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Sometimes, you just know a change is not going to go over well, especially with the notorious nickle-and-dime crowd. And the changes Carnival Cruise Line is making to its room service policies — particularly those involving late-night delivery — are definitely going to fall into that category.
The New Room Service Fee
The biggest change involves room service deliveries between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. While those were once complimentary, they will now come at a fee. The menu is being expanded, which Carnival is hoping will help ease the pain, but anything ordered will come at a charge of between $2 and $6 per item. Among those new items hitting the room service menu are a Greek salad; grilled cheese, bacon and tomato sandwich; and a roast turkey wrap. They will also be added a selection of new desserts, including dark chocolate walnut brownies and a doughnut sandwich.
Brand Ambassador John Heald said on his Facebook page that one reason for the change is that much of what’s ordered late at night gets wasted. “After 10 p.m. and through the night,” he writes, “some of our guests come back from [various nighttime activities] with a cocktail or three and they have the munchies, or at least they think they do. So they call [room service] and order 5 BLTs, 2 reubens, 3 plates of cookies for just two people. And they eat a little of it and leave most of it. there is therefore a massive amount of food waste that happens during the late-night period.”
Knowing that they will receive questions (and, no doubt, complaints) about the change in policy, Carnival issued talking points to their travel partners which points out that they are “the only cruise line among our major competitors to offer complimentary room service during the day and evening.” (Both Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean charge for room service orders.)
No More Debarkation Day Room Service
Another change made with regards to room service involves that day we all dread, debarkation day. Carnival will no longer offer room service — even at a fee — on the day you are set to debark. The talking points issued by Carnival with regard to this change say that, “given the huge number of responsibilities placed on the ship’s crew on turnabout day, we are no longer able to accommodate room service” on that morning. “Other options for breakfast include the Lido deck restaurant, Ocean Plaza (for those ships that have this feature) and in the main dining room.”
READ MORE: 7 Changes at Carnival Cruise Line in 2018
Of course, these changes will inevitably lead to people wondering if, like the competition, Carnival will soon do away with free room service altogether. Anticipating that question, their talking points say that “we have no plans at this time to discontinue offering complimentary breakfast and daytime/evening room service options.” Of course, the “at this time” will give some cruisers pause.
How do you feel about the room service changes Carnival is instituting? Do you understand their rationale?