Will Carnival become the latest cruise line to jump on the all-you-can-drink, alcohol-included beverage package bandwagon -- joining lines like Celebrity, Oceania and MSC? Perhaps so. If the trial run of the “My Awesome Bar Program," which is currently underway aboard Carnival Victory, is a success, the beverage package could be rolled out to the entire fleet.
first heard of the test program from member sooner33, who posted information about it on Saturday. In an e-mail to Cruise
Critic, Carnival spokesman Vance Gulliksen confirmed that the trial has been
ongoing since Victory's August 5 departure.
The per-cruise cost for the
My Awesome Bar Program is $42.95 per person per day, plus a 15 percent gratuity.
Purchasers can partake of a wide variety of wine, beer and spirits, as well as
sodas, bottled water and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails throughout their cruise.
(Specialty coffee is not part of the program.) However, all included beverages,
including wines by the glass, beers and individual cocktails, must be less than
$10 to qualify for inclusion. Program participants who want to purchase bottles
of wine and Champagne, as well as more expensive wines by the glass and
cocktails will receive a 25 percent discount.
Gulliksen tells Cruise
Critic that participants can order one drink at a time.
sign up for My Awesome Bar Program at Carnival Victory's atrium and casino bars,
as well as at the main pool bar.
There is a catch: if one passenger
wants to purchase the beverage package, then all passengers ages 21 years and up
in the same cabin must also purchase the package. Though Carnival would not
comment on the reasons behind this requirement, it does make the possible issue
of two people in one cabin “sharing” a plan moot.
convenience and value as reasons the line is exploring all-inclusive beverage
options. At press time, the length of the test period had not yet been
Other cruise lines that offer similar types of unlimited
beverage packages are Celebrity, MSC and Oceania. Of these three, only MSC also requires all
passengers in the same cabin to purchase the package, making the Carnival and
MSC options the most expensive per cabin of all the programs (even if some
individual packages are higher priced). Royal Caribbean also offers
an unlimited beverage package, though
only on three of its most international ships.
Royal Caribbean and Holland America
both offer discounts on pre-purchased wine bundles.