Carnival Cruise Line Addresses Another Recent Price Increase

Carnival's price increases are starting to hit home. However, it's bottled water prices that are hitting the hardest. Is Carnival too expensive?

Carnival Cruise Line passengers have recently noticed price increases onboard. While the most attention has gone to WiFi and gratuity prices that have gone up on April 1, another price increase that has gotten people to become outraged is the bottled water price. 

Carnival increased the price of a 12-pack of bottled water by more than double in November last year. However, as the price hikes receive online attention, comparisons with other cruise lines reveal that Carnival Cruise Line remains the cheapest option.

Bottled Water Price Increases on Carnival Cruise Line

Guests aboard Carnival cruise ships have started to notice further hikes in onboard prices, particularly for bottled water. In November last year, the price of a 12-pack of 16.9 oz. bottled water increased from $4.95 to $9.95. The attention to this issue was intensified as Carnival also increased the price of gratuities and Wi-Fi rates on April 1.

Carnival Bottled Water
Carnival Bottled Water

Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald addressed the water price issue: “Good morning again from Hockley and as I promised Stella in my opening post this morning I will indeed address the price of our bottled water. I am sure I have discussed this before but anyway, yes, prices did go up a bit recently with our bottled water because of inflation which I know many of you are facing on land as well.”

“The price of a 12-pack of Crystal water is $9.95. That works out to 0.83 cents a bottle. Still not too bad. I do not know what water prices are where you live, but when I fly and travel through airports, I head to the shops to buy bottled water and don’t even flinch when the checkout lady asks me for $3.99 or $5.00 if I want my water to come from a volcanic spring in Cleveland, Ohio.”

The cruise line has not changed the price for the 8-pack of bottled water at 50.72 oz. This package still remains at $20.00 per pack.

Onboard Carnival Cruise Line ships, guests can order bottled water in their cabins. However, it’s also possible to pre-order bottled water, and many other items, before the start of the cruise.

Read Also: How Do Cruise Ships Get Fresh Water?

Guests can make an order via the Carnival Cruise Line website, so it’s already in the cabin when the voyage begins. From a price point, there is no difference between pre-ordering a pack of bottled water to your cabin vs. ordering from room service while onboard.

Comparing Cruise Line Bottled Water Prices

Guests on John Heald’s Facebook page questioned whether Carnival Cruise Line’s water prices were more expensive than other lines. 

As the previously mentioned Stella commented: “This is gouging. Carnival is taking advantage of us. I think it’s in bad taste to charge so much when other lines are reasonable about it. These are the things you should be writing about.”

Carnival Cruise Ship Bar

However, is this right? We’ve done some fact-checking, and here is a comparison of bottled water prices on different cruise lines:

  • Carnival: $9.95 for 12 12 oz. bottles
  • Royal Caribbean: $11.99 for 12 12 oz. bottles
  • MSC Cruises: $37 for 14 one-liter (24 oz. bottles) in the water package
  • Celebrity Cruises: Drinking tap water is free, or guests can purchase a premium beverage package that includes water.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: $34.95 for 12 16.9 oz. bottles of water

As the above shows, despite the 101% price increase for water, Carnival Cruise Line remains the cheapest option for having bottled water delivered to your cabin.

Royal Caribbean comes in at a close second. Carnival’s policy does not currently allow guests to bring packaged water or sodas onboard, so purchasing through the cruise line is important for many.

MSC Cruises comes in third place; however, the Italy-based cruise line does not allow guests to bring drinks onboard. Celebrity Cruises offers reasonably priced drinks packages that include bottled water, and reports are that the tap water is also very drinkable. In last place, Norwegian Cruise Line with a pretty incredible $34.95 for 12 16.9 oz. bottles of water. 

Although the price increase may be disconcerting for some guests, it is important to consider the overall value offered by each cruise line. In this case, Carnival Cruise Line still offers the most affordable option for bottled water.


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