One great thing about cruising vs. a land-based vacation is room service that is either free or minimally priced. You won’t find that at any typical hotel! Sometimes those that are new to cruising have some confusion as to how it works and what items are offered for your in-cabin dining pleasure. Because of that, we’ve decided to put together a room service Q&A that we hope you’ll find helpful.
Which lines charge for room service?
Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean charge a flat-rate fee of up to $7.95 for room service orders (which is available 24/7), except guests staying in The Haven on NCL or a Grand Suite or higher on Royal, where it is complimentary. Morning coffee and continental breakfast is also included without a fee. Also note: things like soda and alcohol will cost extra, too, even if you have a beverage package.
Which lines are complimentary?
Celebrity Cruises room service is free, except between 11 pm and 6 am where it incurs a $4.95 service fee. Those staying in a suite are not charged the late-night fee. For Carnival, Holland America, Disney, and Princess, room service is included except for select menu items such as pizza and wings, premium breakfast options, or select specialty restaurant dishes on some ships.
Photo by Princess Cruises
How do you order room service?
You can order from room service by dialing a dedicated room service number which will be posted on a card or the menu in your cabin. On some newer ships, you can also order on your cabin's interactive TV. For breakfast, most cruise lines use menu cards, which you fill out the night before and put outside your door before going to sleep. In the night they are collected, and your food is delivered in the morning at the time you requested it. This is especially helpful on early port days, where you can eat breakfast in your room before heading out and not worry about waiting in a buffet line.
What time of day is it available?
The major lines deliver 24/7, but some lines only offer room service between certain hours of the day. Keep in mind that most lines don't offer room service breakfast on disembarkation morning, because they don't want guests lingering in their cabins.
Photo by Holland America Line
What food items are usually available through room service?
Each line will offer a slightly different selection, but some common items across most lines for breakfast will include eggs, fruit, yogurt, bagels, pastries, breakfast sandwiches, milk, juice, tea, and coffee. For the rest of the day, there’s salads, sandwiches, personal pizzas, chicken tenders, burgers, cheesecake, and cookies. Soda, beer, and wine is also often available, though it will be an extra charge - even on lines where room service is complimentary. Some cruise lines also offer select items from their specialty restaurants on the room service menu, which are also an extra charge. Examples include filet mignon from Pinnacle Grill on Holland America, and sushi rolls from Bonsai Sushi on Carnival.
Should you tip the person that delivers it?
While tipping the crew member that brings your food isn’t required, a dollar or two is always appreciated. Be sure to have cash on hand for instances like this.