Additional charges in Main Dining Rooms


There is a thread on here about the possibility of cruise prices being reduced. This seems to buck that idea where Norwegian Cruise Line are now charging additional fees for certain steak meals and other dishes. What is the general thought about this new venture?

Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line

9 Answers

Thanks for the tip. Most interesting. I didn't know this part either:

"Norwegian is not the first line to charge more for "premium" items on a complimentary dining menu. Royal Caribbean and Carnival both offer a selection of steak and seafood for an additional fee in their main dining rooms. Carnival ships offer steakhouse selections such as a 1.5-pound Maine lobster, 9-oz. filet mignon, 14-oz. New York strip steak, and surf and turf (broiled Maine lobster tail and filet mignon), for $20 each."

Are these "premium" items available at "anytime (open seating)" dining as well as the "traditional" dining or just in the "traditional" venues? I'm assuming that you have to make reservations in advance in order to receive "premium" items if you are "open seating". If that be a correct assumption, do they give you a reservation time as well? If so, might be nice to get a reservation for anytime at a prime time, instead of having to wait 45 minutes or more.

NCL: "The higher fees first appeared as part of new main dining menus rolled out on Norwegian Escape, which makes its U.S. debut Monday. Among the upcharge items on the otherwise complimentary main dining room menu are lobster ($19.99), surf and turf ($24.99) and prime rib ($14.99)."

Those charges are not far off of what we have been paying now on Princess in their two specialty restaurants. Very dynamic things are happening. Stay tuned

The trend seems to be to keep the base price low and charge extra for many of the niceties that used to be included like lobster and fancy cuts of steak. Shrimp cocktail used to be on the daily standby menu in many MDRs, not so anymore. River cruise boats sevens to do just the opposite. They are more inclusive with comlimentary wine and beer at dinner - sometimes at lunch, too. Even shore excursions are included. This may be a reason for their increasing popularity. Of course, their base price is higher.

We just completed another cruise on Princess three days ago, makes a total of 4 with Princess over the last 12 months, about 10 weeks of sailing. During this period, we also did 5 weeks on Regent, but that is an all inclusive which must be something like those river cruises you mention, we have never did one of those, except for the Mississippi about 14 years ago. I've eaten a lot of shrimp as a result.

Anyway, in their main dining rooms, Princess still offers a shrimp cocktail for dinner every day. It comes under the section of the menu titled "always available", they also offer a Caesar salad in that section as well. So I usually order the shrimp cocktail, a Caesars, and then off the entree selection for that day. I sure hope they don't discontinue that practice.

Carnival does have the extra pay items in the MDR, about $20.00 for a good steak in the MDR. The Steak House on Carnival is $ 35.00 that is for the full meal in the separate dining room. I see the $20.00 a good option to keep prices low or for a family that the parents want the steak dinner but not worth paying $ 35.00 each for kids that will not eat the steak and will be happy with chicken strips or Mac N Cheese.

Since I travel with friends and no kids, I prefer to go to the specialty dining room for the full meal, the better service in the quiet elegant setting.

We've got very few restrictions here on the forum, but we do prefer our members not post links to other cruise community sites, so I've edited the OP to remove the link. Linking to stories on "cruise news" sites that don't offer separate discussion forums is fine, but for discussion, we prefer to keep that right here on the forum. Thanks!

I was on HALfor a Grand Voyage and Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail was on the menu every night. On the following Back-to-back cruise it was only offered a few times. You were lucky that Princess had it every night.

Question - what did you think of your Mississippi River Cruise? I just returned from one last month and the boat was great, food good and service was wonderful. However, there was not much to see except in the starting city and ending city.

I agree, I prefer to go to the speciality restaurant for the same reasons but as you said others have valid reasons for ordering higher priced items in the MDR.

They're doing that on Carnival, too. If I want to pay extra, I'll go to the specialty restaurant.

We did the Mississippi for about a week on the Mississippi Queen in the spring of 2001. Loved it. We all remember what happened that September and the cruise line went broke. Their "real" steamboats are no more, the Queen was scrapped I understand. Have some friends that did the river last winter. They didn't like it, as they expected a real paddle wheeler and got a fake one on a conventional platform.

That review doesn't mean much though as they are real particular and haven't cruised much except one time years ago. I have read some positive things about the new company that contradicts their opinion.

They also said the same as you, not much to see. The opposite for us. They had lots of shore excursions and historical tours, I used to be really into the civil war period and antebelleum stuff.

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