If you are paying $8000 for a family of four, you are paying way too much and can well afford the soda on board. ( Average 8 night cruise with Cat. 8 cabin per couple has been no more than $3000 including air at the Prime winter vacation period.) Carnival is trying to reduce the cases of personal beverages being brought on board. There are soda cards for kids ($19.95) and adults ($30). There is lemonade, iced tea and punch available all day at the buffet for free. If you can fit a 12 pack of soda in your checked luggage, do so, but the wasted space and weight would convince me I could do without it for a week.