I think by now all of you know that NCL very recently instituted a new Room Service Charge of $7.95 per delivery to your cabin. But did you know, that at the same time they have now banned takeaway food from all dining venues. In other words, you can no longer remove any food items from the eating areas and bring them back to your cabin to enjoy later. What! I feel sorry for diabetics who need food on a regular basis. I feel sorry for parents with kids who want a snack at bedtime. Will this impact you?
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NCL - New Takeaway Food Policy
We'll be taking our first NCL trip next April 2016 and all I hear is nice things about NCL. I'll bet that this policy was probably a result of abuse by many travelers. And without a doubt taking some food items back as for medical reasons will be accepted. My wife is a diabetic and an occasional cookie or fruit is taken from the cafe just in case. If someone really needs to have a snake a quick trip to the many free food venues is real easy to do. As a traveler there is nothing more inconsiderate to find trays of leftover food on the hallway floor on both hotels and cruise ships. On a cruise ship the hallways are not very wide and it would be very easy to to trip over one. I notice that most cabin stewart's work at least 12 hours a day. I usually never see a cabin stewart late at night but they are everywhere most of the day light hours.
So if you have a kid in a suite it is OK for that kids to track food through the passageways and continuously request room service but not any other kids. This doesn't make sense. I I think that it all comes down to money pure and simple. I'll. ask John H. When I get back home. Internet is slow on the boat.
I do not understand their reasoning for this new policy. Quite simply if it was for the cleanliness of the ship, they would have done this years ago.
Mandana - Ask your physician for a brief note explaining that you require specific access to specific types of food (e.g., protein). Be sure to bring some shelf stable protein with you (e.g., turkey jerky) just in case. A great turkey jerky product is available at Whole Foods but I'm sure you can find it elsewhere. Also, bring some zip lock bags with you so you can discretely. Also, bring some zip lock bags with you so you can discretely carry something out without arousing suspicion of crew members who are simply doing their jobs when they stop someone.
Complete and return the NCL medical needs form to explain your situation prior to the cruise. This provides an alert to NCL and they should be able to accommodate you without a problem. It may not prevent an overzealous dining room crew member from stopping you but at least you've done what you could ahead of time to minimize the potential problem.
Great news! Norwegian Cruise Line has reversed the new policy and passengers are once again allowed to take food back to their staterooms:
I read the above article and it was amazing that the President of the company had the same comments as I stated in my first post. But if your are on a cruise why would you want to eat in your room. My wife and I do occasionally will bring a piece of fruit or cookie back to the room but would never want to bring back a meal. The cruise ships are now the largest and most beautiful ever built with plenty of room and plenty of food venues. I'd be interesting to know where the cruise started from that the president of NCL was on.
thanks for sharing the link to this story... I found it mildly amusing to read this passage, "Stuart said the idea behind the ban on restaurant food going back to the room was never about revenue (YEAH, RIGHT), but rather about cleaning up the corridors and improving the passenger experience."
While the cleaning up the corridor make sense, the bottom line is that crew members do that (or should when there is enough of them). So, that is a round about way of admitting that yes, it is about revenue because if they had more crew members the job of keeping the halls clean would be a non-starter... more crew = more cost and more cost = a negative bottom line impact.
I spoke to someone at NCL the other day. The main reason for the no takeaway rules ( which other lines will be instituting) is quite simply, people are pigs. They drop food on the way to their cabin. Plates are left in the halls. Stewards complain about the high number of plates in the cabins, and the mess. The fact is, I have seen kids drop plates of food and the parents do little, if anything to clean it up. Usually they scold the child because it now requires going back to the buffet for food.
Hey, I bring food back because my wife is disabled, so I bring a morning snack in. Now I'll have to order room service. Not all room service is charged btw. Certain items and certain times will find a charge levied. Mostly it's still free though.
So don't blame NCL. These things are discussed at general meetings with executives from all the lines in attendance. It's just a matter of who will institute it first.
Well obviously, FDR didn't slam one out of the park in this game, matter of fact, he flyed out after his first swing.
For clarification, FDR is the big man here, he is not President of NCL, he is top dog of that entire cruise conglomerate.
"Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO, Frank Del Rio, who was shocked by the number of dirty food trays and plates piled in corridors and the spills caused by passengers carrying food back to their rooms. In one instance, Del Rio watched as gravy slopped onto a carpeted floor from a plate being carried by a passenger."
Okay, so FDR knew that new company policy required a surcharge for room service, then during his intricate inspection of said ship, he noticed the corridors littered with plates, trays and the putrid remains of food. Hardly something the great FDR, high end cruise manager magnate he is or thinks he is, could stomach.
Going back to his luxurious office he divided the number of trays he observed with the average amount of cabin food service orders at the time. Unfortunately, the number of trays greatly exceeded the number of orders. Meaning, FDR's good NCL guests were cheating him. Bad on them.
Just another example of the slippery slope the nickel and dime game the industry has embarked brings another negative for us all.
The rest is history, in the making.
Kennicott - I agree with your point. It was a budget-bottomline issue rather than messy guests (although I also agree that some guests act like they've never seen food before and become gluttonous hogs).
NCL and the other lines should suck it up and keep staffing levels at a point where someone is available to go around and collect the food service items.
As for a previous point made regarding all cruise lines instituting similar policies, this may come back to bite them on the backside. The repeat, high volume cruisers will gravitate to lines which don't forsake their loyalty for a few pennies. We have already started nixing lines off our consideration list. The only reason we may take another NCL cruise is because of a $250 credit that is sitting in our account following a future cruise promotion.