Carnival Shareholder Benefit

Carnival Shareholder Benefit Logo

Earn benefits for owning your favorite cruise line’s stock!

Many cruisers I speak to have no clue that the major cruise lines often offer some sort of benefit for being a shareholder of the cruise line’s stock. Carnival Corporation & PLC offers up to $250 of Onboard Credit just for being a shareholder!

“How much will this cost me?” is always the first question I receive when I tell cruisers about the benefit. For Carnival, you only need to hold 100 shares of the company’s stock in order to qualify. At the time of this writing, the current price of $21.02/share ($CCL Live Ticker), would cost new investors just over $2,100.

Of course, the cost of shares fluctuate based on how the stock performs. I bought in at $45/share ($4,500). So, if you purchase 100 shares today, you do so at a significant savings to what I spent, but you get the same benefits!

What do I get for my investment?

In addition to the possible gains (or losses*) you receive as a shareholder, Carnival provides the following benefits to shareholders:

Length of SailingOnboard Credit (OBC)
14 days or longer$250
7 to 13 days$100
6 days or less$50
Carnival Shareholder Benefit (applicable through July 31, 2022)

As you can see from the table above, the longer your cruise, the more you stand to gain from your Shareholder Benefit! For my Panama Canal sailing in 2019, I received the full OBC of $250, however, the majority of my sailings are 7 days which earns me the $100 OBC. This is enough to cover gratuities onboard at the current rate of $13.99/day ($97.93)**.

Prior to the pandemic, Carnival also had a healthy dividend payout of $.50/share. That meant that each quarter, investors who held 100 shares received another $50 – or $200/year! The dividend has been suspended indefinitely.

How do I get the credit?

For years, the only option cruisers had to request the credit was to FAX a request, with proof of share ownership, to Carnival corporation. Thankfully, Carnival added an option to email Shareholder Services/Guest Admin. This makes the process so much easier.

To request your shareholder credit, you simply email a minimum of 3 weeks prior to your sail date with the following information:

  • Booking Number (6-digit booking ID used to access your sailing)
  • Ship
  • Embarkation date (first day of your cruise)
  • Port of Embarkation (where you’re sailing from)
  • Shareholder name

Additionally, you are required to attach a “recent investor statement” that proves share ownership. How recent that is depends on the human processing your request. I’ve used the same statement for cruises as far out as 5 months. At other times, I’ve been asked to resubmit a statement that’s 60 days prior to the sail date.

Tips for Shareholder Credit Submission

  • When requesting your credit, save a copy of your most current statement and include that with your request
  • The investor statement must include your full name and that name must match the name on the reservation
  • Redact any personal information (account numbers, information about other shares you hold, etc.) before sending your statement to Carnival

And if you’re just dying to find a use for that old fax machine that’s collecting dust, you can fax all of this information to Carnival at: 305-406-6102. I recommend including a cover letter that contains the information above and then a copy of your redacted statement that includes proof of ownership.

Is it worth the cost?

I’ve used the Shareholder credit on all of my cruises since 2015 and I’ve earned $2,900 in OBC. Additionally, when Carnival was paying out a healthy dividend, I earned over $1,000 in that same time period. So my $4,500 investment has paid for itself over the years! Of course, as I always say, your mileage may vary.

Fine Print and Disclaimers:

There are some Carnival fine print and some disclaimers:

  • Only one OBC is allowed per stateroom. So if you’re sailing with another person who has 100 shares of $CCL stock, only one onboard credit will be applied
  • Employees, travel agents cruising at travel agent rates, tour conductors or anyone cruising on a reduced-rate or complimentary basis are excluded from this offer (sorry Casino Rate Offers!)
  • Benefit cannot be exchanged for cash, nor can it be used for casino credits or charges
  • Reservations must be made by February 28, 2022 to qualify for the current Shareholder Benefit program
  • **Carnival states that the benefit cannot be used toward gratuities, however, we’ve used our OBC this way for nearly 30 sailings
  • *As with any stock purchase or investment, there is market risk. You could lose money with the investment. Additionally, as you buy/sell stock, there could be tax implications. Nothing on this page should be used to make an investment or tax decision and I retain zero liability for any decisions you may make

Carnival gets strict.

In late 2021, Carnival started to become much more strict with their Shareholder Credit program. In fact, my credit was denied for a sailing because I booked it using my VIFP number! I sent multiple emails to which I continued to be denied. I eventually called Carnival, waited on hold for an hour, and was told the same thing. I pushed back and said to the agent: “So what you’re saying is that no one who has ever sailed on a Carnival cruise can be a stockholder? You’re actually penalizing brand-loyal customers?” It was at this point the agent made the connection to what I was explaining and the rule. She called Shareholder Services/Guest Admin and the OBC was added to my account within minutes.

Carnival’s Shareholder Benefit program is included as part of Carnival Corp’s Annual Report if you’d like to learn more. You can also access the benefit information from Carnival’s Shareholder Information page.

Head over to the updated article posted on May 5, 2023.

51 thoughts on “Carnival Shareholder Benefit”

  1. This one really hit home. I’ve been trying to get my Shareholders benefit for the last month. The first attempt was a fax, it was illegible please try again. Second attempt was an email, “they don’t give OBC to reduced-rate”, thanks to you I know it was because I booked with my VIFP. The third attempt was by mail, they can’t find my name on the brokerage statement. When I have an extra hour or two I will call them.
    FYI – I request the CCL shareholder benefit for two cruises on Princess and had the OBC within a week. I used the same brokerage statement for Princess as I did for Carnival.

    1. Sorry to hear about your experience; frustrating is an understatement! I’m just so thankful that we’re finally able to send statements via email instead of the required fax. But even that requires you get the right person who will apply the OBC. I’m really curious how Shareholder Credit will change in July when the annual report is published. Will it continue? Will it require more shares based on the significantly lowered share cost? Keeping an eye out!

    2. Am trying to get shareholder benefits for my clients who are sailing on Princess. Steve, how did you work to get the OBC with Princess?

    1. I’ve been fortunate so far this year and haven’t had any issue with gratuities being covered on my seven sailings. Between OBC and Shareholder, I usually have leftover funds that I have to burn through on the last night of the cruise. I’ve picked up a lot of 50th anniversary stuff as a result! Haha

  2. I have 4 cruises currently booked through Carnival: 2 weeks In Oct ’22, 1 week Feb ’23, and a 8 and 6 day back-to-back cruise for Oct ’23. You said something about reservations must be before Feb 28 ’22, which only the first cruise was booked prior. If I purchased 100 shares now, would I get the OBC for Oct ’22? I’m assuming the latter cruises would qualify for next year.

    1. The Shareholder Information page on Carnival’s website has now been updated to reflect “Reservations must be made by February 28, 2023 to qualify.” If you purchase shares now (at one of the lowest prices I’ve ever seen), you would be able to request the credit for upcoming sailings. With that said, there have been some reports of challenges getting Carnival to accept the request based on rate code and way of booking. Knock on wood, I’ve received the credit on all 10 cruises so far this year. That means, in 2023 alone, I’ll more than pay for the shares I purchased with onboard credit. That is mind blowing to me!

      1. I have just booked a 10 day cruise today and wondering if I buy the required minimum shares today, will I get the OBC?

        1. As long as you have enough lead time prior to your cruise you should be able to receive the OBC! The reason I say depending on how far away your cruise is… you need to provide a financial statement proving stock ownership and the statement has to include a name matching on your cruise reservation. Additionally, it can take Carnival up to two weeks to process your request once you submit it. So, if your cruise is far enough away to get a statement and have enough time for Carnival to process your request, you should be good to go! One caveat, depending on the rate code you booked, you may or may not be eligible per the article. Enjoy your cruise; 10-days sounds absolutely wonderful!

          1. So do you have to call Shareholder Services/Guest Admin every time you book a cruise? The always ask for the VIFP # so I’m confused on why they don’t want to give you the credit. I just recently got a cruise for October and also 100 shares of stock and was wondering if I’m going to have to call them every time?

          2. You can either fax your request with the required information or send an email with the required information to You need to do this at least 3 weeks prior to your sailing. And, yes, you will need to do this every time you book a cruise to confirm that you still own the shares. When submitting the required information, Carnival requires a current shareholder statement to confirm ownership. Hope this helps!

    1. It does, however, the process is a little different for Seabourn. I’ve included the contact information below. Whether you email or fax, be sure to include all of the required information for them to process your request.

      Fax: 206-501-2900

  3. So I sent in the paperwork 4 weeks ago by both fax and email. How do I confirm I got the OBC? Do they email you when received and processed? Nothing showing on my account. Sailing soon.

    1. If you have a Personal Vacation Planner with Carnival, I would call them asap. If not, call the general line to inquire (they’ll likely have to transfer you). The other option is you can send a follow-up email to the email address asking for a status update – but if you sail soon, calling is your best avenue.

  4. Do you know if you can still get the comp credit if you booked your cruise through a casino promotion? Looking at getting the shares before my next cruise in December

    1. Prior to the pandemic, this didn’t seem to be an issue. However, Carnival has become more strict on Casino offers. I always advise that if you already have the shares, it’s worth giving it a try and submitting the paperwork. The worst they can say is no.

  5. I booked on a Princess cruise. Bought 100 CCL shares and emailed my information. I heard it might be 2 to 3 weeks to get the OBC. I was so surprised to see the OBC applied to my account within a day or 2 after I sent the email.

    1. Wow, that’s an amazing turnaround time. I just submitted one this evening for my Mardi Gras sailing in December. Curious to see how long it takes to get posted. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Hi, Mark. So here’s a question for you. What does “reduced rate” mean? For instance, if I booked a cruise Holland America on, and instead of the full price, paid a discounted fare, would I still qualify for the OBC if I was a shareholder? How about if the price was the same as the advertised price on Holland America’s web site? Thanks for the help!

    1. Reduced rate usually means casino fare, free/significantly reduced rate cruise, etc. For example, last year, I got a $100 balcony. Under the old system, I received the $100 credit… which was amazing! With the changes they’ve made, I would likely not receive the credit, but it never hurts to try. I always recommend submitting; worst case, they will tell you no. 🙂

  7. I bought 100 Carnival shares in October through On 7 November I emailed Carnival with attachment showing my holding and details of my P&O cruise on 21 Dec, I received an automated email to say that it had been received, but that is all. Do they let you know if they have either applied the credit or if there was an issue.
    I am slightly concerned as it is my first application and the cruise is in 4 weeks

    1. When I’ve submitted via email, I’ve always received a message back once it’s been applied. On Carnival Cruise Line, you can see the credits that have been applied to your account once you check in. I might recommend reaching out to the email address to see if they were able to process it. I just had to do that with my last sailing as I never heard back. They couldn’t find my submission and asked for me to reply with my statement, which I did, and within 24 hours, it was applied and they responded via email. Enjoy your cruise!!

    1. Usually, they’ll only approve sailings about two months out or so. With that said, I included my end of January sailing when I submitted October and December sailings, and they applied the benefit. Worst case, they’ll reply to your email letting you know that you have to wait until closer to your sailing.

  8. Hi I have brought carnival shares last week ..we sail on the 30th April…Will I be able to apply for once ..cruisers are confusing me as they say you have to hold shares for at least 3 months before you can apply this from when you brought them or when you pay your balance in full or the actual date you sail … I have brought from H L…who I believe will do the request when you inform them of your cruise date …TIA

    1. I purchased my first shares of Carnival back in 2015 and sailed several weeks later and they applied the credit. Nowhere on any of the official Carnival documentation do they indicate a minimum holding timeframe for the shares, so you should be good! With that said, according to the current Shareholder Benefit documentation, the booking must be made by February 28, 2023 on sailings through July 31, 2023. With the financial challenges Carnival continues to face, I’m curious how the shareholder benefit may change in the coming year (fingers crossed they keep it as is).

  9. Great article! Im curious, if you receive on-board credit through a promo would you get both credits? I.e $50 promo obc for the sailing and then $100 obc for being a shareholder?

    1. I’ve heard mixed reviews from other cruisers. In my own personal experience, I have always received both. Most bookings these days seem to come with at least $50 OBC. Between that OBC and the $100 shareholder credit, it almost covers the gratuities for two. One more perk of the shareholder credit!

  10. We are seriously considering buying 100 shares. We have two cruises booked for February and December. You mentioned above booking using the VIFP number. My vacation planner always searches for the best deal when booking. Is this going to be a problem?

    1. At the current price point, I always recommend it to fellow cruisers! With that said I always disclaim that I am not a tax or financial advisor, so do so at your own risk tolerance – however, at current share prices, it doesn’t take a lot of sailings to pay for itself (unlike when I purchased at $46/share, ouch). In terms of whether or not there will be an issue, there shouldn’t be, unless you’re booking on a casino offer or free/almost-free cruise offer. While there were some issues at the end of 2021 and start of 2022, I’ve not had a single request declined this year. It should be noted, that the current shareholder benefit is good through July 31, 2023 if booked by February 28, 2023. The benefit could change when Carnival releases their 2022 Annual Report; I’ll post any changes to the site.

      1. Please do report any changes of Carnival as we booked 4 Holland America line cruises…3 were casino offers and one we paid them directly. What if my partner buys the shares, as he did not get the casino offers…could he buy 100 shares and get the shareholders benefits…? I know he gets his own offers of onboard freeplay sometimes but not he doesn’t get many offers at all so just freeplay here and there for him as he likes to play real poker so the casino is not a place he spends much time.

        1. That’s a great question. In general, if the room is booked on a casino offer, likely, the shareholder credit does not apply. With that said, I *always* advise submitting it, even if there’s a chance it may be denied. Worst case scenario, you’re out a couple minutes submitting it. Best case? They apply it despite having a casino offer on the room! Good luck, and let us know what happens!

  11. I booked on a Carnival cruise. I submitted my request for the OBC on Tuesday, 01/03/23 and on Thursday, 01/04/23, my OBC for the five day cruise ($50) was applied to my Carnival account. I was surprised.
    My question is on my Carnival account, under OBC it says “Confirm with all OBC holders before applying credits pre-cruise to avoid cancellations on board.”
    I am travelling with my husband, so why the possiblity of Cancellation on board.” Thank you.

    1. That’s fantastic to hear how quickly it was applied to your account! Do you by chance have any other OBC on this booking? I did some digging and also pinged a buddy. It sounds like anyone listed on the booking has the ability to use the OBC pre-cruise (shore excursions, spa treatments, etc.) If OBC is split across multiple folks and someone spends on behalf of the actual OBC holder, the item purchased can be canceled onboard. So, the warning is essentially telling you to confirm with any OBC holder on the booking before spending the funds to avoid whatever you book from being canceled. Hope that helps, Mary!

  12. Can someone tell me where you send your shareholder certificate for Carnival Australia and P and O Australia cruises please.

    1. Hello Pam. There are two options that we were able to find for you.
      If you wish to send your credit in via mail, regardless of which line you sail, send it to: Customer Service Manager PO Box 1429, Chatswood, NSW 2057
      You can call this number for inquiries: Tel 61 2 8326 4000
      This would be for if you want to fax your proof to the brand: Fax 61 2 8326 4550
      And finally, if you’re sailing with Carnival Australia, you can submit your information via email to this address:
      If you’re sailing P&O or Princess Australia, you can send your details to this email address:

      Hope you are able to successfully complete this!

  13. I’m thinking of purchasing 100 shares. I already have 2 Carnival cruises booked for later this year. Even though the current OBC offer for shareholders expires in June, if the new offer for after that date still offers OBC will I be eligible to claim these for my upcoming booked cruises that I booked last year? Thanks Belinda

    1. Yes! As long as your shares are active and you can show that on your statement that you provide to Carnival, then you will qualify for the OBC benefit at the time of your sailing. They don’t need to see the purchase date for the shares during the application process.

  14. I had a very good experience with Carnival. I actually forgot all about the OBC. I was able to get to my account on the ship and print my proof of ownership. I took it to guest services not expecting anything to come of it, and I certainly understand why. Well, to my surprise, they gave me $250 within 24 hours. Thank you, Carnival. I will never forget to apply again. I am ready to apply for my August cruise, but I think I need to wait a bit longer.

    1. Wow; that’s fantastic!! I’ve never heard of them honoring the shareholder credit while on the ship. Great job thinking to ask Guest Services! And, yes, generally, you need to be within a couple months of your sail date for them to apply the credit, however, I’ve had them apply it up to 4 months in advance (when submitting it with other sailings that were closer).

  15. When do we expect Carnival to announce if Shareholder benefits are to extended until 2024. I booked a cruise in March 2023 for trip beginning July 2023. As Feb28th is last date currently advertised for all cruises up to July 31st 2023, I am currently in Limbo.

    1. Great news: we’ll be posting an article shortly that shares those details. Not to fear, you will be covered for your July cruise.

  16. Hi. We have cruises booked in Aug ‘23, Jan ‘24 and March ‘24. We are buying 100 shares of CCL as we feel it’s good value given the amount of cruises we take. All our cruises are with HAL. Who do we submit our stock certificate to? Carnival or Holland America?

    1. Hey there! Thanks for the message and for checking out the post. Congrats on your decision to pick up 100 shares! For HAL, you’ll want to submit to We’ve never sailed Holland America Line ourselves, so you’ll have to let us know how the process goes! We hope that you have safe travels and enjoy all 3 sailings! -Mark

    1. Great question! If P&O refers to the cruise as a 14-day cruise, then it would qualify as the highest level OBC. Either way, you’ll be getting some awesome on-board spending money for your cruise!

  17. Can anyone advise me of the P&O UK Shareholders email address – I have now purchased my shares and HL have my cruise info but I just want to double check as we sail in 32 days and I don’t want to miss out Thanks

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