Despite the criticism that Carnival Cruise Line has gotten over the last couple of weeks and months, the cruise line continues to make price increases for its onboard services and products.
This time, the price of bottled water has increased significantly. This week, a 12-pack of bottled water more than doubled from $4.95 to $9.95.
Although the price increases are easily explained with the growing cost of basic needs and transportation, what will annoy most of those booked onboard, is the lack of prior communication, which Carnival has always done in the past.
Carnival Raises Price of Bottled Water by 101%
Carnival Cruise Line has been incredibly busy reviewing onboard product prices over the last couple of weeks, resulting in several price hikes for basic services.
From a surcharge in the main dining room, stopping 24-hour ice cream service, to even removing San Juan Puerto Rico from itineraries to save fuel, the changes seem to be non-stop.
One of the most surprising changes is the price increase the cruise line introduced this week. A 12-pack of bottled water, which guests can pre-order to be delivered to their cabins, went up 101% from $4.95 previously to $9.95 now.
Is it the end of the world? Perhaps not, but how the cruise line went about the price change is notable. On previous occasions that Carnival hiked prices, it allowed guests a grace period to pre-order items before the cruise.
The water hike has been implemented without prior communications, ensuring guests have to pay full whack.
The price hikes mean that guests pay far more for their cruise than they would have previously. And while there are alternatives, the simple fact is that those sailing on a Carnival cruise have already been critical of the changes that seem to be coming faster than ever, and this change will not be well received.
What Are the Alternatives?
Those guests who believe that paying almost a dollar for a bottle of water is too much do have some alternatives.
Bringing a refillable water container with you while on the cruise is a great way to save money and do your part for the environment. The plastic waste that cruise ships generate is huge, and there are still options onboard to get free water.
Guests can take their refillable containers to any of the water stations on board or to the buffet areas and fill up there. While it is a bit more effort than having water delivered to your cabin, it is readily available.
What Other Price Increases did Carnival Implement?
Earlier this week, Carnival announced it would be adding a $5 (USD) charge added per entrée in the Main Dining Rooms for any entrée past the first two a guest may order at the same meal.
The cruise line also announced it would limit the opening hours of the 24-hour ice cream bar. In an email to guests, the cruise line said the following:
“We have all experienced the impact of inflation, higher fuel prices, and supply chain challenges. At Carnival, we have worked very hard to minimize the impact on our guests.”
“We have reached a point with our food costs, however, where we must take some modest but specific actions, which we know most of you have done yourselves, whether with your dining out patterns or shopping to stock the refrigerator or pantry.”
While this is in itself understandable, and this change will have impacted only a few people, if we put everything together, the list grows significantly.
Carnival also removed the possibility to pre-order bottles of alcohol before the start of the cruise, added charges to the room service menu, limited the opening hours of the pizzeria onboard, and increased the prices for the specialty restaurants onboard, such as the Steakhouse, and in future Rudi’s Seagrill and Bonsai Teppanyaki.
All these changes come in the aftermath of the Q3 financial results posted by Carnival Corporation in late September. This showed that although Carnival Cruise Line is performing well, Carnival Corporation is still not recovering from the pandemic.
In particular, Carnival Corporation suffers from the low pricing on cruises it used to get guests back onboard. Now, it needs to recoup some of this money by charging guests far more than they have been used to.