaurants weren’t included.
Yes, you can on Carnival.
I have a question about the one drink at a time purchase rule.
Does that apply to the non alcoholic drinks as well? Or would I be able to go up to a bar and get a frozen alcoholic drink and a coke at the same time without being charged?
Only one beverage can be served at a time. That includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Is the Cheers package good for drinks at ALL bars on Carnival Liberty?
Yes, for all drinks under $20
BY Chance does anyone have a working promo code for the Cheers package? there is a space to put a code in but not sure if they even have one. would be awesome if someone could hook it up with a discount code.
Just wondered if you are on a cruise that embarks 3/21 and disembarks on 3/29 – are we charged for 8 days of Cheers or only 7 – as you miss a lot of drinking on the first day you board the ship.
So it’s listed as an 8-day cruise? In that case, it’s a charge for eight days. The first day counts. The day you get off the ship does not.
Do you have to purchase cheers prior to boarding? And do you pay for it prior to cruising or once you disembark the ship at the final destination you pay your final provisions?
You can buy it cheaper if you buy online ahead of time. It’s slightly more on the ship to purchase. If you wait to buy it on the ship, you’ll pay for it at the end of the cruise.
I’m very picky about what wines and liquor I will drink. Is there a way to see which liquors and wines will be in the bars? For liquor I’m specifically wanting to know if amaretto is available and for wines I’m wondering which if any moscato’s (undeveloped palate) they have? Thanks!!
What’s available can vary from bar to bar and there are lots of choices. We don’t have a list of every alcohol served, but it’s likely they will have something you’ll like!
How much is soda pckg? And do they limit the amount you can have? Can you not purchase alcohol pckg and pay for drink? What if the people in cabin want 2 different packages?
Will the Cheers pkg be available to use as soon as you board in Florida?
Yes, it should be.
How big are the cocktails, are they typical “bar size”, where they are gone in about 5 drinks? Will they fill your cup you bring with you, like a yeti?
No, the cocktails are full-sized. They come in full-sized glasses. We’ve never seen them fill passenger’s cups, likely due to health rules. There’s nothing stopping you from pouring it from the glass they serve into your Yeti.
Great article, thank you! 2 questions- do you get a “soda cup” if you buy the Cheers program and does anyone know anything about taxes charged per drink on an Alaska sailing from Seattle?
Will alcoholic drinks at dinner be covered by the Cheers! package? We purchased Bottomless Bubbles last year and sodas at dinner were NOT covered by the package and we ended up paying extra for them, even though we’d paid about $10/day for the package.
That’s surprising to hear about the soda not being covered. Your dinner drinks should be covered. If you are worried about it, stop at a bar on your way into dinner just to be sure.
Can my friendAnd I pay for one cheers package together seen that we are not heavy drinkers And won’t be drinking every day. Please let me know
No, that’s not allowed.
Departing Galveston, why does the Cheers program activate until day 2? What is the reason behind that? Just curious.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) has some rules regarding “all you can drink” offers. You can read more here:
How serious are they about this whole room has to purchase the cheers package? We are going on a bachelor party soon and I wanted To get it but two other guys in my room don’t? If I wait To purchase it when I board Will they sell me the cheers package to just me?? How will they know how many people are in my room and how many don’t purchase the cheers package? Can or will they look it up before they sell me the package? Thx
It’s always worth a shot. We haven’t tried to purchase in the different scenarios that you’ve mentioned.
They should be able to tell how many people are in your cabin when they scan your card.
They know how many people are in your room and they know who they are so they will charge you that way. If you have a couple of other buddies who DO want to purchase the package, you should room with them, that way you’re all covered/paying for it and the other guys aren’t. Otherwise you won’t be able to cover the price of the whole package unless you either A. Pay for everyone else in your room to have it too, or B. Force them to pay for it, even if you don’t.
Hi I got the bottomless bubbles and someone said this is a better deal – can I change and get the cheers card and pay the difference in price – I thought you could only get alcoholic drinks that’s why I went with the other card
We’d need to know more details for your specific situation. The CHEERS! package includes alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If you aren’t going to drink alcohol, then we’re not sure how it would be a better details because the CHEERS! package is much more expensive.
If I don’t buy the cheers program is there a limit to what drinks I buy. ie can I buy 16 or 17th drink if I get to that number or is 15 the maximum package or no package
We’re not 100% sure, but we’d expect you will be cut off after 15.
Can you bring more than wine unboard? Does the Sunrise Cruise offer a soda package? I drink about 2 drinks a month, cheers not for me but it would be for my husband.
Wine, champagne, and a small amount of non-alcoholic drinks are allowed. No beer or hard liquor. Carnival does have a soda package as well.
Daughter is 20 she plans on drinking after we leave port , do I have to get her cheers package, she is in same room as wife and I whom do have cheers. 2nd if I dont have to get it for her can I?
Passengers have to be 21 years old to drink.
Do drinks (beer, wine, etc.) ordered during dining form part of the package? Or only those ordered at the bar?
Yes, the drinks at dinner are part of the package. Not room service, however.
If I reach my 15 drunk limit can I pay out of pocket for another drink? Or pay out of pocket before I hit 15?
No, they have a 15 day limit, with or without the card.
what i’ve been told recently is if you think you’re going to hit the 15 limit, buy OFF the package. ask to be charged for it, order from room service and pay for it, or order a bucket of beer (NOT ON THE PACKAGE).
Does the drink package include the last day? Day of departure?
We don’t believe it does. In fact, we’ve never noticed a bar be open on debarkation morning. You also don’t pay for the debarkation day in the package price.
We’ve always gone into the Main Dining Room for breakfast on departure and have been able to order mimosas and bloody marys for breakfast without paying anything other than the tax (just like the first day of the cruise).
Does my 87 year old parent who’s going on the trip have to purchase a package also?
According to the rules we’ve seen, yes — if another adult in the cabin buys the package. Even so, we suggest giving them a call and seeing if they might give you a break given the age.
I did not feel drinks were watered down and I also found I could request wine by the glass of better wines (not layer cake, etc). Also, there is value in being able to get bottled water at every meal and coffee, iced coffee, spiked coffee :). I feel it work for us. Thank you,
Are the drinks watered down for this program? We just went
To an all inclusive in Mexico and the drinks had little to no alcohol in them. Is it the same on this cheers program?
We’ve never experienced watered-down drinks… but we are also lightweights!
NEVER . . and we’re NOT lightweights. they take care of you. we usually find our favorite bartender, tip them well, and we’re taken care of the whole time.
This article is incorrect. You cannot even purchase a double even if you want to buy it. You cannot purchase a bucket of beer even if you elected. This is not allowed with the Cheers package. It was extremely frustrating and felt like we dis something wrong by buying this package.
Right, there is a five-minute wait between ordering drinks.
Can I get myself and my wife a drink if we both have the package and I bring her card with me? Or would each of us have to go to the bar?
Not 100% sure, but we’d guess yes. At worst you’d have to wait 5 minutes for a second drink or both go to the bar. We’re sure it happens all the time, however.
they never would let us bring two cards up. we switched to another cruise line and they would let you bring up 4 if you could carry them. we’re in havana this year so i’m hoping we can do it cuz they should be able to see us!
If I share a room with another person who is an alcoholic they must purchase a Cheers package also?
Give the cruise line a call. While you’re supposed to, they can sometimes work with you in certain situations.
Where can I take my personal bottle of wine I bring on board with me? Do I have to stay in my room with it or may I take it on to the deck?
If you take it in a restaurant, the rules state that you will be charged a “corking” fee. We suggest enjoying it in your room or simply carrying a glass with you around the ship.
The Cheers package the $51.95 a day is that Canadian or American money?
Is there a soda and bottled water package? We are not drinkers
There is a soda package. Bottled water is available for about $4 for a dozen bottles. You can have it delivered to your stateroom before you embark.
Do they give you cups when you buy the drink package for soda and other drinks