The Cheapest Beer on a Carnival Cruise (Pour Your Own Beer)

Looking for a great deal on a beer during your cruise? You’re not alone.

There’s something about sipping a brew poolside that just seems perfect. The only thing that’s not perfect? The cost.

Just about anyone would expect to pay more for a beer when at a restaurant or on vacation. But that doesn’t keep the cost from adding up. For example, Carnival charges about $6.50 for an average beer, plus an additional 15% gratuity. That means your beers costs about $7.50 each… or about $45 for a six pack.

This cost is one reason that drink packages are so popular. With these packages you pay one set price and get all the drinks you want. But if you aren’t ready for a drink package, then it makes sense to look for the cheapest beer you can find on a Carnival cruise.

On a recent trip aboard Carnival Horizon, we found exactly that. It’s a beer for about $4 — making it the cheapest we’ve ever seen on a cruise. Here are the details and how to get your cheap beer.

Where to Find $4 Beer on Carnival

For most people, buying a drink means saddling up to a bar. If that’s the case, the least you’ll pay for a beer is $5.75, which is Carnival’s price on Corona, Corona Light, and Dos Equis. A 16-ounce Bud Light costs $6.25.

But in the Lido Marketplace (the ship’s buffet), we found a new feature we hadn’t seen before: the Beer Station.

This station is an automated beer tap. The premise is simple. You tap your card to charge your account and then you have about 15 seconds to pour your beer. Instead of being charged by the beer, you are charged by the ounce. The two options — Bud Light and Carnival’s ThirstyFrog Red both cost $0.29 per ounce poured. So a 14-ounce cup (the size of the glasses offered) runs about $4.

Now, gratuity is added on top of that, so the real cost is an additional 15%, or about $4.70 for a 14-ounce beer. Even so, that’s still about $2 cheaper than the next cheapest beer available at the bar.

Check out the pictures and video below of the Beer Station in action.

Carnival Beer Station

You can find four of these stations in the buffet area of the Carnival Horizon. We would also expect them to be added to more ships in the future. The hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. If you crave a beer after that time, you’ll need to hit the bar.

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