Gift cards are a popular and easy gift choice, letting you enjoy a guilt-free spending spree at your favorite retailer. But what if you’ve received a gift card to your favorite Fun Ship cruise line? Unless someone has generously given you a gift card to cover the cost of an entire cruise, you need to know how to use Carnival Cruise Line gift cards to enjoy the gift the next time you set sail.

Where to Find Carnival Cruise Line Gift Cards

Gift cards are widely available at major retailers, and Carnival Cruise Line gift cards can be found at more than 9,000 retail locations, including Lowes, Office Max, Publix, Meijer and Safeway. Any family members or friends who know how much you enjoy cruising or who suspect you want to set sail with Carnival could purchase a gift card, and the cards are also sold online as well as onboard each ship.

Cruise line gift cards, including cards for Carnival, are also often given away as promotional items or prizes by car dealerships, home builders, real estate agents, radio stations or travel agencies. Whether you are given the card as a gift or promotion, or if you win one through a raffle or other event, it can be a great way to pay for extra fun on your Fun Ship cruise.

About Carnival Gift Cards

Carnival Cruise Line first began issuing gift cards on December 5, 2012, replacing earlier gift certificate programs. The cards are available from $100 to $1,000, and there are no dormancy charges or service fees if the card is not used.

It is important to note, however, that promotional cards – those that may be given as prizes or offered as incentives by other companies – may have expiration dates, which are typically printed on the front of the card.

Cards purchased by the public do not typically expire. Like most gift cards from major retailers, the cards are not redeemable for cash, and are not refundable or replaceable if they are lost, stolen or damaged.

Carnival Cruise Ship Deck
Photo By: Russell Otway (For Cruise Hive Only)

Using Your Gift Card on a Carnival Cruise

There are several ways you can use a gift card on a Carnival cruise. If you are buying a cruise, gift cards can be applied to the fare price, but cannot be used to pay port fees or taxes on the fare. If you have already booked your cruise but haven’t yet paid the fare in full, you can still apply gift cards to the remaining balance. Up to 9 gift cards can be applied to your cruise in a single transaction session; if you have more than 9 cards to redeem, you will need to do so in multiple transactions to use them all.

Also Read: 100 Carnival Cruise Tips and Tricks

If you have already paid for your next Carnival cruise, it isn’t too late to use gift cards. If you opt to prepay for shore tours or spa treatments, gift cards can be applied to those costs.

You can also use a gift card to set up your onboard spending account, but will need to do that once you are on board your ship – simply visit the Guest Services desk to make the arrangements. From the onboard account, the gift card will help cover any charges you add up during your cruise vacation, from buying drinks and pictures to shore tours, gift shop items, jewelry or even gratuities.

It must be noted that Carnival Cruise Line gift cards are not valid on sailings that use non-United States currency onboard. Cruises departing from Australia, then, cannot use gift cards. If you aren’t sure about the currency used on your cruise, you can contact your travel agent or Carnival Cruise Line to ask.

After your cruise, if you have extra funds available from the gift card or cards you applied to your onboard account, you will be mailed a new gift card with the remaining balance. No cash or check will be sent, but the new gift card can be redeemed on a future cruise. If you aren’t sure how much is remaining on different gift cards, you can check the balance on Carnival.com or call the cruise line for details.

Carnival Cruise Line gift cards can be fun to use, letting you enjoy the little extras of your vacation without feeling guilty about any extra charges. Before you use them, be sure to check with the cruise line as terms and conditions of the cards are subject to change, but then, bon voyage!

If you've received one of these travel gifts then here's how to use  the Carnival gift cards for your vacation.
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