Carnival’s New Food Fee

Back in April, Carnival Cruise Line altered their room service menu on three ships — the Imagination, Conquest and Pride — to include for-fee items. The menus still included a wide selection of free items, but they also featured selections which came with an additional fee. At the time, Carnival reps said that they would let costumer feedback determine whether or not to implement the new menus across the line.

Well, if that claim is to be believed, consumers have spoken… and they said, “Sure, go ahead, charge us for room service items!”

Difficult as that might be to believe, it actually makes sense if one keeps in mind that the traditional room service offerings — including a selection of hot-and-cold sandwiches, desserts and breakfast items — remain available at no charge. The new room service menu simply offers additional items that come with a fee attached.

Of course, some cruisers fear that it’s a slippery slope: “Today,” they muse, “we’re paying for a few items on the room service menu, tomorrow, it’ll be every item.” And this has become a more common practice among lines. Earlier this year, Norwegian experimented with a room service fee on Breakaway and Getaway, and that line’s Margaritaville — aboard the Escape — went from complimentary to ala carte almost immediately upon opening. And several lines have begun to include “uncharge” items on the menus in their main dining rooms, traditionally considered the last bastion of all-inclusive dining.

What’s your take on room service fees? Is it okay for a line to charge for some items as long as the basics remain free?
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