Carnival Increasing Onboard Prices Starting May 1

Last Updated on April 7, 2022

Today, Carnival sent out emails announcing that they’ll be increasing the prices of many of onboard options starting May 1st.

Carnival’s onboard costs will increase 10 – 17%

The email from Carnival only listed the new prices of the daily gratuities, but it indicated that wifi, drink packages, and dining packages will also go up. John Heald, Carnival Brand Ambassador, provided some additional information to Carnival fans on his Facebook page. 

PurchasePrevious CostNew CostPrice Increase
Cheers Drink Package (pre-purchase price)$51.95 per day$59.95 per day13%
Cheers Drink Package (onboard price)$56.95 per day$64.95 per day12%
Bottomless Bubbles Soda Package$8.50 per day (adults)
$5.95 per day (kids)
$9.50 per day (adults)
$6.95 per day (kids)
Cucina del Capitano$15 adults / $5 kids$18 adults / $6 kids17%
JiJi’s Asian Kitchen$15 adults / $5 kids$18 adults / $6 kids17%
Bonsai Teppanyaki$32 (all guests)$35 (all guests)9%
Rudi’s Seagrill$38 adults / $12 kids$42 adults / $13 kids11%
Steakhouse / Fahrenheit 555$38 adults / $12 kids$42 adults / $13 kids10%
Daily Gratuities$13.99 per day$14.50 per day4%
Wifi / Internet Package (pre-purchase price)Social: $6.80 per day
Value: $10.20 per day
Premium: $13.60 per day
Social: $8.50 per day
Value: $11.05 per day
Premium: $14.45 per day
carnival price increase email
Email from Carnival cruise line on April 4

Book now to avoid Carnival’s price increase

Thankfully, Carnival is giving you some leeway to get the current rates. You have until May 1st to book under the current prices. After that, the new pricing will take effect. So if you have a cruise after May 1st, pre-book your items and lock in the current rates. If you have any onboard credit, you can use it to purchase these at the current pricing, so there’s no need to wait (see how here).

Our take – disappointing but not unexpected

Carnival is just the latest in the long line of corporations passing on price increases to consumers in the name of “inflation.” While, understandably, Carnival has to make up for a year of lost income due to the COVID shutdown, it’s just another kick in the pants to hard working travelers. The people who are going on Carnival cruises aren’t seeing pay increases of 10 – 17% to match these increases. Also, of all the things they’re increasing, daily gratuities that go to the hard working staff on the ship who were out of work for over a year, is the smallest increase. The rest goes to Carnival corporation. So that means the monies that go to the wonderful staff on the ship who were out of work for over a year, is the smallest increase. The rest goes to Carnival Corporation. Ironically, on the same day, Carnival put out a press release stating they had the busiest booking week in the company’s history (see the press release here).

Carnival has always had the lowest on board pricing of any of the mainstream cruise lines in North America, and they currently still do, but we have to hope they don’t keep increasing their prices. One of the best parts of a Carnival cruise is you don’t have to face constant upselling and high costs after you purchase your cruise.

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Randy Young

Randy Young is the founder and editor-in-chief at Cruise Spotlight. He has been in marketing for 19 years and has been cruising for just as long. Over the years, he's worked with products like TVs, copiers, light bulbs, and EV chargers, but cruising has always been his passion. There's nothing Randy likes more than the first couple of hours on a ship, exploring every nook and cranny and seeing how it's different from everything else out there. He's known for providing detailed and analytical coverage of cruising to help cruisers get a comprehensive picture of a ship's offerings.