Are you a Coke person or a Pepsi person? If you travel on Carnival, I hope you are a Pepsi person. They do not offer Coke products. But not all is lost. If you want sodas other than Pepsi products or just prefer not to purchase sodas onboard, the current Carnival beverage policy states “Bringing Liquor and Beverages On Board – Embarkation
Guests are prohibited from bringing water, sodas and other non-alcoholic beverages that are packaged in glass or plastic bottles.
On embarkation day, a small quantity of non-alcoholic beverages (i.e., sparkling water, sodas, energy drinks, juice, and milk), packaged in cans or cartons, may be brought on board and must be in the guest’s carry-on luggage. A small quantity is considered a maximum of 12 sealed, unopened cans/cartons of 12-ounces/354-ml each or less, per person.”
On embarkation day, we saw many guests carrying a 12-pack of different sodas and energy drinks. Just remember, Carnival could change this policy at any time so you may want to check its website before you purchase beverages to bring on board.
We purchased the Cheers! Beverage package for both cruises. The package allows you to get unlimited non-alcoholic beverages and up to 15 alcoholic beverages a day as long as the beverages are under $20. Most drinks we saw were under $20 except some high-end whiskeys. We purchased the package online before the cruise and saved some money.
We always started the morning at the Coffee Bar with an order of a large Americano coffee for Chuck and a large vanilla latte for me. They were very good.
I usually got there about 8:00 and the line would be long. Typically they had two or three people working behind the counter. If everyone ordered off the menu with just simple changes like soy milk instead of whole, the line moved quickly.
But, when people started ordering complicated creations and used abbreviations (ex. Frap instead of Frappuccino) inevitably the line slowed down and more often than not, the order wouldn’t be correct, and the barista would have to start over. Sigh.
You could also get hot chocolate, alcoholic coffees, bottled water, energy drinks, and milkshakes. I stuck with the lattes.
In the afternoons, they would display delicious looking donuts, cupcakes, and large cookies. All for an up-charge. In the past, I have also seen cakes that could be purchased by the slice, but I didn’t see any this time.
For non-alcoholic beverages, since I couldn’t get a Diet Coke, I usually chose ginger ale, diet Mountain Dew, or bottled water.
For alcoholic beverages, I typically ordered a cape cod made with Titos. However, I did branch out and order other drinks on occasion. I love the fruity frozen drinks, but I am mindful of the sugar and calories, so I tried hard to limit them. Chuck’s preference was Blue Moon, Jameson’s, or Murphy Goode Cabernet Sauvignon. There was also a merlot that he liked that could only be found in the dining room, but I can’t remember the brand.
I had to be particularly careful on port days if I was drinking a frozen drink outside. There would be yellow jackets flying around. Once, a yellow jacket kept landing on the rim of my glass no matter how many times I swatted him away. We battled until I just gave up and set it on a counter. He could crawl on it and in it to his heart’s content. Little Jerk.
Carnival has not offered any plastic straws for frozen drinks for a while now as part of the effort to reduce plastic waste onboard. They give you a straw that I was told is edible. The first time I used one of those straws, it disintegrated into the drink. I didn’t consider it edible. I purchased a set of their metal straws and now bring those with me any time we cruise. Just don’t forget and leave one behind in your drink.
I always tried to remember when I ordered a frozen drink to tell the server not to bother with the straw. Half the time I forgot to do so. Sigh.
Different Adult Beverages Consumed:
Outside on Sea Days, the bar servers came around the pool area frequently to take your order. Not so much on a port day. On a port day, if there was more than one server coming around the pool area, you were lucky. But it is understandable because there are not as many customers outside on port days.
If you weren’t sure what you wanted, the servers carried bar menus. The bars also had paper menus and QR codes you could scan. If there was a special drink of the day, it would be listed on the menu board or the server would know.
If you had a particular bar you wanted to frequent, the HUB app would tell you what time its hours of operation were each day. The times were also listed in the paper daily program that you could pick up at the Coffee Bar or Guest Services.
In the Lido, you could always get coffee, tea, water, and some juices for no cost. Small cartons of milk were available in the mornings. I am not sure if it was available later in the day.
Just like food, a beverage on the cruise ship was never really hard to find.