Why You Can’t Bring Bottled Water On A Carnival Cruise And How You Can Work Around This

Why You Can't Bring Bottled Water On A Carnival Cruise And How You Can Work Around This

Bringing bottled water on a cruise sounds like a no-brainer. It’s hot, sunny and you can’t drink alcohol 24/7.

Many people used to bring cases of water on board to have in their cabins. Buying it at home was way more economical than the $3-$5 they charge on board per bottle, and they could split a case among everyone in their party.

Fairly quickly, some people realized that vodka and water are the same color and started pulling switcheroos. Alcohol is a huge revenue stream for cruise lines, so naturally, the cruise lines tried to stop this. They tried all sorts of ways to catch the booze smugglers, and eventually gave up when their methods mostly failed. Hence, no water bottles are allowed on board.

So what can you do if you legitimately want free or reasonably priced water on board? I have some options for you.

  1. If you are gold, platinum or diamond status in Carnival’s VIFP program, you will receive one liter-sized bottle of water for free. You can collect this in your cabin, coffee shop, bars or restaurants. You will be charged, but a credit for the purchase will appear on your Sail & Sign account, essentially cancelling the charge out. Once you have this bottle, you can refill it (see #3 below.)
  2. You can purchase 12-packs of water in advance from Carnival’s Fun Shops and have them delivered to your cabin. These packs were Carnival’s way of appeasing people back when they first started banning water bottles. Back then the 12-packs were $2.99. Over the past few years, the price has risen to $4.99, but they are still available.
  3. You can bring a refillable water bottle. I love this one that has a built in water filter so the water doesn’t taste funny. There are various water bottle filling stations throughout the ship. You can also refill with the tap water from your cabin bathroom sink.
  4. You can bring a refillable tumbler that you can use for water during the day AND any of the included drinks on your cruise. Included drinks are coffee, lemonade, tea and some juices. I recommend a double walled one (like this) so your drinks stay hot or cold for long periods of time.
  5. You can bring canned water or boxed water. While these seem expensive compared to bottled water, they are nothing compared to the prices on board. If you are bringing canned or boxed water on the ship, you are limited to one pack of 12 per person. Each can/carton has to be 12 ounces or less.

Carnival does make exceptions for purified or distilled water being used for CPAP machines or to mix baby formula. If this applies to you, you should contact Carnival Cruise Line in advance for further instructions.

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