Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald has been busy addressing guests’ concerns over food-related issues, including where guests can enjoy a snack and what drinks they can sip along with it.
Social media drive these rumors, but still need to be squashed to ensure passengers are properly informed about what to expect on their cruise vacations.
Drink Brand Loyalty Onboard
The first rumor Heald has noted is the idea that, as of December 1, 2023, Carnival Cruise Line will switch beverage offerings from Pepsi to Coke. This is an unfounded piece of information, as Carnival remains affiliated with Pepsi products.
“We continue to have an exclusive contract with Pepsi and I tell you this so you don’t get misled,” Heald explained.
There is no indication that the cruise line’s beverage contract will change anytime in the near future, and certainly not in a matter of days. In recent weeks, however, Heald has been asked about a possible switch hundreds of times.
Even when cruise lines may switch beverage providers – as Norwegian Cruise Line switched from Pepsi to Coca-Cola in mid-2022 – it can take some time for the full switch to be implemented fleetwide. This will depend on the number of vessels, how many beverage locations must be restocked, and when supplies can be delivered.
Carnival Cruise Line has had an exclusive contract with PepsiCo beverages since January 2020, which includes not only soda but also iced tea, sparkling water, sports drinks, coffees, juices, and more.
Lido Snack Rumors
Another rumor being circulated is that Carnival Cruise Line will be banning guests from removing food from the Lido buffet to take back to their staterooms. Many cruise guests take a piece of fruit, a few cookies, or another snack to their cabin to save for later, or if they want a quiet meal, may remove an entire plate of food to enjoy at their leisure in their stateroom.
“We are not banning people from taking food from the Lido to the cabin,” Heald confirmed. “Please ignore that, please don’t ask me if it’s true because it isn’t.”
For some guests, particularly those who are traveling with others who may have limited mobility or who have small children, getting a quick meal from Lido to have in the stateroom can be easier than going up to the restaurant. Removing food from Lido can also be helpful if someone’s travel companion is not feeling well and doesn’t want to leave the cabin themselves.
Some guests disagree with the practice of removing food from Lido and taking it to staterooms, because this can lead to an unsightly pile of dirty dishes and leftovers placed in the hallway until they can be collected by crew members.
Heald has also addressed this practice in the past, noting that crew members are tasked with collecting the used dishes. Putting them in the hallway ensures that dishes don’t linger for the cabin attendant to collect, further adding to their workload.
In a recent poll, Heald ran, 76% of more than 14,000 respondents indicated that they do indeed place used dishes outside the cabin door. Just 7% of travelers will take dishes back to Lido themselves, while 17% prefer not to bring food back to their stateroom at all.
If guests prefer a neater look, draping a napkin over a used plate or any leftovers can keep it looking tidier, and dishes can be stacked to take up less space. Guests should not attempt to flush any leftovers down the cabin toilet, however, as doing so would easily clog the ship’s plumbing system and cause far greater difficulties than a few dirty plates.
John Heald is very active answering guest questions daily on his Facebook page, and before believing any rumors on social media or cruise fan websites, it is best to simply ask to be sure of the correct information.