Carnival Cruise Line has once again increased the price of one of its more popular beverages – bottled water. In less than two years, the price of a 12-pack of bottled water has increased by a whopping 141% with two separate price increases. The larger 1.5-liter bottles have also increased in price, as have the 8-packs of the larger bottles.
Water Prices on the Rise
Carnival Cruise Line guests will now need to pay even more if they wish to buy the cruise line’s bottled water to have delivered to their stateroom. The natural spring water is now listed for sale on Carnival’s website at $11.95 (USD) per 12-pack (each bottle is 16.9 fluid ounces), while the 1.5 liter (50.72 fluid ounces) bottle is now $4.50. The 8-pack of 1.5-liter bottles is now $24.95.
Just weeks ago, the 12-pack was $9.95, while the 1.5-liter bottle was $3.95 and the 8-pack of larger bottles was $20.00. This represents price increases of 20%, 14%, and 25% respectively.
Just over one year ago, however, the 12-pack of water was a mere $4.95 – making the latest increase a total of 141% in 13 months – nearly three times the original price. Carnival Cruise Line increased the 12-pack price to $9.95 in November 2022.
The 1.5-liter bottle has been at $3.95 since at least September 2020, making its price increase more understandable given the current economic climate and inflation price increases across all sorts of products on land and at sea. The 8-pack of 1.5-liter bottles has also remained at $20.00 for several years.
In April 2023, as more attention was drawn to the bottled water price increase, Carnival Cruise Line Brand Ambassador John Heald made note of the change as related to inflation.
“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,” he said.
Also, in spring 2023, Carnival Cruise Line increased prices on other pre-purchase food and beverage items, including cookies, celebration cakes, and party trays. This increase was also done with no warning to guests and was simply noticed as a quiet price hike.
When a cruise line increases prices on pre-purchased items, booked guests are often notified in advance of the coming increase and given the opportunity to make their purchases at the lower rate up until a certain deadline, though this is a courtesy only and is not required. This option has not been offered to Carnival guests for any of the water price increases.
Bottled water prices are the same across the Carnival fleet, whether guests pre-purchase the water to have it waiting in their stateroom or if they order it onboard.
To ensure there are adequate supplies of bottled water onboard, however, guests are urged to pre-purchase the water, especially if it may be for a medical need.
Why Buy Bottled Water?
While the water onboard cruise ships is safe to drink – whether from the bathroom sink in one’s stateroom, dispensers at self-serve beverage stations, or served in restaurants – some guests with sensitive palates may prefer bottled water as a matter of taste.
In some cases, bottled water is a medical necessity, such as to run a CPAP machine without risk of mineral deposits or buildups that could damage the equipment.
If guests have brought powdered baby formula onboard for an infant cruiser, they may also wish to use bottled water rather than risk an upset tummy for their youngster.
Read Also: How Do Cruise Ships Get Fresh Water?
Will the price of bottled water make-or-break a cruise vacationer’s budget? Most likely not. The dramatic nature of the increases, however, can be concerning to many travelers as a worrying trend, and emphasizes the need for a sharp lookout on invoices and overall pricing for cruisers to be sure they are getting the best value for their vacation dollars.