1. Bring Onboard Your Own Beverages As Long As They Meet Carnival's Requirements
Carnival has a strict policy when it comes to bringing beverages onboard, but the policy does allow guests to bring some beverages onboard. Currently, cruisers are allowed to bring soda, sparkling water, juice, or milk as long as it is in a can or carton. Each cruiser may bring a maximum of 12 of these non-alcoholic beverages as long as they are in a sealed can or carton and 12 ounces or less. Absolutely, no bottles are allowed under the current policy. Also, Carnival allows each guest over 21 to bring one 750 ml bottle of unopened wine or champagne. All of these drinks that are allowed to be brought onboard are required to be in carry on luggage.
Bringing your own drinks is a great way to save money. On my recent Carnival cruise, 1 soft drink has been priced around $2.00 plus a gratuity. I recommend, if possible, bringing your own canned sodas. If you plan on bringing drinks onboard a Carnival ship make sure what you are bringing meets their policy. This is a big way to save money, so take advantage if you can!!
Note - For the official description and information about bringing drinks onboard, please read this article on Carnival's website: Click Here To View
2. Save On Future Cruises By Booking Onboard
Carnival offers cruisers an option to book a future cruise while on a cruise. This is offered on all ships except the Carnival Inspiration, Carnival Imagination, and any Carnival Australia ships. By booking onboard, Carnival offers onboard credits that can range up to $200.00. Typically booking a 3, 4, or 5 day cruise results in $50 per stateroom onboard credit, a 6 day cruise results in $75.00 per stateroom onboard credit, a 7-11 day cruise results in $100.00 onboard credit per stateroom, and a 12+ day cruise results in $200.00 onboard credit per stateroom.
This onboard credit is an incentive to consider booking onboard because getting onboard credit is almost like getting your bill reduced for free. You can usually apply onboard credit towards things such as the casino, gift shop, tips, entertainment, and more. The onboard credit you can receive from taking advantage of this will be applied to the future cruise you just booked.
3. Drink The Free Beverages On The Lido Deck
If you don't want to spend money on drinks during your cruise, you don't have to! Each ship's Lido Deck has machines that dispense lemonade, iced tea, coffee, water, and hot chocolate. The selection may vary by time of the day because breakfast has some juices available too. You can drink as much of these as you want for FREE because they are included in the price of your cruise.
4. Planning On Ordering Room Service? Order From The Free Selections On The Menu
Most Carnival ships have the new room service menus, which have a section of free things and a section of things that cost extra. On this new menu things such as sandwiches,salads, and some desserts are available for free. If you want something delivered to your room order from the free section of the menu. However, do not forget to tip the server that brings the food to your room!
5. Have Kids? Take Advantage Of The Onboard Youth Programs
Carnival Cruise Line is known for its kid friendly youth programs. The vast majority of activities and services offered through these youth programs are free. Kids 2-11 are a part of a youth program called Camp Carnival or Camp Ocean (depends on the ship). Within Camp Ocean or Camp Carnival, kids are divided into the age groups of 2-5, 6-8, or 9-11 years old. Each age group has its own set of activities and meeting places. Teens 12-14 are a part of the Circle C youth program. Teens 15-17 are a part of the Club 02 youth program.
As long as a child is registered, he or she may attend the youth program that correlates to their age. Registration and most activities within each of the youth programs are free. Carnival typically will note when activities are not free. Read the youth program's activity newsletter or ask a member of the youth staff about the cost of an activity if you are unsure.
However, Carnival offers a Night Owls program that is not free. Parents can pay $6.75 per hour plus a 15% gratuity for Night Owls. By paying for this service, parents can have their kids watched from 10pm until 1am. Night Owls is offered for children that are at least 6 months old to 11 years old.
6. Download The Free Carnival Hub App
Carnival has an app that it is currently implementing to its ships. While most ships have this app, there are some that still do not. If your Carnival ship is equipped to work with the app, I recommend downloading the app. The app is free to download and once onboard the ship, cruisers can view activity information, Sail & Sign account information, events, and dining information from the app.
Note: There is a chat feature on the app that does cost extra. You do not have to purchase this feature in order to use the app onboard, but it is there for those that wish to purchase it.
7. Enter Your Name In Raffles - You Never Know If You Could Win!
On every Carnival cruise ship I have sailed, there are always raffles occurring throughout the cruise. For most raffles, it is free to get your name entered. In the past, raffles have been for things such as jewelry, gift shop items, and discounts. It never hurts to enter your name into a raffle because you never know if you could win something! On a side note, most raffles do require you to be present at the time of drawing in order to win.
8. Enjoy The Free Activities And Amenities Offered
There are many things to do on a Carnival cruise that are free. For example, during the day activities are offered such as trivia, scavenger hunts, and games. These organized activities are usually listed in the ship's daily activity newsletter, the "Fun-Times". Each Carnival ship has at least one waterslide and multiple pool areas for cruisers to enjoy. Also, each Carnival ship has a mini golf course. There are many other amenities on Carnival's ships, but these amenities can vary by ship.
At times, there are activities and events that cost extra.
This is only a small sample of ways you can save money on your Carnival Cruise. I am not writing this to keep anyone from spending money, but would like to share my ideas to help those that want to cruise Carnival on a budget.