Are you a Carnival VIFP member? If so, then you could have received an email announcing a new deal that you might want to take advantage of.
Carnival is offering a sale where past guests receive a free CHEERS! drink package for themselves and a guest when they book. The “Free Cheers to You!” sale is valid from now through December 13, 2020. According to the email we received, if you book a qualifying deal, then both you and one travel companion get the drink package included with your cruise.
The email received from Carnival for the “Free Cheers to You” offer.
Considering that drink packages run about $55 per person, per day (before the 18% gratuity is tacked on), this is a great freebie. For reference, including the gratuity, a couple traveling on a week-long cruise would pay $941 if they bought the drink package on the ship.
There is some fine print you should know, however. Specifically, Carnival lays out all the following stipulations with the offer:
Full non-refundable deposit
Maximum number of 2 guests in the stateroom
Available on Ocean View categories and above (no inside cabins)
Available on select sailings between April 2021 – December 2021
Eligible VIFP Club Member must sail to qualify for this offer
Book by December 13, 2020
Rate Code RU9 will be automatically applied at checkout
Note that this offer is “capacity controlled” according to the Terms and Conditions. It also seems only for VIFP members (Carnival’s loyalty program for past cruisers). So if you want to book, check your email. You could also try calling Carnival and mentioning the “RU9” rate code.
High Cruise Fares Along With the Drink Package
Before you get too excited, you should know that you’ll see higher rates with this offer than you’d find otherwise. We’ve looked and noticed that cabin prices for this deal are hundreds of dollars higher than the regular prices.
For example, we looked at the price of a 6-day cruise aboard the Carnival Horizon, departing Miami on August 1.
With the “Free Cheers to You!” deal, the oceanview cabin cruise fare is $1,079 per person, a balcony is $1,279 per person, and a suite is $1,869 per person. (These prices are before any taxes or port fees.)
Fares with the drink package included:
That same cruise under the current sale pricing without the drink package is lower. Without the package, it’s $759 per person for the oceanview, $959 for the balcony, and $1,569 for the suite.
Regular sale fare without the drink package included:
In other words, the drink package — which would cost $403 per person for the six-day cruise if bought aboard the ship — increases the cost of the cruise fare by $320 per person for an oceanview, $320 for a balcony cabin, and $300 for a suite.
So you are getting a discount overall, but the savings aren’t as large as you might think.
Do the Math Before Booking & Know the Rules
Even so, if you plan on getting a drink package during your cruise, then this deal can save you some money.
But before you book, we suggest you learn the ins and outs of the CHEERS! package to make sure you will get your money’s worth.
The drink package offers a lot to like. For the set daily charge, you get your choice of nearly any beverage on the ship. Want a margarita by the pool? Or a glass of wine with dinner? Simply head to the bar and it’s yours. You know exactly what you pay each day and never have to worry about a surprise bill.
That said, there are some rules around the package that you’ll want to know. For one, if one person in the cabin orders the CHEERS! package, then all adults in the cabin have to order it as well. There is also a limit on alcoholic drinks at 15 per 24-hour period (there are no limits on non-alcoholic drinks).
You also have to purchase the package for the entire cruise. So even if you are in port all day and can’t take advantage, you’re still charged.
You’ll want to keep these rules in mind to know if you’ll get your money’s worth, or if you’d be better off booking the lower rate without the package.
For more details on the CHEERS! Package, see our article here.
If you want to book this deal, look in your email (don’t forget to check the junk folder) or give the cruise line a call. The rate code to reference is “”RU9”.
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