I cannot tell you how excited I am to get on a cruise ship again this Summer. I wrote about the Carnival online check-in process last December, and I had to cancel that cruise when I got sick. We are now in the intense middle of planning for a Summer cruise on the Vista, though. When I cruise, I like to pay for stuff in advance. I love the feeling of getting on the ship and knowing that my onboard expenses are already paid. I *really* love the feeling of not having a huge credit card bill at the end of all of it. Unfortunately, Carnival onboard prices are increasing on May 1. Here are the details, as well as what you can do about it.
I posted a Live Stream on the Galveston Cruise Reviews You Tube channel where I discussed the details. I would love to have your support with a “like” and a “subscribe” on that page. Here are some of the major changes:
- Gratuities will increase from $13.99 a day to $14.50 a day. That charge is per passenger per day. You can adjust these at guest services. Please support the hard working service delivery teams.
- Suite gratuities will increase to $16.50 per passenger per day. It looks like my family of four had paid this when we made our initial booking, and the charge was $447.72 for the week. That means this is another increase of 51 cents a day. I tend to tip a bit of extra cash, as well.
- The Cheers drink package is increasing from $51.95 a day to $59.95 a day if booked in advance. No word on how single-serve drink prices are changing.
- Cheers is increasing from $56.95 to $64.95 if bought onboard. Ouch.
- The soda package (Bottomless Bubbles) is increasing from $8.50 to $9.50 per day for adults and from $5.95 to $6.95 per day for adults. No need for adults to book this if they already have Cheers since all of the benefits are already included.
- Cucina del Capitano and JiJi’s Asian Kitchen are going from $15 to $18 for adults and from $5 to $6 for kids.
- Bonsai Teppanyaki is going from $32 to $35 for all guests.
- Rudi’s Seagrill and the Steakhouse are going from $38 to $42 for adults and from $12 to $13 for kids.
- Pre-purchased wifi is going up from 6.80/10.20/13.60 per day (depending on speed) to $8.50/$11.05/$14.45.
How can you avoid these increased Carnival onboard prices?
You still have several options. One of those is, of course, to not purchase the extra item. Still, that doesn’t seem quite right for folks who were counting on a particular something as part of their cruise experience. The easiest thing to do, then, would be to simply log in to your cruise planner prior to May 1 and finish purchasing whatever items you are interested in. In the case of gratuities, you can also make adjustments at guest services. However, I just can’t do that to the people who work so hard to make my vacation a reality. They can have the extra 51 cents a day.
My only real complaint? Carnival made these changes even for cruises which are inside the final payment deadline. I get it that you can avoid the charges by not purchasing the extra service. That said, a lot of these items are routine things which cruisers count on as part of their vacation. Once you have made your final payment and cannot get it back, I would like to see Carnival hold the line on onboard prices so folks can plan better. That said, I am still looking forward to an amazing cruise on the Vista this Summer. Happy sailing!