The world's second largest cruise line this week announced a dramatic increase in the price of extras on its ships. The changes will take effect as early as May 1.
Among the most notable price hikes — a whopping 15.3% increase in the purchase price of a drink package.
Starting May 1st, Cheers! will cost USD 59.95 per person per day if booked in advance i.e. before sailing. That's $8 more than today's prices.
If you buy Cheers! already aboard the Carnival, will have to shell out $64.95 a day — also $8 more.
These prices do not include an 18 percent service charge, which is automatically added to the final bill.
There will also be a significant increase in the cost of lunch from the chef cooks. Starting May 1, culinary delights will cost $99 per person, up 24 percent from the current $80.
What's the next price increase for Carnival announced this week?
The fixed cost of dinners at Steakhouse restaurants will increase by almost 11 percent. They will now cost $42 per person.
The price of a meal kit at Carnival teppanyaki — up to $35 per person.
A 20 percent increase in the fixed price of meals is planned at Italian Carnival eateries called Cucina del Capitano. New price — $18 per person.
In addition, “automatic” tips at Carnival on May 1 will jump 3.6 percent to $14.50 for passengers staying in most cabin types.
Some Wi-Fi packages will also rise by about 8 percent, although the cost of the highest speed premium package will not change. It still costs $13.60 a day.
This price hike comes as Carnival is lowering its base fares on some short flights to fill the ships. Select five-day flights to Mexico on Carnival are now available online for as little as $31.80 per day.
As a result, Carnival customers will spend less when they buy a ticket in the coming months, but more once they board.
Carnival and other cruise lines have been struggling to increase occupancy in recent months, resulting in widespread fare cuts. Despite this, more old bookings were canceled in February than new ones.
This trend has reversed in recent weeks as COVID-19 has disappeared from the headlines. Cruise purchases are on the rise again. However, booking levels for the coming months are lower than shipowners would like to see. Also, Carnival Corporation ships are not as busy for the second half of 2022 as they are usually at this time of year.
Experts note that Carnival's sharp increase in inflight prices announced this week comes after a long period of “freezing” tariffs. The last time Carnival increased the prices of beverage packages, Wi-Fi and restaurants before the COVID-19 pandemic was in early 2020.
On the other hand, the price increase is attributed to the sharp increase in inflation in North America. The US consumer price index has risen 9.7 percent since February 2020. As a result, some additional fees on carnival ships, such as tips, are now, adjusted for inflation, lower than two years ago — even after the price increase announced this week.
Like many mass-market cruise brands, Carnival makes a significant portion of its revenue from in-flight shopping. It's like low-cost airlines in aviation.
The Cheers! drink package, which will increase in price from May 1, is popular with passengers. It allows you to order up to 15 alcoholic drinks within 24 hours, as well as unlimited sodas, juices, specialty coffees, energy drinks and bottled water.