Drink Prices on Carnival - should I prepay for Bar Credit coupons?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 10:19 PM.
#1
2,617 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
We are sailing on our first Carnival cruise in just over a week. I am not much of a drinker but may want the occasional mixed drink. I am considering purchasing the Bar credit (4 coupons) but the maximum drink prices are $5.25. Is anyone aware of any drinks that fall in this price range?

On RCCL they had these amazing Lava Smoothies.....any there anything like this on CCL?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Opinion is the median between knowledge and ignorance" ~ Plato ~

"The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion" ~ Arnold H. Glascow ~
__________________________________________________

  • RCCL Allure of the Seas (08/12) Tropical Storm Isaac
  • Carnival Freedom - Exotic S. Caribbean (Aruba, Curacao, etc.) (04/12)
  • Celebrity Millennium - Falmouth & Grand Cayman (11/11)
  • Carnival Dream - Eastern Caribbean (8/11)
  • Norwegian Jade - Eastern Mediterranean & 3 days post-cruise in Paris (11/10 - 12/10)
  • Carnival Freedom - Costa Rica & Panama (8/10)
  • Norwegian Star - Mexican Riviera (4/10)
  • Norwegian Sky - Bahamas (12/09)
  • Diamond Princess - Alaska (Northbound) Glacier Bay (8/09)
  • Carnival Destiny - Southern Caribbean (8/08)
  • Norwegian Sun - Western Caribbean (3/08)
  • Norwegian Gem - "Savor The Night" Celebrity Cruise (12/07)
  • RCCL Legend of the Seas - Western Caribbean (4/07)
  • Caribbean Princess - Western Caribbean (8/06 )
#2
North Carolina
1,052 Posts
Joined Jan 2005
Originally posted by tiyana4
We are sailing on our first Carnival cruise in just over a week. I am not much of a drinker but may want the occasional mixed drink. I am considering purchasing the Bar credit (4 coupons) but the maximum drink prices are $5.25. Is anyone aware of any drinks that fall in this price range?

On RCCL they had these amazing Lava Smoothies.....any there anything like this on CCL?
Have never seen the smoothies but the drink coupons cover just about every drink. We have used them on the last several cruises, Dh is a rum and coke guy and I buy margarietas. The only time I had to use the S&S card (1.50 extra charge) was when I asked for a top shelf drink and it included multiple liquors. We buy them for the convience of having all our drinks paid for prior to sailing.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Cobo 2016


It's 5 o'Clock somewhere -
#3
Western NY
234 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
Hi! I purchased 3 sets (4 each) of drink coupons for my cruise in April and my experience was this- I could use them for all drinks, however if I didn't specify the smaller size they would give me the regular size and take my S&S card for the cost over (1.50 and up)- and there was always a cost over for the regular sized drinks. Also the carnival plastic colored sovenier cups the drinks come in add to the cost as well. If you don't want to pay extra be sure to specifiy. Of course this was just in my experience, others may experience different situations for different ships.
I personally thought it was worth it- as I am not a big drinker and liked sampling different drinks in smaller sizes.
#5
Western NY
234 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
I'm no expert, this was just my own experience- but what I meant is that coupons were good towards any drink. But if you don't want to pay any extra they give you the drink in a plastic cup- that is a little smaller. I have heard other posts that have said they didn't get charged extra for the regular size- but in my case they would give me the typical size and then charge extra (only about 1.50)- unless I asked for the drink size that came with the coupon. Again just my experience- they may not even charge you extra (unless of course as mentioned earlier for top shelf or specialty drinks like martinis). It may depend on ship and/or server. They didn't however, charge me extra for the martini specials set up on Sensation Blvd.
Happy Sailing!
#6
Stockton, Ca.
433 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Originally posted by tiyana4
We are sailing on our first Carnival cruise in just over a week. I am not much of a drinker but may want the occasional mixed drink. I am considering purchasing the Bar credit (4 coupons) but the maximum drink prices are $5.25. Is anyone aware of any drinks that fall in this price range?

On RCCL they had these amazing Lava Smoothies.....any there anything like this on CCL?

Dh and I used them on our last cruise, and we were only charged extra for one drink. I will buy them in the future for our next cruise. It was nice not to have a huge sail and sign bill at the end of the cruise. I am a pre pay kind of gal. So I like to pre pay as much as possible before we even step foot on the ship.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Jennifer

Carnival Splendor
3/13/2011
RCI Monarch of the Sea
7/11/2008
Carnival Spirit
11/22/07
Carnival Paradise
9/25/06
Carnival Pride
2/26/06
#7
Belfry, KY USA
1,398 Posts
Joined May 2000
Instead of buying the Bar Coupons, why not buy Funship Dollars and apply them to the bill?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Celebrity Silhoutte 12/14, Carnival Dream 12/13, Explorer of the Seas 6/13, Celebrity Constellation 12/12, Carnival Valor 7/12, Carnival Fantasy 12/11, Oasis of the Seas 6/11, Carnival Fascination 12/10, Carnival Freedom 06/10, Monarch of the Seas 12/09, Carnival Freedom 7/09, Carnival Holiday 12/08, Carnival Legend 06/08, Crown Princess 6/07, Explorer of the Seas 6/06, Grandeur of the Seas 6/05, Mariner of the Seas 6/04, Galaxy 6/03, Carnival Pride 7/02, Voyager of the Seas 7/01, Grandeur of the Seas 07/00, Enchantment of the Seas 06/99, Carnival Destiny 7/98, Grandeur of the Seas 7/97, Sensation 6/96, Imagination 8/95, Carnivale 7/90, Festivale 7/89, Seaward (Norweigan Sea) 7/88, Carnivale 9/86


<a href="http://www.ucruiser.com/"><img src="http://www.ucruiser.com/ticker/rccl/tickers/q5vs2m0794vlku9w.png" alt="Cruise Countdown Tickers" border="0"/>

On the Independence of the Seas from Ft Lauderdale to San Juan, Sint Maarten and St. Kitts in June.
#8
102 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
After the 15% gratuity is put on your drink order, you will see that you will, in fact, save a little bit of money by having the drink coupons. The coupons cost $21.25 for 4. That = $5.31 per coupon. If your drink costs $5.25 and add the 15% gratuity (79 cents), that = $6.04. You save 73 cents per drink/coupon or $2.92 per booklet of 4 coupons.
#9
2,617 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Pitboss, I like the way you think. That does make it more appealing.

For everyone else, thanks for the info. It sounds like a great deal knowing the gratuities are prepaid. Like most others, we like to keep our S&S account at a minimum by prepaying shore excursions, standard gratuities, etc. So this is another great way to manage costs.

Thanks again.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
"Opinion is the median between knowledge and ignorance" ~ Plato ~

"The fewer the facts, the stronger the opinion" ~ Arnold H. Glascow ~
__________________________________________________

  • RCCL Allure of the Seas (08/12) Tropical Storm Isaac
  • Carnival Freedom - Exotic S. Caribbean (Aruba, Curacao, etc.) (04/12)
  • Celebrity Millennium - Falmouth & Grand Cayman (11/11)
  • Carnival Dream - Eastern Caribbean (8/11)
  • Norwegian Jade - Eastern Mediterranean & 3 days post-cruise in Paris (11/10 - 12/10)
  • Carnival Freedom - Costa Rica & Panama (8/10)
  • Norwegian Star - Mexican Riviera (4/10)
  • Norwegian Sky - Bahamas (12/09)
  • Diamond Princess - Alaska (Northbound) Glacier Bay (8/09)
  • Carnival Destiny - Southern Caribbean (8/08)
  • Norwegian Sun - Western Caribbean (3/08)
  • Norwegian Gem - "Savor The Night" Celebrity Cruise (12/07)
  • RCCL Legend of the Seas - Western Caribbean (4/07)
  • Caribbean Princess - Western Caribbean (8/06 )
#10
19,482 Posts
Joined Apr 2006
Originally posted by Pitboss32
After the 15% gratuity is put on your drink order, you will see that you will, in fact, save a little bit of money by having the drink coupons. The coupons cost $21.25 for 4. That = $5.31 per coupon. If your drink costs $5.25 and add the 15% gratuity (79 cents), that = $6.04. You save 73 cents per drink/coupon or $2.92 per booklet of 4 coupons.
I always feel compelled to tip when I use my coupons........so I do
#11
Georgia
1,443 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by Pitboss32
After the 15% gratuity is put on your drink order, you will see that you will, in fact, save a little bit of money by having the drink coupons. The coupons cost $21.25 for 4. That = $5.31 per coupon. If your drink costs $5.25 and add the 15% gratuity (79 cents), that = $6.04. You save 73 cents per drink/coupon or $2.92 per booklet of 4 coupons.
Not bad.
#12
1,799 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
also
from my experience ... refills of the DODs in the large souvenir cup are no extra charge with the drink coupon

so I did find that to be a Bigger savings ...as without the coupon refills actually would cost 5.95 , correct? And it covered it for me

Not sure if everyone has the same experience as me ...but I was not charged extra for DOD refills in the larger souvenir cup...

Anyone ?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

I might be OK
Even if I am not on a ship today
May I have the strength to lose my blues
Until the time comes when I can cruise !

Previous Cruises
1 Fantasy March 2007 - Costa Maya & Cozumel
2 Fantasy October 2007 -Cozumel & Progreso
3 Triumph October 2008 - Ocho Rios & Grand cayman & Cozumel
4 Triumph May 17,2009 -Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman & Belize
5 Liberty October 2009 - EASTERN CARIBBEAN-HALF MOON CAY,ST THOMAS,SAN JUAN, GRAND TURK

http://community.webshots.com/user/c...host=community
#13
294 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
We used the drink coupons with no issues last year on the Miracle. We did bring tons of singles and I gave the bartender a $1.00 when I was asking for a "speciality" drink or somthing with mulitply liquors.

What I did find odd was the room service guys didn't seem to be happy about getting cash tips. I know when you charge it they do not get the full amount and it goes in a "pool" of tips. They should of be delighted, I found that very odd. The bartender's were thrilled though...... I would usually go to the same person each night and she would roll out the red carpet for me (and hey we only had 3 books for 8 days two poeple). So a little cash goes a long way.
#14
331 Posts
Joined May 2006
Ok - reading the board for CC and learning so much (compared to RCL)...

Do you actually get "coupons" you carry around to use for the drinks? So, the coupons are pre-paid gratiuity also? Can you use them anywhere on the ship (dining room too?)...

Where/how do you pre-buy the coupons?...

Thanks!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Past Cruises:
Navigator of the Seas 9/16/06
#15
SW Florida
109 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
My personal experience on the Liberty in April was that it was a pain to have to deal with the coupons. The bar staff (eg: around the pool area) didn't seem to want to deal with them. I bought 4 books of coupons, and used them all and then some for drinks. We got charged extra for anything over the coupon amount, with the exception of one or two times. We don't drink much at home, but they make the drinks look so appealing, we ended up spending a lot more on drinks than anticipated. However, I do think that pre-paying is a great idea, so for our next cruise I will just go the funship dollar route.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Liberty - April 2010
Bahamas Celebration - April 2012
Carnival Dream - April 2013
Carnival Glory - March 2015
#16
Florida
119 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
I got my fiance started with these drink coupons on our first cruise together. They are a great way to save a little, like another pointed out. great to have the 15% included as well. We only paid extra when he asked for a double ONCE...then he learned. These coupons are one of the reasons that he actually prefers carnival over other lines.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature


1/2015 Carnival Sunshine
3/2014 Carnival Breeze
12/2013 Carnival Glory
11/2013 Carnival Imagination
11/2013 Carnival Glory
5/2013 Carnival Liberty
9/2012 Carnival Legend
2/2012 Carnival Sensation
09/2011 Carnival Legend
02/2011 Carnival Inspiration
11/2010 Carnival Inspiration
01/2007 Carnival Miracle

</td><td>
</td></tr><tr class=""><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr><tr class=""><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr><tr style="display: table-row;" class="outside-visible-treshold"><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr><tr style="display: table-row;" class="outside-visible-treshold"><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr><tr style="display: table-row;" class="outside-visible-treshold"><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr><tr style="display: table-row;" class="outside-visible-treshold"><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr><tr style="display: table-row;" class="outside-visible-treshold"><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr><tr style="display: table-row;" class="outside-visible-treshold"><td>
</td><td>
</td></tr></tbody></table>
#17
Texas
4,762 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
I bought them twice and didn't think they were that great of a deal. You have to carry around the coupon, you have to be very specific about what you are ordering so as not to be charged more, and even though advertise tip included and I tipped a dollar cash per drink, they still added their 15% tip to each drink when they brought the receipt.

I agree with someone else about the funship dollars, but I thought the drink coupons were not worth it.
#18
Atlantic City area, NJ
352 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
I use them for the convenient factor, I REALLY dislike signing a piece of paper every time I want a drink.
I am a R&C drinker, husband likes beer.
So for me, just hand a coupon. Use mostly in casino.
I just bought 32 (8 each, husband, son and girlfriend and myself).
Of course I will drink much more than 8 drinks on a 6 day cruise so I will most likely purchase some more for our upcoming feb cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Liberty 02/13
Valor 02/12
Sensation 02/11
Inspiration (Again), 09/10 Love her!
Pride 08/02
Imagination 08/01
Victory 09/00
Inspiration Millenium
#19
Algiers, on the WEST BANK
746 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
The current price for 4 drink coupons is: $23.00. You SAVE about $.84 per Yes, they do charge you if the price of the drink is OVER $5.75. But, I have found that if I give the bartender a cash tip, they "sometimes" forget to do this. Thus I have saved a little more $$.
#20
Catskill NY
2,019 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
I have used them...just use 2 for a double
It is ok to use them anywherer...I found like others...cash tipping goes a long way for NOT having the extra amount being charged...

They are great for a Bloody Mary...Parrot Bay Rum and coke...
My bar bill was still rather large...but that is always the case
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
djwood24
Darren and JoAnne
Repeat Offender
Truimph January 2006
Miracle May 2008
Miracle May 2010
Miracle May 2011
Miracle May 2012
Next Victory BTB Oct 2013