Carnival Switching from Coke to Pepsi Products

Pepsi drinkers can celebrate, while Coca-Cola fans may lament Carnival Cruise Line’s newly announced beverage switch. Pepsi will become the drink of choice for Carnival’s North American fleet starting in January 2020.

The new business relationship marks a major shift. Travel Weekly writes that a Carnival spokesman commented that, “no one can remember the last time Coke wasn’t served by Carnival.”

Carnival and PepsiCo CEO toasting
Image courtesy of Carnival

New Shipboard Drink Choices

Eddie Allen, Vice President of Beverage Operations for Carnival, told Travel Weekly that the change in soft-drink providers relates to an increased demand for choices other than soda. “People are looking for more options — juices, teas, flavored waters, sparkling waters are all very high on what our guests are asking for.”

Sodas available to Carnival guests after the changeover will include Pepsi, Mtn Dew, and Sierra Mist (including diet, sugar-free, and caffeine-free versions of these drinks). Other new options aboard Carnival ships will include bubly sparkling water, Gatorade, Pure Leaf, and Naked Juice. The deal also includes Starbucks’ bottled coffees.

Color Schemes and Fun

As the Orlando Sentinel notes, Carnival and PepsiCo share similar color schemes of red, white and blue. In a press release announcing the new partnership, executives at the two companies pointed out other similarities between the cruise line and beverage brands.

“At Carnival Cruise Line, we invite our guests to Choose Fun, and now with PepsiCo’s extensive portfolio of brands, we’re able to give them more ways to choose a beverage that suits their taste, mood and preference,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.

Anne Fink, President of PepsiCo Global Foodservice, stated, “Our brands both celebrate having fun and offering something special for everyone, making PepsiCo and Carnival Cruise Line a great match.”

What This Means for Carnival Cruisers

Carnival VP of Beverage Operations, Eddie Allen, expressed excitement about the increased mixology possibilities Pepsi products will bring. He stated to Seatrade Cruise News, “Their huge portfolio will allow my team to get more creative. Something like Mtn Dew, our guests love, and the citrus-melon qualities of Mtn Dew can blend with ingredients like elderflower and rum.”

If you’re a Coke drinker, don’t cancel that cruise just yet.

Cruisers who still want Coke or other drinks can still take advantage of Carnival’s policy regarding bringing non-alcoholic drinks aboard ship. Carnival permits passengers to bring a 12-pack of soda per person.

It is worth noting that with Carnival switching to Pepsi products, Royal Caribbean is now the only one of the “big three” cruise lines (Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian) to still serve Coke products.

What are your thoughts? Do you strongly prefer either Coca-Cola or Pepsi enough to cruise a different line?

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  1. Bad news if you drink Jack and Coke or Rum and Coke as I do.
    A Rum and Pepsi just isn’t the same.
    And I am not wanting to walk around the ship with my own mixer for my drinks.
    Not sure if it’s enough to cancel my cruise on the new Mardis Gras. I’ll have to consider it in the future.

  2. Pepsi? Ick. Pepsi lost in the comparison in the 1980’s and they still lose now. My main concern is what about Dr Pepper? I don’t know if I will have Dr. Pepper (or Pibb) as I will need for a 9 day cruise even if I make every family member tote a 12 pack for me.

  3. Just like in a restaurant we come for the food not the beverages I think it’s a great step in the right direction for carnival most consumers including myself don’t drink much soda and PepsiCo has a very strong portfolio that I love Gatorade,Starbucks,Lipton,Mtn dew this is why coke can’t compete in this category


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