also on a trial basis. Problem is, it becomes justified if two companies do it. Still stupid, but justified.
And Now Carnival Says Its Going to Charge for Room Service
We all are aware that "Trial Basis" is a precursor to policy. As soon as that department makes a profit on Room Service with the charges, then it becomes the norm.
Actually, I do not have a problem with the charges, providing the service is there. Just like ordering a Pizza, If it is not there in 20 minutes---you don't pay... but if the service becomes slow and the food is cold, or wrong... then word will spread quickly that the " service" is not worth the $$$'s Spent.
I'm more concerned that the cost of the cruise, while reasonable in itself, will be affected by charges, fees, levies and other non specific amounts added to the cruisers bill during and after the cruise. My wife an I budget $100.00 PP per day on board. We have a " Souvenir budget" and a "jewellery budget" to go along with our "excursion budget".
So far we have been within budget knowing all this going on the cruise. With the addition of charges the question will be asked, What else do we need to prepare for?
That in itself may be worthy of a separate discussion.
I think the cruise line definition of "trial basis" is fundamentally different than that of the consumer.
For the cruise line, it is trialling how the charges get processed and credited in their system to make sure there are no glitches and that they capture as much revenue as the beancounters estimated when the idea got floated as a way to squeeze more money out of their customers.
These revenue streams are how the cruise line can avoid raising the baseline cost of the cruises. This way they keep the posted prices as low as possible in order to attract people. The people who use room service should be the ones paying for it. If the line did not start to charge, the service cost would be absorbed into the baseline cruise's price tag. Then, everyone's cost would go up and that doesn't seem quite right for those people who do not use room service.
It's the same thing that airlines do. Keep the base price as low as possible and then have add-on charges for everything else (unless you are a premium customer who gets comps as perks for continued business).
Hang on, its going to get worse, or better, depending upon your opinion of the nickel and dime game.
The airline analogy is a good one. Take Spirit Airlines for instance, they charge extra for just about everything, two years ago their non-ticket charges accounted for 41% of their total revenue. People hate em, they are the most complained about carrier in the industry, but increasing numbers of passengers ride on them. Reason: They are cheaper by far than the competition which is the priority for many who don't mind being crammed into a cattle car and are able to avoid paying for or using amenities. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/business/spirit-airlines-banks-on-few-frills-and-more-fees.html?_r=0
One can argue that virtually every single aspect of a cruise will eventually be subject to add-ons. Even on the all inclusives argument constantly takes place over what should or should not be offered. For instance: Alcohol, why should someone who doesn't drink subsidize those that do? Shore excursions, why should someone that doesn't participate in those have to pay for those who do? Why do they serve caviar, I hate it, why should I pay for those who do? I hate lobster, why should I have to pay so much for the cruise when they could reduce my initial fee by not having so many lobster dinners? Anyway, you get the drift. By the way, I love wine, caviar and lobster.
A little over a year ago HAL discontinued their long time practice of letting us bring our own wine on board. Oh you can still do that, for $18.00 a bottle. Us winos screamed, others said, we don't drink, why should we care.
Fact is, the majority of voyagers anymore appreciate the no sticker shock low initial fee and are welling to do without just about everything on board that makes the cruise experience so super for folk getting long in the tooth, like yours truly. For the most part, the cruise industry's business model today is floating larger and larger ships. There is no way all those berths are going to be filled by those in the upper tax brackets. Spirit Cruise Line, anyone?
I have never used room service so this will not impact me at all. However, I feel for families who come on board with two kids and one get sick and they have to order room service for several days. For some passengers their cruise is something that they budgeted for all year. They are shocked when they get their bill at the end of the cruise. My nephew had this happen to him on his honeymoon, He had no idea that all his tropical drinks would cost so much by the end of the cruise. Now it is becoming even more important to read on the cruise line's Website what costs extra on the cruise and to get copies of your statement througholu your cruise.
I have mixed feelings about this. I've always felt that room service menus on most ships were a bit spartan, so having more choices is definitely a good thing, but paying per item just seems wrong. I could get behind (I think) a delivery charge per order but paying $4 for the same sandwich I could walk upstairs and get in the buffet doesn't appeal to me.
There's still hope that this won't be permanent, but if passengers embrace it and are willing to pay, it shows there is demand and it likely will stick around.
Carnival has a very limited room service menu, If they start putting on hot meals I could see it might work. If they keep it the same menu I would not pay for it.
I tend to be more inclined to use room service on a longer cruise then on just a short 3 or 4 night trip. It is great on a sea day to have breakfast and coffee delivered so I can sit on the balcony in my robe and enjoy breakfast and the sea.
We do use room service. Since we do not go on excursions as much as we used to, the port days (Caribbean cruises specifically) are usually frantic in dining room and cafe. Instead, we have a nice quiet breakie in the balcony.
On cruises were we are really out of sync with our usual time zone, we sometimes wake up in the middle of the night very hungry. On those occasions, we might a order something to nosh instead of leaving the cabin.
I don't mind paying for room service but feel all of these "extras" need to be clearly spelled out in the cruise contract instead of slid under the door.
Like I said with the NCL post, if they have an expanded menu and I use it as an option over the MDR or the buffet, and it arrives hot.....I'm ok with it. But if you are going to charge for morning coffee and muffins, I am against it.
I agree with BAK1061. A couple croissants and coffee should not be charged for. On our recent Celebrity cruise, that simple order was completed correctly only 60% of the time. We had to be painfully specific to have a fighting chance of getting what we wanted... "fresh hot coffee, 4 croissants, butter, strawberry jam, cream for the coffee, raw sugar". One would not think specifying fresh and hot was necessary but if we did not say it, we got lukewarm coffee that had been sitting around.... no lie. Getting charged for that would p*ss me off, royally (npi).
I do not use room service , but I do not think you should have to pay for it.