Carnival Closes Cheers! Beverage Package Loophole - Cruise Drink Max

Carnival Closes Cheers! Beverage Package Loophole - Cruise Drink Max
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The Carnival Cruise Drink Package Glitch Explained

Cruising with Carnival Cruise Line can be an amazing experience. With exciting destinations, onboard entertainment, delicious food and more, it's no wonder Carnival is one of the most popular cruise lines in the world.

One of the best parts of a Carnival cruise is being able to purchase a drink package. This allows you access to unlimited drinks throughout your cruise. One of the most popular packages is the Cheers! beverage package. This covers most alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks up to a certain value.

However, some cruisers have discovered a bit of a "glitch" when it comes to the Cheers! package. Keep reading to find out what this glitch is all about.

The Cheers! Beverage Package

The Cheers! beverage package is Carnival's premier unlimited drinks package. It covers beer, wine, spirits, cocktails, soda, specialty coffees, smoothies and more. The nice thing is the package can be used anywhere on the ship that serves drinks.

The Cheers! package has a 15 drink limit per 24 hour period to prevent overconsumption. You are allowed up to 5 drinks per hour as part of the 15 drink max. There are certain premium brands that are not included, but you can pay an upgrade cost to add those to the package.

One of the best parts about the Cheers! package is that it includes drinks up to $20 value. So you can enjoy top shelf spirits and high end cocktails without paying more. This is where the "glitch" comes into play.

Discovering the Glitch

Savvy cruisers started realizing that with the Cheers! package you could order multiple drinks at once that were under $20 each, but totaled more than $20. For example, you could order a $15 cocktail and a $12 glass of wine at the same time, even though the total is $27.

Since each drink is technically under the $20 limit, the Cheers! package would cover both. This allowed guests to sometimes order double the value of what the package technically covered.

The key was ordering the drinks simultaneously so they could both be added to the same tab. If ordered separately, the second drink would likely get denied since the first one already hit the limit.

Is this Unethical?

While some cruisers viewed this as "gaming the system", others didn't see a problem with it since they were still ordering drinks covered under the terms of the package.

Those who took advantage of this loophole felt they were maximizing the value of the all-inclusive package they paid for. However, some argue this violates the intent of the Cheers! program.

In the end it comes down to personal ethics. Just because there's a loophole doesn't mean it should necessarily be exploited. But from Carnival's perspective, they likely intended a per drink max rather than per order.

Carnival's Response

It didn't take long for word to spread about this Cheers! package "hack". Soon Carnival caught wind and decided to take action. In 2019 Carnival officially changed the terms of the package.

Now the Cheers! program clearly states that the $20 per drink max is based on the total order amount. So if you try to order a $15 drink and $12 drink at the same time, the total would exceed $20 and the second drink would be denied.

Carnival likely realized they needed to close this loophole to prevent losing too much money from the all-inclusive package. So in the end they updated the rules to reflect the original intent.

Tips to Maximize Your Package

While the glitch no longer works, savvy cruisers have found other ways to maximize the value of their Cheers! package:

  • Order top shelf brands whenever possible since they are covered under the $20 limit
  • Opt for cocktails containing multiple types of liquor to get more for your money
  • Stick to beer, wine, and spirits and avoid package-reducing items like soda and bottled water
  • Take advantage of happy hour specials when drinks are discounted
  • Only order one drink at a time instead of multiples

The key is making each individual drink count. While you may not be able to "double up" anymore, you can still get your money's worth from the package.

The Bottom Line

Unlimited drink packages on cruise ships are supposed to provide convenience and value to guests. However, when loopholes are exploited it can end up costing cruise lines a lot of money.

The Cheers! beverage package glitch was a clever trick some guests used to maximize the value of their package. But once Carnival caught on they quickly updated the rules to prevent further loss.

At the end of the day, it's best to abide by the terms of the package you purchased. While looking for ways to maximize value is understandable, outright abuse of loopholes will likely result in policy changes that ruin it for everyone.

By sticking to the package terms, being ethical, and choosing your drinks wisely, you can still get great value from the Cheers! program. This will lead to an awesome and affordable cruise experience.


What was the Cheers! beverage package glitch?

The glitch allowed guests to order multiple drinks at once that were under the $20 limit individually but totaled over $20. This let them get more value than intended from the package.

How did guests take advantage of this loophole?

They would order multiple drinks simultaneously since each was under $20. But the total amount exceeded the limit. The key was placing one combined order.

When did Carnival fix this issue?

In 2019 Carnival updated the terms to clarify the $20 max is based on total order amount, not individual drinks.

Can you still order multiple drinks at once?

No, the new rules prevent ordering more than one drink if the total exceeds $20. The package is now clearly per order.

Are there still ways to maximize the package?

Yes, like ordering top shelf brands, cocktails with multiple liquors, and taking advantage of happy hour deals.

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