Looks Like Carnival Cheers Drink Package Will Not Work at Celebration Key

Since September, Carnival has been promoting its upcoming private destination, Celebration Key. This new cruise destination is located on Grand Bahama island in the Bahamas, and is the cruise line’s answer to Royal Caribbean’s incredibly popular Perfect Day at CocoCay. Two big things people have been wondering about are what food is included versus extra and whether Carnival’s CHEERS drink package will work on the island. One of those questions looks like it has been answered, and it’s not what many hoped for. 

Carnival’s CHEERS drink package and private islands

Carnival Cruise Line’s CHEERS drink package has been a favorite among its guests for years. The package includes up to 15 alcoholic drinks per day and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages throughout your cruise. This drink package covers nearly every single-serving of alcoholic beverage up to $20 on the ship. It’s a much more generous amount than other cruise lines; Royal Caribbean covers drinks up to $14, Norwegian’s package covers drinks up to $15, and Celebrity’s classics drink package has a meager limit of $10. 

However, Carnival restricts where the drink package works; Carnival does not allow guests to use the CHEERS drink package on their private islands, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cay. 

Carnival’s primary North American competitors allow their drink packages to be used at their private islands. Royal Caribbean and its sister company, Celebrity, both allow guests to use their drink packages while on Perfect Day at CocoCay. Norwegian Cruise Line allows guests to use their drink packages at their Great Stirrup Cay island (although not their Harvest Caye port). 

In light of the competition, many wondered whether this restriction would be waived on the new Celebration Key. 

Carnival’s FAQ now says CHEERS drink package will not work on Celebration Key

While Carnival has not officially made a statement regarding the CHEERS package and Celebration Key, they quietly made a change to the CHEERS information on their FAQ and the support pages provided to travel agents

The new language clearly states that Cheers will not work on Celebration Key.

“CHEERS! is not offered on 2 day cruises, select charter cruises. and beverage purchases made at Celebration Key, Half Moon Cay and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.”

This rule means that guests who have purchased the package will need to pay for their drinks at Celebration Key, which could add up to a significant amount over the course of the day. Like their other private islands, guests will likely still be able to use their Sail and Sign onboard account to purchase the drinks. 

Will alcoholic drink limits apply on Celebration Key?

Carnivals’ CHEERS program is one of the few programs that has a limit on the amount of alcoholic beverages. Guests are limited to 15 alcoholic beverages every day (whether they have the drink package or not). While it’s pretty clear that CHEERS won’t work on Celebration Key, it is still not known if drinks purchased at his new destination will count towards the guest’s 15 alcoholic drinks daily limit. Anecdotally several guests have reported that drinks purchased on Half Moon Cay don’t count towards their limit, but there is no clear policy provided by Carnival. 

How much will alcoholic drinks cost on Celebration Key?

We won’t know how much cocktails will cost on Celebration Key until the first guests visit in Summer 2025. However, we can guess based on we’ve seen at Carnival’s private islands at Half Moon Cay and Princess Cay. Currently alcohol prices on these islands are in line what what guests see on the ship. That means around an average of $8 for a beer, $12.30 for a frozen drink, and $14 for a cocktail.

It won’t be hard to find a bar on Celebration Key, but you’ll have to pay

Even though the CHEERS package won’t work on Celebration Key, there will still be quite a few places to try out cocktails as long as you don’t mind paying per drink. In the “adult-friendly portal” of Celebration Key, called Calypso Lagoon, guests can sit at the bar using swings that hang over the water or visit a swim-up bar to grab a cocktail while listening to the live DJ. 

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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.